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Physical  vs Chemical Sunscreen - What's the difference?

Physical vs Chemical Sunscreen - What's the difference?

24 Dec 19

One of the most effective ways to keep the skin healthy is by using sun protection - every single day, not only in summer! But which Sunscreen is best for your skin type?

There are 2 types of sunscreen available - Physical and Chemical, and each comes with benefits and limitations.


Physical Sunscreen

Physical sunscreens work by sitting on top of the skin and deflecting UV rays away from the skin with the help of active mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. A Physical Sunscreen is naturally broad spectrum and protects from the sun as soon as it’s applied, with no need to wait. It is less likely to cause stinging on the skin, so it is perfect for sensitive skin types and for rosacea skin. It is less likely to clog pores, making it the ideal choice for blemish prone skins as well.

One of the challenges with physical sunscreen is that it can rub off easily, meaning it needs to be reapplied more frequently.


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Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing into the skin. They contain organic compounds such as Oxybenzone and Avobenzone which create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat and then releasing the heat from the skin.

Chemical sunscreens tend to be thinner and spread more easily on the skin and is more suitable for daily use.

With Chemical sunscreen, you need to wait about 20 minutes before being exposed to the sun, which gives the sunscreen time to absorb into the skin. These types of sunscreen can cause skin irritation more easily, so they're not ideal for sensitive skins.


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About the Author

My name is Sarah and I am the founder of GLO Skin Body. With almost 20 years experience, I believe a professional relationship with your skin therapist is crucial in helping you to achieve your skin care goals and to ensure your skin is always looking and feeling its best. Whether it's in person or through our online support, Im here to guide and support you towards your healthiest skin ever.

On a personal note, I am a Mum of 3 so I understand completely the juggles and balancing of life and family commitments . My goal is to help everyone have an effective and enjoyable home care routine that gets you the results you want...no matter how busy you are!


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