Hello! Today we will be picking up from where I left you last week and dive right into the major types of sunscreens; Chemical sunscreens and Mineral aka Physical sunscreens
Chemical sunscreens reflect and block the penetration of UV radiation by acting as a filter which absorbs high energy UV and then releases this energy in a lower energy form of heat. The chemicals that are most often found in chemical sunscreens include a combination of Para-amino benzoic acid (PABA) products, Benzophenones, Cinnamates or Salicylates.
Pros of Chemical Sunscreens:
- Less product is needed to protect the skin because there is no risk of gaps between the sunscreen molecules after application
- Tends to be thinner and therefore spreads more easily and is absorbed better by the skin
Cons of Chemical Sunscreens:
- Can cause and increase skin discoloration due to increasing your internal skin temperature
- Only effective 20 minutes post-application
- Increased chance of irritation especially for dry and sensitive skin
- May clog pores for oily skin types
- Requires frequent application when in direct sunlight
Physical sunscreens on the other hand, contain either Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide or both as active ingredients. It’s been thought that physical sunscreens create a protective barrier on the surface of your skin that reflect and scatter UV rays away from your body.
Pros of Physical Sunscreen:
- Offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays and is naturally broad spectrum
- Protects from the sun as soon as it’s applied, no wait needed
- Lasts longer when in direct UV light so re-application is not needed as often if skin is kept dry
- Less likely to cause irritation forsensitive skin
- Less likely to be pore-clogging, making it ideal for acne-prone skin
- Longer shelf life
Cons of Physical Sunscreens:
- Can rub off, sweat off and rinse off easily, meaning more frequent re-application when outdoors is needed
- May leave a white-ish cast on the skin, making some formulas incompatible for medium to dark skin tones
- Can be less protective if not applied and re-applied generously as UV light can get in between any gaps
So what do you think? Are you Team Chemical or Team Mineral?
Ultimately your decision boils down to your skin type, your lifestyle and how comfortable you are with the mechanics involved but if you’d like to know what my top most recommended sunscreens in both categories are, stay tuned for next week’s post!
Till then amigos. Peace and love.
Written by Ezichi Ananaba