Physical (Mineral) Sunscreen vs. Chemical Sunscreen: What's the Difference?

Physical (Mineral) Sunscreen vs. Chemical Sunscreen: What's the Difference?

Broad spectrum.
Chemical sunscreen.
Physical sunblock.
Absorption levels.
Protection time.
Mineral sunblock…wait isn’t that the same thing as physical sunblock?

Navigating the landscape of sun protection can be overwhelming with all the options and terminology. 
In the quest to safeguard our skin from harmful UV rays, the debate between chemical and physical sun protection has been a popular discussion. In recent years, the topic has turned its focus on the environmental impact of chemical sunscreen and the potential health risks associated with its use. 
Being based in sunny Hawaii, Honey Girl Organics has some experience when it comes to sun protection! In this blog we'll talk about the differences between mineral and chemical sunscreens, to help you make informed choices this summer!
Let’s dive into these two types of protection, exploring both their pros and cons, empowering you to make the healthiest decision for you and your skin. 
What Is Chemical Sunscreen and How Does It Work?

Chemical sunscreen contains active ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, and octocrylene. These components work by absorbing UV radiation, converting it into heat, and releasing it from the skin. 
The Pros:
            ▪           Ease Of Application - Chemical sunscreens have a lightweight texture that doesn’t feel sticky to the skin, they also tend to blend into the skin with more ease, not leaving behind a noticeable white cast.
            ▪           High SPF Protection - Chemical sunscreens can offer a broader spectrum of SPF protection due to the variety of active ingredients in the formula. 
            ▪           Water Resistant - Chemical sunscreens can be formulated to be water-resistant, providing an advantage when it comes to sweating and being worn in the water. 
The Cons:
            ▪           Absorbed Into the Skin - All active ingredients in chemical sunscreens are directly absorbed into the skin, which should raise concern since some of the ingredients in chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone have been linked to hormone disruption. 
            ▪           Needs Time To Activate - One of the biggest drawbacks to chemical sunscreens is that it takes around 20 minutes before it provides you with sun protection. If you apply it and do not give the chemicals time to absorb into your skin and activate, you are not protecting your skin from the sun as you think!
            ▪           A Risk To The Environment - Here at HGO we deeply care about the environment. There are numerous studies stating that chemical sunscreen has detrimental effects on marine ecosystems. This worry is backed up by the fact that Hawaii, the state where Honey Girl Organics comes from, has banned many chemical sunscreens because of the harm they cause to the coral reefs when people wear them while swimming in the ocean.
            ▪           Increased Skin Irritation - Due to the multiple chemicals used for sun protection, there is an increased chance of allergic reactions and skin irritations from chemical sunscreen. 
            ▪           Breaks Down Faster - Chemical sunscreen may lose its effectiveness more quickly when it is exposed to sun, and wind, which requires you to apply more frequency applications. 
If you have questions about the safety of your favorite chemical sunscreen, we highly recommend taking a moment to check it out on the EWG’s Skin Deep database. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database is a comprehensive resource available to consumers to access information on the safety and potential hazards of the skincare and cosmetic products they use. Simply plug your chemical sunscreen into the database and become informed about the products and ingredients you’re using on your skin this summer season!
What Is Physical Sunblock and How Does It Work?

Physical sunblock, also called mineral sunblock, does what the name suggests; it blocks the sun by using physical minerals.  
Physical sunblock contains ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, these minerals sit on top of the skin’s surface, forming a protective barrier. They work by reflecting UV rays away from the skin. 
The Pros:
            ▪           Safety - Physical sun blocks do not penetrate the skin, meaning you won’t absorb any chemicals into your bloodstream!
            ▪           Fewer Skin Reactions - This type of sunblock is less likely to cause allergic reactions and skin irritations due to not being formulated with certain chemicals. 
            ▪           Instant Sun Protection - Physical sun blocks provide immediate sun protection and do not require a waiting period. So, feel free to apply on the go, because it works right away!
            ▪           Lasting Coverage - This type of sun protection is more stable, as it does not degrade when exposed to sun or wind. 
            ▪           Eco-Friendly - Physical sunblock is known for its eco-friendly aspects. It is less harmful to the environment, including the marine ecosystems. Swim freely without the worry of harming Mother Earth!
The Cons:
  • White Cast - Some physical sunblock formulas may be harder to rub into the skin, and may leave a visible white cast behind. 
  • Needs to Be Applied More Frequently - Compared to chemical sunscreens, physical sunblock may require more frequent reapplication due to its tendency to run off more easily, as it sits on top of the skin!
  • Needs Careful Application - Since physical sunblock can be harder to blend into the skin, it's essential to take your time and ensure all skin is thoroughly covered for proper sun protection. 
At HGO, we have a deep appreciation for all the benefits that physical sunblock offers. While we’re aware of some of the potential drawbacks, we know your health and the well-being of the planet comes before all else!
Ready To Switch To Physical Sunblock? We Got You!

When you switch to a physical sunblock, you’re not only getting superior protection from the sun that’s safer for your body, but you’re also doing your part to protect our planet’s delicate ecosystems!
Our HGO Protect Stick is the perfect solution for sun protection on the go during the spring and summer season! It is crafted with 20% uncoated non-nano (reef safe) zinc oxide, organic raspberry seed oil, carrot seed oil, and organic shea butter, providing effective sun protection with ease.
We love our Protect stick because it makes application a breeze - simply glide it over exposed skin for instant sun protection.
Honey Girl Tip:

Just because you’re wearing makeup this season, doesn’t mean you can skip the vital step in protecting your skin! 
We recommend applying some Protect Stick onto the tips of our fingers (enough to cover the entire face), and then mix it with a small amount of your favorite Honey Girl facial moisturizer on clean hands. Remember, with our concentrated products, a little goes a long way!
This method of blending the physical sun protection with moisturizer ensures a more even application and better emulsification, although your protection will be diluted. Alternatively, you can use the Protect Stick as a primer! 
From there, feel free to apply your concealer or foundation using a damp makeup sponge. Layering your makeup over the physical sun protection minimizes the appearance of a white cast. Using a damp makeup sponge helps to keep the sun protection in place while achieving the desired makeup coverage.
As you bask in the warm embrace of the sun this season, be mindful that your choice of sun protection is not only about guarding your skin from the sun, but the products you choose have an impact on your overall health, and the environment around you!
If you have any questions about how our Protect stick works, feel free to drop them in the comment section, and one of our busy bees will respond to you!
Wishing you a healthy and fun summer this year. ☀️
Ashley Ivy & Honey Girl Organics
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