Ultimate Test: Mineral Sunscreen VS Chemical Sunscreen

Believe it or not, most people do not know that there are two types of sunscreens: Mineral and Chemical sunscreens. You might ask what is the difference and which one suits best for different skin tones? Let’s find out:

Mineral Sunscreens

Just like its name, mineral sunscreens contain many minerals like zinc and titanium oxide to give you physical Sun Protection Factor


  • Mineral Sunscreens offers protection against Ultra Violet rays is naturally broad spectrum and protects from the sun as soon as its applied to the skin.
  • This sunscreen last longer when indirect UV light and have longer self-life.
  • Less likely to cause a stinging irritation on the skin making it better for sensitive skin.
  • This sunscreen is great for heat activated skin (like those with rosacea and redness) since it deflects the heat and energy given off by the sun away from the skin.
  • Mineral Sunscreen is less likely to be pore clogging making it ideal for blemish prone skin types


Now Mineral Sunscreens have some cons

  • Mineral Sunscreen can rub off sweat off and rinse off easily meaning more frequent reapplication when outdoors is needed.
  • This sunscreen may leave a white cast on the skin and may be too chalky.
  • This sunscreen can be thick which was require more effort to rub in can cause white drips to show on the skin when sweating

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens contain organic compounds such as oxybenzone octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone which create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat then releasing that heat from the skin.


  • Chemical sunscreens tend to be thinner and therefore spreads more easily on the skin making it more wearable for daily use.
  • This sunscreen requires less application to the skin because there is no risk of space between the sunscreen molecules.
  • Chemical Sunscreens’ formula is easier to add additional treatment ingredients such as peptide and enzyme which offer other skin benefits.


The cons of Chemical Sunscreens include:

  • Chemical Sunscreen can possibly cause an increase in existing brown spots and discoloration due to a higher internal skin temperature.
  • Require about 20 minutes after application before it begins to work
  • This sunscreen can increase chances of irritation and stinging (especially for those who have dry skin)
  • The higher the SPF such as formulas of SPF (such as formulas of SPF 50 or greater) the higher the risk of irritation for sensitive skin types.
  • Chemical Sunscreens’ protection offers gets use up which requires more application. More quickly when in direct UV light.
  • This sunscreen can increase chances of redness for rosacea- prone skin types because it changes UV rays into heat.
  • It is a high chance that this sunscreen will clog pores for oily skin types.

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