Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen: Tip of the Day 5-17-22
Of the two types of sunscreen (mineral & chemical, dermatologists agree some is better than none. But, one appears to be recommended over the other for people with sensitive skin.
According to experts, the key difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens is that mineral, also referred to as physical sunscreens, sit on top of the skin and block rays at the surface using ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Think of it as a baseball bat hitting away harmful rays. Mineral sunscreens tend to be thicker, and often have to be rubbed in longer to prevent the appearance of a white cast on the skin, especially in darker skin tones. Mineral sunscreens also have to be re-applied more often than chemical sunscreens.
Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing rays like a sponge, turning them into heat, and then releasing the heat through the skin. Chemical sunscreens tend to be lighter and more sheer, but can irritate sensitive, acne-prone skin.
Overall, dermatologists typically don’t suggest that one (chemical or mineral/physical) sunscreen is better than the other. Rather, experts recommend taking your skin type into consideration when choosing a sunscreen. If you’re acne-prone, mineral might be a better option. One thing experts agree on: The best sunscreen is the one you wear. Period.
*Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with at least an SPF (sun protection factor) 30.