There are two ways to protect your skin from harmful UV rays: mineral filters and chemical filters.

Mineral Filters

The two mineral active ingredients you will find in your sunscreen are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These filters sit on top of your skin and deflect UV rays.

There are many benefits to using mineral filters:

  • only sunscreen actives that are "generally recognized as safe and effective" by the FDA
  • better for sensitive skin
  • deflecting UV rays, rather than absorbing them, is better for darker skin tones, which are prone to hyperpigmentation

The problem? Mineral sunscreens leave an unflattering white cast, or residue, on dark skin tones.

Chemical Filters

The most common chemical filters used in the United States are octisalate, octocrylene, octinoxate, oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate, and ensulizole. These filters are absorbed into the skin and break down UV rays after they are also absorbed.

Chemical filters are often recommended for people of color because they blend into the skin, but they have some problems:

  • can irritate sensitive skin
  • some are harmful to the environment (in 2018, Hawaii banned sunscreens with octinoxate and oxybenzone because of the damage they caused to the coral reef)
  • studies suggest that some can cause allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage
  • studies suggest that some are absorbed into the bloodstream at potentially toxic levels (the FDA plans to do more research)

At nour™, we believe that all shades of skin deserve to have a mineral sunscreen option. We are developing a tinted mineral-only sunscreen so you can finally feel safe and confident when you protect your skin.


Want to learn more about sunscreen and the skin? Send your questions on the Contact Us page!