Chemical sunscreens and physical mineral blocks are two types of sunscreens that offer protection against UV radiation. However, there are some differences between them that may influence which type of sunscreen you choose.
Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV radiation and converting it into heat, while physical mineral blocks work by reflecting UV radiation and blue light emitted by computer screens and LED lights away from the skin.
Here are some other key differences between the two:
1. Active Ingredients
Chemical sunscreens typically contain ingredients such as avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone, while physical mineral blocks contain ingredients such as titanium dioxide, iron oxide, and zinc oxide.
Chemical sunscreens are typically easier to apply and are more lightweight, while physical mineral blocks can be thicker and require more smoothing on skin.
3. Sun Protection
Physical mineral blocks tend to offer better protection against both UVA and UVB rays compared to chemical sunscreens and protect against blue & LED light. Mineral sunscreens work as a physical barrier and are effective immediately upon application. Chemical sunscreens take around 20 minutes to become effective.
4. Allergies & Skin Sensitivity
Some people are sensitive to the ingredients found in chemical sunscreens, which can cause skin irritation and or allergic reactions. Physical mineral blocks are generally considered to be a better choice for people with sensitive skin.
5. Environmental Impact
Chemical sunscreens can be harmful to marine life, especially coral reefs. Physical mineral blocks are generally considered to be more environmentally friendly as they do not contain chemicals that can harm marine ecosystems.
Chemical sunscreens and physical mineral blocks both offer sun protection, but they differ in their active ingredients, application, sun protection, potential for skin sensitivity, and environmental impact. Ultimately, the choice between the two may depend on personal preference and skin type.