Barrier (Natural) vs Chemical Sunscreen

Why We Use A Natural Sunscreen?

As hormone and women's health specialists we often discuss the impact of chemicals present in our skincare and makeup that can disrupt our hormones and predispose us to skin sensitivities. This same principle applies to our sunscreen. After a few years of trial and error, we have finally found a barrier sunscreen (zinc-based), with all clean ingredients. It contains moisturizing oils such as coconut and vitamin e to help nourish and moisturize the skin. It has the smoothest finish and won't leave you chalky -- we swear!!

Let’s start with the difference between a chemical sunscreen and a barrier sunscreen.

Barrier or Physical sunscreens, are exactly how they sound. Their active ingredients Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide form a physical barrier on the skin to block UVA and UVB from penetrating the skin cells. Zinc oxide is an anti-irritant and helpful in maintaining the integrity of skin cells. Generally these barrier ingredients are used in natural formulas. These sunscreens are ideal for sensitive skin and children, as the ingredients will not cause irritation or reactions.

Chemical sunscreens have active ingredients that allow the rays to penetrate the skin but they absorb UVA and UVB providing proper protection of skin cells from the rays. However, these chemicals can be skin irritants, which can predispose the skin to damage and sensitivity. Depending on the formula your use, it could could contain chemicals such as fragrance and preservatives, which can disrupt hormones and increase skin sensitivity.

3 Reasons Your Skin Deserves A Barrier Sunscreen….

  1. graceful aging— we opt for barrier sunscreens as they provide full protection from the rays. Most formulas also contain skin nourishing ingredients such as vitamin e, and the zinc oxide itself. Chemical sunscreens have also been shown to increase free radical damage depending on the other ingredients added to the formula. Free radical damage contributes to skin cell damage and aging. UVB and UVB damage to the skin accounts for a large portion of premature aging, investing in a good barrier sunscreen is the most worthwhile anti-aging product you will purchase.

  2. sensitive skin and children — barrier sunscreens are ideal as they contain the least amount skin irritating ingredients and the zinc oxide acts as an anti-irritant.

  3. acne prone skin — For those of you that struggle you know it can be challenging to find products that agree with your skin type and your acne triggers. Acne and oily prone skin do not often do well with oil based products or heavy ingredients that can clog the pores. However, it is important to protect your skin from any further damage or inflammation. we recommend barrier sunscreens, however, being diligent to cleanse your face thoroughly after use.

Brand We Use


It took us years of trial and error to find a barrier sunscreen with a formula we liked. We prioritize the feel and “chalky”-ness of the blend. Salt + Stone is a company out of California that have developed a few key products we can confirm will not leave you chalky, nourish and moisturize your skin, and are safe for our ocean and environment. Their formulas contain nourishing oils such as (coconut, vitamin e and jojoba) and use non-nano zinc oxide.

They have 3 formulas SPF 30, 50 body lotion, and an SPF 50 face stick. The face stick is perfect for athletes, fishermen, landscapers and anyone doing a great deal of work outside. It is small and portable and provides thorough protection. They have included a natural tinting to further reduce risk of chalky appearance.

Their SPF 30 and 50 body formulas have a smooth application and little to no chalk like appearance. They also nourish and protect the skin barrier leaving your skin feeling soft.

Where you can purchase it:

Moncton - Be Well Boutique - located in our Moncton Office at 7 alma street.

Charlottetown - Clinic located in downtown Charlottetown - 284 Grafton Street (must pre-order for pick up)