There’s two questions that everyone asks herself when it comes to sunscreens: 1) what should come first, moisturizer or sunscreen (answer: first moisturizer, last sunscreen!) and 2) which one is the safest – a mineral or a chemical sunscreen? Keep reading to know the answer.
It’s common knowledge that everyone that has skin should apply SPF every day. Unfortunately there’s a lot of opposing information about the different types of sunscreen. And in the end, it’s trial and error until you find a formula that goes well with your skin type and skin tone.
To help ease the question about what type of SPF filter you should use, we tried to gather information so you can make an informative decision.
WHAT IS A MINERAL SUNSCREEN?
Also known as physical sunscreen, mineral sunscreens consist of active ingredients like zincoxideand or titanium dioxide. What do these ingredients do is basically sit on top of the skin and deflect UV rays, physically blocking them from penetrating the skin.
They are known to cause a white cast.
WHAT IS A CHEMICAL SUNSCREEN?
Chemical sunscreens consist of active ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octinoxate, or octisalate. These ingredients absorb UV rays and create a chemical reaction that changes the UV rays into heat that’s released from the skin.
However, in recent years, chemical filters have come under fire for potential health and environmental risks. Don’t freak out yet, because the FDA says that sunscreens with these ingredients are still safe for use. There’s no scientific evidence that shows that these ingredients in sunscreens are ‘harmful to human health.’
But, and this is a big But, some ingredients, such avobenzone, are associated with a higher prevalence of allergic and irritant contact dermatitis, when compared with physical sunscreens.
MINERAL VS CHEMICAL
The major difference is how they work. While the mineral sunscreen filters sit on top of the skin and block UR rays, chemical sunscreen absorbs rays and releases them in other forms.
Another difference is how they wear it. Mineral sunscreens have the bad reputation for being thick, and leave you with a white cast that makes you look like a ghost. Formulations have evolved (the particle size can be broken), but people with darker skin tones still have some problems in finding a mineral sunscreen that doesn’t provide an ashy cast.
Chemical sunscreen tends to be lightweight and more sheer, which can be better for people with darker skin tones. Unfortunately not everything is roses when it comes to chemical sunscreens because they can be irritating and even clog pores, causing breakouts. Blah
|My Favorite Sunscreens|
|– La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (+) SPF30 (Face, for Oily skin)|
|– Vichy Mattifying 3-in-1 SPF50 (Face, for Oily skin)|
|– Supergoop! Mineral Sheer Screen SPF30 (All skin types, provides glow)|
|– Bali Body Face & Body Sunscreen Spray SPF50 (easy to use)|
|– Bali Body Hydrating Sunscreen SPF50 (matte)|
|– Eucerin Sensitive Protect SPF50 (smells amazing, protects, great fro sensitive skin)|
It’s important to use sunscreen every day. When you are deciding which one you should use, consider your skin type and concerns.
If you have skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea or lupus, it makes sense to avoid sunscreens with avobenzone. Over almost a month of research, blood samples confirmed that all six active ingredients in chemical sunscreens are absorbed in the bloodstream at measurable levels which can lead to some concerns.
Mineral sunscreens are generally well-tolerated by sensitive skin because their ingredients aren’t absorbed into the skin itself. Instead, they sit on the surface of the skin and act as a screen that deflects UV. That’s why these may be a better choice for those with skin conditions, babies and pregnant women. The only con is the fact that they may cause a white cast.
As you can see, both types of sunscreen are formulated to provide sun protection and are effective, but they have their advantages and disadvantages. There is not a best one, it comes to your personal preference.
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