Some important information about sunscreens came my way this morning and I thought I’ll share them, even though this is my third post about them this week! The one that got my attention most is that it is misleading to state that mineral sunscreens are physical sunblocks which block UV by scattering and reflecting UV radiation. *GASP* If this is true, then our understanding of the differentiation between physical sunblock and chemical suncreens as seen below in the box have all along been inaccurate!
Mineral sunscreens absorb more UV radiation
But according to Soapwire, mineral sunscreens perform similarly to the chemical sunscreens in that they absorb UV radiation, but with a much broader effective range. They look white only because these minerals do reflect and scatter light in the visible spectrum, which we can see.
“Manufacturers, dermatologists, and the media, regularly perpetuate this myth because they don’t understand the physical chemistry associated with these minerals and make the easy yet incorrect assumption that they perform the same in the UV as in the visible spectrum.”
You can look up the article for more information to understand the technicalities but how I interprete this if it is true is that, mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide are more superior. So what has been said all along that the larger particles in such sunscreens not reflecting every UV rays for full protection may not hold water afterall because they actually protect on two levels; they reflect and absorb UV radiation!
Zinc Oxide is a better sunscreen active ingredient
I have always preferred zinc oxide in mineral sunscreens because I believe it is the most superior sunscreen active ingredient as reflected in the following ratings I’ve obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency. The article in Soapwire confirms it.
When compared to titanium dixode, 1) zinc oxide has a broader UVA spectral absorbance; 2) zinc oxide is safer from oxidative free radical production and chemical damage; 3) zinc oxide is not made from a toxic heavy metal and 4) zinc oxide is the safest sunscreen ingredient that is FDA-approved for use on babies younger than 6 months of age.
So if the information from Soapwire is correct, then my quest for the best mineral-based sunscreen with zinc oxide for truly broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection is on track!