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Shine Bright: Your Guide to Understanding the Different Types of Sunscreen!


When protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, the sunscreen type we choose plays a critical role. Not all sunblock types are equally effective, and so many options can be overwhelming. From understanding the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens to deciphering SPF ratings, choosing the right sunblock type for your face is crucial. The skin on our face is more delicate and often more exposed to sunlight than the rest of our body, making the choice of sunscreen even more important.

Today, we’ve got you covered with how to choose the sunscreen in the right type to suit your face the best, ensuring you’re well-protected without compromising on comfort your skin type needs.

What is the Importance of Sunscreen?

The benefits of sunscreen cannot be overstated. At its core, sunscreen serves as a protective barrier between our skin and the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause not only immediate harm like sunburn but also long-term damage including premature ageing, dark spots, and even skin cancer. Sunscreen types vary widely, but they all aim to shield our skin from these adverse effects. By absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight, sunscreens allow us to enjoy time outdoors without subjecting our skin to harmful exposure. Moreover, daily use of any sunblock type, regardless of the weather, is crucial as UV rays can penetrate clouds and even windows, making sun protection an essential part of our daily skincare routine.

Different Types of Sunscreens

The world of sunscreen types is broad and diverse, catering to different preferences, skin types, and levels of sun exposure. And out of so many options, wondering which type of sunscreen is best for your skin is quite normal. Understanding the various sunscreen types is the first step towards making an informed decision about which product is best for you.

Physical Sunscreen / Mineral Sunscreen

The first type of sunscreen for the face is a physical or mineral sunscreen. Physical or mineral sunscreens act like a shield on the surface of your skin, reflecting UV rays away. These sunscreens typically contain active mineral ingredients, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Ideal for sensitive skin, physical sunscreens are less likely to irritate. They are also preferred by those seeking a more natural approach to sun protection. However, they can sometimes leave a white cast on the skin, which is a consideration for those with deeper skin tones or for anyone looking for a sunscreen that blends seamlessly with their skin.

Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreen is a sunscreen type that works by absorbing UV rays, converting them into heat, and then releasing them from the body. The active ingredients in chemical sunscreens, such as avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone, tend to be more efficient at providing broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. These sunscreens are often preferred for daily wear as they tend to be lighter and more invisible on the skin. However, they can sometimes cause irritation or allergic reactions, particularly in sensitive skin types.

Hybrid Sunscreens

Hybrid sunscreens offer the best of both worlds, combining the benefits of physical and chemical sunscreens. These formulations provide broad-spectrum protection, are less likely to leave a white cast, and are generally well-tolerated by most skin types. Hybrid sunscreens are an excellent choice for those who want comprehensive sun protection without having to compromise on cosmetic elegance or skin comfort.

Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

Broad-spectrum sunscreens are a type of sunscreen for the face that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are primarily responsible for premature skin ageing, while UVB rays cause sunburn. Broad-spectrum protection is essential for preventing skin damage and reducing the risk of skin cancer. When choosing sunscreen, always look for the ‘broad spectrum’ label to ensure you’re getting comprehensive protection.

The Moms Co. Recommends:

The Moms Co. Natural Daily Sunscreen

Shield your skin from harmful UV rays with this Natural Daily Sunscreen. Formulated with natural ingredients, this lightweight sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection while nourishing your skin. Whether you’re headed to the beach or spending a day outdoors, this non-greasy formula ensures comfortable, daily sun protection. Embrace the outdoors while keeping your skin healthy and radiant with this Natural Daily Sunscreen.

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Water Resistant Sunscreen

For those who love water activities or tend to sweat a lot, a water-resistant sunscreen is a must. While no sunscreen is entirely waterproof, water-resistant formulas are designed to maintain their protective layer on wet or sweaty skin for a certain period (usually 40 or 80 minutes, as indicated on the label). It’s important to reapply water-resistant sunscreen as recommended, especially after swimming or excessive sweating, to maintain effective sun protection.

How to Choose the Right Sunscreen for Your Skin Type?

Choosing the right sunblock type involves more than just considering SPF ratings and the type of sunscreen. Your skin type is a crucial factor in selecting a product that will not only protect you from the sun but also complement your skincare routine.

For Oily Skin

Individuals with oily skin should buy sun protection creams that are oil-free and non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores. Gel-based or fluid sunscreens with a matte finish can be particularly beneficial, helping to control shine without adding extra greasiness to the skin.

For Dry Skin

Those with dry skin can benefit from sunscreen types that offer additional moisturising benefits. Buy sunscreens or lotions with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin, which can help to keep the skin moisturised while providing sun protection.

For Acne-prone Skin

For acne-prone skin, the key is to find a sunscreen type that offers effective protection without exacerbating breakouts. Oil-free, non-comedogenic formulas are essential, as are lightweight textures that won’t feel heavy on the skin. Some sunscreens are specifically formulated for acne-prone skin and may contain ingredients that help to soothe and calm inflammation.

For Combination Skin

Combination skin, characterised by both oily and dry areas, can benefit from a balanced sunscreen formula that addresses both needs. Look for lightweight, non-comedogenic sunscreen types that provide hydration without adding excess oil, ensuring comfortable wear throughout the day.

For Normal Skin

Individuals with normal skin have the most flexibility when it comes to choosing sunscreen, as their skin can tolerate a wide range of textures and formulations. However, it’s still important to opt for broad-spectrum protection and consider personal preferences in terms of texture, finish, and additional skincare benefits.

The Moms Co. Recommends:

Natural Age Control Day Cream

Experience the power of nature with this Natural Age Control Day Cream. Formulated with potent natural ingredients, this luxurious cream helps hydrate, nourish, and protect your skin, while working to minimise the visible signs of ageing. Embrace a radiant and youthful complexion with our age-defying day cream. This sunscreen is for all skin types!

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How to Apply Mineral or Chemical Sunscreen?

Alt tag – Right way to put sunscreen on face

Applying sunscreen correctly is just as important as choosing the right product. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply sunscreen on the face. This guide will ensure you get the maximum benefits from your sun protection:

  1. Apply generously and evenly: Sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin, including the face, neck, ears, and hands. Most adults need about a shot glass’s worth of sunscreen to cover their body and a teaspoon for the face.
  2. Apply before exposure: Sunscreen should be applied 15-30 minutes before going outdoors to allow the skin to absorb it fully.
  3. Reapply frequently: Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, or more frequently if you’re swimming, sweating, or towel drying.
  4. Don’t forget sensitive areas: Areas like the lips, around the eyes, and the tops of the feet often get overlooked but need protection as well. Use lip balm with SPF and be cautious when applying sunscreen around the eyes.
  5. Consider the time of day: The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so extra precautions should be taken during these hours.


Are there 2 types of sunscreen?

Yes, the two primary types of sunscreen are physical (mineral) and chemical, each working in different ways to protect the skin from UV rays. Hybrid sunscreens combine both types for broad-spectrum protection.

Which sunscreen is best: chemical or mineral?

The best sunscreen depends on your skin type, preferences, and specific needs. Mineral sunscreens are often recommended for sensitive skin, while chemical sunscreens may be preferred for their lighter texture and broader protection range.

Which SPF is powerful?

An SPF of 30 or higher is recommended for effective protection, as it blocks approximately 97% of UVB rays. Higher SPF values offer slightly more protection but no sunscreen can block 100% of UV rays.

How do I know my skin type for sunscreen?

Your skin type is determined by how much oil your skin produces. Factors such as how shiny or dry your skin feels, or if you’re prone to breakouts, can help you identify your skin type. A dermatologist can provide a professional assessment and recommend suitable products.

Which SPF is best for Indian skin?

For Indian skin, which often ranges from medium to deeper tones, an SPF of 30 to 50 is recommended for effective protection without leaving a white cast, provided the formula is suited to deeper skin tones.

Choosing the right sunblock type is essential for effective sun protection. By understanding the different options available and considering your skin type and lifestyle needs, you can find a sunscreen that not only protects your skin but also feels good to wear. Remember, the best sunscreen is the one you’ll use consistently, so find a formula that fits seamlessly into your daily routine and enjoy the sunshine safely.

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This post first appeared on The Moms Co. - Where Doctors And Moms Share Their Expert Advice, please read the originial post: here

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Shine Bright: Your Guide to Understanding the Different Types of Sunscreen!