Mineral filters work by reflecting, not absorbing, UV rays. This makes them far safer for your body, and for the marine habitats we share. Where chemical filters are being outlawed, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are considered GRASE by the FDA.
Mineral filter sunscreens are safe and do not harm the skin or seas. Many chemical filters may be absorbed into your body and can have harmful effects on your skin and the marine ecosystem.
Sailors and the sea exist in a symbiotic relationship. In this regard, a sailor cannot consciously choose a sunscreen with chemical filters.
Oxybenzone - one of the 16 filters approved for use in the USA - is so toxic that just one drop can kill coral which would cover 6.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
However, all-mineral filters, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, do not harm the marine environment. Look for mineral filters in the active ingredients on your sunscreen bottle - and if you can't see any, then it's time to change.
- Mineral sunscreens work primarily by reflecting UV rays.
- Zinc oxide protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and is the only UV filter in the United States that gives you broad protection from both wavelengths
- Titanium oxide protects against UVB rays and partially against UVA rays
- Mineral sunscreens are protecting you from the minute they are applied to the skin
- Mineral sunscreens are durable under heat and are long-lasting - as long as it's on your skin, it's working.
- Only mineral filters are considered GRASE by the FDA
- Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays, and none of the US-approved filters protect against the full spectrum of UVB and UVA rays. Most only protect against UVB rays.
- Chemical active ingredients, such as octinoxate and oxybenzone have been proven to damage coral reefs and are to be banned in places like Hawaii.
- Chemical sunscreens need to be absorbed into the skin before they start to protect you from the sun
- Chemical sunscreens are not recommended for children or pregnant women
- After one application to 75% of the body surface area, certain chemical filters are absorbed into the blood and reach levels that would require further testing by the FDA.
MINERAL VS CHEMICAL
Download our free graphics which underline the stark differences between mineral and chemical filters in sunscreen, and why it's so important to know what's in your bottle.