There’s no denying that sunscreen is a strong ally against premature ageing and sunburn. However, with so many sunscreen options available, finding the perfect fit for your skin can feel a bit daunting. But no worries, we’re here to break it down and make life easier for you. Today, we look at the difference between chemical and mineral filters and how they can impact sensitive skin.
Chemical Sunscreen: A Closer Look
Chemical filters work by absorbing UV radiation and converting it into heat, which is then released from the skin. These filters are often listed as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, or homosalate (amongst others) on the ingredient list. Their lightweight and easily spreadable texture, often makes this type of sunscreen is a popular choice for daily use. In fact, you can even achieve high SPF factor in a sprayable format with these ingredients. However, you do need to apply them 30 minutes before leaving the house for your skin to be correctly protected.
The caveat? If you’re prone to irritation, chemical filters might be a cause for concern. Some individuals with sensitive skin find that certain chemical filters trigger allergic reactions, leaving their skin red and unhappy. Furthermore, certain studies indicate potential adverse impacts on coral reefs and the environment, leading to restrictions, usage limits, and even bans in certain countries.
Mineral Sunscreen: A Natural Alternative
Say hello to mineral filters, represented mainly by the mighty zinc oxide, who’s uses have been well-documented since ancient Rome. Other molecules often used include titanium dioxide. These natural warriors create a physical barrier on the skin’s surface, reflecting the sun’s rays. Also known as physical filters, they are often favoured by individuals with sensitive skin, as they are generally less likely to cause an unwanted reaction. Furthermore, they provide immediate protection upon application, so you can step out into the sun with confidence.
But, there is a catch – some sunscreens containing mineral filters can leave a white cast on the skin. Thankfully, modern advancements and new formulation techniques have led to a new generation of products, ones which blend more easily into the skin, so you don’t have to sacrifice a natural choice for a pale complexion. If the idea of a natural sunscreen is what has attracted you to mineral-based ingredients, make sure you choose a product containing non-nano zinc oxide, otherwise it won’t be classed as natural.
Finding the Perfect Sunscreen Match
When it comes to choosing between chemical and mineral sunscreens, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and specific needs, although there are a few factors to keep in mind:
- If you have sensitive skin, consider performing a patch test with a sample first. This will help you determine if your skin reacts negatively to any of the ingredients.
- Ensure your sunscreen is broad spectrum. UVA rays cause premature ageing, while UVB rays are responsible for sunburns.
- If you have a very sensitive complexion or any skin conditions, consult a trusted professional who can recommend the best sunscreen options for your specific needs. Here at Twelve Beauty, we offer an online consultation service. We’re here to help clear up any questions you might have.
A Fan Favourite: Artemisia Power Protection Moisturiser SPF50+
A popular choice with both our clients and the Twelve Beauty team is our anti-pollution day emulsion. With the added advantage of being both a moisturiser and SPF, Artemisia Power Protection Moisturiser SPF 50+, protects skin from the get-go. One of its main actives is Buddleja extract, known to repair cell damage caused by the UV rays, while its namesake, Artemisia, is one of nature’s most formidable antioxidants. What’s more, its non-greasy formula provides daily SPF 50+ protection with non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide technology, leaving skin with a matte finish.