Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreen

Let’s chat sunscreen!

Because it’s one of the best things you can do for your skin. Believe me. Some of the most youthful faces I’ve seen working as a cosmetic nurse usually tell me their #1 skin tip is wearing sunscreen religiously. It really should be part of your daily skincare regimen and it should never be skipped or forgotten. Yes, even in the winter! You better believe you can still catch rays on cloudy or snowy days.

Sun exposure can not only leave you with the obvious sunburn & sun spots. But it can also break down your collagen bank faster which can lead to more signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.

Yeahhhh, no thanks.

Here are some important things to know:

  • Mineral sunscreen is NOT the same as chemical sunscreen
  • MINERAL (aka “physical”) SPF contains ingredients like zinc oxide & titanium dioxide
  • Some CHEMICAL SPFs contain toxic ingredients which have been linked to health issues (and can also be harmful to coral reefs)
  • Zinc oxide + titanium dioxide are both categorized as non-comedogenic so if you’re acne prone or have sensitivity issues, mineral SPF may be the way to go
  • Mineral sunscreens SIT on top of the skin & deflect UVA/UVB rays whereas chemical sunscreens are ABSORBED into the skin THEN work by converting UV rays into heat
  • Mineral SPF protects upon application whereas chemical SPF takes time to kick into action 
  • Chemical sunscreens are generally thinner, less sticky, and more easily blended into the skin — which makes them “more convenient” if you will. But mineral it is for me, friends.

Mineral sunscreens have come a long way and they don’t all leave a tacky white cast on the skin! Of course, what works for me might not work for you! But I will go ahead and list my top favorites (for the face and body) that I use and rotate between. These blend nicely with my skin, don’t ball up, and do not leave any white residue. They actually look really beautiful underneath my cream makeup products!