There are two main types of sunscreen; chemical & mineral.
𝟏. Chemical sunscreens, which use chemicals to absorb UV rays before they reach your skin. Common active ingredients are oxybenzone & Octinoxate.
𝟐. Mineral sunscreens are made from tiny ground minerals that act as physical blockers, meaning that they deflect the sun's rays from penetrating the skin. Common active ingredients are zinc oxide & titanium oxide.
✘ Chemical Filters (Oxybenzone & Octinoxate) These chemicals are classed as endocrine disrupters because they have the ability to mimic or block hormones in the body which can impact everything from our reproductive function to our weight & thyroid function. While the science isn't clear on whether the concentration of these chemicals in sunscreen is enough to have a negative impact on human health, it is when it comes to our environment. A number of studies have linked these chemicals to abnormalities in reefs & coral, including coral bleaching which is why a number of places are banning their use including Hawaii, Kay West, Palau, Cook Islands, and many more.
✘ Chemical preservatives (Methylisothiazolinone) These are commonly used to extend the product shelf life. This particular preservative has been linked to serious cases of skin allergies, most notably in children. In 2015, the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety concluded that no concentration of this chemical was considered safe in leave-on cosmetic products, yet it still remains in products worldwide.
✓ Mineral Sunscreen (Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide). These are the only two natural sun-blocking ingredients approved by regulatory bodies currently.
✓ SPF between 30 - 50. SPF of 30+ will block 97% of the sun rays, whereas an SPF 50 will block 98%. Above this, the difference is minimal (except for the price tag).
✓ Broad Spectrum: This means the sunscreen protects against UVA & UVB rays.