What is mineral sunscreen?
Otherwise referred to as physical sunscreen, mineral sunscreen is formulated with active ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that literally form a physical barrier to block UV light from reaching your skin by either reflecting the light or absorbing it. Once chalky, hard-to spread and hard to wash off, mineral sunscreens have come a long way, and are now easy to apply and easy to remove. With added ingredients like antioxidants, mineral sunscreens not only offer lasting protection from UVA and UVB light, but actually help to benefit your skin beneath. Mineral sunscreens are also better for sensitive and blemish-prone skin because they aren’t absorbed into the skin and therefore will not cause irritation or affect its natural balance.
What is chemical sunscreen?
Chemical sunscreens are formulated with active chemical ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate that filter either UVB or UVA radiation. Instead of creating a physical shield that blocks or deflects ultraviolet rays, they absorb the sun's light energy and convert it safely into heat on top of the skin, which is then released. Now, if you were paying attention in science class, you may recall the primary scientific premise is that energy is constant. It can be changed into different forms, like vapor changing to water, but it's never really gone. That’s the lab coat bit over with! So chemical sunscreens don't really absorb the UV radiation, as much as convert it into something harmless (heat) that dissipates from the surface of your skin before it's able to reach deeper levels of your skin. The problem is that this photochemical reaction uses up sunscreen, so the more sun you are getting, the faster sunscreen is used up or breaks down and the more frequently you have to apply it. Although, often more popular due to their lightweight and sheer consistency, chemical sunscreens have also faced some criticism over the years. They can cause irritation if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. Chemical sunscreens have also been shown to have some adverse environmental effects.*
Is mineral sunscreen better than chemical?
So, is mineral sunscreen better than chemical sunscreen? Given the potential environmental impact of chemical sunscreen and their unsuitability for some skin types, mineral sunscreens do tend to be more favoured across the board. You should always take your skin type into consideration when choosing a sunscreen. Two things can cause sunscreen-related breakouts: blockages of the pores by comedogenic materials or a sensitivity reaction to chemical UV-blocking ingredients. But with that being said, the “best” sunscreen will always be the one that you actually want to wear every single day.
Step in; Clean Screen
Ideal for oily or sensitive skin, and created for daily use, Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 is formulated with 22% non-nano naturally derived zinc oxide that sits gently on the skin's surface acting as a physical barrier, offering broad spectrum clean protection to your skin, and our planet. It has a mattifying and vegan formula, designed to limit irritation, infused with antioxidant rich Passion Fruit Extract to help support your skin’s natural defense against free radicals, and Rice Starch to leave your skin mattified and comfortable all day.
Come rain or shine, outside or in, you should always remember to incorporate an SPF into your everyday morning skincare routine. To make it easy for you, we’ve created our Brighten and Protect Duo, including Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream, and Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 to give you your daily dose of brightness-boosting vitamin C and sun protection. In the evening, Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser makes removing sunscreen simple. Suitable for dry and sensitive skin, our rich jelly facial cleanser transforms from jelly to oil to milk and uses 100% natural-origin oils to effortlessly dissolve waterproof makeup, pollution, and SPF. Its fatty acid rich formulation works to replenish your skin and helps strengthen your skin barrier leaving your complexion perfectly cleansed and comfortable.
*DiNardo JC, Downs CA. Dermatological and environmental toxicological impact of the sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone/benzophenone-3. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2018;17(1):15-19. doi:10.1111/jocd.12449