Mineral vs. Chemical sunscreen: which one should you be using?

SPF protection is important year-round, but especially during the summer when we’re spending more time outside under the harsh Australian sun. Did you know that there are two types of sunscreen? They both operate differently and can mean different things for your skin. Read on to find out about each type of sunscreen and which one is best for your complexion.

Mineral sunscreen

Mineral sunscreen (often referred to as physical sunscreen) works on the outer layer of the skin to reflect and absorb UV rays. Often mineral sunscreens are thicker in texture and tend to sit on top of the skin rather than being fully absorbed. This can be helpful as it can help you see the spots you’ve missed and ensure total protection. Mineral sunscreens are a great choice if your skin is dry or sensitive as they generally contain less irritants and are thicker and heavier.

Lavish recommends: Aspect Hydra Shield with zinc

Chemical sunscreen

This is the more common type of sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens contain filters that absorb UV rays before they can damage the skin. They are lighter than mineral sunscreens and don’t tend to leave a whitecast on the skin. If you have sensitive skin, some of the ingredients in chemical sunscreens may cause irritation—on the other hand, if your skin tends to be oilier or acne-prone, chemical sunscreens are the way to go since they won’t clog your pores.

Lavish recommends: Aspect Envirostat SPF50

Is one more effective than the other?

Both mineral and chemical sunscreens are great for protecting your skin from the sun, and there is no wrong choice. However, mineral sunscreens have been shown to be slightly less effective than chemical sunscreens. This doesn’t mean chemicals are the better option for everyone, though! It just means if you prefer mineral sunscreen, you may need to reapply it more often than you would a chemical sunscreen—and always remember to protect yourself in other ways by seeking shade at the beach or limiting your time in direct sunlight.

Want to know more about sun protection? Read all about how to prevent and reverse sun damage on The Skin and Body Report now.