What is the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens?

11 May 2021

Creme solaire naturelle - Naturel sunscreen

What is the difference between a mineral or natural sunscreen and a chemical sunscreen?


Mineral sunscreen


Mineral sunscreen reflects the incoming sun’s rays like a barrier.


  • Mineral sunscreens are the only ones that can be certified organic.
  • They contain micro pigments that reflect the sun’s rays like a mirror.
  • The physical protective substances used are generally zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (check that they are not of nanoparticle size).
  • It does not cause side effects like some chemical filters.
  • It does not pollute the waters.
  • Ideal for sports activities because it resists humidity.
  • Mineral sunscreens are effective as soon as they are applied, unlike chemical sunscreens, so they are very practical!



Very often, mineral sunscreen do not contain parabens, nor silicones, nor perfumes, and their natural components cause few allergic reactions.


Mineral sunscreens are therefore indicated for sensitive skin, those who suffer from eczema or psoriasis, or who need to protect scars left by surgery.



Chemical sunscreen


The chemical sunscreen penetrates the skin and reacts on and with the skin during sun exposure.


  • Chemical sunscreen absorbs UVA and UVB rays much like a sponge.
  • It can cause side effects.
  • They are not effective immediately upon application, therefore it is important to apply it 20 to 30 minutes before exposure to the sun.
  • Sunscreens containing chemical filters are endangering coral reefs around the world.




We recommend that you apply your sunscreen every 2 hours and reapply it after swimming. And this, regardless of your choice of sunscreen.


Finally, for maximum protection against the sun’s rays:

  • Avoid the hot sun between 11:00 and 14:00.
  • Wear full-length clothing and a hat.
  • Choose shade as often as possible.

All these measures offer the best protection for everyone, especially for children.    


For easy application of a thicker mineral sunscreen, use the dotting technique. Using the tip of the sunscreen tube, apply a small, pea-sized amount to the skin, making it easier to spread!



Mineral sunscreens can sometimes leave a whitish color on the skin or have a slightly thicker texture than chemical sunscreens.  Some companies offer sunscreens that give little or no whitening effect.


Ask our consultants in store or order them online here.


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