March 2, 2017

Skin Health: Chemical versus Physical Sunscreen

Angie Buonassisi
# min read
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With the sunnier months of spring and summer on the horizon, it's important to start thinking about sun-protection. This falls on almost all areas of life, from getting to and from the office, to spending time with family outdoors, to even driving your vehicle. The UV-B and UV-A rays from the sun can be very damaging to your skin and to your health, so we are bringing you the truth about SPF from our team of skin specialists at 8 West Cosmetic Surgery. Read on to discover how you can have the best skin health this summer season. 

What is Chemical Sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreens contain carbon-based compounds like oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone. These create a chemical reaction on the skin and work by changing UV rays into heat,and then releasing that heat from the skin.While these products tend to be thinner, longer-lasting when doing activities, and easier to apply, the cons of chemical sunscreens far outweigh the pros. Chemical sunscreens increase internal skin temperature and can result in more brown spots or discolouration. They also don't start working right away (they take about 20-30 minutes to kick in) and are more likely to cause skin irritation in sensitive skin types and additional breakouts in oily skin types. Aside from all of that, there is some medical speculation of the impact of chemical sunscreen, and while there aren't proven facts just yet, there are some studies suggesting these productsmay lead to hormonal changes involved with developing cancer.

What is Physical Sunscreen?

As opposed to their chemical counterparts, physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which work in a different way. They effectively siton the top of your skin, and deflect and scatter those damaging UV rays before they get the opportunity to reach the lower layers of your skin.These SPFs protect your skin as soon as they are applied, unlike chemical sunscreens that can require a wait time of about 30 minutes, and they are also less likely to cause a stinging or irritation. These products also have a longer shelf-life and are less likely to be pore clogging, making them ideal for protecting the body and face.

A Better SPF in Physical Blockers

Luckily, there are better options for protecting your skin that are affordable and just as convenient as chemical sunscreens. These are the best options we've seen in the industry of physical sunscreens, whichbring you skin protection and additional skin-health benefits, like antioxidants and anti pore-clogging properties.

  • Physical sunblock makeup: Mineral makeup like Jane Iredale or Glo Minerals adds a physical layer to the skin and works like a gem for a sun protectant.
  • Zinc SPF: Zinc SPF is the best physical blocker for the face, and certain products from medical grade skincare lines like ZO Skin Health work wonders for protecting even during high-endurance activities.
  • Zinc SPF Moisturizer: In addition, there are brands like Image Skincare who offer wonderful daily matte moisturizers with physical SPF that brings you the perfect everyday coverage.

Want to learn more about thechemical versus physical sunscreen or interested in getting your own personalized regimeof skin health, sun protecting products? Book your complimentary consultation with our team of skin specialists today, and get yourself prepped for the sunny season!

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