July 18, 2023

Photo credit: Getty Images

With so many options, where should we start when it comes to protecting our skin?

Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen: Which Is Better?

The difference between mineral and chemical sunscreen comes down to how they block out rays. Mineral sits on your skin and shields, whereas chemical is more sponge-like, soaking into your skin.

So, does it matter which one you use?

Majority of mineral sunscreens contain zinc and titanium oxide, both of which are considered safe by the FDA. These particles work similar to the chemical sunscreens to help absorb into your skin. This type of sunscreen is recommended to those with sensitive skin, acne, and is even safe to use on children. Mineral sunscreens are also the most effective for a broad range of UV rays, including UVA and UVB. The downside however, is that they can be quite chalky, leaving a white cast on skin, therefore it might not be the best idea if you have a darker skin tone. They are also not as water resistant, meaning you may have to reapply more.

Chemical sunscreen on the other hand, acts a little differently. It doesn’t sit on your skin or block out rays, but instead uses UV filters to soak into your skin.

These include:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Avobenzone
  • Octisalate
  • Octocrylene
  • Homosalate
  • Octinoxate

This kind of sunscreen doesn’t leave behind that pigmented residue and is better for a range of skin tones. On the other hand, there is a debate on their safety. Though there hasn’t been evidence to prove they do any harm, the FDA has banned aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and trolamine salicylate. Six of the twelve common ingredients enter the bloodstream after ONE use and are still under review by the FDA. These types of sunscreens can also affect those with sensitive skin, causing inflammation and a flare up of rosacea or melasma.

There doesn’t seem to be a clear winner one way or another, however, we do NOT recommend skipping sunscreen. Use your best judgment and most importantly, wear it consistently.


It’s important to note that sunscreen isn’t a one and done. Apply minimum 15 minutes before going into the sun and be thorough. Reapply every two hours with a quarter size amount.

!applying lotion or sunscreen to sunburn

Photo credit: Allina Health

Check out our Sunny Patch stickers here or in store to avoid the dreaded summer sunburn! They’re easy to apply, safe, and change color when it’s time to reapply sunscreen.

How To Treat a Sunburn

Take frequent cool baths or showers. This helps relieve the pain and gets your temperature down. After, pat yourself dry but leave a little water. Then, moisturize to trap the water in your skin.

Use aloe vera and lotion. For best results, start with aloe vera. If you begin to peel, start moisturizing with a scent free lotion. If you have a particularly bad area you may want to purchase and apply a hydrocortisone cream (does not require prescription).

If you are able take an aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce redness and swelling.

DRINK WATER! Staying hydrated is incredibly important.

Allow your blisters to heal if you have them and take extra good care of your skin. Wear gentle clothing and stay out of the sun.

When Should I See a Dermatologist?

Firstly, you should see a doctor if you have a lingering sunburn with blisters larger than 2 inches or if they have oozing, swelling, or red streaks. If you have a fever, headache, dehydration, nausea, chills, or confusion alongside the fever, you should also seek professional care immediately.

Outside of the sunburn, annual visits to the dermatologist are very valuable for your health. Though there isn’t a specific age you should go, if you haven’t gone by your mid-twenties you should consider it. Everyone’s skin is different, but if you feel like you’re having some abnormalities, think about making an appointment.

Why Is It Important?

Concerned about unusual spots? Let’s talk about the ABCDE of skin cancer.

A- Asymmetry.

This means the shape isn’t uniform. This is often a sign of Melanoma; non-cancerous moles are usually uniform and symmetrical in shape.

B- Border.

Melanoma can typically have borders that aren’t well defined or be irregular in shape. However, non-cancerous moles are typically smooth and well-defined.

C- Color.

Melanoma lesions often have multiples colors. Benign moles are usually just one color.

D- Diameter.

Melanoma growths are on average larger than 6mm in diameter. This is about the diameter of a pencil.

E- Evolution.

To summarize, Melanoma has changing characteristics. These include size, color, shape, and border. It changes over time, benign moles usually do not. If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dermatologist.

The Healing Process

You recently went to the dermatologist and had a biopsy done. What steps should you take for the best healing results?

Your dermatologist may prescribe you 5-fu (fluorouracil). If you struggle with the redness, you have two options. You can try Vaseline, which is helpful. However, we recommend Calendula, as it can help soothe damaged skin.

If you’re trying to prevent scars from a cut off spot, the same goes. Either Vaseline or Calendula will work, but Calendula is preferred. Once healed, make sure to apply sunscreen.

Additionally, calendula is also great for sunburn!

Come in store or click here to check out our Daily Moisturizer SPF 50 and other sunscreen products.