Juvaly Blog

Debunking the Myths: The Science Behind Sunscreen

When summers come, most of us head to a drugstore to stock our sunscreen supplies. But every time, we get confused about selecting the most effective sunscreen because hundreds of articles and blog posts compare chemical and Physical sunscreens.

Let’s be honest – many sources comparing sunscreens contain half-truths and incomplete information. This misconception about chemical sunscreen’s safety led many to opt for physical sunscreen instead.

But Don’t worry! We have gathered some factual data and information supported by expert- dermatologists and Skin Care Scientists. So, let’s cut through the hype and get to the truth about sunscreen by debunking some common myths.

What is Chemical Sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreen contains one or more active ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, and others. Together these ingredients absorb sun rays, turn them into heat, and then release them from the skin. This process takes place before the penetration of these harmful UV rays into our skin.

Myth: Chemical Sunscreen is harmful to your skin and causes health Issues 

The most common concern about chemical sunscreen is related to its ingredients. Many recent studies have confirmed that none of the ingredients in chemical sunscreen is harmful to your skin or causes any toxicity in humans. However, the truth is the opposite; the ingredients have a role in absorbing harmful UV rays and sending them out of your body.

The American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD) proved this myth wrong by stating that “the scientific literature supports the safety and efficacy of chemical sunscreen is overwhelming.”

Myth: Physical Sunscreens are the Only Safe Option

Physical sunscreen, commonly known as mineral sunscreen, sits on top of your skin. It creates a layer that acts as a physical barrier reflecting the harmful sun rays. The main active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in these sunscreens.

While Physical sunscreens are usually suitable for people with sensitive skin or certain skin conditions, they have some downsides. They have a very thick and greasy consistency, which makes their application more difficult than chemical sunscreens. Moreover, these sunscreens must be applied more frequently, leaving a white cast on the skin. Lastly, physical sunscreens provide less protection against UVA rays than chemical sunscreens.

Myth: Chemical Sunscreen is Less Effective Than Physical Sunscreen

Another common myth about chemical sunscreens is not supported by experts and studies. In fact, chemical sunscreens are superior to physical sunscreens in protecting the skin against UVA and UVB rays. Physical sunscreens block only a small portion of the spectrum, making them less effective. Chemical sunscreens are also lightweight and absorb easily to our skin, making them easier to apply.


Dermatologists recommend using chemical sunscreens daily as they provide excellent protection against harmful UV rays and are safe to use. They do not cause skin irritation. However, physical sunscreens can also be beneficial for some people. The bottom line is that regularly wearing sunscreen is crucial to protecting your skin from the sun


  1. Johnson & Johnson. (n.d.). Sunscreen Safety Myths: Experts Tackle the Science of Sun Protection. Retrieved from https://www.jnj.com/health-and-wellness/sunscreen-safety-myths-experts-tackle-the-science-of-sun-protection
  2. Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. (2018, August 17). Debunking 5 Common Myths About Sunscreen. Retrieved from https://www.roswellpark.org/cancertalk/201808/debunking-5-common-myths-about-sunscreen
  3. Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). The Science of Sunscreen. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-science-of-sunscreen
  4. American Academy of Dermatology. (2021). Sunscreen FAQs. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/sunscreen-patients/sunscreen-faqs
  5. American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2019). Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreens. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/sunscreen-patients/sunscreen-faqs/chemical-vs-physical-sunscreen
  6. Duke Health. (2019, June 5). Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from https://www.dukehealth.org/blog/chemical-vs-physical-sunscreen-whats-difference
  7. Mancebo, S. E., & Wang, S. Q. (2014). Sunscreens: A Review of Health Benefits, Regulations, and Controversies. Dermatologic Clinics, 32(3), 427-438. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2014.03.011
  8. ABLISON. (2021). Pros and Cons of Mineral Sunscreen. Retrieved from https://www.ablison.com/pros-and-cons-of-mineral-sunscreen/