Mineral sunscreen, also known as physical or inorganic sunscreen, is a type of sunblock that uses minerals as active ingredients to protect the skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. The two main minerals commonly used in mineral sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Here are some detailed aspects of mineral sunscreen:
Active Ingredients: The active ingredients in mineral sunscreen are natural minerals, primarily zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals act as physical barriers on the skin's surface.
UV Protection: Mineral sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, which can cause sunburn, premature aging, and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Mechanism of Action: Unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb UV rays, mineral sunscreens work by sitting on the skin's surface and reflecting or scattering the UV rays away from the skin.
Gentle on Skin: Mineral sunscreens are generally well-tolerated by different skin types, including sensitive skin. The minerals sit on the skin and are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions.
No Chemical Absorption: Mineral sunscreens do not get absorbed into the skin. Instead, they create a protective layer on the skin, acting as a physical barrier against UV radiation.
Reef-Safe: Many mineral sunscreens are considered reef-safe because they don't contain chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can be harmful to coral reefs.
Transparency and White Cast: Traditional mineral sunscreens were known for leaving a white cast on the skin. However, modern formulations have improved, and many products now have a more transparent or tinted finish to minimize the white residue.
Water Resistance: Some mineral sunscreens are water-resistant, providing protection even when you're in the water or sweating. The level of water resistance varies among products.
Application: Mineral sunscreen is applied topically like a lotion or cream. It's important to apply it evenly to all exposed skin areas for effective protection.
Photostability: Mineral sunscreens are generally photostable, meaning they remain effective when exposed to sunlight over time. However, reapplication is still recommended, especially after swimming or sweating.
Safe for Children: Mineral sunscreens are often recommended for children because they are less likely to cause irritation, and the physical barrier they create offers effective sun protection.
Cosmetic Compatibility: Mineral sunscreens can be used in combination with makeup, and there are formulations designed to be cosmetically elegant.
Availability: Mineral sunscreens are available in various forms, including lotions, creams, sticks, and powders, catering to different preferences and needs.