Health Living Well

Chemical Sunscreen vs. Mineral Sunscreen

Sunscreen: we all know that we should wear it, but did you know that there are different types of sunscreen? Many people feel strongly about one type over the other, so here is some information about them so that you can make your own informed decision.

How they’re the same:

No matter what you choose, you need to reapply both of them regularly throughout the day to get full protection and coverage. If you wear makeup, you can layer them with your foundation, but sometimes the way in which you layer it makes a difference and you should know that ahead of time.

So what’s the difference?

Chemical sunscreens have an active ingredient that combines between two and six of the following: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. In chemical sunscreens, these chemicals absorb the UV rays. There are concerns with some of these ingredients, including oxybenzone, as they have been determined to be hazardous to human health. However, these sunscreens often rub into the skin and leave a soft appearance. However, they are often waterproof or sweatproof so that you get more consistent coverage.

Mineral sunscreens generally contain minerals like zinc oxide and titanium oxide and they reflect UV rays off of your skin. On the positive side, these minerals are not harmful to your health. However, they are difficult to rub in and often leave a white, chalky appearance on the skin. They can also rub off if you’re not careful.

Something Else To Consider:

Make sure that your sunscreen covers both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the ones that burn your skin, but UVB ones are the dangerous ones that cause skin cancer. Make sure that the packaging on your sunscreen, no matter what you choose, covers both types of rays. Very high SPF might not indicate full coverage, so do your homework on the product you’re buying!

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