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Chemical Vs Physical Sunscreen

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Sunscreen should be something we all apply daily. It would have to be the best anti-ageing product you can apply to your skin.

You may have heard the terms physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen. What does this mean, and what is the difference. We will explain :


Chemical sunscreens actually work by absorbing UV rays. Once absorbed the chemicals change the the rays into a form that are no longer harmful . A vast majority of chemical sunscreens on the market are not broad spectrum, they will either provide protection against UVA (ageing rays) or UVB (burning rays) but not both. 

The chemical ingredients used most commonly include: Octylcrylene, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, OxyBenzone, Homosalate and Helioplex. Many of these ingredients are known to cause skin irritations, and are endocrine disruptors (hormone disruptors).


This is the type of sunscreen you will find in natural and organic skincare brands, and the type you will find in our store !

As the name suggests physical sunscreens actually provide a physical barrier between you and the sun by reflecting the suns rays. As it is a physical barrier this also means that it will be effective immediately in providing sun protection, unlike chemical  sunscreens which need time to absorb into the skin. 

Physical sunscreens are also broad spectrum meaning they reflect both UVA (ageing rays) and UVB (burning rays).  The main ingredients you will find in physical sunscreen are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (make sure it is non nano) *. The zinc oxide in particular is actually anti inflammatory and can soothe irritations and calm redness. This makes it  an ideal choice for children and for people who are also very sensitive.

* A note on nano particles: 

While this is a whole other topic, we want to explain briefly about nano particles. Nano particles actually refer to the size of a particular particle, it has nothing to do with the actual chemical traits of a particular ingredient. So if you have a ingredient that is completely safe ie, zinc oxide it would not make any difference if it was a nano particle or not. However if you had another ingredient such as titanium dioxide, you would NOT want this as a nano particle as it has been shown to trigger a free radical response. Also note, large macro particles of titanium dioxide used in mineral makeup is safe as the particles are far too large to penetrate the skin. 

Take a look at the physical sunscreens available in our store :

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