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Mineral Sunscreen vs Chemical Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a topical health and wellness product that protects your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Roughly 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

We all know how crucial it is to wear sunscreen. Not only is it key in preventing sunburn, but it can prevent the onset of sun damage, which leads to a more rapid aging process for our skin.

But in the past few years, the things we know about SPF have dramatically changed.

But one thing’s for sure: we should be wearing sunscreen every single day--even on the days we’re wearing makeup.

And there is a method to wearing sunscreen properly. 

Let’s start with the types of sunscreen you can use.

Mineral Sunscreen and Chemical Sunscreen: What’s the Difference?

As you may be aware, there are two major categories of sunscreen: there’s chemical sunscreen, and then there’s physical, or mineral-based sunscreen.

So what’s the difference?

It all comes down to the active ingredients in your sunscreen, and how they work to protect your skin from the sun’s rays.

Chemical sunscreens will have active ingredients like oxybenzone, octisalate, and homosalate, which work to create a chemical reaction when UV light touches your skin. Essentially, these active ingredients cause UV light to be converted into heat, which quickly dispels from your skin.

Physical sunscreens, on the other hand, use minerals from the earth like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which work by creating a physical barrier directly on your skin, which filters out the sun’s harmful rays like a breathable shield.

While both types of sunscreen are effective against the sun’s harmful rays, chemical sunscreen has raised red flags in recent years.

This attention gained massive traction in 2019, when a clinical trial from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that several of the active ingredients associated with chemical sunscreen can absorb into the bloodstream at rates that far exceed the FDA’s required amount.

On top of that, chemical sunscreens aren’t so great for the environment.

Scientists have voiced their concerns that in particular, the chemical sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone may disrupt the DNA of coral, and this is contributing to the devastating damage on coral reefs. Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, are completely natural, and do not indicate any potential damage on the environment or our bodies, but it’s very important that they’re used properly.

Whichever sunscreen you wear, remember: any kind of sunscreen is better than none at all! That’s why it’s important to understand how to pair the SPF you use with your makeup, the right way.

When to Apply Sunscreen With Makeup, and How to Reapply

On days when you’re wearing sunscreen and makeup, the order of application is everything.

So what comes first?

We highly recommend finding a physical (mineral based) sunscreen, to start, skin care  product should be applied first, your favorite moisturizer or your favorite Emani Primer Serum. This base allow nutrients and help to balance your skin and it has a primer built in to prolong makeup wear. There are powdered mineral sunscreens you can sweep over your makeup, so you never have to worry about smudging or caking your foundation!

Another important thing to know about mineral sunscreen is that they need to be applied every 80 minutes. Emani is all about helping you to look your best and take care of your skin, when in doubt, please consult your dermatologist about your skin health. 

If you're looking for Emani products with SPF perfect for your skin, checkout these products:

Perfect 10 Primer

Hydrawear Plus



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