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Different Types of Sunscreen and Which Is Best

The two major types of sunscreens are Physical sunscreens and Chemical sunscreens.

Physical Sunscreens

The term “Physical Sunscreens” refers to how these sunscreens protect you from UV radiation. They form a layer on top of your skin and reflect and disperse UV rays so that they don’t harm your skin.

They are also referred to as inorganic sunscreens or mineral sunscreens. The two physical sunscreens widely used are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Zinc Oxide offers a broader spectrum of UV protection with equal effectiveness against both UVB and UVA rays. Titanium Dioxide also offers broad-spectrum protection but is more effective against UVB rays.

Chemical Sunscreens

These types of sunscreens usually use organic UV filters. They work by absorbing UV light that falls on the skin and dispersing it as heat so that the skin remains protected. Most are specific to either UVB or UVA rays and combinations need to be used to achieve broad-spectrum protection. They also tend to break down as they work and hence the level of protection reduces with time exposed to the sun.

So what kind of sunscreen is best for you?
For most people, physical sunscreens would be the best choice as they offer broad-spectrum protection and are less likely to cause allergic reactions.
If you need help choosing a sunscreen based on your skin type, read our blog on the topic. And if you want to know how much SPF your skin needs, we’ve got a blog for that too!

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