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  • Making Informed Sunscreen Choices: Chemical vs. Mineral Sunscreens
  • Post author
    Angela Rosen

Making Informed Sunscreen Choices: Chemical vs. Mineral Sunscreens

Making Informed Sunscreen Choices: Chemical vs. Mineral Sunscreens

From Agent Nateur:

You only get one skin. And with sunscreen products coming with a list of chemicals as long as your arm, do you really know what you’re putting on your skin, and how can you make the right choice?

In the quest for healthy, radiant skin and effective sun protection, choosing the right sunscreen is crucial. The association between ultraviolet (UV) radiation and skin cancers is well-established, with estimates suggesting that UV exposure contributes to 90% of skin cancer cases. However, when it comes to selecting the best sunscreen for your needs, it's important to understand the differences between chemical and mineral sunscreens, along with their respective benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we will explore these distinctions and emphasize the significance of making informed choices for both personal health and environmental well-being.

Chemical vs. Mineral Sunscreens - What's the difference? 

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, avobenzone, octisalate, and homosalate. These ingredients work by absorbing UV radiation. While effective in dissipating UV rays, there are legitimate concerns associated with these chemicals:

Further studies, this time by scientists from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, have demonstrated in their research the nature of hazardous chemical compounds formed as a result of the breakdown of avobenzone, a component of many sunscreen products, when it interacts with chlorinated water and ultraviolet radiation. 

Mineral Sunscreens (also called “reflectors”) 

In contrast, mineral sunscreens, particularly non-nano variants, offer a safer and more environmentally-friendly choice when compared to chemical sunscreens. This is because mineral sunscreens rely on physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals sit on the skin's surface and form a protective barrier, reflecting and redirecting UV rays away from the skin. This fundamental difference in how they operate provides several advantages:

How Do You Know If Your Sunscreen is Chemical Or Mineral?

It’s easy - just look at the back of the box or the product itself and look at the ‘active ingredients’ section. If you see either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, it's a mineral-based sunscreen. But if it lists active ingredients instead of those, it's a chemical sunscreen.

The Significance of choosing a Non-Nano Zinc Oxide Sunscreen 

When choosing a mineral sunscreen, it is imperative to consider whether it is "non-nano." Nano refers to particles smaller than 100 nanometers, which can penetrate the skin and potentially enter the bloodstream and lungs. Research is ongoing to understand the full extent of the risks associated with nanoparticles for the skin and the environment. Non-nano mineral sunscreens, with larger particle sizes, represent a safer choice, as they cannot be absorbed by the skin.

Our recently launched holi(sun) skin drops are dewy, tinted, 100% mineral SPF 50 skin drops, formulated with ingredients you would find in your skincare, with the added protection of non-nano zinc oxide, to protect against harmful UV rays and sun damage. This two-in-one-product delivers a lightweight, natural and easily-blendable coverage (with zero white cast) that corrects imperfections and builds a daily, radiant glow, all while delivering 98% of UVA and UVB radiation protection too.


  • Post author
    Angela Rosen