It’s undeniable that sunscreen is essential for the long-term health of your skin. When deciding on the right one for you, you want to choose a sunscreen that provides the highest level of protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation with an SPF of 30+. But you also want one that fits seamlessly in your daily regimen. What many people don’t know is that not all sunscreens work in the same way. There are two basic types of sunscreens: mineral sunscreen, also known as physical sunscreen, and chemical sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays into the skin instead of reflecting them like their mineral counterparts. While both formulations can offer broad-spectrum protection, there are key benefits of switching to a mineral-based sunscreen that you should know:
Provides more protection
The primary active ingredients in mineral sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, two naturally occurring minerals that block both UVA and UVB rays. These UV filters work by sitting on top of the skin to create a physical barrier that scatters and deflects the sun’s rays at the surface. One benefit of this is that once applied, there is no waiting time for sun protection to take effect — you are free to go outside and enjoy the sunshine immediately.
Convenient for daily use
While mineral sunscreens once had a bad reputation for being thick and chalky, formulations have evolved tremendously. Today’s mineral sunscreens are designed to be just as lightweight and clear as their chemical counterparts. They even come in tinted formulations as well as powders to match your skin tone and brush on easily over makeup.
Safer on sensitive skin
Since mineral-based sunscreens are free of chemical ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can trigger irritation for people rosacea or melasma, they’re a gentle, non-irritating choice for young children and sensitive skin types. In fact, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the only two UV filters classified as safe and effective by the FDA.
Safer for acne-prone skin
While chemical sunscreens are more likely to sink into pores and cause blemishes, mineral formulations are non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), an ideal option for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
How can I find my perfect sunscreen?
The ideal mineral-based sunscreen for you will be the one you enjoy using the most. This choice will depend on factors such as your unique skin type and texture preferences. If you need help narrowing down your selection, we can help! We offer a wide range of medical-grade sunscreens from trusted brands like Colorescience® and EltaMD®, and our skin care experts can find you a match that best suits your skin’s needs.