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HomeAnswersDermatologyphysical sunscreenWill mineral sunscreen give both protective and cosmetic benefits?

By what means mineral sunscreen is better than chemical one?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Rabia Anjum

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vinodhini J.

Published At January 4, 2020
Reviewed AtAugust 1, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I would like to know the benefits of using mineral sunscreen. What is a mineral sunscreen? How does mineral sunscreen differ from the chemical kind? What are the biggest benefits of using mineral sunscreen? What should you look for in a mineral sunscreen if you want to ensure you are getting a formula that is going to be both protective and cosmetically elegant?

Answered by Dr. Rabia Anjum


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Sunscreen are agents that give protection to the skin against harmful ultraviolet radiation. Of the sun especially UVB (ultraviolet B) radiation that is more harmful.

Sunscreen are of two types. Physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen or sunblocks. Mineral sunscreen is another name for physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreen physically blocks sun ultraviolet radiations and chemical sunscreen absorbs UV radiations and chemically disperse them. Physical sunscreen are zinc oxide, titanium oxide and iron oxide. They are cosmetically unfavorable because they have to be applied thickly and evenly so they are visible on the applied skin whereas chemical sunscreen like octocrylene, etc., are not visible.

Mineral sunscreen gives better protection than chemical ones. They reflect the UV light whereas chemical sunscreen absorbs light and has more chance of photoallergy and contact dermatitis. Mineral sunscreen are better in this regard. Various cosmetics are using these mineral sunblock ingredients.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Rabia Anjum
Dr. Rabia Anjum


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