The Difference Between Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens

The Difference Between Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens


In our industry, we talk about it all day long. SPF is a crucial step to your beauty and health routine. Science has shown that 90% of premature aging is caused by environmental damage including UVA and UVB Rays. While we all know how important an SPF is, it’s also important to understand the different options of sun protection available to us as many are unaware they come to us in two forms; a chemical or a physical sunscreen.

So what’s the difference?

Chemical Sunscreens make up the majority of what is found on the market. They are the lightweight and spray options that most people find desirable and convenient. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing and diffusing the sun’s rays using chemical UV filters. Although the texture of chemical sunscreens is typically more desirable than a physical block, chemical filters tend to be more irritating to the skin, and can generate free radicals.

Physical Sunscreens offer instant protection and are heavier, creamier formulas. Physical sunscreens are made from Zinc and Titanium Dioxides and act as a physical barrier so rays are impenetrable to the skin. Wearers are protected as the sunscreen deflects the sun’s rays from your skin before they can be absorbed. Physical sunscreens are noncomedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores, but have a harder texture to apply that can sometimes look ashy.

Physical sunscreens are overall considered the better method of sun protection, but no matter what your preference, choose a sunscreen that offers broad spectrum coverage. This means that it will protect you from both harmful UVA (known as aging rays) and UVB (known as burning) rays, and don’t forget to reapply!

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