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Chemical or Physical Sunscreens: Pros and Cons?

Wearing sunscreen daily is sometimes a necessity. However, not everyone knows whether to use chemical or physical sunscreens. Before applying it, you need to make sure that it suits your skin type.

Secondly, you need to ensure that that the type of sunscreen you apply does not cause a breakout and it also should not irritate your skin. Sunscreens are made by different methods, which is why it makes sense to find out which one is the best for your skin type.

Physical sunscreens

Physical sunscreens are made up of active mineral ingredients of which titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are good examples. These ingredients sit on the surface of your skin. Their main function is to ensure that damaging UV rays of the sun are deflected and scattered from your skin. This is one of the reasons physical sunscreens are often referred to as physical blockers.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of physical sunscreens.

  • Protect your skin against dangerous UVA and UVB rays.
  • Work instantly.
  • Deflect heat and energy from your skin.
  • Not cause pores to get clogged and so are perfect for those whose skin type is prone to blemish.
  • Have a very long shelf life.
  • Will rub off when you sweat and can easily be rinsed away.
  • Prone to leaving whitish casts on the skin
  • Not suited well for those who have medium or dark skin tones.

Chemical sunscreens

The nice thing about using chemical sunscreens is that they are made up of organic compounds like oxybenzone and octinoxate. These organic compounds, by reacting chemically will change the UV rays from the sun into heat and in doing so release heat from the skin. This is why they are often referred to as chemical absorbers or organic absorbers.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of chemical sunscreens.

  • The texture of chemical sunscreens is easy to spread on the skin and not very thick.
  • Ideal for daily applications.
  • Using only small amount gives desired results.
  • May result in higher number of brown spots because of high skin temperature.
  • Take about 20 minutes to start working.
  • May cause skin irritation as well as stinging sensations.
  • Not provide long-lasting protection.
  • Will wear off quickly in direct sunlight.

Which is better?

The jury is out as to which type of sunscreen is better. Both will do an excellent job of protecting your skin, but if you want long lasting results then maybe you should go with physical sunscreens.

Chemical or Physical Sunscreens: Pros and Cons?
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