Hey friends! Welcome back to my blog! Thank you so very much for stopping by. In today's post we are going to cover the difference between Chemical and Physical Sunscreens. You're probably like... what? There are two different types of sun protection, which one is best? I'll take you through both today and which one you should include in your skin care routine. 

If you want to know the importance of including sun protection in your skin care routine, check out my post here


Chemical Sunscreen - these types of sunscreens contain ingredients such as avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV Rays into the skin and then convert those rays into heat and releases them from the body. They are most commonly found in makeup and skin care products. 

Physical Sunscreen - these types of sunscreens contain ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Physical sunscreens sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun's rays. They are most commonly found in medical grade sun protection or prescription sun protection. 


PROs and CONs

Chemical Sunscreen |  PROS: protects against UVA/UVB Rays, usually thinner in texture, easy to absorb into the skin, waterproof & sweatproof, can be used under makeup well. 

CONS: can take longer time to start protecting the skin, chemical reaction taking place, harmful chemicals can be absorbed into skin, not good for sensitive skin. 

Physical Sunscreen | PROS: protects against UVA/UVB Rays, works as soon as it is applied, ideal for sensitive skin, great for long periods spent outdoors.

CONS: thicker in texture and white in color, not usually waterproof, doesn't apply well under makeup. 

Also some brands of sun protection use BOTH Chemical and Physical sunscreen ingredients for lasting protection on the skin and to help the product blend better and absorb into the skin. 

Which is Better?

Both Chemical and Physical sunscreens protect the skin. Chemical sunscreens have become more readily available because people have desired a sunscreen that is less 'chalky' and thinner in texture. Most physical sunscreens usually leave an undesirable white cast on the skin. Where as, chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin and leave little to no residue. 

In my professional and personal opinion, I like to use physical sunscreens when I know I'm going to be outdoors for a long period of time - (swimming, cook outs, amusement parks, walks/runs, playground, etc) and I like to use chemical sunscreens (found in lots of skin care products) on the daily (normal activities) when I'm out and about -  because I don't want my sun protection to be seen on my face and body. I want my INVISIBLE protection! haha. 

Key Pieces:

- there are two types of sun protection: chemical & physical
- both protect against the sun's harmful rays
- chemical - absorbs UV rays and coverts them into heat and releases
- physical - blocks UV rays from the skin

Thank you so very much for visiting my blog today! I hope this post was helpful.

Your Skin Therapist,

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  1. Have you tried natural products? Or Sunscreen made for darker skin?

    1. 100% Raw Shea butter is a natural sun protectant. If you visit my Sun Protection favorites post - it list my other recommendations and can be used on all different skin tones. :)