Damage from UV rays and HEV light can create a wide berth of problems for the skin. From hyperpigmentation and an early onset of wrinkles to more dangerous health risks such as skin cancer. So sun care products are essential to protecting yourself against these harmful rays. But which type of sun care is ideal for your skin type?
There are two types of sun care; chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. Below we’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each formulation to help you decipher which is the most compatible and beneficial for your skin type and lifestyle.
The most obvious difference between physical and chemical sunscreen is its actual appearance. Physical sunscreen is commonly a thicker, milky white formula that needs to be thoroughly and generously rubbed in. In contrast, chemical sunscreen is a thinner, clearer formula that can easily be absorbed into the skin.
Sun Care Depending on Skin Conditions
Physical sunscreen is better for sensitive, acne and rosacea skin as it is less likely to cause skin irritation and clogged pores. However, the multitude of ingredients required in chemical sunscreen to allow full broad-spectrum protection results in a higher likelihood of irritation for sensitive skin.
What’s more, physical sunscreen can deflect heat from the sun away from the skin which is ideal for rosacea sufferers. Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, absorbs and transforms UV rays into heat energy, meaning that for those with rosacea skin, there is a higher chance for redness and flare-ups.
Longevity and Effectiveness
While physical sunscreens instantly protect the skin from the sun, chemical sunscreen requires approximately 20 minutes to be fully effective. Similarly, physical sunscreens last longer when in direct sunlight, while chemical sunscreens require more frequent re-application to remain useful.
However, physical sunscreens are not effective when the body gets wet or sweaty. Any physical activity can easily make it rub off. Plus, if physical sunscreen is not applied thoroughly, the skin may not have total protection. In comparison, the molecular formulas of chemical sunscreens have no spaces between molecules so there is no risk of UV getting between and into the skin.