Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Physical Sunscreen vs. Chemical Sunscreen

What is the difference between a physical sunscreen and a chemical sunscreen?

A physical sunscreen sits on top of your skin. It is not absorbed and reflects both UVA and UVB radiation through the internal metals it contains. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are physical sunscreens. This type of sunscreen is ideal for people with sensitive skin. Burt's Bees Chemical Free Sunscreen is a physical sunscreen.

A chemical sunscreen absorbs UV radiation. Avobenzone, Benzophenome, Mexoryl, Oxybenzone and Menthyl Anthranilate are some examples of chemical sunscreens. 

Chemical sunscreens are labeled with an SPF number which tells you the level of protection from the burning UVB rays. Additional UVA ray protection makes them Broad Spectrum Sunscreens. Some people can be sensitive to chemical sunscreens and develop skin irritations such as an itchy rash. Especially those with skin conditions such as, eczema.

Both types of sunscreen offer good protection from UV rays. The key to them working well is applying them often. Aim for reapplication every 2 hours. Those who burn easily can apply every hour.

See my sun & skin care tips on youtube!


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