As a California native, I like to think that I know a thing or two about protecting my skin from the sun. But in the summer, even I can’t navigate store shelves stocked with an overwhelming amount of SPF products. Thankfully, after touching base with a Dallas derm, I was able to pin down a perfect match: mineral sunscreen. (Which all of us should probably be using.)
Dr. Jill Feetham, a board-certified dermatologist at the Dallas Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics, praises mineral sunscreen for its ability to physically block both UVA and UVB rays. For reference, UVB rays equate to sunburns while UVA rays accelerate aging (i.e. wrinkles and age spots). Feetham notes that mineral sunblocks provide a bit more protection than some of the sunscreens we’re used to, which act more “like a sponge,” allowing a few rays to absorb into the skin. Mineral sunblock put a complete physical block on your skin, allowing it to act as a reflector.
Feetham also recommends mineral sunscreen for those with sensitive skin. “The chemical based sunscreens, such as your avobenzones and oxybenzones, those are the ones where people typically react more to,” she says. “Where our mineral based sunscreens, such as zinc oxides and titanium dioxides, people don’t tend to have sensitivities to those.”
When advising her patients, Feetham reminds them to look for sunscreens that offer “broad spectrum” coverage, have an SPF of 30 or greater, and feature zinc oxide and titanium oxide. If you’re looking for that extra bit of sun protection, Feetham has some recommendations to get you started.