Since it is almost summer here in Australia, I thought I would make a blog post about the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens. Although, you should be wearing sunscreen all year round, especially here in Australia, the sun is more harsh in the summer months. It is so important to protect your skin from sun damage as well as skin cancer. Before doing my own research, I never knew that conventional sunscreens, or chemical sunscreens, could do more damage than good. You would expect a sunscreen to protect you from the sun, not expose you to more damage by allowing the sun’s rays to be easily absorbed into the skin.
To see what type of sunscreen ingredient/s is used in your product, look at the ACTIVE ingredient list.
Ingredients to AVOID in Sunscreens (Chemical):
-Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate)
Basically, anything other than Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, should be avoided.
These toxic, chemical ingredients, used in almost all conventional sunscreens, should be avoided due to thier ability to deeply penetrate the skin, causing allergic reactions and are known hormone disruptors. This is why many people avoid wearing sunscreen because they say it breaks them out. Not only are these toxic ingredients not offering the best possible broad spectrum protection, they are also damaging to your health!
Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, minerals that occur in nature, offer the best broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays.
Ingredients that are SAFE in Sunscreens (Physical):
These two ingredients are incredible not only because of the broad sun protection they provide, but they also help heal such skin conditions as acne! You should also choose non-nano particle sized Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, so that the minerals sit on top of the skin to act as a physcial barrier, rather than being absorbed into the skin. Most of the time, a product will state this on their labelling.
You should choose a mineral sunscreen that has an SPF of 15-20 to be the safest. It is a common misconception that the higher the spf, the more protection you get. However, the protection you get isn’t correlative to the numbers. For example, an SPF of 10 means 90% of UVB rays are blocked. There is plenty of research out there on SPF and the percentage of protection each offers. Basically, don’t be fooled by marketing schemes with higher SPFs!
I personally wear and love the Jane Iredale Purepressed base in Warm Silk (review here). It not only offers broad spectrum sun protection, but it is also approved by the Skin Cancer Council, offering an SPF of 20! It gives amazing buildable coverage, is water resistant, look flawless and natural, has incredible staying power, and heals any hormonal breakouts I may have! It is honestly such a wonderful multitasking product recommended to me by my beautician!
There are many other mineral sunscreens out there to choose from. All you need to look for in the active ingredient list is either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, or both! Other great brands that offer mineral sunscreen include; Inika’s mineral foundation SPF 15 (they also offer a liquid foundation with SPF) that is more sheer in coverage, and Mukti’s Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15. I would really recommend the Jane Iredale if you are looking for an all round fabulous and affordable (considering what it does and the quality) mineral foundation sunscreen.
I hope this helped you beauties out there in making the safest choices about the sunscreen you wear! Please be safe this summer and have fun! I would love to know what is your favourite mineral sunscreen brand?