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Let’s Talk About Mineral Sunscreens

Let’s Talk About Mineral Sunscreens

As we get closer to the warmer months here in Australia, I’m getting ready to jump on my imaginary soapbox and talk about the importance of wearing sunscreen every time. Most sunscreens fall under one of these categories: chemical and mineral sunscreens. There has been a lot of debate in the media about the importance of using mineral (aka physical) sunscreens over chemical sunscreens. I’m not a dermatologist so I’m going to leave the argument of which is better for the professionals. What I would like to achieve with this post is to educate you on the difference between both, and the options available for purchase that hopefully won’t make you look like a ghost.

Through my research, I realised that the sunscreen products I generally favour are chemical sunscreens due to one main ingredient: oxybenzone. Chemical sunscreens include ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone and octisalate. These ingredients absorb the damaging sun rays so that they aren’t absorbed into your skin. From my personal experience, I find that sunscreens containing oxybenzone don’t leave an ashy cast on my face and rarely have any flashbacks when I take photos. Mineral sunscreens on the other hand act as a physical barrier and reflect the sun rays off your face. They use physical blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide to get the job done. What got me interested in looking into mineral sunscreens is the fact that oxybenzone (a key ingredient in chemical sunscreens) currently has some negative press for affecting the endocrine. Also, chemical sunscreens can be a bit harsh for those with sensitive skin and as I get younger (level up), I’m noticing that my skin is becoming more sensitive.

I’ve always stayed away from mineral sunscreens because they are notorious for leaving a white cast on the face especially if your skin has been kissed by the sun. As technology improves, and the cosmetic world takes into consideration the myriad of skin tones that exist, some mineral sunscreens are becoming less ashy. Having said that, most of these brands are difficult to find in Australia and this means that you have to pay for shipping and possibly tax. There’s also the issue of some of these mineral sunscreens having nanoparticles. But that’s a topic of discussion for another post.

After spending what seemed like forever looking for mineral sunscreens sold in Australia that hopefully doesn’t leave a white cast on your face, I stumbled across these.

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As with everything out there, you have to try out different products to find the one that works best for you and your lifestyle. If you already use a mineral sunscreen that you believe is world-class outstanding, please share in the comments section. I’m going to start trying out mineral sunscreens and will be sharing any favourites I come across.

What are your thoughts on the debate going on around sunscreens and the damaging effects of some of their ingredients?

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