17 Jul The Main Difference Between Mineral and Synthetic Sunscreen
Sun damage is one of the main reasons behind premature aging. Whether it’s unbearably hot or temperatures reach freezing the sun comes out every day, and it’s been proven that the rays still affects our skins regardless of the temperatures.
Without the proper protection the sun can and will wreak havoc on your skin, not only causing brown spots, skin discoloration and possibly skin cancer but rapidly increasing your chances of developing wrinkles, sagging skin and age spots.
One of the most effective ways to protect your skin from the sun is to use the right sunscreen for your skin type. To do this you’ll need to know more about SPF, synthetic (chemical) and mineral sunblock and what they mean for your skin.
What Is Sun Protection Factor (SPF)?
Sun Protection Factor, which usually comes in multiples of 15, 30 and 50+ protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UVB rays. UVB rays is responsible for skin cancer and only affects the surface of the skin whereas UVA (ultraviolet A) penetrates the skin’s surface and reaches the epidermis. The sun’s UVA rays is what is responsible for premature aging and wrinkles (photoaging).
The number indicated on sun protection creams is also important, as it indicates how much protection you’re getting and for how long. For example, a sunscreen with an SPF 30 indicates that it will take your skin 30 times longer to burn than with no sunscreen.
SPF 15 protects your skin from 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 from 97% UVB and SPF 50 from 98% rays.
What Is A Broad Spectrum Sunscreen?
Sunscreen which has a broad spectrum SPF protects from both UVA and UVB rays, but in order to claim it is broad spectrum a sunscreen has to have an SPF of 15 or higher.
As the seasons change so should your sunscreen, in winter you can make do with a sunscreen of SPF 15 – SPF 30 but as the temperatures rise and the days become hotter this sunscreen won’t suffice – SPF 30 and higher is a must in the warmer months.
How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?
You should first apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before stepping into the sun and every two hours after that. If you’ll be participating in water activities or have started sweating you will need to reapply your sunblock immediately after you’ve towel dried. This is the only way the effects of the sunscreen will remain.
The Difference Between Mineral and Synthetic Sunscreen
SPF is not the only important aspect of sunscreen the contents of the lotion is just as important.
Mineral sunscreen is a sunscreen that has active ingredients that are naturally derived and usually include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients allow the sunscreen to deflect the sun’s harmful rays.
Pros of Mineral Sunscreen
● Naturally a broad spectrum sunscreen
● Less likely to irritate the skin, making it ideal for sensitive skin and oily skin, due to the absorbing properties of the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
● As it deflects the UV rays of the sun it’s better for heat-activated skin, like people that naturally have redness and rosacea.
Cons of Mineral Sunscreen
● Rubs off easier, especially after sweating or coming into contact with water.
● May leave a film, or white residue that makes it not the best option underneath makeup.
● Requires effort to rub in and blend with the skin.
Top Selection of Mineral Sunscreen
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 This gentle lotion is suitable for normal, combination and oily skin. It’s an oil-free formula that’s 100% mineral and natural ingredients, the lotion will leave a soft feeling on your skin and can be used on both the face and body.
Avene Ultra-light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ This sunscreen is ideal for dry skin as it’s hydrating formula moisturizes skin for up to 24 hours. You can apply it beneath makeup without any residue and is perfect for use on days when you’ll be active as it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Natural 100 Mineral Sun Kill This powder is a great option when you want to reapply sunscreen throughout the day when wearing makeup. The formula absorbs sebum and control oils but doesn’t block your pores, making it a perfect solution regardless of your skin type.
Unlike mineral sunscreen, synthetic sunscreen active ingredients aren’t naturally derived. It also doesn’t deflect UV rays and instead absorbs and dissipates the sun’s rays.
Pros of Synthetic Sunscreen
● Has a lighter consistency that makes it easier to absorb into the skin.
● Less cream is needed as the molecules are smaller and it’s generally more water resistant.
● The formula may include other beneficial ingredients as it’s easier to add.
Cons of Synthetic Sunscreen
● Can cause skin sensitivity or irritate sensitive skin as more chemical ingredients are needed to achieve a higher SPF
● Turns UV rays into heat which can cause flare ups among those with rosacea.
● Certain formulas can clog pores.
Top Selection of Synthetic Sunscreen
Anessa Essence UV Aqua Booster 60mL This sunscreen is suitable for sensitive skin and is moisturizing.
Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream Triple Care SPF50+ This sunscreen is perfect for all skin types and contains sunflower oil and Jeju green tea extract.
Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 The perfect sunblock for combination to oily skin and is a soothing formula with aloe vera.
Another great option for women to protect their face against UV rays is to wear a foundation or BB cream with SPF. Whether it’s applied over your moisturizer or primer, it always should be the last layer to be applied. If your skincare products under the foundation or BB cream also contain a sunscreen this would just enhance and assure a better protection for your skin.
A great BB cream for summer with a high SPF 42 and a good range of shades to choose of is Missha Perfect Cover ,$9. Besides of its main properties to protect and cover your skin it also has other benefits for skin, as whitening and improving skin texture.