"The ingredients in sunscreen act as filters to UV light," says Mona Gohara, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. "They either absorb the UV like a sponge (chemical sunscreen) or deflect them like a shield (mineral sunscreen)."
As far as ingredients go, Josh Zeichner, New York–based board-certified dermatologist at Mount Sinai says that mineral sunscreen has ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to filter out UV rays, while chemical sunscreens have chemicals that contain carbon molecules called organic filters.
When it comes to one being better than the other, it's really up to personal preference and making sure you're using them properly. Marmur emphasizes that when it comes to sunscreen, the key is to reapply often and liberally.