Head to your nearest pharmacy or big-box store and you’ll probably find dozens of different sunscreens on the shelf. Choosing which one to purchase can really be overwhelming. Many people wonder if they should go with a mineral sunscreen or a chemical sunscreen. There are actually quite a few important differences between the two.
There are only two minerals that serve as the active ingredients in sunscreens: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The sunscreens made from either one of these ingredients are called “physical sunscreens.” That’s because they sit on top of your skin, blocking and reflecting the sun’s rays, rather than allowing the rays to absorb into your skin.
The classic sunscreens that you probably grew up with as a kid are referred to as “chemical sunscreens.” This kind is typically made from chemicals with long names like “oxybenzone” and “avobenzone.” These sunscreens are meant to be absorbed by the skin. Then, when you’re in the sun, the chemicals absorb the UV rays and release them as heat from the skin.
The most important difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens is safety. In a 2019 report, the FDA labeled titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as the only two active ingredients in sunscreen that are “generally recognized as safe and effective.” As for the other 14 active ingredients in chemical sunscreens, two were ruled unsafe and the FDA needed additional data to evaluate the safety of the other 12.
Scientific studies have shown that some specific ingredients in chemical sunscreens are easily absorbed into the body and have been found in urine and breast milk. In the body, these chemicals can disrupt hormones and accumulate in tissues. Another study showed that chemical sunscreen is still detectable in the body two weeks after application.
Even so, scientists are quick to point out that this absorption in the body isn’t necessarily harmful or cancer-causing. Just as the FDA requested, more studies need to be done to fully understand the effects of the chemicals in sunscreen.
Since mineral sunscreen sits on the surface of the skin, there’s no concern for absorption or issues with the sunscreen disrupting normal body function.
Mineral sunscreens made with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, or a combination of the two, are the safest choice for your health. These ingredients have several other benefits that make it appealing for use all summer long.
Mineral makeup is one of the easiest ways to incorporate natural sun protection into your daily routine. Plus, mineral makeup benefits your skin by retaining moisture and providing a glowy finish.
Have you ever noticed that regular makeup often makes your skin look worse? That’s because the thick layers of chemicals can actually clog your pores and worsen blemishes. Mineral makeup won’t clog your pores. Instead, it sits on top of your skin and allows your skin to breathe.
We recommend that you start your beauty routine by applying our Mineral Sheer Tint Foundation with SPF 20 or use our BB Cream Foundation with SPF 30. These foundations contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for mineral-based sun protection. The minerals also diffuse light to make fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable. Both are lightweight options, so they won’t clog your pores or leave your face looking cakey.
Loose powder is a great option if you don’t like liquid foundations. Our Mineral Loose Foundation Powder features both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for sun protection. The formula doesn’t include any chemical additives, so it’s perfect for individuals with rosacea or sensitive skin. With 15 shades available, you’ll easily find one that matches your skin tone.
If you're looking for light coverage, use our Beryl Mineral Finishing Powder with titanium dioxide. It features a translucent blend of minerals that smoothes beautifully into your skin to hide pores and soften wrinkles. It’s the ideal product if you want a “no-makeup” look. Plus, you can use it as a finishing powder if you’d like an extra boost of sun protection.
The Yellow Creme, our most popular anti-aging treatment, uses zinc oxide to protect against sun damage. It’s especially helpful for restoring your skin’s natural moisture and balancing your skin tone. We’ve included argireline in the formula, too. Some beauty experts say this ingredient is nearly as effective as Botox!
We all want to protect our skin from the sun and keep it looking beautiful for years to come. Still, many women don’t use mineral sunscreen and makeup properly. Here are a few simple tips to remember.
Making the switch to mineral sunscreen and makeup doesn’t have to be complicated. We’re here to answer any questions you have about your sunscreen and makeup needs.
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Yes. Yes, you do. But….. Caveat emptor.
When first asked to develop products for a local esthetician, I researched the history of cosmetic chemistry. I quickly learned that when it comes to beauty potions, it wasn’t always the chemistry of ingredients that sold products. It was lovely packaging, beautiful cosmetic counters, colorful smocks, and promises of clear and youthful complexions. Lots of promises.