Photoprotection With Mineral-Based Sunscreens

Dermatol Surg. 2020 Dec;46(12):1508-1513. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000002478.


Background: Although chemical sunscreens have traditionally been at the forefront of sun protection, safety concerns and increasing awareness of the environmental impact of personal-care products have led to greater interest in the use of mineral blockers as photoprotective agents.

Objective: To examine the safety and efficacy of mineral-based sunscreens to allow patients to make informed choices about ultraviolet (UV) protection.

Materials and methods: A review of the literature was performed using the PubMed database.

Results: This article provides an overview of physical blockers and focuses on the efficacy of mineral sunscreens in offering broad-spectrum UV protection and safety concerns, including the controversy surrounding the use of nanoparticles. Practical tips for application are also reviewed.

Conclusion: Mineral sunscreens are an attractive, efficacious option for consumers who prefer alternative choices in sun protection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Health Information
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Minerals / administration & dosage*
  • Minerals / adverse effects
  • Minerals / chemistry
  • Minerals / standards
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Sun Protection Factor
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Sunscreening Agents / adverse effects
  • Sunscreening Agents / chemistry
  • Sunscreening Agents / standards
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Minerals
  • Sunscreening Agents