Mineral or Chemical Sunscreen: Which to Choose?
What should be the last step in your a.m. skincare routine? Applying an SPF of course! While the summertime may be considered prime sunscreen season, everyone--no matter your gender, skin type or tone--should apply sunscreen every day, 365 days a year. Skin cancer does not discriminate and the fact is, melanoma is more deadly among people of color because they are oftentimes not diagnosed until later stages of this cancer. A daily SPF also helps protect skin from the signs of aging and hyperpigmentation, and who doesn’t want that?
But then the next question is, should you choose a mineral or chemical sunscreen? Each works differently to protect skin from harmful UV rays and understanding how they work can help you choose what’s right for you.
How do mineral and chemical sunscreens work?
Mineral sunscreens, also called “physical sunscreens” because they form a physical barrier on the skin, are formulated with minerals, either Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, as the active ingredient. These minerals act as the UV filter in the SPF, and provide the physical barrier since the sunscreen formula “sits” on the surface of the skin and blocks and then reflects harmful UV rays away from the skin.
Chemical sunscreens are formulated with chemical UV filters that may include Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Homosalate and Octinoxate. The ingredients are absorbed by the top layers of the skin to filter the UVB/UVA rays and then convert them into heat, neutralizing them before they can damage the skin.
Which to choose?
So now you’re probably thinking, they both provide UV protection, but why would I choose one over the other? Let’s go over the pros and cons.
Mineral sunscreens provide highly effective protection and are less irritating since they reflect UV rays away from the skin, making them the superior choice for sensitive skin, acne-prone skin and those struggling with hyperpigmentation and melasma.
But traditional mineral sunscreens tend to be thicker and get a bad rep because they can be hard to blend into skin, especially melanin-rich skin, often leaving a white or purple cast.
Chemical sunscreens tend to be thinner, easier to spread and easier to rub into the skin making them less likely to leave a white cast. But because they convert UV rays to heat, they can be irritating to some skin types, especially sensitive skin and those who struggle with hyperpigmentation and melasma.
New Sheer SPFs are Here!
We know many of our glowgetters are concerned about acne, hyperpigmentation and melasma, and would prefer to use mineral sunscreen because they are less irritating. But if you have melanin-rich skin, sheer mineral protection has been nearly out of reach, until now!
We just introduced two new 100% mineral protection sunscreens that provide sheer protection for diverse complexions! Our new SheerGlow™ Even Tone Daily Defense Moisturizer is your daily dark spot defense, good for all skin types seeking an SPF 30 moisturizer. If you have oily, blemish-prone skin, we have ShineBlock™ Oil Control Moisturizer, a lightweight mattifying SPF 30 moisturizer that provides sheer protection. The secret behind our sheerness is our exclusive SheerGenius™ Technology. This formulation process features finely milled Zinc Oxide that is easy to blend and virtually impossible to see, providing broad-spectrum sheer protection.
If you think a chemical sunscreen is right for you, we offer our Complexion Protection SPF 30 moisturizer that tones and hydrates all skin types.
Be sure to pick up the formula that meets your needs and use it every day to protect your glow! For more information on skincare essentials, tips, and products, check out the Glow-Up Guide often!