The best accessory a woman can have during the summer is glowy, healthy skin. And the women with the glowiest, healthiest skin know that applying sunblock every day is essential to keeping skin youthful and safe from the sun’s harsh UV rays.
There are two general types of sunscreens to be aware of—physical and chemical sunscreens. The basic difference between the two is that physical sunscreens use physical UV filters, while chemical sunscreens use chemical UV filters.
OK… so what does that actually mean?
- While physical sunscreens protect your skin by deflecting the sun’s rays, chemical sunscreen works by absorbing the sun’s rays.
- Physical sunscreens contain Titanium dioxide or Zinc oxide as UV filters, chemical sunscreens contain any number of UV filters from Helioplex to Octylcrylene.
- Physical sunscreen starts protecting immediately after application, but you must wait 20 minutes after application for effective protection when using chemical sunscreen.
- Physical sunscreen is thick, opaque and tends to leave a white cast on the skin, while chemical formulas are colorless, odorless and runny.
- While physical sunscreens are FDA-approved, chemical UV filters are not, but can be found in Europe or Asia. Also, some chemical sunscreens can generate free radicals, which can cause skin damage, irritation or aging.
Knowing the difference between the two types of sunscreen is helpful when choosing what’s best for your skin, but most sunscreens today contain both physical and chemical UV filters.
Whether physical or chemical, though, it’s important to keep applying that sunscreen on the daily. And if you’re still not sure what type is best for you, consult your Pinski Dermatologist in Chicago for more information based on your skin.