CHEMICAL VS MINERAL SUNSCREENS
PERFECT YOUR SUN PROTECTION STRATEGY
Like Justin, you know you’ve got to WearSPF whenever you’re outdoors: period. And that applies whether you’re hitting the links in the hot sun or hitting the slopes on a frigid day.
It only takes 15 minutes for unprotected skin to be damaged by ultraviolet rays. And skin cancer isn’t the only concern—those rays are also responsible for most facial skin aging. That’s why applying SPF on the regular helps keep your skin both healthy and youthful-looking.
So how do you choose the right one? The two main types are chemical sunscreen, which absorbs UV rays, and mineral sunscreen, which blocks them. Each has pros and cons, but both offer the protection you need.
So are you Team Chemical or Team Mineral? Read on to learn more about which one is the best fit for you.
Chemical sunscreens are formulas that use chemical filters to protect skin. They work like a sponge, absorbing harmful UV rays before they reach your skin, converting them into heat, and releasing them. The most common chemicals used in these sunscreens are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, and octisalate.
Because they screen out UV rays, they’re often what people mean when referring to “sunscreen.” They’re also the most popular kind of SPF on the market, accounting for the majority of sales.
Instead of using chemicals to filter out UV rays, mineral sunscreen (also known as physical sunscreen) blocks radiation by sitting on skin and forming a barrier that reflects rays with ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
This physical method of protection is what’s often referred to as “sunblock.” And although it’s just as effective as chemical sunscreen, it’s not as widely used. Many people picture lifeguards with chalky white goop on their noses, but today’s mineral sunscreens are much less thick and conspicuous.
- Want something lightweight and fast-absorbing with an invisible finish for daily use
- Have a darker skin tone (Yes, darker skin has more natural melanin protection, but not enough to skip sunscreen altogether.)
- Want something more water- and sweat-resistant
- Want something gentle for sensitive or acne-prone skin (some chemical formulas can be irritating)
- Want something that offers protection as soon as it’s applied
- Want something with more environmentally friendly ingredients
— THE BOTTOM LINE —
Whether you choose chemical or mineral sunscreen, you’ll get effective protection from both. Just be sure to pick a broad-spectrum formula with an SPF of at least 30 to maximize your sun defense game plan.
The most important thing is that you make a commitment to WearSPF whenever you’re exposed to the sun. Your skin will thank you.