Using sunscreen is crucial to protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. However, there are two types of sunscreens available on the market: mineral sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. Although both types of sunscreen offer protection against UV rays, they are different in terms of formulation, mode of action and effectiveness.

Mineral sunscreens, also called physical sunscreens, are formulated with mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients form a physical barrier on the skin that reflects UV rays rather than absorbing them (a shield), making them effective upon application. Mineral sunscreens are often considered safer for the skin, as they tend to be less irritating and less likely to cause allergic reactions than chemical sunscreens and offer better protection for people with sensitive or breakout-prone skin. skin cancer.

On the other hand, chemical sunscreens contain ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone and octinoxate, which absorb UV rays before they reach the skin. Chemical sunscreens need a reaction time of 20 to 30 minutes to start working after application.

In addition to differences in their chemical composition and mode of action, mineral and chemical sunscreens also have different impacts on the environment. Chemical sunscreens have been linked to the degradation of coral reefs (with the exception of our coral-friendly Coola range), while mineral sunscreens are considered more environmentally friendly and are often recommended for use in marine areas protected. Mineral sunscreens are also more stable under sunlight, which means they last longer and require fewer applications over time.

Finally, it is important to note that mineral sunscreens tend to leave a whitish residue on the skin, which can be less aesthetic than chemical sunscreens. However, some brands of mineral sunscreen have worked to reduce this undesirable effect, offering tinted ( Coola ) or transparent ( Salt and stone ) mineral sunscreen. 

March 15, 2023 — Mélanie Pelchat