Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreen

Here in sunny California, the sun is usually out and shining. Even on cloudy and cold days, UV rays can penetrate the skin so we should always take precaution and protect ourselves from the harmful rays. Too much sun exposure can cause premature skin aging, sunburn, and even cancer and using sunscreen can help in preventing these effects.

There are two types of sunscreens on the market, mineral and chemical. Mineral or physical sunscreen works by blocking the sun out and deflects, while the chemical counterpart turns the sun into heat and absorbs. Both types will assist in sun-protection but it’s important to read the ingredients to make sure your sunscreen doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.  

Mineral sunscreens use mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide. This type of sunscreen is usually healthier for the body and does a better job and keeping the sun out of the skin. One of the biggest issues with mineral sunscreen is that it doesn’t break down as easily as chemical sunscreen and can result in the sunscreen being streaky, but that is the product doing its job. It stays on thicker to offer better protection for you skin. 

Chemical Sunscreens also work to protect against the sun but if they contain oxybenzone, stay away! This chemical is known to be hazardous because of skin penetration, hormone disruption, and allergy problems. Additionally, chemical sunscreens can cause an increase in dark spots on your skin, are also more likely to irritate sensitive skin, and can increase the chance of redness for rosacea-prone skin types.  

There is a huge debate about what sunscreen is better for your body but we think natural is always the choice to make, and organic is even better. If you’re still looking for an organic skin screen for your family, we would love for you to try the sunscreen we make at Erbaviva. It’s a natural and mineral based product that is gentle enough for babies and strong enough for adults.

Remember to apply generously 15 - 30 minutes before going out so that the sunscreen can absorb into your skin. Sunscreen should be stored in a cool, dry place and do not use sunscreen that is expired as it can become unstable and will not offer any sun protection. Sunscreen should also be reapplied if you'll be in the sun for several hours and especially if you are exposed to water.

If you do happen to get sunburned, aloe vera helps to cool and soothe the skin. Another remedy is using essential oils. You can mix essential oils like lavender with water and spritz on the skin or apply with a cloth for skin relief. Using body oil instead of moisturizer also keeps the skin extra moisturized so it can heal more quickly.

You should make it a habit of applying sunscreen daily and not only on a beach or hike day. If you have kids, make sure you get them started early on applying sunscreen as they will benefit from it as they get older.

 

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