Something not many people pay attention to is the importance of sunscreen. These bottles are mainly grabbed when on our way to the beach, but the truth is that they are essential on a daily basis. If you want to make the change and turn sunscreen into a habit though, there is another thing you must ask….what kind of sunscreen is chemically best for you?
You know you have a physical sunscreen in your hands if it contains the ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These sunscreens work by sitting on top of the skin and reflecting UVA/UVB light. Physical sunscreens are characterized by a thick white texture. Many times they are harder to apply, and leave the face with a white tinge. Titanium dioxide on its own does not protect against the full UVA spectrum, zinc oxide, however, does. Many physical sunscreens contain a mixture of both ingredients in order to combat titanium dioxide’s shortcomings.
Another characteristic of physical sunscreens is that they work better for more skin types, and can even be very beneficial for acne prone skin. This is because they are not readily absorbed, making them less likely to interact with your skin. Zinc Oxide has also been proven to contain anti bacterial properties, making it a great choice if acne is one of your problems.
There a tons of ingredients that fall under the chemical sunscreen category, some of these include: octinoxate, oxybenzone, octylcrylene, and helioplex. Chemical sunscreens work by being absorbed into the skin, from there it then absorbs the sun’s rays which become degraded when they come into contact with the sunscreen. They also provide more coverage against UVA and UVB rays, but the protection will vary from ingredient to ingredient.
Chemical sunscreens are a better option if you plan on wearing makeup over your sun protection since they easily absorb into the skin. Make sure to wait twenty minutes before heavy sun exposure, though, since chemical sunscreens need to activate before they begin working.
Although most skin types can handle chemical sunscreens, since they are absorbed there is a higher chance of it reacting with your body. Some can irritate skin, and in some people can even cause allergic reactions.
Most sunscreens now contain mixtures of both physical and chemical sunscreens, but if you find yourself having problems with either, there are many products available that are dedicated to providing one type of sunscreen!