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Physical Sunscreen vs Chemical Sunscreen

We already know the importance of sunscreen in our daily skincare routine. The real dilemma is which variant - physical or chemical sunscreen is a better choice? Read further to find out!

What is a Physical Sunscreen?

Physical sunscreen, also known as Inorganic or Mineral sunscreen, forms a protective top layer on your skin that reflects and disperses harmful UV rays. The two components widely used in physical sunscreens are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. While Zinc Oxide offers a broader spectrum of UV protection with equal effectiveness against both UVB and UVA rays, Titanium Dioxide offers broad spectrum protection but is slightly more effective against UVB rays.

A physical sunscreen provides immediate protection upon application since it functions by reflecting the sun's rays. Physical sunscreens are often preferred by individuals with sensitive skin or those prone to skin conditions like rosacea or eczema. This is because the mineral ingredients in these sunscreens are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions compared to some chemical sunscreen ingredients.

What is a Chemical Sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreen usually uses organic UV filters. It absorbs UV light that falls on the skin and disperses it as heat to keep the skin protected. Most chemical sunscreens are specific to either UVB or UVA rays, and combinations need to be used to achieve broad-spectrum protection. 

Chemical sunscreen contains a blend of chemical filters like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, and others. These filters permeate the skin and interact with UV rays, absorbing their energy and transforming it into heat, which is less harmful.  Most people who choose to use chemical sunscreens do so for their light-weight and ease of application. Bear in mind that  chemical sunscreen tends to break down easily, which is why the level of protection reduces with time exposed to the sun. When using a chemical sunscreen, it is important to apply it generously and reapply as directed, as its effectiveness can diminish over time due to sun exposure and natural degradation. 

Physical vs Chemical sunscreen - the better choice? 

The better choice ultimately depends on personal preference and specific skin requirements. For  those with sensitive skin or a history of allergies, physical sunscreen is a better  choice simply because it provides broad-spectrum protection while being less likely to cause allergic reactions or skin irritation.

Physical sunscreen works by forming a physical barrier on the skin's surface, reflecting and scattering UV radiation away from the skin. The mineral ingredients, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, act as a shield against both UVA and UVB rays, effectively preventing sunburns, skin damage, and the risk of developing skin cancer. By offering immediate protection upon application, physical sunscreens provide peace of mind when spending time outdoors, whether it's during everyday activities or extended periods of sun exposure. Its broad-spectrum coverage ensures defense against both UVA and UVB rays, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin and minimizing the risk of sun-related damage.

While certain physical sunscreens do have some limitations, such as the potential for a white cast or heavier texture - Sandiva Skincare has you covered! Our One & Done Tinted Sunblock is a lightweight lotion with a mousse - like texture that protects you from UVA & UVB sun damage. This physical sunscreen forms a physical protective barrier against sun damage and is packed with the goodness of soothing Sandalwood to calm inflammation caused by sun exposure.

One & Done Tinted Sunblock works by using Zinc Oxide to form a physical shield on top of your skin to provide continued protection until it is wiped or washed away. It has the highest PA rating of PA++++, which provides maximum protection against UVA rays, reducing the appearance of signs of aging caused by them. And the bonus, it  leaves no white cast! Our sunblock is available in 4 different shades that blend with most Indian skin tones. This tint gets rid of the white cast by giving a satin-matte finish, and leaves your face feeling smooth and radiant all through the day.

For most people, physical sunscreens offer an excellent balance of safety, effectiveness, and broad-spectrum protection, making them the preferred choice when it comes to sun protection.

Ultimately, the best sunscreen choice is one that aligns with your skin's needs, provides the desired level of protection, and encourages consistent usage to safeguard your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.

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