What Does Mineral Sunscreen Mean? We'll Explain it All Here

what does mineral sunscreen mean

What Does Mineral Sunscreen Mean?

When you hear the word “sunscreen,” you probably think of a white lotion that you slather on your skin to protect it from the sun. But in today’s sun-soaked world, that is only one type of sunscreen available. And the more intense the ultraviolet rays of the sun, the more important it is to have a high-quality, broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen.

Mineral sunscreen works by neutralizing or absorbing ultraviolet (UV) light. This allows other people or objects wearing UV protective clothing to be exposed to less UV light and so protect their skin as well as extend their time in the sun or get more hours outdoors before seeking shelter. But not all mineral sunscreens are created equal. In this article, we explain what they mean and how they differ from other types

What is a Mineral Sunscreen?

Mineral sunscreens contain minerals that have been combined with organic active ingredients (which hopefully also offer some UV protection) so they can be applied, typically as a cream or lotion.

Mineral sunscreens do not contain chemicals like phosphorus, which can make people feel dizzy and nauseous. They also don’t cause allergic reactions in most people. This makes them an ideal substitute for people with allergies to certain ingredients or who simply prefer to avoid certain chemicals in their skincare products.

Mineral sunscreens have been used for hundreds of years. Ancient Egyptians used crushed minerals such as basalt, which is found under the Sahara desert, to protect their skin from the harsh rays of the sun. And in the early 1900s, people began to see the health benefits of mineral sunscreens. They were once considered to be more effective and safe than chemical sunscreens. However, as our understanding of the sun’s harmful effects has grown over the years, the standards of mineral sunscreens have also been updated.

It's well noted that mineral sunscreens are going to be a healthier and very effective alternative to chemical laden sunscreens.

When to Use a Mineral Sunscreen

Mineral sunscreens are effective when used as the only type of sunscreen during the summer months when UV levels are high and the sun is out for long hours. You can also use a mineral sunscreen during the winter months if you are spending more time outdoors.

You can use a mineral sunscreen year-round as a daily moisturizer if you have dry skin. Surprisingly, minerals can be very soothing and healing to the skin, especially if you suffer from skin ailments and breakouts.  If you are going to be spending a lot of time in the sun during the winter months when UV levels are low, it is also a good idea to pack a bottle of mineral sunscreen to use as a moisturizer on days when the air feels drier than usual.

Types of Mineral Sunscreens

Physical filters. Physical filters like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the oldest type of mineral sunscreen ingredients and are still used in most mineral sunscreens. These minerals absorb UV light and then negatively charged electrons are released, which causes the light to be scattered, blocking it from reaching the skin.  Physical filters like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the oldest type of mineral sunscreen ingredients and are still used in most mineral sunscreens. These minerals absorb UV light and then negatively charged electrons are released, which causes the light to be scattered, blocking it from reaching the skin.

Organic filters.  Organic filters like avobenzone, homosalate, octocrylene, and octisalate are the most common type of organic filter in mineral sunscreens. They are what make the products labelled “organic” work as well as they do. These organic filters protect the skin by absorbing the light before it has a chance to be absorbed by the skin and damage it.


How does a Mineral Sunscreen Work?

Mineral sunscreens work in a few different ways to protect your skin from UV rays. First, they contain solid mineral matter, so they literally block out more light than chemical sunscreens, acting as a shield.  They are a “barrier” to prevent the sun’s rays from entering the skin.

Most mineral sunscreens have an SPF of around 30 or above, which means that they can shield your skin from 93% of UVB rays and 97% of UVA rays.

Key Differences Between Mineral and Chemical Sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens are much more expensive than chemical sunscreens, but they are worth it in the long run. They are much more effective at blocking harmful UV rays and much less likely to cause skin irritation. Most important of all, they do not contain any harmful chemicals that can potentially harm your health.

While all mineral sunscreens are a type of physical filter, the two most popular types of organic mineral filters are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are what make traditional mineral sunscreens work just as well as chemical ones.   

Properly formulated, mineral sunscreen will be almost clear and as easy to work with as any other kind of sunscreen when applying cosmetics – and in some cases – a much nicer, smoother, less greasy or slippery foundation compared to chemical sunscreens.

Chemical sunscreens are broken down into smaller and more easily absorbed molecules when they are absorbed into the skin. This allows them to protect the skin from more harmful UV rays.  This in and of itself is potentially dangerous, since the absorption of these chemicals can be damaging especially if used over time.

Which Type of Mineral Sunscreen is Best for You?

Physical filters: Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the most effective physical filters and are more common in mineral sunscreens. They are also considered to be more natural than other types of mineral filters.

Organic filters: Organic filters offer additional sun protection, like raspberry seed oil, carrot seed / carrot oil, coconut oil, wheat germ oil, olive oil, tomato seed oil, and sesame oil are the most popular type of organic sunscreen ingredients and have the highest SPF when combined.  Depending on which ingredients are combined, they can offer from 8-50 SPF protection.

They are safer for your health than chemical sunscreens and still offer the same amount of UVB and UVA protection as chemical filters.

If you want a mineral sunscreen that uses the physical filter titanium dioxide or the organic filter avobenzone, we recommend selecting a mineral sunscreen that also uses a physical filter like zinc oxide.

Our mineral sunscreen also contains many of these desirable organic sunscreen ingredients:

Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide ◦ Organic Mineral Sunscreen


what does mineral sunscreen mean


This sunscreen with zinc oxide has organic and plant derived ingredients to ensure a significantly healthier sun protection experience than ordinary store shelf options.

Don't just protect your skin, rejuvenate and care for your skin with active ingredients that make a difference - like jojoba, blue green algae, neem, rosehip and willow bark.  Our organic mineral sunscreen is destined to be your "go to" sun protection. 

Coverage is SPF 25.

Enjoy free shipping in the US.

GMO free, palm free, alcohol free, SLS free, paraben free, pesticide free, petroleum free, synthetic fragrance free, phthalate free, and cruelty free. 


• Sun protection with natural earth derived minerals.
• Soothe and hydrate skin.
• Hydrate without chemicals or synthetics. 


Organic Aloe Leaf Juice (Aloe Barbadensis), Allantoin, Organic Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera), Candelilla Wax, Carrot Seed Oil (Daucus Carota Sativa), Stearic Acid, Glycerin (Vegan), Organic Jojoba Seed Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis), Grape Seed Oil (Vitis Vinifera), Avocado Fruit Oil (Persea Gratissima), Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis), Organic Blue Green Algae Extract (Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae Alcohol Free), Roman Chamomile Water (Anthemis Nobilis), Organic Chickweed Extract (Stellaria Media), Organic Green Tea Leaf Extract (Camellia Sinensis), Organic Hemp Seed Oil (Cannabis Sativa), Organic Jojoba Seed Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis), Organic Lavender Flower Water (Lavandula Angustifolia), Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Organic Marshmallow Root Extract (Althea Officinalis), Organic Milk Thistle Extract (Silybum Marianum), Organic Neem Seed Oil (Melia Azadirachta), Organic Nettle Leaf Extract (Urtica Dioica), Organic Oatstraw Extract (Avena Sativa), Organic Palm Fruit Oil (Elaeis Guineensis), Rose Flower Water (Rosa Damascena), Rosehip Seed Oil (Rosa Canina), Organic Rosemary Leaf Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalis), Stearic Acid, Sunflower Seed Oil (Helianthus Annuus), Organic Safflower Seed Oil (Helianthus Annuus), Vitamin A, Provitamin B5 (DL-Panthenol), Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Organic White Willow Bark Extract (Salix Alba), Xanthan Gum, Zinc


While physical filters like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the oldest type of sunscreen ingredients, they are also the least effective at protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. There are a variety of mineral sunscreens available on the market, and one type may not be right for you depending on your skin type and preferences. We recommend trying out different types to find the one that works best for you.


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