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Why Does Mineral Sunscreen Look Whiter on Your Skin?

Posted by Allison Kelly on

If you’re making the switch to mineral sunscreen for the first time (way to go!), you might find that there are some differences between your new sunscreen and the traditional, chemical based sunblocks you’re used to. Many mineral sunscreen converts are concerned about a white sheen after application — and we totally get it. No one wants to look like a lifeguard from the 60s. We’re here to explain why mineral sunscreen is white, and what you can do to prevent that ghostly sheen.

Why is mineral sunscreen so white?

Minerals Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are the stars of most mineral sunscreens, including Mexitan products. These active ingredients are considered physical blockers, which means that they sit on top instead of absorbing into the skin. By providing a physical barrier, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide prevent UV rays from even reaching your skin. Plus — they’re white.

Because they provide this barrier, you may notice that your skin itself appears white, or even purple, after application. Here’s the good news: that’s how you know you’re protected! With mineral sunscreen, you can see where you’ve applied sun protection and where you’ve missed spots. No more random blotches of sunburn!

Is there any way to prevent white sheen?

If your skin is looking rather ghostly, it’s probably because you’re using too much sunscreen! Mineral sunscreens don’t need to be slathered on the same way that traditional sunscreens do. That means that while you might be used to applying large amounts of lotion, you only need about a quarter sized amount per section of your body. Not sure how much to apply? Read more about sunscreen amounts HERE.

Switching to mineral sunscreen doesn't mean that you have to put up with a white cast on your skin. While it's always better to apply too much sunscreen than too little, making sure that you aren't over-applying can help ease some concern about the appearance of mineral sunscreens. Plus, remember that mineral sunscreen is better for you, your family, and the environment!

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