The difference between physical and chemical sunscreen (and the best to shop)
Whilst you already know that you need to wear sunscreen every day, do you know which type of sunscreen you should be wearing? Here’s the difference between physical (mineral) and chemical sunscreens.
We’ve already established that sunscreens are a crucial part of any skincare routine. Whether you’re sixteen or sixty, slather on some sunscreen to prevent signs of ageing caused due to sun damage. But did you know that there are types of sunscreens? And no, we aren’t talking about the SPF. Sunscreens can be broadly divided into physical and chemical sunscreens. Here is everything you need to know about them. Plus, our recommendations for both physical and chemical sunscreens are available in India.
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What are physical sunscreens?
The most obvious difference between the two types is that physical sunscreens typically sit on the skin and reflects the sun’s rays. Composed of fine particles of minerals like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, the physical sunscreens are usually creamy and often leave a white cast.
Pros: The thick consistency of physical sunscreens make it easier to recognise its presence on skin, ensuring you apply it evenly and timely reapply it.
Cons: The same texture can also be a source of irritation for some and might not be suitable for oily or acne-prone skin. It is also believed to be less effective against damaging UVA radiation than its chemical counterparts.
What are chemical sunscreens?
Majority of sunscreens recommended by dermatologists and found on beauty shelves belong to this category. They absorb UV rays, converts them into heat and then, releases it from the body. Chemical sunscreens with their gel-like texture contain active ingredients like avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone.
Pros: Minimum product and maximum impact. Chemical sunscreen provides effective protection without having to slather excessively. Light-weight and non-sticky it’s suitable for every day and year. Affective against both UVA and UVB rays that cause premature ageing.
Cons: Chemical formulas and filters can sometimes cause skin allergies and potential free radical damage from long-term use.
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India.
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