The difference between chemical and mineral sun filters.
- Posted on
- By Karole
When you are looking for a new sunscreen, you will notice that you have many options to choose from. Which factor, a spray or a cream, etc. One way to narrow down the options and choose a good sunscreen is to look at the ingredients. Are they harmful to humans or the environment? After all, you wouldn't want to smear a harmful substance on your skin, would you?
Chemical filters vs mineral filters
Sunscreen contains, among other things, sun filters. There are two types, chemical and mineral sun filters. Both types of filters effectively do what they are intended for, protecting the skin from harmful UV rays and premature skin aging and skin cancer. They differ from each other in the way they work and how safe they are for humans and the environment.
Chemical filters, including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, and avobenzone, penetrate the skin, where they absorb harmful UV radiation. Chemical filters are cheaper and easier to obtain than mineral filters. Chemical filters also have the advantage that they do not leave a white residue. The big disadvantage of chemical sun filters is that they are harmful to marine life and coral reefs in particular. When a coral reef comes into contact with oxybenzone, it can bleach and die. Sunscreens containing substances that are harmful to coral are also banned in Hawaii. Chemical filters are also not harmless to humans. As mentioned, chemical filters penetrate the skin, which can cause skin irritation. Oxybenzone is also increasingly being linked to hormone-related cancers, early puberty, and poor sperm quality. Octocrylene can also have hormone-disrupting effects.
Mineral filters work differently from chemical filters. Mineral filters remain on the skin and reflect harmful UV rays. Because mineral filters do not penetrate the skin, they are suitable for people with sensitive skin, including babies and children. Mineral filters are also reef safe and not harmful to marine life and coral reefs.
Mineral filters are also called physical filters, the most commonly used are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. In the past, mineral filters left a white residue on the skin. Nowadays, sunscreens have been developed in such a way that this residue is not or barely visible. A mineral filter works immediately, you do not have to wait to be safe in the sun after applying it.
Nano-particles of mineral filters
To prevent a white residue, some sunscreens use nano-particles of mineral filters. This means that the filter is split into very small pieces. These nano-particles can be harmful if ingested or inhaled.
If a sunscreen contains nano-particles, this is indicated on the packaging.
Why are mineral filters so much better for the environment?
People wear sunscreen to protect their skin from the sun. When people then go swimming in the sea, the chemicals from the sunscreen are released into the environment. These chemicals damage the DNA of coral reefs and cause coral bleaching. This disturbs the delicate aquatic ecosystem but also has implications for the world economy that relies on coral reefs (jobs, tourism).
Amazinc! sunscreens contain mineral filters and no nano-particles. The products are 100% natural, a sunscreen without harmful substances, and are reef safe and safe for humans to use.