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Mineral Vs. Chemical Sunscreen: Difference and Benefits

Chemical and Physical Sunscreen: What's the Difference?

Mineral Vs. Chemical Sunscreen: Difference and Benefits
Image Source: Getty / Milos Dimic

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  • Both chemical or mineral sunscreens protect from UV rays, but the way they do so is different.
  • Chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin, whereas physical sunscreens physically block the sun.
  • A dermatologist explains the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of both.

We all know that sunscreen is a necessity — there's no debate there. Whether you're indoors or outside, winter or summer, you should be wearing SPF everyday to protect your skin from sun damage. What's not so widely agreed upon is what type of sunscreen to use: chemical sunscreen vs physical sunscreen.

Many chemical sunscreen products have been the gold standard for sun protection for years. Recently, physical formulas, otherwise known as mineral sunscreens, have grown in popularity and taken over a large majority of the market. When you look for a new SPF product to buy, there are ample chemical and physical sunscreen options available to you. Both types are backed by dermatologists and top-rated reviews, and come with their own list of benefits and drawbacks.

Ahead, learn more about the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens and find out which type is right for you.

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