5 Reasons Why You Should Pick

a Mineral Sunscreen

By Julia Beyer - August 8, 2018

In this seemingly endless summer you’re naturally reaching for some sunscreen to protect your skin. But wait, what are all these hieroglyphs on the packaging supposed to mean? Can something that you cannot even pronounce be good for your skin? To make a safe choice for your skin and the environment, we swear on using mineral sunscreens that protect you the natural way, with ingredients that you understand and that make sense. Here’s why you should opt for a mineral sunscreen too and how it will protect you even better than a conventional chemical one.

Photo by Jakob Repko

1. Mineral sunscreens protect you better - from both UVB and UVA rays

Sometimes one feels you need to be an expert to pick a good sunscreen. While it helps to know a few crucial things it is ultimately fairly easy: for a start, your sunscreen should protect you from all dangerous UV rays. Whereas the SPF rating tells you only about the percentage of UVB blocked, protection from UVA is just as important. UVA rays penetrate your skin even deeper and can damage your skin as well as cause wrinkles and sun spots, but without any indication in the form of visual sunburn. The beauty of mineral sunscreens is that they usually contain zinc oxide which is one of the most effective blockers of both UVB and UBA rays which means that they provide the “broad spectrum” protection you’re after. 

Mineral UV-filters also don’t break down in sunlight as some chemical UV-filters do. Zinc Oxide for example is highly photostable, which means it doesn’t loose its protective power under exposure to UV light.

2. Mineral sunscreens are safe for your skin

Mineral and chemical sunscreens work in fundamentally different ways. Chemical sunscreens (relying on chemical UV-filters such as Oxybenzone or Avobenzone) penetrate your skin and bloodstream, which has been linked to negative health effects ranging from allergies, skin irritations and hormonal disruptions to an increased risk of infertility and cancer. Mineral sunscreens on the other hand (containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) sit on top of your skin and scatter UV rays like a mirror. In addition to the UV-filter it is often also the additional ingredients such as perfumes, parabens and phtalates (double-check that your mineral sunscreen doesn’t contain any of these!) that irritate sensitive skin when using conventional sunscreen. 

Mineral sunscreens tend to rely on less ingredients and more natural alternatives that make them suitable for sensitive skin, allergies and babies. 

Natural oils and butters used in natural sunscreens moisturize and soothe sun-irritated skin. The mineral UV-filter Zinc Oxide is also used to provide relief from rashes in diaper rash creams. 

3. It is safe for the ocean and coral reefs

Did you know that 10% of the world’s coral reefs are threatened by bleaching from a single chemical UV-filter called Oxybenzone and a single drop of sunscreen in what is the equivalent of an Olympic swimming pool can damage reefs? Research has confirmed over the past years that conventionally used chemical UV-filters directly endanger reefs and marine wildlife, leading to hormonal disruptions in fish for example. The two mineral UV-filters Zinx Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are considered the safest option for the ocean currently available according to the latest state of research.

Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky

4. Mineral sunscreens protect you immediately

Ever wondered why you’re supposed to put on conventional chemical sunscreen before you venture out in the sun? That is because of the fact that this kind of sunscreen needs to be absorbed into your skin before having any protective effect. Mineral sunscreens on the other hand are also called physical sunscreens because of the physical barrier they build on top of your skin. Therefore they protect you from the first moment of application so you (or your kids) don’t have to wait before running into the water!

Photo by Scott Webb 

5. Mineral sunscreens don't necessarily make you look like a ghost anymore

Another one of the myths revolving around mineral sunscreens is that they will inevitably leave an obvious white cast on your skin that makes you look just as pale as a ghost. While this still holds true for the iconic zinc pastes used by surfers and lifeguards (and for a good reason, since the thickness of these formulas provides ultimate water resistance) there are now some liquid mineral sunscreens that leave no more than a faint white shimmer or no whiteness at all, depending on your skin type and how much you apply. One of the sunscreens that blends in naturally is our Suntribe Body & Face range

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