Mineral Vs. Chemical Sunscreen: Which Is Better?

Sun protection is crucial for everyone. Going for a broad-spectrum sunscreen will help you in keeping the harmful UVA and UVB rays at bay. If you’ve done a little research then you must know there are two types of sunscreens in the market. We will have a breakdown of Mineral Vs. Chemical sunscreen.

Both the sunscreens offer protection from harmful rays, but they work differently. Sunscreen not only protects your skin from harmful radiation but prevents premature ageing and cancer. Now it’s a challenging task to pick up sunscreen. You have to apply and reapply sunscreen every day on your face.

Therefore, going for the one that suits your skin and needs is essential. Mineral and chemical sunscreen has their own pros and cons. The preference for either one depends upon your skin type and what looks better on you. Let’s pick out a sunscreen for your skin together.

What Is Mineral Sunscreen?

Before jumping onto the differences, it’s important to know the basics. Mineral or physical sunscreen is nothing but natural. Mineral sunscreen takes help from physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to work perfectly with your skin. This sunscreen is in its natural origin. It protects from both harmful UVB and UVA rays.

Physical sunscreen forms a protective barrier on your skin. This sunscreen is effective and suitable for even sensitive skin. Mineral sunscreens are known to cause less irritation on the skin. A lot of dermatologists suggest using mineral sunscreen for acne-prone and sensitive skin.

The ingredients present in mineral sunscreen [Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide] are considered as one of the safest and most effective ingredients. People have concerns about the white cast that some mineral sunscreen leaves on the face. However, this also depends upon the brand and skin type.

What Is Chemical Sunscreen?

A chemical sunscreen contains ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, and more. This sunscreen doesn’t sit on the surface of your skin. They protect your skin from harmful rays before absorbing into the skin. This is one of the drawbacks of using chemical sunscreens.

On the other hand, chemical sunscreen doesn’t leave a layer on the skin and is much easier to spread. Chemical sunscreen is preferable for people because it’s easier to apply and doesn’t look much greasy or sticky. The safety of chemical sunscreens has always been questioned. The chemicals used and absorbed into the skin might be damaging in the future.

Is Mineral Or Chemical Sunscreen Better?

Totally depends on your skin type and personal preference! Now that you have understood the basics of mineral and chemical sunscreen, let’s look at how they differ. Both of the sunscreens provide different benefits to the skin.

Mineral Sunscreen 

1. Suitability For Sensitive Skin

Mineral sunscreen is highly recommended for individuals will sensitive skin. The ingredients present in sunscreen like Environmentally Friendly Zinc Oxide have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It causes less irritation or allergic reaction making it a safe option. The anti-inflammatory properties are ideal for sensitive skin and mineral sunscreen tends to offer that.

2. Environmental Friendly

If you’re going for a swim, then mineral sunscreen is highly preferable. If in its nano form, mineral sunscreen is safe for marine life. Chemical sunscreens tend to cause coral bleaching being unsafe for the environment. Mineral sunscreen, on the other hand, when used in non-nano form is safer for marine life. It doesn’t dissolve into the sea and marine animals don’t ingest it.

3. Instant Protection

Mineral sunscreen is highly notable for instant protection. When you apply a mineral sunscreen you can directly go out into the sun. As soon as it’s applied, the sunscreen forms a thin layer on the skin and protects it from harmful rays. Chemical sunscreen usually takes up to 15-30 minutes to work on the skin. You have to apply chemical sunscreen often compared to mineral sunscreen.

4. Acne-prone and Non-Comedogenic

If you have acne and clogged pores issue, then mineral sunscreen is the one for you. The ingredients included in mineral sunscreen are also present in a lot of creams and lotions. It protects the skin from bacteria and doesn’t clog pores as it is non-comedogenic.

5. Safe For Children 

We are always concerned to choose the best skincare products for our kids. Mineral sunscreens are much safer for children compared to chemical sunscreens. The natural ingredient keeps the skin of the child protected. Mineral sunscreen is gentle on the skin of kids. It can be applied to children older than 6 months.

Chemical Sunscreen 

Chemical or organic sunscreen might be controversial but a lot of people prefer it over mineral sunscreen.

1. No White Cast

If you don’t prefer white or purple cast on the skin by your sunscreen, we have an option for you. Chemical sunscreen doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin. When applied, it does its work and absorbs into the skin leaving no white or purple cast.

2. Clear Finish

Chemical sunscreen offers a thinner application and it looks beautiful on the skin. They are in a gel-like form and give a clear finish. They are also easier to blend making it convenient.

3. Lightweight Texture 

Some people find chemical sunscreens more comfortable for daily wear due to their lightweight texture. The lightweight texture with no white cast makes it look elegant on the skin.


In the end, the ‘perfect’ sunscreen for you is the one that suits your skin better. Wearing sunscreen every day is essential even if you are indoors or it’s winter. Whether mineral or chemical sunscreen choose the one you will actually wear. Mineral sunscreens are preferable for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

While chemical sunscreen is easier to apply and lightweight. Go for the sunscreen labelled as broad-spectrum and SPF 30 or higher for maximum protection. Whatever sunscreen you prefer, don’t forget to wear it every day. If you have any concerns regarding your skin type then visit a dermatologist for better analysis.


1. Is Mineral Or Chemical Sunscreen Better For Acne?

Mineral sunscreen is better for acne-prone and sensitive skin due to its natural ingredients.

2. Is Mineral Or Chemical Sunscreen Better For Sensitive Skin?

Mineral sunscreen is preferred for sensitive skin compared to chemical sunscreen. Mineral sunscreen is gentle on the skin while protecting it from harmful rays.

3. How Do I Know If My Sunscreen Is Mineral or Chemical?

Just flip your sunscreen and a bunch of information will be written. In the active ingredient section, if it’s mentioned Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide then it’s mineral sunscreen. Chemical sunscreen ingredients include oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, and more.

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