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Differences Between Mineral and Chemical Sunscreens

Natural Suncreens for Your Skin

Skin cancer, wrinkles and other skin damage can be prevented when sunscreen is used as a part of your daily skincare routine. Mineral sunscreens are an excellent choice for avoiding dangerous carcinogens, hormone disruptors and irritants found in chemical sunscreen ingredients. The latest formulas of mineral sunscreen now blend into any skin tone easily for maximum protection with ease.

Chemical sunscreens do not meet our standards for cleanliness, yet mineral sunscreens are an excellent alternative that can provide the same level of protection. The two work differently; with physical (mineral) sunscreen forming a barrier to block and reflect UVA/UVB rays whereas chemical sunscreen absorbs them instead. SPF ratings provides information about UVB ray protection in either type of product.

Determine whether a sunscreen is chemical or mineral with ease: simply check the active ingredient box. If zinc oxide, titanium dioxide (or both) are absent and replaced by alternative components, that would make it a chemical-based product which does not meet our cleanliness criteria.

Do All Mineral Sunscreens Leave a White Cast? 

Gone are the days of pasty, chalky formulas; our current favorites glide over every skin tone for a seamless finish that feels incredibly luxurious. What’s even more amazing is some of these blends actually act like makeup, offering advanced skincare-like benefits such as pore smoothing and blemish softening power while others boast protective antioxidants to help further enhance the skin’s health.

Suntegrity Impeccable Skin SPF 30poreless finish 

ILIA C Beyond Triple Serum SPF 40serum tint

Ava Isa Sun Serum Drops SPF 35 – transparent finish

Humanrace Ozone Face Protection Daily Moisturizer 

Sensitive Skin 

For those with acne-prone or sensitive skin, all-zinc formulas are a go to sunscreen choice. Common chemical ingredients such as octinoxate, homosalate and octisalate have been known to cause irritation on the skin and eyes; however zinc oxide is so calming it is even used in baby bottom cream! Avoiding these irritating chemicals can be critical for avoiding breakouts caused by your own skincare products.

Colorescience Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Face Shield SPF 50

What Dangers are Associated with Chemical Sunscreens?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has recently signaled some of the most extensively used elements in chemical sunscreens as hormone disruptors. Oxybenzone, avobenzone and homosalate are to name a few. According to EWG’s recent sunscreen report on four separate studies from 2020, oxybenzone may increase chances of breast cancer or endometriosis due its endocrine disrupting ability.

A JAMA study revealed that avobenzone,oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule can be effectively absorbed into the bloodstream which is cause for alarm.

This is especially worrisome since these chemicals can have adverse effects at even the smallest of doses, meaning that there’s no known safe quantity to use them. In fact, according to a 2019 FDA proposal aiming to reassess the safety of ingredients in chemical sunscreens, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are currently deemed as the only generally recognized “safe and effective” compounds for sunscreen usage within the United States.

Not only are chemical sunscreens potentially damaging to human health, but they can also wreak havoc on the environment. Take for instance Hawaii’s ban in 2021 of oxybenzone and octinoxate-containing sunscreens – both have been found to be detrimental to coral reefs and other aquatic species.

Formulators Have Gotten Innovative 

Our love for the new serum formulas of mineral sunscreen is ever-growing; they provide a broad spectrum of sun protection and melt into your skin like magic! Recent advances in encapsulation technology have drastically altered how these products look and feel, allowing them to become truly ultralight. Try it out today to experience an incomparable level of smoothness as you protect yourself from harmful UV rays.

True Botanicals Everyday Skin Tint SPF 30 – Imbued with powerful skincare benefits and mineral sunscreen, achieve a luminous yet natural ‘your-skin-but-better’ look with perfect coverage.

True Botanicals Skin Barrier Sun Shield SPF 30 – Perfect for all skin types, this clean SPF is formulated without any of the waxes that cause pore-clogging or toxins that can dry out your skin. Non-greasy and non-comedogenic, it’s hypoallergenic and free from harsh ingredients found in other sunscreens.

Mineral Sunscreens for Body 

You can observe the achievements in mixability and feel in body products too – even at SPF 50.

Suntegrity Unscented Body Sunscreen SPF 30

Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc, Fragrance Free Sunscreen Lotion

Lotions for Optimum Safety (and Sun Protection)

For over a decade, the EWG has advised against sprays and powders due to potentially serious health risks if sunscreen ingredients are inhaled. Even mineral ones! Moreover, achieving even coverage with these products is almost impossible. 

The FDA is taking it one step further by contemplating banning aerosols altogether – so creamy formulas have become our go-to when it comes to safe yet effective sun protection.

Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense Lotion with SPF 18

100% Pure Tomato Lycopene SPF 20 Moisturizer

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