Chemical sunscreens are better than physical sunscreens in only one way, they offer better aesthetics when applied than physical sunscreen. They won’t leave you with a white cast on your face and will keep you from burning, but forget other benefits like protection from photoaging, it is caused by UVA rays and chemical actives don’t protect against those.
The only two elements known to block both UVA and UVB rays are the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
If you want to prevent photoaging as well as protect yourself against skin cancer, here are a few drugstore mineral sunscreens.
Neutrogena Sensitive Sunscreen
This does everything a physical sunscreen should do, it only scores so badly on EWG because it contains several chemical actives. The correct term for a sunscreen such as this is hybrid, it will still protect you but with the added health risks associated with chemical actives. I’ve included a link to the EWG website profile of this sunscreen for further reading.
EWG rating 4
This does significantly better than Neutrogena thanks to fewer chemical actives. There’s not much to say about it except it’s better than the Nivea anti-age sunscreen also made by the same company. A few people I know use it and love it.
Aveeno Baby natural protection
EWG rating 1
Truth is, I only found out about this one after buying my new HG sunscreen, not for lack of research but because every other Aveeno sunscreen I’ve encountered has had Chemical actives, it caught me by surprise.
This is probably the safest sunscreen out there.
EWG rating 2
This is my current sunscreen, it has silicone in it to help it spread better, leaves a white cast but I don’t mind because I always wear makeup over it, it works great as a primer and leaves my skin looking impossibly smooth.
Over time you’ll notice the oil phase separate from the product, so give it a little shake every now and then.
EWG rating 2
Would you be surprised if I told you this is the exact same formulation as the alba botanica? This is less popular maybe coz of less advertising, also why would I buy this when it costs more than alba botanica?
High end or drugstore, it really doesn’t matter, always check the EWG rating before you buy.
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