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Physical Sunscreens vs. Chemical Sunscreens – The Argument

Physical Sunscreens vs. Chemical Sunscreens – The Argument
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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!

More by this author

Rob Boirun

CEO The Reviewster Network

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Last Updated on July 12, 2021

100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
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Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

    84 write random letter

      85 use a rubberband

        86 dorm smell bad

          87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

            89 how to waterproof your shoes

              90 take a picture of the name card

                91 iron inside out

                  92 old newspaper

                    93 tumble try shoes

                      keep a card like this

                        SONY DSC

                          94 soap bar

                            95 make a hole

                              96 drop the battery

                                97 use a coozie

                                  98 when taking a picture

                                    use a clean dust pan

                                      try a pants hanger

                                        use your cellphone light

                                          use a spring from an old pen

                                            quick and easy iphone speaker

                                              user binder clips

                                                wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                  put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                    clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                      use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                        doritos are great for kindling

                                                          use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                            use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                              freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                  almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                    sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                      unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                        cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                          remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                            turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                              for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                  tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                    place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                      ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                        use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                          take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                            how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                              put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                  user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                    good sandwich guide

                                                                                                      turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                        50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                          the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                            add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                              38

                                                                                                                hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                  stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                    the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                      how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                        the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                          use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                            to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                              user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                  rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                    use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                      50

                                                                                                                                        51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                          52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                            rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                              kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                  58

                                                                                                                                                    59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                      60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                        hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                          Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                            hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                              use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                  keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                    If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                      drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                        use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                          use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                            do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                              when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                  put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                    75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                      use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                        pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                          78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                            79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                              80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                  82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                    99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                      100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                        88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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