Mineral or Chemical Sunscreen: Which Should you choose?

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Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreen: Choosing the Best for Your Skin

Sun protection is an important step in the daily skincare routine. It helps to protect your skin from overexposure to the sun’s rays which contribute to wrinkles and fine lines, skin cancer, and signs of premature aging. However, the constant influx of innovative products and viral sunscreen trends can make it difficult to find the best products. Probably you are wondering what is the difference between mineral (physical) and chemical sunscreen formulas and which one is more effective. Let’s have a detailed comparison of the two and why the Beauty of Joseon Sunscreen is probably your best bet.

Should You Go Mineral Sunscreen? Unveiling the Benefits and Drawbacks  

Mineral or physical sunscreens add a protective layer of UV filters on your skin. They deliver broad-spectrum protection by reflecting UV radiation, helping ward off UVA-related skin damage like wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. The mineral filters used include Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. You may find this type of sunscreen more effective if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.


  • Suited for Acne-Prone Skin: Mineral sunscreens are non-inflammatory and non-comedogenic to those with acne-prone skin. The zinc oxide in the sunscreen also helps to improve acne.
  • Safe for Sensitive Skin: Mineral sunscreen contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients, which are well-tolerated by sensitive skin types.
  • Potentially More Effective Sun Protection: By providing a physical barrier that prevents the sun's rays from penetrating the skin, mineral sunscreens are considered to more effective than chemical sunscreens.


  • Undesirable Texture: Most people do not like the thick, goopy texture that comes with wearing mineral sunscreens, especially under makeup.
  • May Leave a White Cast: Physical sunscreens often leave a white cast on the skin, especially on deeper skin tones. Some modern formulas contain a slight pink tint to neutralize the white cast, but this is still a major concern.

Is Chemical Sunscreen Right for You? Pros and Cons Explained

Unlike mineral sunscreen that provides a physical layer on the skin, chemical SPFs (Sun Protection Factor) transform UV rays into heat as they are absorbed into the skin using approved UV filters. They do not sit on your skin or block rays. Instead, the active ingredients absorb the IV rays before the skin can soak them up.

Chemical sunscreens tend to be lighter and more sheer. This is also the reason chemical sunscreens are a favorite many many consumers. The UV filters used in chemical SPFS include avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octinoxate. Although they are effective in preventing the absorption of sun rays, they can also irritate sensitive skin.


  • Clear on Application: Chemical sunscreens are clear, gel-like formulas with no white-cast residue on the skin.
  • Spreadable and Feels Good to Wear: Constant innovations in chemical sunscreens have provided lightweight, spray-on tor gel-like texture that easily blends and is enjoyable to wear with or without makeup. You may also find chemical sunscreens with makeup benefits like enhancing the glow of your skin.


  • Less Effective Than Mineral Formulas: Chemical SPFs function by absorbing the rays of the sun instead of physically blocking them. This makes them slightly less effective because the sun's rays still get to the skin. However, the most effective chemical sunscreen has a broad-spectrum formula with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Some Chemical Formulas Have Been Recalled: Chemical sunscreens are widely considered safe by board-certified dermatologists and help reduce the risk of skin cancer. However, several recalls have been associated with chemical sunscreens in the past, which raises the question of safety.
  • May Have Adverse Environmental Effects: Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients such as oxybenzone, which are not considered to be “reef-safe" in some states. However, research is still ongoing to determine the effects of chemical SPF on the ocean and reefs.

What is the Difference between Mineral and Chemical Sunscreens

The two types of sunscreen work in completely different ways. The primary difference is how they protect the skin from the damaging UV rays. Mineral formulas add a protective layer to the skin. Chemical SPFs absorb the rays like a sponge and convert them into heat. This way, they release the rays from your body, ensuring they do not damage the skin or cause sunburns.

The science behind the functioning of the two sunscreens also defines how each is used. Mineral sunscreens are better suited for acne-prone or sensitive skin. The major drawdown is that they tend to be thicker and leave a white cast behind, especially on deeper skin tones. In contrast, chemical sunscreens are clearer and lighter. They are also more enjoyable to wear and a great choice for most people. However, the active ingredients can be irritating to those with sensitive skin.

Which Sunscreen is Better Suited for You


The best sunscreen is the one you will actually wear. However, the choice will depend on skin type and any personal preference for the feel of a product. Make sure you choose a sunscreen you will constantly wear:

1.     Mineral Sunscreen for Sensitive or Acneic Skin

Sunscreen-related breakouts can occur due to sensitive reactions to chemical UV-blocking ingredients or the occlusion of the pores by comedogenic materials. Therefore, mineral sunscreens are better suited for individuals with sensitive and acne-prone skin types. Be sure you look for non-comedogenic or oil-free on the label.

2.     Chemical Sunscreen for Deep Skin Tones

For those with darker skin types, it can be difficult to find a physical sunscreen that does not make your skin appear pasty. A better choice here would be chemical sunscreens, especially for those who do not fancy tinted mineral sunscreens.  You may find a physical option that will blend into your deep skin tones but is easier and more cost-effective to go with a chemical sunscreen.

Enter the Beauty of Joseon Sunscreen: The Perfect Blend for Your Skin

If you're looking for gentle and effective sunscreen, the Beauty of Joseon's Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics SPF50+ PA++++ deserves a spot on your shortlist. Here's why this organic chemical sunscreen is a perfect blend for all skin types:

  • Lightweight and Creamy: The beauty of Joseon sunscreen is fragrance-free and absorbs quickly without leaving a white cast. With the main ingredients being rice extract and fermented grain base, it gives your skin all the protection it needs.
  • Nourishing Blend: The sunscreen formula is packed with vitamins and minerals to hydrate and soothe even sensitive skin.
  • Broad-Spectrum Protection: The beauty of Joseon sunscreen is shields you from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Make-up Ready: The sunscreen provides the perfect canvas for your makeup, giving you a clump-free and flawless look all day long.
  • Reef-Safe and Cruelty-Free: Like many other organic sunscreens, Beauty of Joseon sunscreen is safe for the environment, making it a bonus for eco-conscious and ethical buyers.

In Summary

The choice between mineral and chemical sunscreen can seem challenging, but it is a lot easier when you know the difference between the two. At the end of the end, the best sunscreen is the one you will actually wear. Mineral or physical sunscreens may be the best choice for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin, but chemical formulations are safe and effective options for anyone interested in a lightweight and more enjoyable product to wear. With this knowledge in hand, you can now confidently choose the sunscreen that is perfect for your screen. Check out Shop Palace Beauty Store for the Beauty of Joseon Sunscreen and other healthy affordable options that will ensure your skin stays happy under the sun.