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Chemical vs Physical Sunscreen - What is the Difference?

Chemical vs Physical Sunscreen - Which sunscreen is best suited for me and what is the difference between them?

There are two forms of sunscreens that work and are created differently to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. They both protect your skin but in uniquely different ways.

Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50 Dermalogica

Chemical sunscreens


Chemical based sunscreens absorbs the UV rays into the skin like a sponge and converts this rays into heat and then releases from the body.

The active chemical ingredients in the sunscreens contain oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate.

If you see these ingredients on the back of your sunscreen, that means it is a chemical based sunscreen.


Pros

  • Protects your skin against UVB and UVA rays
  • Has a higher percentage of water and sweat resistance
  • Easier to apply, not thick consistency
  • Does not leave a milky residue

Cons

  • Chemical ingredients can be reactive to sensitive skin types and clog pores more easily
  • Has to be applied to the skin 15-30 minutes before exposing skin to the sun
  • Absorbs into the top layer of the skin



Physical Sunscreen


Physical sunscreens are referred to as mineral or natural based sunscreen due to the mineral ingredients of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

These minerals sit on the surface of the skin whilst reflecting and scattering UV rays from the skin.

Pros

 

  • Protects your skin from UVB and UVA rays
  • Skin-healing properties of Zinc oxide
  • Suited for all skin types even the most sensitive, due to being mineral based
  • Gives protection immediately once applied
  • Less likely to clog pores or irritate sensitive skins
  • Does not absorb into the skin but sits on the surface
  • No chemicals in the formulation

Cons

 

  • Known to leave a white residue on the skin
  • Can be a thicker consistency
  • May lose its effectiveness in water or sweaty activities




My recommended Physical Sunscreen


Aspect Sun Physical Sun Protection SPF 50+ is a very high protection mineral sunscreen cream that has been specially developed to provide broad-spectrum UVA and UVB SPF 50+ from the sun.


Formulated with 22.7% Zinc Oxide to protect and help minimise the harsh ageing effects of UV exposure, while the addition of Glycerin works to boost moisture levels in the skin. Invisible on the skin with a barely-there feel.

Benefits

 

  • UVA and UVB SPF 50+ sun protection
  • Physical Formula
  • 80 minutes water resistant
  • No white residue
  • Glycerin helps to boost hydration
  • Paraben-free
  • Benzophenone free

Best for:

 

  • All skin types
  • Ageing
  • Pigmentation
  • Sensitive
  • Post Treatment

Free of:

 

  • Animal products
  • Synthetic Fragrance
  • SLS
  • Parabens

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My recommended Chemical Sunscreen


Dermalogica best-seller moisturiser and sunscreen all-in-one Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50+ is my top pick when it comes to chemical sunscren.

This medium-weight, emollient daily moisturiser with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 not only protects from the sun, but it also helps to combat the appearance of sun damage, including fine lines, pigmentation and wrinkles.

Antioxidant White Tea, rich in polyphenols, and a unique polypeptide help improve the appearance of photoaged skin. Active sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays. Blends smoothly over skin for a perfect finish.

Benefits

 

  • Broad spectrum UVA and UVB SPF 50+ sun protection
  • Perfect finish
  • Anti-ageing moisturiser at the same time
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulphate-free
  • Benzophenone free

Best for:

 

  • All skin types
  • Ageing
  • Dehydrated
  • Dry Skin

Free of:

 

  • Animal products
  • Synthetic Fragrance
  • Synthetic Colours
  • Parabens
  • Sulphate

 

 

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About The Author



My name is Sari Pols,
I have been in the skincare industry for over 15 years. My passion lies in ‘Health’. Health for the skin and body. My philosophy is if we have good well-being on the inside, then it shows our vitality on the outside.
I have furthered my knowledge of Skin Anatomy, Skin Concerns, and Fitness. I am a true believer in how to make my clients feel their best both inside and out. My emphasis is on guiding my clients through their journey of skin concerns and conditions. I do not like to band-aid a concern or condition but want to get down to the root of the cause. I aim to give personalised consultations with treatment and correct prescribed skin products.

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