Skip to content
Different Types of Sunscreens & Their Impact On Your Skin

Different Types of Sunscreens & Their Impact On Your Skin

In simple terms, sunscreen is a topical agent that usually contains UV-absorbing chemicals and is applied to the skin for protection against sunburn. It is the most important form of skincare and the key to getting healthy and glowing skin. However, not all sunscreens offer adequate protection from the sun. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of this or don't use the best sunscreen for their skin type, despite the potential risks.

One example of a trusted sunscreen brand that offers reliable protection is Nivea. Finding the right sunscreen is crucial as it acts as a shield, forming a protective barrier on your face, reflecting the sun's damaging UV rays, and preventing them from penetrating deeper into your skin. Exposure to UV rays has several adverse effects, including accelerated aging, collagen damage, dark spots and pigmentation, and the risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, choosing the right sunscreen, like Nivea, is important to safeguard your skin against these potential risks and achieve healthy, glowing skin. 


Sunscreen provides significant benefits to the skin by blocking harmful UV rays from penetrating the skin. Two categories of sunscreen are available: mineral and chemical sunscreens, each with a unique method for filtering UV rays and protecting the skin from damage. Understanding the differences between these types of sunscreens can help you choose the best option for your lifestyle. Read on to learn more about the different types of sunscreen.


Mineral sunscreens form a physical barrier on the skin's surface that reflects and scatters UV rays away from the skin, like tiny mirrors. They block UV rays at the skin's surface, protecting against both UVA and UVB rays. Unlike chemical sunscreens, mineral sunscreens do not require any waiting time after application as they start working as soon as they are applied, thanks to the physical barrier they form.

Mineral sunscreens must also be frequently re-applied since they are easily removed by rubbing, sweating, or rinsing off the skin's surface. They must also be used liberally to ensure sufficient protection. These sunscreens often have an almost white tint, which is noticeable on the skin. 

Remember to avoid spray and powder formulations of mineral sunscreens and reduce lung exposure to these, as the nano-particles in these products should not be inhaled. The active components of mineral sunscreens are titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide, some sunscreens use a combination of the two.


Chemical sunscreens penetrate deeper layers of your skin and stay there for quite some hours after absorption. This is because they take in UV rays, convert them to heat, and let them out through the skin. Therefore, chemical sunscreens might not shield against all UVA rays, which nonetheless cause damage to the deeper layers of the skin.

Applying these sunscreens in advance is a must, as they take about 20 minutes to become effective. Additionally, the chemicals are depleted more quickly in direct light, necessitating more frequent reapplications. Chemical sunscreens release heat, which can be problematic for people with hyperpigmented skin, sensitive skin, and rosacea. The skin's heat may make already-present brown spots worse. Lastly, chemical sunscreens can also clog pores and cause skin issues prone to acne


To ensure effective protection from the sun, it's crucial to choose a sunscreen that's best suited for your skin type, tone, and everyday activities. To help you make the right choice, consider the following factors when selecting a sunscreen:


It is crucial to remember that selecting a skincare product based on your skin type is always the best approach. For individuals with dry skin, it is recommended to choose creamy and moisturizing formulas that provide adequate hydration. 

Similarly, those with oily or acne-prone skin should opt for non-comedogenic, water-based gels to avoid clogging pores. On the other hand, if you have sensitive or irritated skin, it is advisable to choose products that are free of harsh chemicals, toxins, and fragrances to avoid further irritation.


Choosing a skin care product that suits your skin type is always recommended. For individuals with dry skin, it's best to go for creamy and hydrating formulas that provide ample moisture. 

On the other hand, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, non-comedogenic formulas in the form of gels or water-based products are ideal for avoiding clogging pores.


Considering your sunscreen's Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is crucial to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Sunlight contains two types of ultraviolet rays: UVA rays that penetrate the skin deeply and UVB rays that cause sunburn. Therefore, choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen that shields your skin from UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF of at least 30 to 50 or higher for optimal protection is essential. 

It's important to note that using a higher SPF does not necessarily mean you can stay in the sun for longer periods. Sunscreen should be reapplied frequently, especially after sweating or swimming. Following these measures can prevent sun-damaged skin on the face and reduce the risk of skin cancer caused by prolonged sun exposure.


When spending time outdoors, choosing a sunscreen that can withstand environmental factors such as water, sweat, and humidity is crucial. Opt for a water and sweat-resistant formula to ensure the product remains on your skin and provides continuous protection. This is particularly important during activities that involve water or excessive sweating, such as swimming, outdoor sports, or hiking.


If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in activities involving water or sweat, choosing a water- and sweat-resistant formula can provide additional protection. 

In addition, using a sunscreen with moisturizing properties like NIVEA Sun Moisturising Lotion is recommended. It's made without harsh chemicals, toxins, or fragrances and can help keep your skin hydrated and protected from harmful UV rays.


You should use sunscreen daily as the last step of your skincare routine for 20 to 30 minutes before stepping out. Also, reapply it every two to three hours, especially when exposed to the sun for a long time. Not to forget, sunscreens should be used 365 days a year (even in winter).

The importance of sunscreen every day is simply non-negotiable and cannot be debated over, even for people with darker skin tones. It is an investment worth making, the advantages you’d start noticing after consistent use.


Sunscreen is crucial for protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. To choose the right sunscreen for your skin, it's essential to understand the types available: mineral sunscreens create a barrier on the skin, suitable for different skin types, while chemical sunscreens penetrate deeper layers.Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30-50, and incorporate it into your daily skincare routine with a moisturizer. Remember to reapply often, especially for water and sweat-resistant formulas, to ensure effective protection against sun damage. Nivea is a great option to achieve healthy, glowing skin.


How long are sunscreens effective?

Different types of sunscreen need to be reapplied frequently, especially after sweating or swimming, to maintain effectiveness in shielding the skin from UV rays.

Are there any side effects of sunscreens?

Chemical sunscreens may cause skin irritation, clog pores, and exacerbate brown spots. Moreover, some of these ingredients can penetrate deeper layers of the skin and may even enter the bloodstream. Mineral sunscreens may leave a white tint on the skin and must be used liberally.

Which type of sunscreen is best?

The type of sunscreen you choose depends on skin type, tone, and everyday activities. Mineral sunscreens offer a physical barrier on the skin's surface that reflects and scatters UV rays away from the skin, while chemical sunscreens penetrate deeper layers of the skin and convert UV rays to heat.

How often should I apply sunscreen?

To maintain effective protection from the sun, it is essential to reapply sunscreen frequently, especially after sweating or swimming. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that shields your skin from UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF of at least 30 to 50 or higher for optimal protection.
Previous article How to Get Smooth Skin in 7 Simple Steps
Next article Natural Face Wash Benefits & Guide for Your Skin Types
Spin to win Spinner icon