“A good way to ‘see’ the difference is a chemical sunscreen is normally light in texture and easily absorbs into the skin, whereas a physical sunblock appears thicker and whiter on the skin (don’t think traditional zinc here, rather micronized zinc oxide that absorbs quicker and does not stay white on … “Moving towards the ’80s, the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries are asking, How can we make these formulas more lightweight, more aesthetically pleasing, shelf stable, and inexpensive? “Any acidic sunscreen will cause zinc oxide to dissolve into zinc, so you lose your SPF,” Dr. Downs explains. Organic sunscreens, also known as chemical sunscreens, work by absorbing UV light. This environmental research is relatively new and has faced its fair share of scrutiny and criticism from those who say climate change, not sunscreen, is to blame for the degradation of the world’s coral reefs. What about zinc oxide sunscreen or mineral sunscreen? Physical sunscreen and mineral sunscreen are also one in the same. “Many fragrances are fortified with UV sunscreens, even oxybenzone,” says Dr. Downs. Basically, mineral sunscreen has multiple names and is made from ingredients like zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. We use non-nano Zinc Oxide for our sunscreens, and here’s why: Titanium Dioxide works as a hybrid by scattering and absorbing UVA1 and UVB rays. This is done using active ingredients like avobenzone, octinoxate or oxybenzone, which are all organic (carbon-based) compounds. Are all sunscreen ingredients equal? According to the EWG, studies show that compounds such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and avobenzone are all systemically absorbed into the body after a single use, and can be detected on the skin and in blood weeks after application. Alas, ensuring your SPF is eco-friendly isn’t as easy as buying a bottle emblazoned with the words “reef-safe.” The buzzy term isn’t regulated by any governing body, and therefore it can’t really be trusted. Tinted, blendable zinc formulations are becoming more common nowadays, but “mineral sunscreen has historically had more of a thick, white, pasty look,” Dr. Ebuluk says. You may also hear them referred to as mineral or natural sunscreens. While some instinctively shy away from chemical sunscreens in favour of physical options, this can be a hasty decision. Any form of microplastic sphere or beads. Mineral sunscreen, also known as physical sunscreen, and chemical sunscreen help protect the skin from the sun in different ways, and it is important to know the difference between them. In contrast, chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays, “convert the rays into heat, and release … While there might not be enough data to show whether or not chemical sunscreen is toxic for your body, there is more than enough evidence to prove that it is helping to destroy the world’s coral reefs. Always read the label carefully! “Oxybenzone has appeared in human breast milk, amniotic fluid, urine, and blood plasma,” says Dr. Zenovia. Physical sunscreens remain on the skin's surface. A handful of products combine zinc oxide with chemical filters. These two types of sunscreen ingredients 1 act in different ways, yet both are effective for providing broad spectrum protection against damaging UVA and UVB rays. (Fragrance is considered “proprietary” under FDA regulations, so brands aren’t required to disclose the ingredients in their fragrance blends.). 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