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Should You Use Mineral Sunscreen Or Chemical Sunscreen?

One of the most common skincare complaints we get has to do with sunscreen. Mostly everyone knows they need to wear it, but many people find it either too greasy, too thick, or even sometimes irritating. But, what many people don’t realize is that not every sunscreen is the same and that different skin types and lifestyles may need different types of protection.

The most important thing to know about SPF is that there are two main types of formulas. There are mineral sunscreens and there are chemical sunscreens. While both help to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays, they do so very differently. They also use different ingredients to do so and their formulations tend to have distinctive textures.

So how do you find the right sun protection for you? For some it’s a preference of texture, others find one fits in better with their current regimen, and still others find that one might be more irritating to their skin. In order to help you determine which one is best for you, here’s our breakdown of what you get with mineral sunscreen versus chemical.


There are over 30 different types of chemical sunscreen ingredients, meaning this type of SPF allows for more variety in textures and applications. Chemical sunscreens are designed to be absorbed by the top layers of skin as they work in two different ways to help neutralize harmful UV radiation. On one level, it deflects and scatters the sun’s harmful rays before they damage the skin, while on the other they filter the UVA/UVB and convert them into heat, neutralizing them.

Find It In: Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+, an easily absorbed lotion with a host of antioxidant protection, including Vitamin E and Baicalin. Goes on easily and absorbs quickly, its anti-pollution formula helps prevent signs of premature aging from sun exposure and free radicals when used and taking other sun protection measures.


Also referred to as physical sunscreen, this type of protection relies on two different types of minerals — zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They work by physically deflecting UVA and UVB rays from getting to the surface of the skin. Because of this, their formulas are naturally a little thicker than chemical versions as they are meant to sit on the skin’s surface, rather than absorbing beneath it. You also need to be diligent in the application, and be sure to apply liberally. Mineral sunscreens are great options for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin since mineral sunscreens generally are not as irritating.

Find It In: Super Fluid Daily UV Mineral Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, our lightly tinted mineral SPF that mattifies skin and doesn’t feel heavy or chalky on the skin. Thanks to the addition of skin-softening and free-radical fighting Vitamin E, it helps defend sensitive complexions and leaves skin smooth, soft, and protected.

Just remember, no matter which you choose, be sure to follow proper sunscreen protocol: Wear it every day, always re-apply at least every two hours, and use the recommended amount. Once you find a formula that’s right for your skin, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to wear it regularly.

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