For many, it can be a challenge to find the perfect sunscreen for your skin type. While sunscreen is necessary to prevent skin cancer and provide anti-ageing benefits, you may find that some are too oily or leave a white residue on your skin. While these are things that you might consider when choosing a sunscreen to wear daily, it’s also very important for your sunscreen to be clean and free from harmful chemicals.
Mineral sunscreen is what you should ideally be looking for because it uses titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to block UVA and UVB rays while sitting on the surface of your skin. If you care about your skin and protecting it from the sun, while still avoiding potentially harmful chemicals, read on to explore the different types of sunscreen and which is more beneficial to use. After all, you wear sunscreen to protect your skin and health, not to damage it!
Why can chemical sunscreens be dangerous?
Essentially, the two types of sunscreens that exist are chemical and mineral. Both can be measured by SPF (sun protection factor). However, chemical sunscreens often have ingredients that you should avoid, such as octocrylene, oxybenzone, and ecamsule. This is because those ingredients have been shown to enter the bloodstream through the skin.
Once in the body, these ingredients can negatively affect your hormones, metabolism, and more. Chemical sunscreens also work differently than mineral sunscreens, as they absorb the sun’s rays instead of deflecting them as mineral sunscreens do. Some people still opt for chemical sunscreens, as they blend into the skin easier and are less noticeable and lighter once applied. For these reasons, chemical sunscreens have been the popular choice for many years until just recently.
Benefits of Mineral Sunscreens
Mineral sunscreens are great for blocking UVA and UVB rays and act as a shield on the surface of your skin, which is why they are referred to as “physical sunscreens.” Many people with sensitive skin choose mineral sunscreens over chemical ones because they are less likely to irritate the skin or cause adverse reactions. Mineral sunscreens with non-nanotized titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are also more eco-friendly than chemical sunscreens, as they are safer for the coral reefs and ocean life. This is definitely something you need to consider when purchasing sunscreen for a vacation or trip to the beach.
Best Mineral Sunscreens
If you find that you are having issues finding a brand of sunscreen that works with your skin type, remember that you have the option of consulting a dermatologist who can give you an overview of your skin and recommend options. Some drugstore brands often recommended by skincare specialists and dermatologists include Cerave, Neutrogena’s Sheer Zinc formula, Blue Lizard, and La Roche-Posay. Aveeno is also a relatively inexpensive and commonly found brand that offers mineral sunscreens free from harmful chemicals. If you are really looking for the “clean” stamp of approval, stay away from sunscreens with parabens, sulphates, and fragrances. Some brands also incorporate natural extracts and vitamins for added anti-ageing and skincare benefits, while also protecting from the sun.
Importance of Wearing Sunscreen Daily
Whether you’ve found the right sunscreen for your skin or not, it’s important to wear sunscreen daily to protect against harmful rays from the sun, which can cause wrinkles, premature ageing, and skin cancer over a period of time. Even on days that seem cloudy, sun protection is a must. It’s also important to reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours and after swimming, working, or exercising outdoors. If you can, ensure that the sunscreen you choose is water-resistant so that it doesn’t wash or sweat off easily. Make sure to apply your sunscreen generously and at least 15 minutes before you head out.
Don’t Rely on Sunscreen Alone
While sunscreen is a beneficial and necessary part of any skincare routine, it also isn’t the only thing you should be doing when it comes to sun protection. Make sure you are wearing protective clothing and a hat while outside. As well, try to stay in shady areas instead of indirect sunlight where you can easily be exposed to sunburn and damage. If you can avoid going out in the sun in the early morning and afternoon when it is brightest, you’ll also be doing yourself a favour.
While some of the studies done to test the chemicals in sunscreen require further trials to determine long-term effects, it’s better to be safe and replace your chemical sunscreens with alternatives. If you are unsure of which sunscreen to use, you can always consult a dermatologist.
Next time you’re shopping for skincare, don’t skip over the ingredients. Before you choose a sunscreen, do your research and make sure you aren’t exposing yourself to unwanted chemicals. For more information on sun protection and anti-ageing treatments, please call Clearview MediSpa at contact us here.