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Physical Sunscreens vs. Chemical Sunscreens – The Argument

Physical Sunscreens vs. Chemical Sunscreens – The Argument

When it comes to selecting a sunscreen, the options are seemingly endless. There are grocery store aisles devoted to this essential beauty product, but how many of those are made up of natural ingredients that deliver physical sun protection? Today I want to discuss the options you have in terms of physical UV protectants, and the benefits each has to offer!

What is the difference between chemical and physical sun protection?

Most of the sunscreens that line the aisles of your local grocery or drugstore are likely made with chemical sunscreen ingredients (either as a whole, or in combination with a physical UV protectant). These UVA/UVB fighting chemicals (of which there are many, many different options) work by absorbing the sun’s rays. While highly effective in the protection department, these chemical filters have been known to have higher irritation potential, and can even cause allergic reactions.

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Physical sunscreens, on the other hand, work by physically deflecting or blocking the runs rays. It is like a physical layer of protection being placed onto your skin. The two ingredients that deliver this physical protection? Look for Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) and Zinc Oxide (ZnO) when browsing the sunscreen aisle. While both of these are known for being relatively skin friendly, experience shows that Zinc Oxide might be the better option for those who are prone to breakouts.

All About Titanium Dioxide.

One of the most beautiful benefits of Titanium Dioxide, aside from protecting your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, is how gentle it is on the skin. It is generally recognized as safe for use on sensitive or rosacea-prone skin, and is not a general culprit in the classic “sunscreen eye stinging” phenomena that occurs when you sweat or swim. One drawback? Titanium Dioxide can be heavy, hence: why it might not be the best option for acneic skin types.

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All About Zinc Oxide.

Now, for the exciting part. While I love Titanium Dioxide for its ability to physically block UV rays while remaining friendly to the skin, I have always been in awe of the many things that Zinc Oxide can deliver. First, and foremost, it is one of the safest ingredients to use when it comes to protecting your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays. But what else can this fantastic skin care ingredient deliver?

  • It Helps to Heal Your Skin: Zinc Oxide as an ingredient has a long history of aiding in wound treatment. It has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a wonderful asset to wound healing, and has been shown to help soothe diaper rash as well!
  • It is Great for Sensitive Skin: The same anti-inflammatory properties that make this ingredient so wonderful for wound healing also make it wonderful for sensitive skin. That includes eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea prone skin types!
  • It Can Benefit Acneic Skin: Multiple studies have actually linked the use of zinc (both topically and orally) to better skin. So if you have anceic skin, or are weary of sunscreen for fear of causing a breakout, simply reach for formulas that contain Zinc Oxide.

How to Use Physical Sunscreen vs. Chemical Sunscreen.

So you’ve decided to make the switch over to physical sunscreen. I am sure you are now wondering how you should use it in comparison to traditional chemical sunscreens. Luckily, these two should be used in exactly the same way. There is simply one distinct different: physical sunscreen starts providing protection immediately upon application, whereas chemical typically takes 15-30 to become effective.

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Now, for reapplication.

No matter what type of sunscreen you choose, it is absolutely essential that you are diligent about reapplication. Believe me, as a skin care professional I have heard the gamut of excuses in the “why I cannot reapply” department – but the health and appearance of your skin really depends on this. Yes, sun damage is not only a leading cause of skin cancer, but also a leading cause of aging (wrinkles, sun spots, you name it!).

I recommend reapplication every two hours or more (depending on your activity level when out in the sun). If you are going to be spending your day indoors, save for those of you who work in windowless spaces, you still need to do your part to reapply 1-3 times throughout the day. You can find body formulas that are nourishing (like applying a lotion) and facial formulas that are quick, easy, and wont disturb your makeup (like a powered, brush-on formula).

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The Conclusion.

More important than what type of sunscreen you choose is simply choosing to wear sunscreen on a daily basis. Whether you choose to go chemical, or decide to use physical, sun protection is essential to your appearance and your health. My closing note, as a skin care professional? If at first you don’t find a formula you love, try try again! Remember, there are so many different types of sunscreens out there – don’t be afraid to play around with the options!

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Rob Boirun

CEO The Reviewster Network

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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