The Difference Between Chemical and Physical Sunscreens

The Difference Between Chemical and Physical Sunscreens

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I have a confession. I used to *despise* sunscreen. Growing up, I would spend the summer months in Greece and I remember putting sunscreen only on my shoulders and then basking my body in Carroten, which by the way, is the most incredible smelling tanning lotion in the entire world. When I was in high school, the over-baked looked was totally “in” (ahem, anybody remember the bunny stickers we would stick on our hip bone at the tanning salon #tbt)? Now, in 2018, skin is in and bloggers around the world are promoting sun protecting driving gloves and face shield visors. Yeah they look silly, but I have a feeling these chicks are onto something. I could go on and on about why you need to incorporate sunscreen into your daily routine, but I’m sure your mom has done that job sufficiently. Below are a list of ways that I have been protecting my skin and reducing the appearance of my sun spots!

I Alternate Sunscreens

Depending on what I am doing throughout the day, I change the type of sunscreen that I use. Every morning, I like to use a chemical sunscreen first. According to dermatologist Dr. Harvey, a chemical sunscreen works by “absorbing UV rays, converting the rays into heat, and releasing them from the body. The active ingredients in chemical sunscreens include avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone.” The consistency of these formulas are usually thin, but can sometimes be a little more irritating on the skin than physical sunscreens. To fully reap the benefits of chemical sunscreens, it takes about 20 minutes to full absorb, which is why I like to put it on right as the last step in my skincare routine. If I know that I am going to be outside in direct sunlight, I always use a physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens sit on top of the skin and block the sun; the formula is thicker, and as I’m sure you all know, doesn’t always blend into the skin fully.

Regardless of which one you choose, always looks for formulas that block both UVA and UVB rays, are noncomedogenic, paraben, oil and fragrance-free.

Protect Your Skin Indoors

I never cared about direct sunlight shining through my house or in my car until I noticed sun spots only on my left cheek and left forearm. Window tinting services, such as UHS Window Tinting and Blinds, can provide indoor protection by placing a film over your glass. According to their website, “The window film acts as a shield that blocks harmful UV rays, as well as regulates the amount of heat that passes through the glass. The film reduces up to 78% of the sun’s heat, evenly disperses natural light, and blocks up to 99% of harmful ultraviolet rays.” There’s no way that I could remember to reapply sunscreen indoors, so this is an easy way to stay protected and comfortable in your own house.

Before and After a 30% tint

Maybe one day I will jump on the driving gloves trend, but in the meantime, I am making these easy changes and my skin has never looked better!

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1 Comment

  1. Lauryn S
    October 8, 2018 / 9:35 am

    I’m a skincare freak and I just had my windows tinted too!! I don’t think I’m ready for driving gloves yet LOL

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