- Mineral sunscreens sit on top of your skin and reflect UV rays.
- Chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin and can cause health problems.
- Mineral sunscreens are physical sunscreens and act as ‘blockers’.
- Zinc oxide, the active ingredient in mineral sunscreens, is good for the skin.
- Dermatologists believe that mineral sunscreens are less irritating to sensitive skin, making them more appropriate for infants.
If you think all sunscreens were made equally, think again! Chemical sunscreens containing oxybenzone, avobenzone, etc., may keep away the sun rays but also end up damaging your skin in the long run.
These traditional synthetic sunscreens were popular back in the day as they were lighter, smoother, and got absorbed directly into the skin. But that radically changed with the arrival of mineral sunscreen or "physical sunscreen," which "reflects" instead of absorbing the UV radiation.
So, which type of sunscreen should you use? Let’s find out.
What Makes Mineral Sunscreen A Better and Safer Choice?
The main difference between traditional, chemical-based sunscreens and the latest mineral formula is the latter’s use of active ingredients. Mineral-based sunscreens contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and act as physical blockers, which create a barrier against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Contradictorily, chemical ones utilize compound blockers – commonly a blend of oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate – absorb the incoming UV radiation.
Here are ten reasons why you should switch to mineral sunscreens.
1. Total Protection Against UV Radiation
Most chemical sunscreens only protect you from UVB radiation, affecting your skin’s surface layers and causing sunburns. But the radiation it offers no protection against is UVA, which can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and cause photo-aging in the form of wrinkles and sunspots.
Mineral-based sunscreens containing both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Hence, they are classified as “full-spectrum” or “broad spectrum.”
2. Suitable For Sensitive Skin Types
Mineral sunscreens are well suited to people with sensitive skin as their ingredients aren't assimilated into the skin. Instead, the filters sit on the surface of the skin and effectively deflect UV rays.
Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, can cause dermatitis since the chemicals in them can penetrate deep into the skin.
3. Immediate Protection After Application
Chemical sunscreens take 20 to 30 minutes to start working. This implies that you have to remain indoors for a while after application until the sunscreen starts working.
Mineral sunscreens don’t need time to enter the skin and provide protection right after applying them.
4. You Can Even Apply Them Over Makeup
For ideal functioning, sunscreens should be reapplied every two to four hours, which is an absolute torment if you're wearing cosmetics.
That's when mineral sunscreen compacts or powders prove to be immensely useful. They can be applied over a foundation without harming an impeccable face and are the ideal alternative for reapplication over the lunch break.
5. Mineral Sunscreen Is Invisible
In case mineral sunscreen evokes pictures of awkward teen lifeguards with their noses chaffed in a white dash of zinc, here’s why you should change your mind. Mineral sunscreens have gone through rapid development in recent years.
They've evolved from white, pale, hefty products to refined, micronized formulas that are clear and feel smooth on the skin. Instead of leaving a white cast, numerous versions are colorless, which implies you may even need less foundation and concealer than otherwise.
6. Less Likely To Cause Acne
Many people suffering from skin break out or acne stay away from sunscreen because they fear it may aggravate their condition. This is true for chemical sunscreens, which can fuel breakouts, while "non-comedogenic" mineral ones don't clog pores. Thus, mineral sunscreen is safe to use on acne-prone skin.
7. No Impact On Hormone Production
There are growing apprehensions against using chemical sunscreens as they might disturb hormone production. Some studies have suspected that UV filters containing oxybenzone, parabens, and phthalates can impact human endocrine glands.
These compounds have been connected with a greater danger of endometriosis in women, lower sperm quality in men, skin hypersensitivity issues, hormone disturbance, and cell damage.
Mineral sunscreens do not contain any of these ingredients. Thus, no harm to your body.
8. No Harm To The Environment
Chemical sunscreens have been linked to adverse ecological effects by polluting water sources. Studies have found that these compounds don’t break down naturally and can harm coral reefs when this chemical is washed off by swimmers (NOAA 2015).
Mineral sunscreens contain organic ingredients that decompose quickly and cause no harm to the environment.
9. Safe To Use For People Suffering From Rosacea
Mineral sunscreens turn out better for individuals with heat-activated skin (i.e., rosacea and redness) since they reflect the sun’s heat and energy. They also help in limiting and camouflaging the redness caused due to rosacea.
10. Easy To Apply
Mineral-based sunscreens used to be thick and difficult to apply and left a white film on the skin. However, the recent ones have a more fluid texture and are simpler to apply. Also, they don't leave a white film on the skin anymore.
We all know the amount of damage the sun can do to our skin. However, don't let that prevent you from getting out in nature! With a secure, expansive mineral sunscreen, you can have a good time in the sun and have a great time at your work or holiday.