The Ultimate Guide to Sunscreens

If you’ve been here a while, you’ve probably heard me say by now that sunscreen is THE MOST important step in your skincare routine. You should never, ever skip it!

The goal of this blog is to break down all the different types of sunscreens along with their pros and cons. That way, at the end of all this you can make your own informed decision on what sunscreen is the best for you and your needs.

I want you to know the 2 different types of sunscreen

 Simply flip any skincare product around to see the active ingredients box to know if it’s a Chemical SPF or Mineral/Physical SPF.

Mineral Sunscreens

Mineral Sunscreen, also called Physical Sunscreen, helps deflect harmful UV rays. The active ingredients in mineral sunscreens are zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.

Mineral/Physical sunscreens work by creating a physical barrier on the skin that reflects and scatters UV rays. People with sensitive skin can usually tolerate this type of sunscreen better. This is also the type to look for in pregnancy and for babies/children since it’s not absorbed into the bloodstream.

Also, if you’re concerned about sunscreen safety the short answer is shop for 100% mineral sunscreens.

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical Sunscreens absorb harmful UV rays and protect your skin through a chemical reaction. The active ingredient in chemical sunscreens is avobenzone. You will also see octinoxate and 6 other chemical UV blocker ingredients. While different from mineral sunscreens and some concern for endocrine disruption by the systemic absorption this is still a better option than no sunscreen at all!

You should apply chemical sunscreen 30 minutes before you plan for your skin to be exposed to the sun. Good news! This type of sunscreen is typically really easy to apply and doesn’t leave a white residue on the skin. However, they can be irritating for people who have sensitive skin, and it tends to break down faster when exposed to the sun. 

Don't forget to reapply often!

Which Sunscreen Should You Choose?

Trust me, sunscreens have come a lonnnng way! Mineral/Physical sunscreens used to get a bad wrap for being hard to apply, white, pasty, and uncomfortable. Not only that, but they would also leave a white/chalky residue on the skin. With new formulations in the drugstore and medical grade space those issues are long gone.

The 4 must-have sunscreens for your skincare arsena are creams, lotions, spray, and stick sunscreen! 

Cream/Lotion: It's my go-to choice for everyday sun protection, and let me tell you, cream or lotion sunscreen is a real game-changer. Not only does it provide excellent coverage, but it also keeps your skin hydrated all day long. Just smooth it on in the morning and reapply whenever you need to shield your skin from those pesky UV rays. Trust me, your skin will thank you! 

Spray: Picture this: you're on the move, living that fast-paced lifestyle, and you need a sunscreen that keeps up with you. Look no further than our spray sunscreen! It's super convenient, just a quick spritz and boom – instant sun protection! Here's a pro tip for you: spray it into your hands first, and then rub it in for the best coverage. Easy peasy, right? 

I always try to stick to mineral sunscreens…

because it’s best for kids and pregnant/breastfeeding moms … when you get down to it, perhaps it’s best for everyone.

I stick to EltaMD UV Lotion and EltaMD AOX Mist for 100% mineral lotion option and spray.

MDSolarSciences overall has the most elegant sunscreen formulations around, and they offer 15% off your order when you enter SYDNEY at checkout. 

Fast Facts: In the UVA and UVB spectrum Zinc Oxide is the #1 protector followed by #2 Titanium Dioxide. This is what makes Mineral/Physical SPF superior to Chemical Sunscreens.

Stick: Okay, let's talk about those hard-to-reach areas – your nose, lips, and ears. Don't worry, my friend, because our stick sunscreen is here to save the day! It's compact, adorable, and works wonders for those tiny spots that need some extra love. All you have to do is swipe it on, and you're good to go! Say hello to hassle-free sun protection during all your sunny adventures. 

Face: Imagine this: it's midday, you're out and about, all dressed up with your makeup on point. But uh-oh, you need a quick SPF boost! Fear not, because my face mist with SPF is your secret weapon. It's like a refreshing oasis in a bottle. Just a spritz and your face feels instantly refreshed, rejuvenated, and shielded from the sun. You can even use it over your makeup or powder. Talk about convenience! ✨

For more information on the differences between sunscreen types and why it matters watch here. ~ 60 seconds

Sunscreen Lingo

From UVA to UVB, HEV to IR, I’ve got you covered with all the essential terms you need to know. Get ready to level up your sun care knowledge and stay protected like a pro! 


To be honest,  I don't care which one you wear, as long as you are wearing and reapplying your sunscreen.

Free Resource Guides
Free Resource Guides

Free Resource Guides

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

Alastin Hydratint Pro Mineral SPF 36
Alastin Hydratint Pro Mineral SPF 36
Alastin Hydratint Pro Mineral SPF 36
Alastin Hydratint Pro Mineral SPF 36
Alastin Hydratint Pro Mineral SPF 36

Alastin Hydratint Pro Mineral SPF 36


Wondering if you should get tinted vs non-tinted sunscreen? Read my blog about the how to choose the perfect face sunscreen - it includes tips and recommendations.

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