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Chemical vs. mineral sunscreen: is one better than the other?

With many different types of sunscreen on store shelves, is one better than the other?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It's the first day of summer and that means sun, heat, and yes, don't forget that sunscreen. With many different types of sunscreen on store shelves, is one better than the other? 

THE QUESTION :

Is there a big difference in protection between chemical sunscreen and mineral sunscreen? 

OUR SOURCES:

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THE ANSWER: 

This is false.

No, there is not a big difference in protection between chemical sunscreen and mineral sunscreen. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

WHAT WE FOUND: 

The American Academy of Dermatology says Chemical sunscreen works like a sponge, absorbing the sun's rays, and is easier to rub into your skin. 

It usually contains these active ingredients: 

  •  oxybenzone
  • avobenzone
  • octisalate
  • octocrylene
  • homosalate
  • octinoxate 

While mineral sunscreen works like a shield, sitting on the surface of your skin, however, it's harder to rub into the skin.

It usually contains less active ingredients:

  • zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide 

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"There's not really a question of one versus and other beings better or necessarily safer," Dr. Daniel said. "It's which one, honestly, for me, patients are going to want to apply." 

Dr. Daniel tells us mineral-based sunscreen works best on kids and people who have sensitive skin. 

"There are some skin conditions, especially if patients are dealing with problems with pigment, that I do prefer more of the mineral blockers," Daniel said.  

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Vaglio tells us there is some controversy surrounding chemical sunscreen and if its has an effect on your body, but that has yet to be proven. 

Chemical sunscreens have been found in the bloodstream. However, there has been no link to that causing any health-related changes yet, they're still having to do further research on that and what that actually means," Vaglio said.

   

 

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