The benefits of sunscreen are hardly news to anyone today. But there’s confusion about which type of sunscreen is best for your face or skin (in general) and how to use them effectively
In this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons of each type of sunscreen to help you decide which is better for you. We’ll also provide valuable information on how you can get the most from using sunscreen.
There are two types of sunscreen— chemical and mineral sunscreen. Let’s see how they work.
Mineral sunscreen is also known as Physical sunscreen. It contains particles of titanium oxide and zinc oxide (minerals) that help protect the skin. These particles sit on the skin’s surface and shield the skin from ultraviolet rays (harmful rays from the sun that cause skin damage). They protect the skin by deflecting the UV rays
before they can cause any harm.
Chemical sunscreen contains ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemicals are absorbed into the skin, and unlike physical sunscreens, they don’t sit on the skin. They safeguard the skin from harmful sun rays by absorbing them, converting them to heat, and releasing them from the body.
Which Type of Sunscreen is Better?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association
, your sunscreen can effectively protect you from the sun as long as it is broad-spectrum, water-resistant, and has an SPF of 30 or greater. So, there is no “best” sunscreen per se, however, many dermatologists argue that mineral sunscreen is best.
This idea is founded on research
that showed that some chemicals used in chemical sunscreen are absorbed in quantities higher than the recommended quantity. Although, chemical sunscreen has not been declared unsafe.
We can conclusively say that both types of sunscreens can protect your skin. Given the pros and cons of each, you’ll be able to decide which is more suited for you.
Pros and Cons of Mineral Sunscreens
- Currently, zinc oxide and titanium oxide— two ingredients in mineral sunscreens— are considered safe for the environment and skin. These ingredients do not cause coral bleaching; they are considered safe for aquatic life, so you can wear them when swimming.
- Mineral sunscreen offers immediate protection— you don’t have to wait for absorption into the skin.
- Mineral sunscreen is best for children.
- If you have sensitive and acne-prone skin, mineral sunscreen is most suitable for you. Unlike chemical sunscreens, mineral sunscreens do not convert the UV rays to heat. Hence, it is suitable for people that have melasma. The heat released using chemical sunscreens can exacerbate melasma.
- Mineral sunscreens are ideal for people who are concerned about using chemical ingredients.
- Mineral sunscreens are problematic to apply, leaving a white cast on the skin.
- Mineral sunscreens need to be applied more frequently than chemical sunscreens.
Pros and Cons of Chemical Sunscreens
Chemical sunscreens are easy to apply.
They don’t leave a white film on the skin
Chemical sunscreens work better with other skincare ingredients
Some skin types can react to the ingredients in a chemical sunscreen. Some people might have allergic reactions to the ingredients.
It can worsen skin conditions like melasma and rosacea.
With the pros and cons of each type of sunscreen given above, you can easily decide which one would be more favorable to your face and skin, generally. The effectiveness depends on similar factors such as the SPF level, whether it is a chemical sunscreen or a mineral sunscreen.
Your next question should be, “what should I look for in sunscreen?”
What Should You Look For in Sunscreen?
Before purchasing any sunscreen, you must look out for two things; broad-spectrum and the SPF rating.
Two harmful rays from the sun can potentially damage your skin— UVA and UVB rays. These rays can cause hyperpigmentation
, or worse, skin cancer. Getting a sunscreen that has “broad-spectrum” labeled on the product indicates that the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which is a number that indicates how much protection the sunscreen offers against UVB rays. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD)
recommends sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30. An SPF 30 sunscreen can offer up to 97% protection against UVB rays.
Additionally, water-resistant sunscreen is a must-have if your activities involve swimming or heavy perspiration. This ensures the sunscreen stays on even when you’re wet.
Getting the Most From Sunscreen
If you want your sunscreen to be effective, here are some things you should do;
- Apply the right amount of sunscreen. For your face, about one-half teaspoon is enough.
- Sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before going out and reapplied at 2 hours intervals.
- Do not store your sunscreen in areas exposed to the sun.
- If you’d use other skincare products like a moisturizer, apply the sunscreen last.
- Sunscreen can help protect you from hyperpigmentation or prevent it from getting worse. But to effectively treat those skin problems, consider using the Perfec-tone hyperpigmentation set alongside your sunscreen.
Sun rays can cause some harm to your skin, especially the sensitive skin of your face. It is essential to protect it always. With all the information provided above, you can now decide which type of sunscreen is best for you. Additionally, wear sun-protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, seek shades whenever possible and protect your eyes with sunglasses that can filter UV rays.