Mineral Vs Chemical Sunscreens

The importance of sunscreen

The use of SPF is a crucial part of every skincare routine, no matter your skin concerns, skin type or complexion. Incorporating sunscreen into your daily regimen is more than just an aesthetic choice – in fact, it’s one of the simplest, yet powerful, ways to preserve and maintain the health and vitality of your skin, even well into the future.

Typically, sunscreen should be applied daily with a reapplication every two hours, as its protective properties will gradually become less effective as the day wears on. Proper sun protection provides a myriad of benefits, however this blog post will delve into the most prominent, as well as the two types of sunscreens to choose from: mineral or chemical. 

Protecting the skin

Undoubtedly the most important reason to wear sunscreen is to guard your skin against the harsh effects of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Not only can it ward off sunscreen, but it also significantly reduces the risk of more severe health issues arising in the future. Prolonged exposure to the sun can contribute to the development of certain skin cancers, particularly melanoma, which has seen a significant rise in diagnoses in recent years.

When in the market for a new sunscreen, the two terms you’re likely to see most frequently are SPF and PA. SPF, meaning Sun Protection Factor, measures a sunscreen’s ability to protect the skin against UVB radiation – the type of rays that cause sunburn. The higher the SPF number, the stronger the protection, and it is recommended to use an SPF of at least 30. 

On the other hand, PA – meaning Protection Grade of UVA – is responsible for blocking UVA rays, which darken the skin and cause more long-term damage like photoaging. PA numbers range from PA+, minimal protection, to PA++++, which provides maximum protection. A higher PA rating prevents skin damage more efficiently. 

Preventing signs of ageing

Scientific studies suggest that regular use of sunscreen could delay the signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines. On the other hand, overexposure to the sun’s rays without appropriate sun protection could have the opposite effect, instead leading to premature ageing or ageing that otherwise appears more prominent. 

The Difference Between Mineral and Chemical Sunscreen

While mineral and chemical sunscreens both offer effective protection from UV rays, the way they do so is slightly different. 

Mineral sunscreens, sometimes referred to as physical sunscreens, utilise natural minerals like zinc oxide to create a protective barrier on the skin’s surface that essentially blocks and scatters UV rays before they reach the skin. Typically, mineral sunscreens are a better fit for sensitive or easily irritated skin types due to their milder formulas, however they are consistently known to leave a white cast which may not make it a suitable choice for those with darker skin tones. 

Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, act almost like a sponge – they contain organic compounds that absorb the harmful rays and convert them into safe, non-damaging heat. Although chemical sunscreens are generally more popular due to their sheer, lightweight texture, their chemical formulas may provoke irritation in those with sensitive or acne-prone skin types.


Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics

A holy grail product to many, this sunscreen is renowned for its featherlight formula that melts effortlessly into the skin without any pilling or white cast. Beauty of Joseon’s nourishing SPF is designed to not only provide protection, but also to deeply hydrate the skin. This, alongside its list of soothing, skin-friendly ingredients, makes it a safe choice for those with dry or sensitive skin types. 

SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Water Sun Serum

In addition to performing the standard duties of a sunscreen, this bestselling SPF also enriches skin with a supple and dewy finish, providing a deep-seated moisture that will last for the rest of the day. Despite being a chemical sunscreen, it’s infused with gentle ingredients like Centella Asiatica and Hyaluronic Acid to ensure it’s a suitable option for any skin type. 

Anua Heartleaf Silky Moisture Sun Cream

The potent formula of Anua’s Heartleaf Silky Moisture Sun Cream maintains the skin’s moisture balance while simultaneously regulating sebum production, keeping any oiliness at bay. Powered by Heartleaf Extract, it similarly provides anti-inflammatory benefits for comfortable wear that won’t cause the skin any stress. 

Numbuzin No.1 Clear Filter Sun Essence

This multi-functional SPF provides an intense protection marketed to last up to ten hours. Enriched with a potent synergy of Heartleaf, Centella Asiatica and Niacinamide, it soothes and hydrates the skin without clogging pores. Its gel-like formula is easy to apply, and leaves a radiant glow with minimal white cast. 

Round Lab Birch Juice Moisturising Stick SPF50+ PA++++

Functioning both as a SPF and a moisturiser, this intensive sunscreen provides hydration, and protection while maintaining a lightweight texture that sits comfortably on the skin even through multiple applications. Additionally, it also boosts the skin’s elasticity for a younger, plumper complexion and minimises inflammation. 


Axis-Y Complete No-Stress Physical Sunscreen V3

Axis-Y’s updated version of their classic sunscreen has a silky, moisturising texture and the newly-added benefit of Hyaluronic Acid for a soft and dewy complexion. Its new formula now excludes any artificial fragrances, and instead has amplified brightening, soothing and anti-ageing properties. 

Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Air-Fit Suncream Light

Formulated with Centella Asiatica and Niacinamide, this SPF illuminates the complexion with its brightening qualities, helping to minimise the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Its mild formula makes it a perfect fit for sensitive skin types, and its fast-absorbing texture has additional anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Benton Mineral Sun Stick

This iconic sun stick has a hypoallergenic formula infused with 3 types of Hyaluronic Acid as well as Centella Asiatica and Vitamin E. This nourishing synergy results in a matte finish that keeps the skin well-hydrated while diminishing any unwanted shine, making it a choice pick for both dry and oily skin types.