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Chemical SPF50

The Ins and Outs of Sunscreen

Per my last blog, here’s a straightforward breakdown that covers everything you should know about using sunscreen!

Sunscreen should always be part of your daily morning routine, before you step outdoors. Rain, snow, sun or sleet, I constantly remind my clients to wear their sunscreen if they want to protect their skin and slow its aging process. 

You know you should wear sunscreen, but you still have questions.

There’s two types of sunscreens: physical and chemical.

  • Physical sunscreen sits above the skin, acting as a physical barrier against the sun’s harmful rays. One of the main active ingredients will be either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, so look out for these as most sunscreen brands won’t tell you which type of sunscreen they are. Physical sunscreen is ideal for sensitive skin because it isn’t absorbed, but those with oily or acne prone skin need to remove it thoroughly to prevent it from clogging your pores. If you’re looking for organic and natural sunscreens, these are the way to go!
  • Chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin’s dermis and epidermis layers to absorb the sun’s rays instead of melanin. These sunscreens often use multiple active ingredients in a compound formula to provide consistent protection. Chemical sunscreens also contain antioxidants to protect your skin from free radicals, which hasten your skin’s aging process. However, the presence of multiple chemicals means these sunscreens can irritate sensitive skin and will not be natural. 

So, which should you use?

Chemical SPF50
Physical SPF50

It depends on your skin’s needs and your sun exposure. Physical sunscreen is better for outdoor activities because it lasts longer than chemical sunscreen, but it needs to be re-applied if it comes into contact with water and is easily rubbed off of your skin. Chemical sunscreen should be your go-to for shorter lengths of sun exposure (like commuting to and from work), but usually lasts 2 hours or less depending on sun exposure. 

Essential Reminders: 

  • Always buy a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30-50 so that you get 30-50x the sun protection that your skin can provide you. 
  • Look for brands with broad spectrum sunscreen so that your skin is protected from both UVA and UVB rays. 
  • Both physical and chemical sunscreens need to be reapplied during prolonged sun exposure, or after you have spent several hours indoors. 

Want a sunscreen you can trust? Head over to my Shop tab and grab a bottle of Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ physical or chemical sunscreen. 

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