You want to stay safe in the sun but you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the choices in front of you: what sunscreen is best and safest to use?
At the end of the day, it comes down to preference. Both chemical and mineral (also known as “physical”) sunscreens work and any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen when it comes to protecting your skin!
But to help you choose, here are the pros and cons of each:
Mineral or Physical Sunscreen:
Mineral sunscreens create a physical barrier on the skin. They literally reflect the sun’s rays! Their active ingredients include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which act as physical blockers. These minerals form a protective barrier on the skin and reflect harmful UV rays before they make contact with the skin’s surface.
Pros of Mineral Sunscreen
- Safe and effective ingredients
- Ideal for children
- Ideal for those with sensitive skin
- Offers immediate protection
- Naturally broad-spectrum (offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays)
- Lasts longer in direct UV light
Cons of Mineral Sunscreen
- May feel heavy skin at first
- May be difficult to fully blend into skin
- Can rub off, sweat off, and rinse off easily (doesn’t last as long when wet or sweaty)
Pharmacist Favorite Mineral Sunscreens
Chemical sunscreens are often referred to as “absorbers.” Their active ingredients are organic (carbon-based) compounds that absorb UV rays. Through a chemical reaction, these chemical compounds convert UV rays into heat, then release that heat from the skin.
Pros of Chemical Sunscreen
- Doesn’t leave residue on skin
- Less is needed to protect skin
- Spreads easily skin
Cons Of Chemical Sunscreen
- Increases chance of having a reaction and can irritate sensitive skin
- Takes 20 to 30 minutes to absorb
- Needs to be reapplied more frequently
Pharmacist Favorite Chemical Sunscreens