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FutureDerm Posts, Inorganic Sunscreens vs Organic Sunscreens, Sun Protection in Detail

Are Inorganic Sunscreens Better Than Organic Ones? Part V: Conclusion and Product Recommendations

Here’s the FINALE of our sunscreen battle. Enjoy and share your thoughts in the comments section!


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The Triple Helixian is an unbiased science and research-based site that attempts to clarify and elucidate questions about skin care, while aspiring to be the most thorough and complete source of information.


14 thoughts on “Are Inorganic Sunscreens Better Than Organic Ones? Part V: Conclusion and Product Recommendations

  1. Hi John, I have finally got through all the sunscreen posts πŸ™‚ great read! I went home immediately and starting looking through the ingredients of all my sunscreens and realised they were all organic. As far as inorganic sunscreens I have one question, is there an ideal minimum % of zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide that needs to be present in the sunscreen? is it the higher the % the better or not necessarily? Thanks πŸ™‚

    Posted by Harriet | October 25, 2012, 7:28 am
    • Thanks for reading through all that!

      Unfortunately, there is no minimum % because both ZnO and TiO2 are influenced by many factors, as I documented in part III of the series. And because I don’t trust SPF ratings (though they are regulated by the FDA), even if they were completely accurate, SPF ratings don’t tell me how much UVA protection is provided. Therefore, it really is just smarter and more prudent to go with formulations that have high SPF ratings AND high %s of inorganic UV filters. Does that make sense?

      Posted by John | October 25, 2012, 1:12 pm
  2. And Hurray for multiple comments in a row. It isn’t even that I have a tan (ergh…tanning…yet another stupid thing people do…) that I don’t want to ruin…I’m pretty pale anyway. I don’t mind being pale, I just mind looking like a ghost (or like I’ve seen a ghost)…and I think it makes me look like I’m nervous and/or sick.

    Posted by ladyisla | September 18, 2012, 9:21 am
    • Yes I understand this as well. I’m fairly pale too (about NC20), but with my Shiseido sunscreen I’m like lighter than NC15, and there’s a strange pink-grey whitecast. It looks a bit like geisha makeup and I’m not a huge fan of that. Haha. But I’m really loving the EltaMD SPF 47, that I mentioned in the post. It has less of a white cast, and is not quite as transfer-resistant. And the price is right!

      Posted by John | September 18, 2012, 12:07 pm
  3. Have you any recommendations for normal to oily skin for SPF 15-30, WITHOUT a white cast? I’ve tried these from Paula’s Choice:
    The Essential Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 15 feels greasy to me…once it soaks in it feels sticky, and the sunscreen SMELL is too strong.
    The Pure Mineral Sunscreen SPF 15 leaves a white cast that is too strong.
    The RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 & Antioxidants felt too thick and was still leaving a whitish cast, just not as strong as the other one.

    Posted by Lisa B. | September 17, 2012, 8:56 pm

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