Difference between physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen | Skin Solution 1O1

Difference between Physical sunscreen and Chemical sunscreen

Sunscreen is an essential item in any skincare routine. It helps protect the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays that can cause skin damage, premature ageing, and even skin cancer. When it comes to selecting a sunscreen, there are two main types: physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen. While both options have the same objective, they differ in how they protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. In this essay, we will discuss the differences between physical and chemical sunscreen.

Physical Sunscreen

Physical sunscreen is also known as mineral sunscreen. It is made up of minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. When applied to the skin, the minerals create a protective barrier that reflects and scatters the sun’s UV rays. This type of sunscreen is often referred to as a physical barrier because it sits on top of the skin, forming a barrier between the skin and the sun.

Physical sunscreens have several benefits. They offer broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. They also have a longer shelf life than chemical sunscreens because they are not as likely to break down in the sun. Additionally, they are less likely to cause skin irritation, making them a great option for people with sensitive skin.

One downside of physical sunscreen is that it can leave a white cast on the skin. This is because the minerals are not absorbed into the skin and can be visible on the surface. However, some newer formulations of physical sunscreen have reduced this effect.

Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, works differently. It contains organic compounds such as avobenzone and oxybenzone that absorb the sun’s UV rays before they can penetrate the skin. Once the chemicals absorb the UV rays, they convert the energy into heat and release it from the body. Chemical sunscreen is often referred to as a chemical barrier because it absorbs into the skin.

One benefit of chemical sunscreen is that it is usually more lightweight and easier to apply than physical sunscreen. It also tends to blend into the skin more seamlessly, leaving little to no white cast. However, chemical sunscreen can be more irritating to the skin, particularly for those with sensitive skin.

Chemical sunscreen also requires more frequent reapplication than physical sunscreen. The chemicals in the sunscreen break down more quickly in the sun, so it is important to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

Both physical and chemical sunscreens offer protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays. The main difference is in how they protect the skin. Regardless of which type of sunscreen you choose, it’s important to wear sunscreen 365 days to protect your skin from sun damage.

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