Education

MINERAL VS. CHEMICAL - WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

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.

WHY PEOPLE OF COLOR NEED TO WEAR SUNSCREEN

Sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. Black skin contains protection from the sun up to SPF 13. However, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day to prevent skin damage.

Black people are four times more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage melanoma than non-Black people. Those who are diagnosed with melanoma are more likely to die from the cancer than white people with melanoma. 

Additionally, people of color are more likely to develop hyperpigmentation, or dark spots/patches of skin. Darker skin contains higher amounts of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. When the skin has an injury (even a minor one like a scrape or bug bite) the body overproduces melanin to protect that injury from the sun.

To help prevent skin damage, daily use of sunscreen is strongly recommended, whether you are indoors or outdoors.

Nour is dedicated to creating high quality, mineral-based sunscreen for daily use to encourage positive skin health among people of color.

 

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