It’s time to ditch the chemical sunscreen you’ve been using in favour of mineral sunscreens. Here’s why.
As summer approaches you’ll see sunscreen articles pop up over and over again. But for good reason. They are important to wear all year round to ensure you get the best protection against harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer. We nag readers at the beginning of summer for good reason. This is the time of year when we tend to show more skin, go swimming and spend our days outside. With that in mind, and before you make a trip out the the drug store to stock up on sun protective lotions, ask yourself, “what kind of sunscreen am I buying?”
We all know that wearing SPF is important for protection against the sun’s UV rays, but most sunscreens that contain contain chemicals can be quite irritating, especially if you have sensitive skin. This is where mineral sunscreens come in.
Mineral sunscreens help prevent sun damage, just like traditional sunscreens, but they do so using physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Two key ingredients you should be looking for in a sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreens, according to EWG.org, use a combination of synthetic ingredients including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. These types of chemicals work by absorbing into the skin and seeping in the harmful UVA and UVB rays. Through chemical reaction, they disperse the heat back off the skin. So, you’re basically putting harmful chemicals into your skin in order to get sun protection. This can also cause allergic reactions in some people.
How do mineral sunscreens work?
Unlike chemical sunscreens, mineral sunscreens use active mineral ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide to block harmful rays. Instead of absorbing the rays into the skin, they deflect the sun’s rays like a mirror to protect exposed skin. These ingredients work by reflecting the sun off your skin, as opposed to absorbing and transforming harmful rays on the skin as chemical sunscreens do.
A few brands you can look for in the drugstore aisle are:
These brands make mineral sunscreens for both body and face.
—by Toni-Marie Ippolito