A completely mineral sunscreen means that it only uses zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as its sunscreen actives. It’s important to note that in order for a sunscreen to be 100% mineral, it must only use these sunscreen actives (or just zinc oxide), and nothing else. A lot of sunscreens on the market claim they are mineral, but if you look closely, there are some chemical actives sprinkled in the ingredient list. Rest assured, you won’t find any of that tricky business in our SPFs – when we say 100% mineral, we mean it.
So how does a mineral sunscreen work to protect you from UV rays? Surprisingly, not so differently than a chemical sunscreen. Both mineral and chemical sunscreens primarily protect skin by absorbing UV rays into the skin and then turning them into heat; the only difference is that chemical SPF absorbs 100% of UV rays, while mineral sunscreen absorbs ~95% of rays and reflects back ~5% of UV rays.
It’s also a common misconception that mineral sunscreens are made “naturally.” When it comes to sunscreen, here’s the truth: all SPF – including 100% mineral SPF – is produced synthetically in a lab. This is to ensure that the materials don’t contain any impurities or traces of hazardous materials…and that the formulation lives up to its protection claims.