A good sunscreen protects against both UVB and UVA rays, is easy to apply, causes little irritation and takes effect quickly. Products that are mineral-based (titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) meet all these criteria perfectly.
What is a mineral sunscreen?
Mineral sunscreen is made with titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, two minerals that can be found in nature. They are used in sunscreens because the can deflect and scatter UVB and UVA rays before they penetrate and cause damage to the skin. They form a physical barrier against UVB and UVA rays; that is why mineral sunscreens are also called physical sunscreens.
The advantages of mineral sunscreens
An effective sunscreen protects you against UVB and UVA rays, is easy to apply, does not irritate the skin, and acts fast. Mineral sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide meet all of these criteria. Make sure you look for these ingredients when shopping for a mineral sunscreen.
Protection for people with sensitive skin
Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide do not normally irritate the skin. They are often used in products for babies and children.
Sunscreens with these minerals are also ideal options for people with sensitive skin. However, check to see that th product you choose does not contain other ingredients that could irritate the skin (ex.: parabens, perfumes). You can also look for products with labels like “For sensitive skin” or “Hypoallergenic.”
Ease of application
In the past, mineral-based sunscreens were hard to apply and left a white film on my skin. However, the latest innovations have enabled manufacturers to create sunscreens that have a more fluid texture and are easier to apply. What’s more: they no longer leave a white film on the skin.
Because mineral sunscreens form a physical block on the surface of the skin, they provide instant protection. This is very practical when you have impatient kids wanting to play outside. It is also a distinct advantage compared with chemical sunscreens that must be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure.
The way you apply sunscreen is key
Regardless of whether you use a mineral sunscreen (titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) or a chemical sunscreen (ex.: Meroxyl), all sunscreens must be generously applied on all areas of the skin that are likely to be exposed to the sun. Moreover, it is important to reapply sunscreen on a regular basis (every two hours, after you swim or after an activity during which you sweated a lot).