2021 has been called ‘The Year of Sunscreen’ in the skincare community. Now that we know the importance of wearing it every day, how do we choose the best kind?
Sunscreen typically falls into two subcategories- chemical or mineral. Both formulas come with pros and cons, but luckily there are hundreds of options on the market for whichever one you choose.
Chemical sunscreens are created with filters that absorb and discard UV rays, protecting your skin in the process. The most commonly stated benefits of this formula are that it feels lightweight and excellent under makeup, as it is usually thinner in consistency.However, those with sensitive skin may be more prone to breaking out or finding irritation from chemical sunscreens than their mineral counterpart due to the active ingredients found in the filters.
Mineral sunscreens are often referred to as ‘physical’ because they sit on top of your skin, creating a physical barrier between you and the UV rays. These are often considered to be gentler than chemical formulas, making bad reactions from your skin less likely. The formula also tends to be brighter in colour due to the thickness, making it easier to track your application. However, this brightness can often leave a white cast over the skin, especially for medium and dark complexions or in the case of flash photography.
Whether you choose a chemical or mineral formula, keeping your skin protected from the harsh sun is the most essential part of your skincare routine. Make sure always patch-test your sunscreen and look for a broad-spectrum option with high SPF. For additional safety, reapply your sunscreen of choice every two hours.