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Level Up Your SPF Game! Pros And Cons Of Different Types Of Sunscreens That You Should Know About

Level Up Your SPF Game! Pros And Cons Of Different Types Of Sunscreens That You Should Know About

We all know how important it is to wear sunscreen all year round. But with a multitude of options available out there, how do you choose the right sunscreen for yourself? Chances are that the overwhelming choices of sunscreens have left you confused and you’re scrambling to find the best sunscreen for your skin type. Not just that, there’s so much information on the different types of sunscreens, it must’ve left you wondering which one is the best. Well, we are here to break it down for you and explain in simple words about the main types of sunscreens available in the market. Once you know all about the sunscreen types, you can make an informed decision about which one you should splurge on! 

Also Read: Importance of Sunscreen

Different Types Of Sunscreens

  • Mineral Sunscreen
  • Chemical Sunscreen
  • Hybrid Sunscreen
Different Types Of Sunscreens
Pexels- Different Types Of Sunscreens

If you have already been on the lookout for a good sunscreen, you must’ve come across mainly two types- mineral sunscreen and chemical sunscreen. But have you wondered what exactly is the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens? Well, the main difference between these two sunscreen types lies in the way they block the sun’s UV rays from penetrating the skin. We have discussed the pros and cons of the different types of sunscreens below. Read on to find out!  

Mineral Sunscreen

Mineral sunscreen is also referred to as physical sunscreen and on application, it forms a physical barrier that reflects the UV rays away from the skin. Think of it as a shield that basically sits on top of your skin and physically deflects the UV rays, thereby preventing the skin below from damage. Mineral sunscreens usually consist of active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Now that you know what mineral sunscreens are, let’s weigh the pros and cons of this type of sunscreen!

Pros of Mineral Sunscreen:

  • Ensures adequate protection from UVA and UVB rays when applied liberally.
  • Does not clog pores.
  • Recommended for acne-pore or sensitive skin.
  • Safe for the skin and environment.

Cons of Mineral Sunscreen:

  • May leave behind a white cast (in which case, you can opt for tinted zinc oxide sunscreens).
  • May get rubbed off or rinsed off easily, so frequent reapplication is needed.
  • Thicker consistency than chemical sunscreens and may feel heavy.

Mineral Sunscreens Available In India:

St. Botanica Vitamin C SPF 75 Dry Touch Mineral Based Water Resistant Sunscreen

This sunscreen by St. Botanica offers a high level of broad-spectrum sun protection and is infused with the goodness of vitamin C that helps preserve your natural complexion. Not only does it protect your skin from sunburn, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots, but also helps in keeping your skin hydrated. It is non-greasy, water-resistant, and free of harmful substances such as paraben, phthalate, silicon, and sulfates. What’s not to love about it? While it is a safe non greasy sunscreen for all skin types, it is advisable to do a patch test before using it on sensitive skin. 

Also Read: What is SPF in sunscreen

COOLA SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen

This mineral sunscreen is designed to offer broad-spectrum protection and is perfect for everyday wear. It is infused with the goodness of rosehip oil, vitamin C, primrose and flaxseed oils that are great for your skin. It is unscented, has a lightly tinted formula, and gives a smooth matte finish, making it a good option for those with oily or sensitive skin.

Also Read: Does Sunscreen prevent tanning

Re’equil Sheer Zinc Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 PA+++

This is a 100% mineral sunscreen that contains zinc oxide as the only filter, and it’s a safe, non-irritating ingredient for the skin. Unlike other mineral sunscreens that may leave behind a white cast, Re’equil Zinc Sheer Sunscreen has a universal tint that ensures that it blends effortlessly with your skin tone. Since it doesn’t penetrate the skin, it is a great sunscreen for all skin types. It has a mousse-like texture, and contains no fragrance. 

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The Pink Foundry Matte Moisturising Mineral Sunscreen

If you’re looking for a sunscreen that doubles up as a moisturiser, look no further! The Pink Foundry matte moisturising mineral sunscreen not only shields your skin from broad-spectrum UVA and UVB rays but also hydrates the skin at the same time. It has a universally tinted formula that ensures there’s no white cast. It has a weightless, mousse-like texture that gives a non-greasy, matte finish on application. While it is a good sunscreen for all skin types, it is specifically great for those with oily skin. 

La Shield Fisico Matte Sunscreen Gel SPF 50+ PA+++

Here’s a budget-friendly mineral sunscreen that contains 25% micronized zinc oxide and has a broad spectrum formula with SPF 50+ and PA+++ ensuring superior protection from UVA and UVB rays. It is budget-friendly, non-irritant, and free from fragrance and preservatives, thus making it a suitable sunscreen for all skin types. 

Do I Need To Apply Sunscreen At Home

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF50+

Neutrogena sheer zinc dry touch sunscreen is fragrance-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and is ideal for those with sensitive skin. It is non-greasy and has a lightweight finish and provides broad-spectrum protection by reflecting and scattering UVA and UVB rays of the sun. 

 Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical Sunscreens
Pexels- Chemical Sunscreens

Unlike physical sunscreens that sit on top of your skin, chemical sunscreens consist of active ingredients that absorb UV rays, change them into heat and then release the heat through the skin. Chemical sunscreens usually contain one or more of the following UV filters: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. Chemical sunscreens usually do not leave a visible film layer or a white cast on the skin, and tend to be lighter and easier to spread on the skin than mineral sunscreens. However, some active ingredients in this type of sunscreen can be irritating if you have sensitive skin.    

Now that you know what chemical sunscreens are, let’s quickly check out the pros and cons of this sunscreen type.

Pros of Chemical Sunscreen:

  • Lighter and more sheer than mineral sunscreens.
  • Easier to spread on the skin than physical/mineral sunscreens.
  • Doesn’t leave a white cast, and sits well under makeup.

Cons of Chemical Sunscreen:

  • Certain active ingredients in most chemical sunscreens may cause allergic reactions in those with sensitive skin.
  • May worsen melasma and rosacea.
  • Chemical sunscreens may have adverse environmental effects.
  • Some studies suggest concern over a potential link between chemicals in sunscreen- especially oxybenzone and octinoxate- and endocrine disruption, however, no conclusive evidence has been found. (If you opt for chemical sunscreen, you can try and avoid those that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, if possible).

Make sure you apply the sunscreen 20 minutes before you step out so that there’s enough time for the sunscreen to absorb and settle in. 

Chemical Sunscreens Available In India

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 50+

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen is an affordable chemical sunscreen that gets absorbed quickly, and feels weightless on the skin. It has an oil-free formula that ensures a non-greasy, matte finish on your skin. Since it is non-comedogenic, it won’t clog pores. However, it’s not fragrance-free.  

Re’equil Oxybenzone And OMC Free Sunscreen SPF 50 

Here’s another affordable chemical sunscreen that is formulated without sunscreen filters Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. It is a low-penetrating sunscreen that blends easily and leaves no white cast.  

La Roche Posay Anthelios Age Correct with Color SPF50

This chemical sunscreen is a great option for those with normal to dry skin, and provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. It is a tinted, non-comedogenic sunscreen that has a light texture, and does not leave your skin oily.  

Bioderma Photoderm Akn Mat Fluide SPF 30 

Not only does this chemical sunscreen by Bioderma offer high UVA and UVB protection, but it also helps prevent the appearance of blemishes. It leaves your skin with a matte finish, and has no white cast. It is a great option for those with combination or oily skin. 

Also Read: Waterproof and water resistant sunscreens

Hybrid Sunscreen

hybrid sunscreen
Pexels- hybrid sunscreen

When looking for sunscreens in stores, you must have definitely come across hybrid sunscreens. Simply put, hybrid sunscreens are used to describe an SPF that contains both mineral and chemical active ingredients. They incorporate both organic and inorganic filters, and it is done so as to combine the benefits and minimize the drawbacks of both types of sunscreens. 

Hybrid Sunscreens Available In India

Qurez Mattifying Sunscreen, Hybrid with Aloe & Matcha Green Tea, SPF 50 PA+++

This hybrid sunscreen contains both chemical and physical UV filters, but is free of oxybenzone and OMC. It is non-greasy, water-resistant, and gives a matte finish on application.

Earth Rhythm Ultra Defence Hybrid Sun Fluid – SPF50

The Ultra Defence Sun Fluid by Earth Rhythm is a hybrid sunscreen that has a gel-based lightweight fluid texture. It provides long-lasting protection against UVA and UVB rays. It is fragrance-free and non-sticky, making it a suitable sunscreen for all skin types. 

FAI Sun Shield SPF 50+ PA+++

FAI Sun Shield SPF 50+ PA+++ is formulated with zinc oxide and Suncat De (a sunscreen agent) to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Apart from these, this hybrid sunscreen also contains Energinius which protects against screen-emitted artificial visible light. It has a hydrating cream texture and leaves you with a dewy finish after application. It is also fragrance-free.

Also Read

Sunscreen Tips: Whether you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin, here’s a guide to help you identify the best sunscreen for your skin type! 

Featured Image: Pexels

18 Apr 2022

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