There are two types of sunscreen: mineral based and chemical based. Mineral sunscreens act as a shield. They’re basically a layer of protection between you and the sun and literally “block out” the sun’s UV rays. Chemical sunscreens work a bit differently. They absorb the sun’s UV rays in your skin and use various chemicals to convert the rays to heat to protect you. This chemical reaction occurs within the skin, so some chemicals are absorbed in the body.
Both types are effective, but one might be safer than the other. Recently, the FDA released a report that out of 16 currently marketed ingredients for sunscreens, only 2 were generally recognized as safe and effective: zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Both of these are found in mineral based sunscreens.
The FDA released another report that reviewed 4 active ingredients of common chemical based sunscreens:
This report found that after 1 day of use these chemicals entered the bloodstream at greater levels than the FDA recommends. This study also raised concerns that certain chemicals might disrupt hormone patterns. While more research needs to be done, this is valuable evidence.
Both of these reports do not suggest that consumers stop using chemical sunscreens altogether, but they do suggest that mineral sunscreens are becoming increasingly important. Mineral sunscreens have been tested, so we know they are safe. And many are similarly priced as chemical sunscreens! The downside with mineral sunscreens is that they might be trickier to blend into your skin, but hey – what’s a little white sunblock, right?
All of our sunscreens are mineral sunscreens. Browse them here!