When you don’t understand all the different ingredients, picking a sunscreen can seem daunting. Fortunately, it’s not so complicated once you know the basics.
First and foremost, there are two types of sunscreens: mineral sunscreen (also known as physical sunscreen) and organic sunscreen. The main difference is that mineral sunscreen uses physical UV filters, while organic sunscreen uses organic UV filters.
What are UV filters and how do they work?
UV filters are the components in the sunscreen that protect you from UVA and UVB rays. The UV filter in mineral sunscreen is zinc oxide, while organic sunscreen contains a mixture of organic UV filters that absorb UV light. Both UV filters are not absorbed by the skin. Instead, they sit on the surface and work by reflecting the sun’s rays.
Organic UV filters absorb UV light and convert it into a small amount of heat. Meanwhile, physical sunscreen ingredients (including minerals like zinc oxide) absorb, reflect and scatter the sun’s harmful rays. These are often referred to as “inorganic” or mineral filters. These ingredients are photo-stable, which means they will not degrade upon exposure to sunlight.
Both types of sunscreen types are safe and effective, and many sun protection products combine both types for maximum effectiveness.
But which type does Coppertone use? As a pioneer in sun care, Coppertone offers products that utilize both types of UV filters—with the help of film formers—to offer the best possible coverage depending on different needs and activities. By doing so, they offer immediate UVA and UVB protection to help prevent sunburns, skin cancer, sun-induced skin allergies and premature skin aging. Additionally, they are water-resistant from the get go.
For full coverage, Coppertone sunscreens typically use both types of UV filters, however, zinc oxide filters can be used on their own in a sunscreen without organic filters. Coppertone Pure & Simple offers full coverage using just zinc oxide filters.
What are the key ingredients that go into mineral sunscreen?
The main active ingredient in our mineral based sunscreen is zinc oxide, a naturally sourced mineral widely used as an additive in numerous materials and products including certain types of sunscreens, ointments, adhesives, and also in foods.
That’s right—this is actually the same mineral sought after for its nutritional benefits, and one that is lacking from a lot of people’s diets since your body can’t naturally store it. But zinc plays a crucial role in your body’s natural processes, including the strength of your immune system and your skin’s ability to heal.
So it’s no wonder why zinc is so effective when utilized for sun protection. In sunscreens, zinc oxide absorbs, reflects and scatters UVA and UVB rays, and helps protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
What does broad spectrum actually mean?
We hear this term all the time but what does it actually mean? Simply put, broad spectrum means that the sunscreen protects from the sun’s damaging UVA (aging) rays and UVB (burning) rays. Both UVA and UVB exposure can cause cancer and a broad spectrum sunscreen is your best defense.
Is mineral sunscreen right for your family?
Because of zinc oxide’s ability to work above the skin, mineral sunscreen is great for the entire family.
It is particularly great for babies and kids because it’s so gentle. Using special sunscreen for children is essential to protect them from damaging UV rays which could lead to sun damage and skin issues later in life.
Dermatologists recommend keeping babies younger than 6 months out of the sun completely and children under three years old should avoid prolonged, direct sunlight exposure. This is recommended because their skin still has not built up its own defense yet. Therefore, their young, delicate skin should be protected whenever possible while spending time outdoors.
Mineral sunscreen is also preferred for its ability to reduce skin inflammation and redness for people suffering from acne, rosacea and skin sensitivity in general. Also, mineral sunscreen is a great choice for the face because it doesn’t clog pores.
Selecting a sunscreen for your family
Coppertone Pure & Simple is a line especially designed for anyone who prefers a mineral-based sunscreen. The line offers a range of mineral sunscreens for the whole family, providing 100% mineral sun protection that checks off all the boxes. It’s gentle, hypoallergenic, provides UVA/UVB protection and is water resistant up to 80 minutes. It’s also perfect for:
Babies love to play in the sun but their young skin lacks the defensive barrier for resisting sun damage. Keep that sensitive skin protected with Pure & Simple Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion and keep enjoying what brings your little one joy.
Fun in the sun
Kids are happiest when they’re outside in the fresh air. If they’ve got their cool shades, a cap and some Pure & Simple Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion you can let them run wild with peace of mind.
Protecting and moisturizing sensitive skin
For people with sensitive skin we have created a Mineral Sunscreen Lotion Pure & Simple with a fragrance-free formula that not only protects the skin from the sun, but also moisturizes it for 24 hours.
Faces in the sun
Our faces are always exposed and they’re the first thing that anyone sees. For those reasons and many others, Coppertone created the perfect solution to preserving the sensitive skin on our faces. Face the world and seize the sun with peace of mind with our Mineral Sunscreen Lotion Pure & Simple Face.
Stay in touch
Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.