We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen every day, but what’s the difference between a physical sunscreen and a chemical one and which one is better for your skin?
Physical sunscreens protect your skin from UV radiation by physically blocking the sun’s rays. The active ingredients in physical sunscreens are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (these typically leave a white residue on your skin.) These two ingredients don’t penetrate into the skin, but simply sit on the surface of the epidermis where they deflect the sun’s damaging rays.
Chemical sunscreens do their job by absorbing the sun’s rays and filtering out the UV radiation. The active ingredients in a chemical sunscreen could be one or more of the following; oxybenzone, avobenzone, mexoryl, octylcrylene, octinoxate, octisalate, homosalate, tinosors, uvinul, or benzophenone. Chemical sunscreens are actually absorbed into the skin as they do their filtering.
So, which one is better? Physical sunscreens are really the better way to go. They may leave a white cast on your skin, which is definitely unsavory, but it is a sign that they are doing their job and blocking the sun from penetrating into your skin causing damage. You can resolve this problem with a tinted cream or you can create your own customized tinted SPF moisturizer by adding your favorite mineral foundation.
The problem with chemical sunscreens is that they can become unstable and produce free radicals which wreak havoc causing your skin to age more quickly. You should also be concerned with topical absorption as heat, humidity, and the sun can all increase the rate at which ingredients are absorbed into your skin and further into your bloodstream. Do you really want these chemicals swimming around in your blood and travelling throughout your body? I know I don’t!
Physical sunscreens are the safer bet and should be worn daily in order to protect your skin from aging and skin cancer. Look for products that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and rest assured that you are safely protecting your skin and promoting a more beautiful complexion.
Suntegrity makes safe and effective sunscreens in both regular and tinted. The tinted version is actually a hot new BB Cream, which as you probably already know BB creams are all the rage.
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