Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen – What’s the Difference?

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Choosing a sunscreen can be overwhelming. There are so many factors to consider (SPF, formulation, application, etc.) that it’s easy to give up and just pick the first one you see. One of the most confusing elements of the process is deciding whether to buy a physical sunscreen or a chemical one.

If you’re uncertain whether you want to transition from a chemical sunscreen to a physical one, here are some points of difference to help you choose which type of sunscreen is best for you.

  What is Physical Sunscreen

  • Contains physical sun blockers; active mineral ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
  • Provides chemical-free broad spectrum coverage (protects against both UVA and UVB rays).
  • Remains on the surface of your skin.
  • Acts like tiny mirrors reflecting, refracting and absorbing rays.
  • Begins working as soon as you apply.
  • Less likely to cause irritation on your skin.
  • Is available in a range of SPF levels and can be very water-resistant.

 What is Chemical Sunscreen

  • Contains organic (carbon-based) chemical compounds.
  • Provides broad spectrum coverage by combining multiple ingredients; zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide are also used in some formulas.
  • Works by penetrating your skin’s surface.
  • Absorbs the sun’s rays into the ingredients like a sponge.
  • Requires approximately 20 minutes to fully sink into your skin.
  • Increased likelihood of skin irritation due to the combination of ingredients.
  • Is available in a range of SPF levels and can be very water-resistant.

Are you ready to try a chemical-free sunscreen? Look no further because jane iredale has seven physical sunscreens that have earned The Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Approval: PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation SPF 20Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder SPF 20Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream SPF 25, Powder-Me SPF Dry Sunscreen SPF 30LipDrink Lip Balm SPF 15 and HandDrink Hand Cream SPF 15.

Want to learn more about sunscreen? Click here to see important facts about SPF and sun exposure.

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