Hi, everyone! Welcome to another week of skin care Saturday! This week I want to talk about sunscreen. It’s July, and summer, and with all the fun in the sun, I get asked alot of questions about the difference between physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen. You’ve probably seen a lot of articles or advertisements using these two terms interchangeably. Although both are essential to your skin health, they are very different and they really shouldn’t be referred to as the same.
Physical Sunscreens vs. Chemical Sunscreens
Chemical sunscreens are the ones that you can buy at CVS or Rite Aid or any drugstore. These Chemical sunscreens contain compounds such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, avobenzone, and other chemical barriers to repel UV rays from your skin. These chemical sunscreens are actually being banned in some areas because they have been found to be carcinogenic.
You may have noticed, if you have ever used one of these sunscreens in the water, like the ocean or in a pool, you’ll see a layer of oil that forms up on the water. This oil and runoff is very damaging to marine life and Coral Reefs. Not only are they harmful to the environment, but many of these chemicals sunscreens are known to be carcinogenic – so please do a little research before purchasing!
On the contrary, physical sunscreens contain more natural “ingredients”. For example, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are commonly used in physical sunscreens. Many of these sunscreens have a natural and/or organic base. These more natural sunscreens provide a physical barrier for your skin. You need a little bit of chemicals in these sunscreens in order to spread them, otherwise it would be like trying to put chalk on your skin!
The Collagen Queen’s Personal Preference
We all have our own personal preferences. I like the physical sunscreens because I feel like they last longer for me. They also feel more natural on my skin, and I just feel like I get better coverage compared to chemical sunscreens. For example, I don’t sweat it off and it doesn’t come off as easily when I’ve been in the water. Not only does it work and feel better for my skin coverage, but it also is better for the environment. I personally like Revision Skincare ‘s Intellishade TruPhysical, ZO Skin Health’s Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, and the Smart Tone Broadspectrum. You really can’t go wrong with any of these products.
So those are really the differences between physical sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. I hope this helps. Next week I will talk a little bit about waterproof sunscreen and what that means. So stay tuned and be sure to check out our blog for other informative articles on the importance of sunscreen and after care tips for recovering from a day in the sun.