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Hollywood A-listers have a lot in common, but one of the most confounding might be their equally pristine, glowing skin. A lack of pores seems to be a requisite for making your way onto the big-screen these days, a frustrating fact for those looking to get the same results without the money for expensive facials and pricy skincare products.
While expensive treatments can certainly help, it only takes a few key products to ensure you’re treating your skin with the care it deserves. And almost every dermatologist will tell you the same thing when asked which product is the most important to integrate into your routine: sunscreen. But they’ll also tell you that far too many people get tricked into chemical-packed creams that can do more harm than good.
The answer? Mineral sunscreens, also known as physical sunscreens, which contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide that don’t absorb into the skin, but instead sit on top as a way to produce a physical barrier against UV light.
“Instead of the absorption of UV light, they reflect UV rays away from the skin surface,” Dr. Samolitis, a Hollywood-based dermatologist and founder of Facile Skin, explains to Variety. This reflective barrier is more effective for reducing Melasma, she says, a common pigmentary condition worsened by both UV light and heat. Mineral sunscreens can also provide cosmetic benefits (iron oxide can create a tint that prevents a white cast) and overall better coverage (it can protect against visible light, in addition to UV light). All reasons why she almost always opts for mineral sunscreens for herself and clients.
Dr. Samolitis warns that people can be misled by false advertising, though. Popular sunscreens companies can often get away with branding themselves as mineral-based, while still containing harmful ingredients, she says. Blue Lizard’s Mineral-Based Face Sunscreen is one example, which contains dozens of additional ingredients on top of its mineral components.
“This is very common because adding a chemical sunscreen element allows the product to appear more sheer on application,” Samolitis says. “Sunscreen labels must list the active ingredients, so if you would like to avoid chemical sunscreens, check to make sure that only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are listed on the package.”
Elta MD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen
“I love this tinted mineral sunscreen because it creates an even skin tone with its light tint and contains a high level of SPF for daily use,” Dr. Samolitis says. “It also contains hyaluronic acid for added moisture and is oil-free for acne prone skin.”
Kinship Self-Reflect Probiotic Mineral Sunscreen
“I love that this clean mineral-based sunscreen also contains skin healthy probiotics and anti-inflammatory natural ingredients like turmeric,” Dr. Samolitis says. “It contains reflective particles that give skin a glow without the white cast that is seen in some mineral sunscreen products.”