Skincare: Let's Talk About Sunscreen

Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen

We know you keep hearing it, but it’s true! Sunscreen is the most important part of your skincare routine. If you want a little more info on how important it really is, you can check out our first article on sunscreen. You can never have too much! But did you know there are two types of sunscreen?



1) Physical sunscreen: A mineral sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide that physically blocks UV rays from getting to your skin by reflecting the rays when they hit your face. Think of it like putting a mask on your face so that none of the suns rays can get through!

2) Chemical sunscreen: Sunscreen that get absorbed into your skin with protective ingredients and chemicals. It works by taking in the UV rays when they hit your face and sending them back out as heat. Chemical sunscreens works the opposite way of physical sunscreen by actually drawing in the rays and transforming them before sending them away. The word “chemicals” may sound intimidating when it comes to skincare, but keep in mind that skin cancer caused by the sun is much more harmful than any of these chemicals could be even if they were dangerous. There are multiple chemicals that may be used in chemical sunscreen formulas, but these are the six most common chemicals:

Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Octisalate and Homosalate

Both physical and chemical sunscreen work great and have their own benefits, but which one is best for you?

Physical sunscreen -

● Pros Great for sensitive skin, won’t clog your pores, and works immediately to act as a shield

● Cons Thicker consistency may make it harder to rub in, can leave a white cast so may not suit people with darker skin tones, and can rub off or sweat off because it sits on top of the skin

Chemical sunscreen -

● Pros -Absorbs easily into the skin, won’t rub off, no white cast, and more water resistant

● Cons -Can irritate sensitive skin, takes 15-20 mins to activate, may have a strong smell, and may not be good for acne-prone skin

Ultimately, choosing between a physical and chemical is a decision only you can make, but what matters most is that your sunscreen is broad spectrum and SPF 30 or higher! No matter which one you choose, the most important thing is that you are protecting yourself from UV rays so you can stay healthy and glowy!

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