What you need to know about chemical sunscreen versus mineral sunscreen


It’s pretty common knowledge that the sun can have damaging effects on our skin, and that wearing sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Needless to say we all want to do our best to keep our skin looking healthy, beautiful and vibrant. 


One debate that has been waging on is the debate between chemical sunscreen and mineral sunscreen. Although, it’s important to say now, any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen, there are some pretty significant differences between mineral sunscreen and chemical sunscreen so let’s go through them together. 


What is chemical sunscreen?


Chemical sunscreens use a formula that has chemical filters inside of them to protect the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The most commonly used chemicals in most standard SPF sunscreens are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, and octisalate. These hard to pronounce ingredients work similarly to a sponge and absorb the rays before it can reach your skin. Chemical sunscreens are one of the most common ones available on the market, and usually what most people use when they think of sunscreen. 


A woman applying mineral sunscreen in the shape of spirally sun

What is mineral sunscreen?


On the other hand, mineral sunscreens physically block ultraviolet radiation with natural minerals like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to protect your skin. Since they have physical blocking capabilities, mineral sunscreens are also called physical sunscreen or sunblock. Mineral sunscreens are just as effective as chemical sunscreens. 

What are the differences between minerals and chemical sunscreen?


Aside from active ingredients, chemical sunscreen does absorb into the skin faster than mineral sunscreen.  In addition, chemical sunscreens need less product to be applied and spreads easily as well. Chemical sunscreen is also praised for its invisible finish and the fact it doesn’t leave a residue behind. 


Mineral sunscreen on the other hand, has safer ingredients that are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, lasts longer in direct sunlight and offers immediate protection. But keep in mind mineral sunscreen also is a little thicker than chemical sunscreen so it takes a little time to work into your skin and will sit on top of your skin.  


Depending on your skin type and level of protection you’d like will really dictate which sunscreen is best for your skin.  The sunscreen that will best for you has to fit your lifestyle and routine. If you are a person who doesn’t like reapplying often and wants a sunscreen that offers immediate protection from the sun then mineral is the way to go. Or on the other hand, if you need a sunscreen that is easier to apply and an invisible finish, chemical sunscreen is the route to go. 


But if you have any questions about your skin type, how to best take care of your skin or which products are best for you, it never hurts to get an opinion from a professional who works at a medi spa (like us here at Juvea Aesthetics!). 



At Juvea Aesthetics, we are redefining your natural beauty. At our medi spas in Calgary and Edmonton, we are focused and committed to highlighting your best features without compromising the integrity of your unique beauty. We believe in enhancing your natural look with premium medical aesthetics in Calgary, including Botox, dermal fillers, lip injections and belkyra. We also offer vitamin drips and therapy, mesotherapy and skincare consultations. Schedule your appointment at our Calgary medi spa by calling 403-975-7523.