chemical and mineral sunscreen - what's the difference?



Candour Beauty Guide - chemical and mineral sunscreen

SPF and sun protection are important for all skin types and tones. Sun exposure can affect health, ageing and skin pigmentation in black skin, so adding SPF into your routine is essential. It’s really easy to do and can make a huge difference to the health of your skin.

Not every sunscreen is the same, there are two different types: chemical and mineral. The way that they protect the skin are different, as are the way that they apply and look on the skin. You can combine the two different types for different parts of your face and body if you want to get the benefits of both.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the differences between the two types of sunscreen so that you can decide the best one for your skin.

Mineral Sunscreen

A mineral sunscreen is a sunscreen that uses minerals as its active ingredients. The main ingredients of mineral sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Also known as physical suncreens, these SPF's contain ingredients that sit on top of the skin and physically block the sun’s UV rays from the skin from the moment they’ve been applied. They’ve been proven to be effective and safe for us on all skin types, including children and people with sensitive skin.

They’re particularly good for anyone with pigmentation issues such as melasma as they block the sun from reaching these areas of the skin. It’s not as good for people with acne, oily skin or combination skin as it might contribute to breakouts because of the way it sits on the skin.

A usual problem with mineral sunscreen – especially for black skin – is the white cast it can leave on top of the skin. This can make darker skin look dull and ashy. There are mineral sunscreens available that don’t leave this film on the skin so it’s worth taking the time to find the one you love.In addition some mineral sunscreens have Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, two naturally occurring minerals that when applied topically, they have the ability to block the sun's UVA and UVB radiation from being absorbed into your skin, meaning they are considered broad-spectrum.


Face SPF50+ Anti-Pigmentation 50ml

Mineral Sunscreen Recommendation

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Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens allow UV light to enter the skin. Once the light penetrates the skin’s surface then chemicals in the sunscreen convert it to heat which then leaves the skin. The main ingredients you find in chemical sunscreens are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate). It’s based on a chemical reaction rather than blocking out the sun.

With chemical sunscreens, you usually need to let them absorb into the skin before they do their thing. It’s only 20-30 minutes, but it’s definitely something to know before you apply – especially if you’ve mainly used mineral sunscreens in the past.

Some people can have a reaction to the ingredients in chemical sunscreens, especially people with sensitive skin so this is something to be aware of. If you have melasma, chemical sunscreens can make this a little worse so a mineral sunscreen might be best in this case. However, chemical sunscreens don’t leave the white cast that mineral sunscreens do.

Chemical sunscreens apply easily too and don’t need to be reapplied as often as mineral sunscreens.

Black Girl Sunscreen- Moisturising Sunscreen SPF 30 89ml | Candour Beauty

Chemical Sunscreen Recommendation

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Black Girl Sunscreen- Moisturising Sunscreen SPF 30 89ml | Candour Beauty
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