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Not all sunscreens are made equally, but is mineral sunscreen really better? And what does chemical sunscreen even mean? We know there’s a lot of SPF lingo out there, but we’re here to help you find the right formula for you. 

After all, the best sunscreen to use is one you’ll actually want to wear all-year round (not just summer!). It should work with your skin type and needs, while giving you enough broad spectrum sun protection. 

Here’s what you need to know:

What is chemical sunscreen?

It’s exactly that: sunscreen formulated with chemical compounds. Once blended into skin, chemical sunscreens form a protective filter that absorbs and dissipates UV rays, preventing sun damage. 

It’s a fascinating chemical reaction that is completely traceless and effectively blocks out both UVA (photoaging) and UVB (burning) rays. In the past, you may have heard of chemical sunscreen getting flak for having questionable ingredients. But with our own Resting Beach Face and Oh My Bod!, you can rest easy knowing they’re meticulously derm-tested and certified safe for you and the planet. 

Our sunscreens are powered by active ingredients like avobenzone and homosalate, which have been found to be harmless and effective in sun protection. These easy-to-use, fast-absorbing formulas have been further enriched with ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and more plant-powered goodness to moisturize, nourish, and further support skin health too. 

Bonus: because they’re both super lightweight, you can effortlessly wear sunscreen under makeup without pilling or stickiness. 

What is mineral sunscreen?

As its name suggests, mineral SPF uses natural minerals to protect skin from sun, usually Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These are both naturally occurring active ingredients, making them a great SPF option for those with sensitive (or sensitized) skin, and children. 

And while chemical sunscreens have to be absorbed into skin to work, mineral sunscreens sit on skin to deflect harmful UV rays from every angle. A common misconception is that mineral sunscreens leave a thick, white cast-y residue, but our Rose From Above dries to a semi-matte, skin-but-better finish that feels comfy and primed for whatever comes next in your routine. 

Simultaneously, this tinted mineral sunscreen soothes, smooths, and nourishes your skin barrier with a feather-light cocktail of upcycled rose oil, plant extracts, and more. 

So, mineral sunscreen vs chemical sunscreen — which is better? 

TLDR: There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Ultimately, the best sunscreen to use depends on several factors, such as skin type, preference, lifestyle, application, and more. 

According to skin type: 

If you have normal skin, chemical sunscreens are a great option for you, especially if you are looking for the most lightweight option. Meanwhile, mineral sunscreens work for all skin types but are most suitable for sensitive, oily and acne-prone skin types. Because mineral SPF tends to be gentler, they’re also the comfier option for children, and expecting or breast-feeding moms too. 

According to texture: 

Chemical sunscreens are fluid and fast-absorbing, and our Resting Beach Face will leave skin fresh and dewy. Plus, its antioxidant-rich superfoods and hyaluronic acid make it a great 2-in-1 moisturizer as well. Wear this alone for a natural glow, or as the last step of your skincare before makeup. 

Like we said, our mineral sunscreen is unlike thick, tacky traditional formulas. As such, its breathable texture makes for an ideal subtly tinted base. You can wear on its own for a semi-matte, skin-but-better finish, or easily layer with makeup too. 

According to application: 

Chemical sunscreens take about 20-30 minutes to absorb into skin, so apply accordingly before sun exposure. Mineral sunscreens work instantly upon application, but always remember to shake mineral formulas first, since the Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide may separate in the tube. Whichever you choose, both should be reapplied every two hours for optimum sun protection.

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