Summer is just around the corner! The sun is shining and you feel like going out, right? But, wait a second. We have a little reminder for you; sun protection is a must-have in your daily routine, regardless of location or time of the year.
Today we’re going to talk about two types of protection that exist on the market, Chemical protection and Mineral protection. Are you up for learning more about both?
What is chemical sun protection?
Chemical sunscreens are synthetic products with components that absorb UV rays before they can penetrate the skin. They usually contain ingredients such as avobenzone, octisalate, octinoxate, and oxybenzone.
Benefits of chemical sun protection
Invisible once applied
This is a great aesthetic advantage of chemical sunscreens. Usually, these types of products give a uniform appearance, as they are easily absorbed and will not leave a white trace on your skin or stain your clothes.
Its formula is not as dense as mineral protectors. This more liquid and lighter texture will allow you to spread the cream on your body quickly and with little effort.
Chemical creams tend to be more resistant to sweat and water, so they will last longer if you go to the beach, the pool, or practice high-intensity sports.
As you can see, these types of sunscreens do their job. They are light and easy to spread, but you should also be aware of the following:
- Since they have to be absorbed by the skin, they take an average of 20 minutes to begin to be effective.
- They are not easily degradable. Experts from the University of Central Florida highlight the impact that the chemicals used in chemical sunscreens have on the environment. In particular, countries such as Hawaii have banned their use because of the harmful effects on coral reefs.
- Special caution should be taken when using them on sensitive skin. There is an increased likelihood of reaction, and some ingredients may aggravate conditions such as rosacea.
What is mineral sunscreen?
Mineral sunscreen is a chemical-free alternative that uses mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
These components make the formula thicker. This can lead to clogged pores in oily skin, so it is essential to remove the product thoroughly at night. This will prevent problems, such as seborrhoea, from appearing in the long term.
Another fact to have in mind is that this type of product can lose effectiveness as the hours go by. For this reason, it is highly recommended to reapply them frequently to ensure good protection.
Benefits of mineral sun protection
Mineral sunscreen protects against both UVB & UVA rays. UVB rays have a shorter wavelength with higher energy levels which are the main cause of skin burns, blistering and linked to causing some skin cancers. UVA rays, which are longer wavelength and lower energy levels penetrate into the deepest layers and promote premature aging.
In addition, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, regular use of sunscreen reduces the chances of skin cancer and absorption of both UVA |& UVB rays.
Recommendation for sensitive skin
Its chemical-free formula remains on the skin without being absorbed. This reduces the chances of causing irritation on delicate skin or skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis or eczema.
These creams create a barrier that deflects the sun’s rays and begins to protect you immediately after application, without the need to wait for your skin to absorb them.
Reduced environmental impact
As they contain biodegradable elements, there is no evidence that these products cause damage to the marine ecosystem. By using them, you contribute to preventing negative effects on coral reefs.
In any case, remember that wearing any type of sunscreen, mineral or chemical is better than wearing none at all. However if you are looking for immediate protection and also avoid absorption of harsh chemicals that may adversely affect your skin in the future, we recommend sticking to mineral (non-chemical) sunscreens.
The sun’s rays are always there, even if we don’t see them. Protect yourself daily and your skin will thank you in the future.
Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use. (2019). Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Ana Zangroniz. Sunscreen and Coral Reefs. (2020). University of Florida.
Skin cancer. (2021). American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD).
Matta, M. K., PhD. (2020). Effect of Sunscreen Application on Plasma
Concentration of Sunscreen Active Ingredients: A Randomized Clinical. Jama Network.