You often heard about mineral solar protection and synthetic solar protection, but you’re not sure which version is best for you? Knowing the particularities of each solar filter can make things easier for you, but don’t forget that you need to apply sun protection product on the skin to see if it’s right for you or not.
The difference between cosmetic products with solar protection, besides the type of skin for which they are formulated, is the type of ingredients used for the solar filter, which ensures the protection your skin needs against solar radiation. Most SPF products contain synthetic filters, as they are more accessible and easier to integrate into a formula. But there are also products with mineral solar protection and products that are a combination of mineral and synthetic filters.
Solar protection products are available in a variety of textures: liquid, cream, emulsion, fluid, stick, and various colors: white, blue or certain neutral shades that will diminish the whitish color solar filters have in certain occasions.
Mineral solar filters
Reject, reflect, and absorb solar radiations. They come from natural sources.
How to recognize them
In the ingredients list, the two mineral filters are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Choose products with a mineral solar filter if:
- You have a sensitive skin, with a low level of tolerance and/or with various problems, which manifest through redness, soreness, itchiness, irritation.
- If you have rosacea, cuperosis, dermatitis, eczema, or other affections that irritate and inflame the skin
- You have spots caused by the sun – Mineral filters or a combination between mineral filters and synthetic filters are best in case of sunspots
Solar protection applied to the area around the eyes should contain mineral filters, as on the sensitive area around the eyes you can feel discomfort when applying synthetic filters.
The advantages of mineral filters
- They are very well tolerated and even suitable for sensitive skin.
- They have mattifying properties – if they are included in mattifying formulas
- They can be applied around the eyes – the number 1 cause of wrinkles is exposing the skin to the sun without protection
The disadvantages of mineral filters
- Most of them have textures that make it hard to spread them on the skin’s surface or they appear whitish. The more the SPF value increases, the whiter will the product be on the skin, although there are some colored products that can solve this problem.
- Still, they are not the most recommended for people that have troubles with acne, as they can block the pores in some occasions. But if you have rosaceous acne, acne and irritated skin, and so on, it is worth trying on a product with mineral filters.
Are you worried about applying on your skin mineral nanoparticles?
Minerals have large particles and they can’t be spread on the skin with ease, this is why this kind of ingredients is modified before being included in cosmetic products.
Thus, mineral molecules can be shrunk – micro and nanoparticles that can be coated with other kinds of ingredients, such as alumina, dimethicone, silica, etc.
Micro and nanotechnology, together with coating technology, change just the size and texture of the mineral filters for:
- Improving the protection offered by mineral filters;
- Improving the texture and whitish color of mineral filters;
- The coating technology prevents the photoactivation of mineral filters, which in the presence of the sun can generate free radicals;
- The mineral filters modified this way present no risks to your skin’s health and cannot go deeper than the superficial layers of the skin;
They absorb solar radiations. As their name suggests, they are synthetic, obtained in a laboratory.
How to recognize them
In Europe, there are no less than 26 differed approved filters and the most popular are avobenzone (Butyl methoxy dibenzoyl-methane), octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxy-cinnamate), oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3).
Opt for solar protection products with synthetic filters if:
- You have acne or mineral filters block your pores.
- You prefer products with lighter textures and you tolerate synthetic filters well.
- You need a product that can be spread all over the body (synthetic filters are more accessible and easier to spread on large surfaces of skin, but in cases of hypersensibility or intolerant to synthetic filters you will need mineral filter protection on your entire body).
The advantages of synthetic filters
- Synthetic filters usually have a liquid texture, products with synthetic SPF are more fluid and you can easily apply them on the skin, and hold the majority of in the cosmetic industry.
- They don’t block the pores (only on very rare occasions).
The disadvantages of synthetic filters
- They have an allergic and irritant potential, especially for sensitive and low-tolerance skin.
- They cannot be applied around the eyes – soreness and discomfort may appear.
- They can have a sticky texture.
Exposing yourself to sun’s radiations starts from the first second you get out in the sun’s light. Inside the house and car you are protected only if you have UV-shielded windows.
For your skin’s health apply, every morning and regardless of season, a generous quantity of solar protection, ideally SPF30 or even higher.
Without solar protection, any efforts to repair the problems triggered or aggravated by solar radiations, such as wrinkles, spots, rosacea, etc., are in vain.