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Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen

mineral sunscreen
Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen mineral sunscreen

Sunbathing and a so-called “healthy tan” have been part of our summer vacation for many years now. It is a big part of why summer is the favourite season for so many people but sun exposure often comes with unwanted things such as sunburns, peeling, blisters, and of course skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the USA, with more than 3.5 million people diagnosed every year. In 2018, Norway reported 50.3 new skin cancer cases per 100,000 population, the highest incidence across Europe.

The number one cause of melanoma is prolonged and unprotected exposure to sunlight and tanning beds. It is quite easy to stay away from tanning beds but the sun might be a little more tricky.

Thankfully a study published in September 2018 in JAMA Dermatology shows that a daily and regular use of either chemical or mineral sunscreen will effectively reduce the risk of melanoma. A long-term study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology also supports this claim.

With so many options on the market, it is quite easy to find sunscreen everywhere but not all of them are made equally. What should you be looking for when choosing sunscreen? 

Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen

Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen mineral sunscreen

Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens let the UV light penetrate the skin and be absorbed by the skin. The chemicals in the product (oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate) cause a reaction causing the UV light to be converted into heat.

Although the word “chemical” is always associated with bad things, almost everything around us is a chemical including water, which is a substance composed of the chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen. On the other hand, the sun is a radioactive ball causing cancer so…

There is very little study done on the effect of the chemical sunscreen when absorbed into the bloodstream, all the data available shows no harmful effects on the body. However, there is a ton of data showing the long-term effect of sun exposure.

Mineral Sunscreen

Mineral sunscreen uses ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are small particles that sit on top of the skin to prevent the UV rays from penetrating the skin.

Mineral sunscreens and generally safer for kids and people with sensitive skin. Some may have a white residue due to the zinc oxide but are usually faster to absorb and take effect right away, unlike chemical sunscreens which take up to 30 minutes to be effective.

Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen mineral sunscreen

SPF vs PA

Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen mineral sunscreen

SPF

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor against UVB rays which cause burning of the skin. A good rule to remember is to use SPF 30 when you are mostly indoors and SPF 50 or 50+ when you are planning to go out during the day.

Remember to reapply your sunscreen during the day and you need about 2ml for your face, for sufficient protection.

SPF 15 = Some UVB protection.

SPF 30 = Moderate UVB protection.

SPF 50+ = High UVB protection.

PA+

Korean sunscreens use a different rating system from the SPF – commonly used in the US and Europe. PA measures the level of protection from UVA rays. UVA rays are responsible for premature ageing and penetrate the skin on a deeper level than UVB rays do.

The PA system has a range from PA+(one +)  to PA++++( four +), the more + the higher protection.

PA+ = Some UVA protection.

PA++ = Moderate UVA protection.

PA+++ = High UVA protection.

PA++++ = Extremely High UVA protection.

Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen mineral sunscreen

What should you be looking for in a Chemical or Mineral Sunscreen?

Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen mineral sunscreen

Conclusion

Overall we recommend Mineral sunscreen, with broad-spectrum protection, meaning protecting from UVB and UVA rays. A mineral sunscreen with SPF 50+ and PA++++ will be your holy grail against skin cancer but also premature ageing, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and skin damage.

Remember to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours, especially when being outside when sunny to prevent burning. BUT! UVA (the ageing rays) are always present when it is light outside and they penetrate window glass and clouds with no problem.

Any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen. So if all you have is a chemical sunscreen SPF 15, it is always better than doing nothing. And even if you have the best sunscreen in the world, don’t spend more time in the sun than is necessary and seek shadow.

Questions? Ask in the comment section.

Our Bestselling Broad-Spectrum Suncreens

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Cosrx – Aloe Soothing SPF50 PA+++ Sun Cream 50 ml

19,99 
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Isntree – Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel SPF50 50 ml

25,99 
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Beauty of Joseon – Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics SPF50+ PA++++ 50 ml

17,99 
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MISSHA – All-Around Safe Block Essence Sun (SPF45/PA+++) 50 ml

17,99 
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Heimish – Artless Glow Base SPF 50+ PA+++ 40 ml

23,99 
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Frudia – Ultra UV Shield Sun Essence 50 g

11,99 
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Isntree – Hyaluronic Acid Airy Sun Stick SPF50+ PA++++ 22 g

28,99 
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PURITO – Daily Go-To Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA++++ 60 ml

20,90 
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Abib – Quick Sunstick Protection Bar SPF50+ PA+++ 22 g

29,99 
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Some By Mi – Truecica Mineral Calming Tone-Up Suncream SPF50+ PA++++ 50 ml

23,99 
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SKIN1004 – Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum SPF50 PA++++ 50 ml

17,99 
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Round Lab – Birch Juice Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF50+ PA++++ 50 ml

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