Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen: Understanding the Difference

Chemical versus physical

The Choice Between Chemical and Physical Sunscreens

Navigating the world of sun protection can be daunting, especially with the array of options available. Among the key distinctions lies the choice between chemical and physical sunscreens. Let’s delve into the disparities between these two types of sunscreens to empower you with the knowledge to make the right choice.

Chemical Sunscreens: Understanding Their Composition and Benefits

Pros of Chemical Sunscreens:

  • Quick absorption without leaving white streaks.
  • Lightweight and easy to apply, perfect for daily wear.
  • Offers broad protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Cons of Chemical Sunscreens:

  • May cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals. If you have every said “sunscreen makes my skin sting” – this is why. You need a physical SPF and your skin will be much happier! 
  • Some chemical filters have been linked to environmental concerns, such as coral reef damage. 

Our Pick for a Chemical Choice

COOLA – this organic Sunscreen line offers mineral and non-mineral options (also known as chemical) and not only has the option for the “easy to use” SPF, but they use the cleanest ingredients so it is safe for our beautiful waters! 

Physical Sunscreens: Harnessing Natural Minerals for Skin Defence

Pros of Physical Sunscreens:

  • Less likely to cause skin irritation, making them ideal for sensitive skin.
  • Provides immediate sun protection upon application.
  • Offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays.

Cons of Physical Sunscreens:

  • Can be thicker and may leave a white cast, but modern formulations like Tizo  offer tinted options for a flawless finish and can be followed up with jane iredale mineral makeup for even more SPF protection. 
  • Requires more frequent reapplication due to potential for rubbing off or washing away.


Our pick for a Mineral Sunscreen

TIZO! Designed to protect the skin while feeling soft & light, TIZO Sunscreens & Skincare products are highly effective, mineral-based, & a pleasure to wear. 

Reef safe, made with the best available ingredients, and free of undesirable ingredients like parabens, phthalates, gluten, and preservatives. 


Which sunscreen should you choose?

The best sunscreen is the one you’ll use. Period. With a plethora of options available, from tinted formulations like TIZO to delightful scents like COOLA’s, there’s a perfect sunscreen for everyone. Don’t let concerns like white cast or scent deter you—there’s a solution out there tailored to your preferences and needs. Whether you like tinted or untinted, chemical or mineral, scented or unscented, we have the perfect sunscreen to suit your needs. And when it comes to cost, consider the investment in your skin’s health compared to the potential costs of skin damage or treatment down the line.



Both chemical and physical sunscreens offer valuable protection against the sun’s harmful rays, each with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Your choice ultimately hinges on personal preference, skin type, and specific concerns. Remember, the best sunscreen is the one you’ll use consistently, so find the perfect match for your skin needs and make sun protection a daily habit.