When it comes to buying sunscreen, we often rely on the SPF sun protection factor. However, the difference between 30, 40 and 50 FPS has little impact on the level of protection. There are other things to consider, especially if the sunscreen consists of chemical or physical filters, the latter also known as “mineral filters”. Let’s take a look at the sun protectors that are gaining in popularity: mineral sunscreens.
MINERAL FILTERS VS. CHEMICAL FILTERS
Mineral filters remain on the surface of the skin, unlike chemical filters, which cross the skin barrier. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the mineral powders most frequently used in the composition of physical-filter sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens form a protective layer on the epidermis that acts as a shield by reflecting UVA/UVB rays. These are recommended for people who have sensitive or reactive skin, who are allergic or intolerant or who are very fair skinned. Mineral sunscreens are appreciated by fans of cutting-edge eco-responsible products. Upon application, the skin is immediately protected.
Chemical filters, made up of organic molecules such as oxybenzone and octocrylene, penetrate the skin. To protect the skin from sun, the molecules’ role is to absorb the UVA/UVB rays within the epidermis, which can in certain cases cause skin reactions. In effect, during the absorption process, molecules are sometimes modified by the instability of light or enzymes produced by the body and can cause allergies or intolerances. Chemical sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow it to infiltrate and thus protect the skin.
THE DAYS OF CHALKY-WHITE SKIN ARE OVER: WELCOME TO THE NEW GENERATION OF MINERAL SUNSCREENS
The new generation of mineral sunscreens — like those in the SkinCeuticals line — have a pleasant texture and smooth finish. Like a light foundation that provides a natural glow and a smooth effect, mineral screens have the advantage of being part of the skincare routine to provide broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays, in summer and winter. Find out more about the mineral sunscreens best adapted to your condition.
And don’t forget: whatever type of protection you choose, think of applying sunscreen every two hours — even when it’s cloudy — and after swimming or sweating. Shade and long, tightly woven clothing and wide-brimmed hats are also great allies for sunny days.
Think twice before applying potentially harmful ingredients onto your skin and look into which mineral sunscreens are best adapted to your condition.