Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen
No matter how extensive your skincare routine is, one product you should always incorporate is sunscreen. It reduces your risk of developing skin cancer and keeps your skin looking healthy and young. Since it’s a product you should be using regularly, it’s important that you find the right one for you. The first step in narrowing your options is to understand the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens.
Naturally, the main difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens is their components. The former is composed of several chemicals, including oxybenzone, octocrylene and avobenzone. The latter is made up of the minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Some people worry that chemical sunscreens are harmful, but no evidence has been found in support of that claim.
How they work
While both types can effectively protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays, they do so through different means. Mineral sunscreen provides a physical barrier that completely blocks UV rays from penetrating your skin. Chemical sunscreen allows the rays to be absorbed into the skin, then triggers a chemical reaction that converts the UV light into heat, which then dissipates without harming the cells.
Mineral sunscreen offers immediate protection, but chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, needs time to soak into your skin. This means that if you plan on using chemical sunscreen, you have to apply it 20-30 minutes before leaving your house. In both cases, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours.
Some people feel that chemical sunscreen is too harsh on their skin. If you have sensitive skin, you may find that it leads to breakouts or allergic reactions, particularly on your face. If this is your case, mineral might be the way to go. You can also look into buying facial sunscreens, which tend to be gentler on sensitive skin.
If you like to wear a full face of makeup on a daily basis, mineral sunscreen is the choice for you. Unlike chemical sunscreen, it can be applied over makeup, so you won’t have to sacrifice your foundation for UV protection.
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