With summer almost here, it’s time to up your sunscreen game. Have you thought about switching to a mineral sunscreen? One of the best ways to protect your skin from sun damage, premature aging and skin cancer is to use a physical (aka natural mineral-based) sunscreen. But it’s confusing: how sunscreens with the same SPF (sun protection factor) can work very differently based on their active ingredients.

When it comes to physical sunscreens their active ingredients include titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, which protect the skin by physically deflecting and scattering damaging UVA/UVB rays away from the skin. In other words, they physically block sun rays from penetrating the skin.

mineral sunscreen protection

Active Ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide-- The skin benefits are plentiful!

Titanium Dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral with a distinct, white pigment used in skin care and cosmetics for its UV-reflective properties and for its ability to remain stable (meaning that it doesn’t degrade) when exposed to UV radiation.

In the past, some natural sunscreens left a white cast after applying them (understandably, that casper the ghost look was unappealing for many people). Rest assured, most of the latest mineral sunscreens give the gentle protection of a physical sunscreen without leaving a white cast.

While Zinc Oxide is also found in nature, it also can be manufactured synthetically. Like titanium dioxide, it physically scatters and reflects UV rays. Zinc oxide’s ability to block different types of both short and long UV rays makes it one of the most effective sun protection products on the market.

Woman in sun glasses wearing mineral sunscreen

Why use a mineral-based sunscreen?

1. Mineral sunscreen is less irritating.

According to dermatologists they’re less likely to cause a reaction on the skin when compared to chemical sunscreens. This is great news for those of us with sensitive skin!

Also, a mineral sunscreen may work well for those with heat-activated skin conditions such as rosacea and redness since it deflects the heat and energy given off by the sun away from the skin.

2. Minerals offer broad-spectrum protection, naturally!

Zinc oxide is one of the most popular active ingredients in physical sunscreens because it provides natural, broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB sun rays.

3. Mineral sunscreens offer more immediate, long-lasting protection.

With chemical sunscreens you’re advised to wait 15 to 30 minutes after applying sunscreen before venturing into the sun. That’s because chemical sunscreens have to be fully absorbed into skin before they're effective. Natural mineral sunscreens, however, often work right away to block sun rays, plus they don’t break down over time.

4. They are safe for coral reefs.

Many mineral-based sunscreens are praised by environmental groups like EWG, Environmental Working Group because they work just as well as chemical sunscreens and are not toxic to our planet.

Studies have shown that chemical sunscreens with the ingredient oxybenzone can be damaging to coral reefs, which serve as homes for 25% of all ocean life. When oxybenzone is absorbed by ocean life, it can awaken latent viruses in algae, a reef's source of nourishment. Once the algae dies, so do the reefs. For this reason, reefs are disappearing twice as fast as rain forests. Read more in this recent New York Times article, Hawaii Passes Bill Banning Sunscreen That Can Harm Coral Reefs.

Chemical Sunscreen is toxic to Coral Reefs

Natural mineral sunscreens are your best line of sun defense along with practicing sun safety tips. Remember that a sunscreen is an essential addition to your daily skin care routine - even on overcast and cold days because the sun’s rays are still present and strong.

As always, if you have additional concerns, get your dermatologist’s recommendation regarding the best sunscreen for your skin-type and lifestyle .

Try these all-physical mineral sunscreens:

Triple Duty Plus Sunscreen SPF 35+ a 100% physical sunscreen with a blend of natural mineral sun protectors, sheer tint, and peptides for enhanced anti-aging benefits.

  • Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide broad-spectrum protection

  • Sheer tint with skin tone-blending capabilities provides a whisper of coverage

  • Water-resistant formula assures lasting protection

  • Powerful peptides boost the production of collagen and help restore skin elasticity, repair fine lines and firm the skin

  • Vitamin D3 helps destroy free-radicals that can cause premature aging

  • Lycopene scavenges free-radicals and blocks UV light

  • Vitamins C and E enhance the skin’s own barrier sun defense system

  • Paraben-free


Sheer Physical Sun Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 is a mineral-based physical sunscreen spray features Zinc Oxide 12%. Provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection, is water resistant (40 minutes) and includes antioxidants that help protect against premature aging.

  • Green Tea Polyphenols, Resveratrol, Vitamin C, and CoQ10 provide antioxidant benefits that help protect against premature aging
  • Oil, alcohol, fragrance, paraben and PABA-free formula
  • Non-comedogenic and non-whitening
  • Perfect for all skin-types

Did you know that adding a Vitamin C serum to your skin routine can enhance your skin’s sun protection? Check out our blog, 6 Amazing Benefits of Adding a Vitamin C Serum to Your Skin Routine.

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Revercel combines physician-strength ingredients to prevent and correct at the cellular level – long before the signs of aging skin are visible.