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Prior to selecting your perfect sunscreen, you’re faced with a lot of questions: Do you want something lightweight? Tinted or untinted? What SPF? Does it offer broad-spectrum coverage? Is it water resistant?

But in order to make any of these decisions, you first have to establish if you need a chemical or mineral formulation, the two basic types of sunscreens. From their ingredients to how they wear on and protect skin, there are key differences between these two sunscreen options you should consider.

Chemical sunscreen
The active ingredients that make up chemical sunscreen, including avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone, work by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) light, turning it into heat and then releasing it from the body. Once applied to skin, it takes approximately 15-20 minutes for chemical sunscreen to be absorbed and activated before you’re fully protected.

● Spreads on smoothly and is ideal for daily use under makeup.
● Doesn’t leave a white cast, making it more suitable for a broader range of skin tones.
● Water-resistant formulation — ideal to use before swimming or playing sports.

Mineral sunscreen
Also known as physical sunscreen or sunblock, mineral sunscreen is primarily made with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, the only two UV filters classified as safe and effective by the FDA. These active ingredients sit on top of the skin to create a physical barrier that deflects and scatters the UV rays at the surface.

● Takes effect immediately after application.
● Is gentler on sensitive skin, including acne-prone skin.
● Offers the most broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays.

So, which is better?
As long as you apply your sunscreen generously and often, there’s no clear winner here. The bottom line is that the right sunscreen for you will be the one that feels most comfortable on your skin. When you find one that is compatible with your skin type and texture preferences, you’ll be more likely to wear it every day. For example, if you have sensitive skin, mineral sunscreen will be a gentler option. If you have a darker skin tone, a chemical sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast may be more appealing.

Where can I find my perfect sunscreen?
We can’t wait to help you stay protected all summer long! At medspa810, we proudly carry Environ® clinical sun care products and will find the right one for your unique skin type and needs during your personal consultation. Discover your ideal sunscreen by calling us today.

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