Mineral Vs. Physical Sunscreen - Which is Best?
May 31, 2022
Choosing sunscreen these days can be tricky. Consider, whether natural mineral sunscreen is best for your skin or if you want the physical sunscreen that is more familiar.  Both can shield your skin from UV rays, but they are made up of different ingredients.  According to everydayhealth.com, “Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are small particles that sit on the skin’s surface and physically prevent UV rays from penetrating the skin. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, allow UV light into the skin. Once the light is absorbed into the skin, the chemicals in the sunscreen create a chemical reaction in which UV light is converted to heat, and the heat dissipates from the skin.”

So, which is better for you? The Environmental Working Group recommends avoiding chemical sunscreens with oxybenzone because of concerns that this ingredient may disrupt hormones and cause allergic skin reactions. Chemical sunscreens can also cause damage to our ocean life when humans wear them to swim, surf, and enjoy the water.

A review published in January 2019 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that common chemical sunscreen ingredients such as oxybenzone may bleach and damage coral reefs. Tourist destinations, including Hawaii, have banned oxybenzone.

The ingredients in mineral sunscreens (zinc oxide and titanium oxide)  have been generally recognized as safe and effective by the FDA. They are also ideal for children, people with sensitive skin, and people with melasma. 

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