Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
The “burning” question regarding the ingredients: Mineral Based Sunscreens (Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide)
With the lack of scientific evidence regarding the safety of the long-term use of chemical (non-mineral) based sunscreens that contain oxybenzone, mineral based sunscreens provide a great alternative.
Unlike chemical based sunscreens that absorb the harmful radiation from the sun, mineral based sunscreens contain active ingredients that block both UVA and UVB radiation. These ingredients include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Sunscreens that contain these ingredients are seen to be much more efficient as their chemical counterparts. Sunscreens that use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide begin blocking the harmful UV radiation (UVA and UVB) the moment it is applied to the skin. They last longer than your conventional chemical based sunscreen and they are known to be less of a skin irritant especially to those who have sensitive skin, such as myself.
So are mineral based sunscreens better and safer than chemical based sunscreens?
Well, traditionally, mineral based sunscreens leave a lot to be desired in terms of their aesthetic qualities as compared to chemical based sunscreens. They tend to be greasier, whiter (opaque) in colour and do not blend into the skin leaving a white creamy residue.
It has been found that sunscreen aesthetics have a significant impact of whether they are used and applied properly. If the sunscreen is too greasy, too thick and does not blend into the skin, it is normally not used properly no matter how effective the ingredients of the sunscreen may be.
So, yes, mineral based sunscreens may be better and “safer” than chemical based sunscreens but they tend not to be used “properly” which poses a significant issue regarding sun protection and skin cancer prevention.
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Sunology Natural Sunscreen for Face Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Cream, Mineral, Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide Active Ingredients, Fragrance Free, Good for Sensitive Skin, Non-Comedogenic, Patented Essential Oil Blend for Moisturizing, Reef Safe, 2 Oz