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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 August 4, 2020

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

Minimalism is a way to put a stop to the gluttony of the world around us. It’s the opposite of every advertisement we see plastered on the radio and TV. We live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of stuff; we eat up consumerism, material possessions, clutter, debt, distractions and noise.

What we don’t seem to have is any meaning left in our world.

By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you can throw out what you don’t need in order to focus on what you do need.

I know first hand how little we actually need to survive. I was fortunate enough to live in a van for four months while traveling throughout Australia. This experience taught me valuable lessons about what really matters and how little we really need all this stuff we surround ourselves with.

Less is more.

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Living a minimalist lifestyle is reducing.There are a few obvious benefits of minimalism such as less cleaning and stress, a more organized household and more money to be found, but there are also a few deep, life-changing benefits.

What we don’t usually realize is that when we reduce, we reduce a lot more than just stuff.

Consider just some of the benefits of living with fewer possessions:

1. Create Room for What’s Important

When we purge our junk drawers and closets we create space and peace. We lose that claustrophobic feeling and we can actually breathe again. Create the room to fill up our lives with meaning instead of stuff.

2. More Freedom

The accumulation of stuff is like an anchor, it ties us down. We are always terrified of losing all our ‘stuff’. Let it go and you will experience a freedom like never before: a freedom from greed, debt, obsession and overworking.

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3. Focus on Health and Hobbies

When you spend less time at Home Depot trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the Joneses, you create an opening to do the things you love, things that you never seem to have time for.

Everyone is always saying they don’t have enough time, but how many people really stop and look at what they are spending their time doing?

You could be enjoying a day with your kids, hitting up the gym, practicing yoga, reading a good book or traveling. Whatever it is that you love you could be doing, but instead you are stuck at Sears shopping for more stuff.

4. Less Focus on Material Possessions

All the stuff we surround ourselves with is merely a distraction, we are filling a void. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy comfort. After the initial comfort is satisfied, that’s where our obsession with money should end.

We are bombarded by the media presenting promises of happiness through materialistic measures. It’s no wonder we struggle everyday. Resist those urges. It’s an empty path, it won’t make you happy.

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It’s hard not to get roped into the consumerism trap. I need constant reminders that it’s a false sense of happiness. I enjoy stuff, but I also recognize that I don’t need it.

5. More Peace of Mind

When we cling onto material possessions we create stress because we are always afraid of losing these things. By simplifying your life you can lose your attachment to these things and ultimately create a calm, peaceful mind.

The less things you have to worry about, the more peace you have, and it’s as simple as that.

6. More Happiness

When de-cluttering your life, happiness naturally comes because you gravitate towards the things that matter most. You see clearly the false promises in all the clutter, it’s like a broken shield against life’s true essence.

You will also find happiness in being more efficient, you will find concentration by having refocused your priorities, you will find joy by enjoying slowing down.

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7. Less Fear of Failure

When you look at Buddhist monks, they have no fear, and they have no fear because they don’t have anything to lose.

In whatever you wish to pursue doing you can excel, if you aren’t plagued with the fear of losing all your worldly possessions. Obviously you need to take the appropriate steps to put a roof over your head, but also know that you have little to fear except fear itself.

8. More Confidence

The entire minimalist lifestyle promotes individuality and self reliance. This will make you more confident in your pursuit of happiness.

What’s Next? Go Minimalism.

If you’re ready to start living a minimalist lifestyle, these articles can help you to kickstart:

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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