The Difference Between Physical and Chemical Sunscreens

Hi Sarah here from Skin by Sarah and in today’s blog I am going to be discussing the different types of sunscreens available on the market.

Did you even know there are two types of sunscreens?  Well there is and they are physical sunscreens and chemical sunscreens.

Living in Australia you often hear how important it is to wear sun protection daily to prevent skin cancers, premature aging and pigmentation but how do you know what to choose? What’s best for your skin, your health and the environment?  

Chemical sunscreen: chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin and are made of several active ingredients. Several chemicals are combined and each one blocks a different region of UV ray. A sunscreen is labeled as "broad spectrum" when it has all the chemicals needed to protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Most chemical sunscreens work against UVB and UVA rays.

Concerns raised by organisations like the Environmental Working Group have caused some worry that chemical sunscreens can disrupt hormones and that sunscreens with oxybenzone particularly should be avoided. Oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions (Rodriguez 2006) and Margaret Schlumpf of the University of Zurich detected Oxybenzone and four other sunscreen filters in Swiss women’s breast milk, indicating that the developing fetus and newborns may be exposed to these substances (Schlumpf 2008, Schlumpf 2010).

From an environmental point concerns have also been raised regarding chemical sunscreens affecting the health of reefs. Hawaii is the first US state looking to ban the sale of sunscreens with Oxybenzone and Octinoxate.

Physical sunscreen: physical sun block protects the skin by reflecting or scattering the sun's UV rays before it even penetrates in the skin. The skin does not absorb them so they can last longer and can work as soon as they are applied. Physical sunscreens will contain active ingredients of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are known to be gentle enough for everyday use and safe for babies as well. As they only stay on top of the skin they rarely cause skin irritation or trigger allergies and are a great option for sensitive skins and acne skins.

Of the two options of chemical and physical sunscreen I recommend the physical protection option. We do have to be aware with physical blockers they are not water and sweat proof so they do need to be re-applied diligently.

Skin by Sarah use’s, recommends and stocks the {SIMPLE as that} physical sunscreen which is a 100% natural, lightweight mineral sunscreen.

 The team behind {SIMPLE as that} are committed to sourcing the best natural and organic ingredients available, to bring you a non-greasy, preservative free, SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen Lotion suitable for both face and body, and the entire family.

With an uncompromising approach to quality and purity of ingredients, the sunscreen has been pharmacist formulated to safely provide broad spectrum protection from the suns UVA and UVB rays using Zinc Oxide as its active ingredient. The {SIMPLE as that} SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen Lotion also contains Green Tea and Rosehip Oil, well known for their antioxidant properties, as well as their signature ingredient, Red Raspberry Seed Oil for its natural protection against UVA and UVB rays.