I am sure you've heard that wearing sunscreen is imperative, not least from me.
But have you ever wondered how sunscreens actually works?
You will see the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens, helping you pick the perfect type of sunscreen for you.
Why is it important to wear sunscreen?
Sunscreens are cosmetics protect our skin from harmful UV light.
They block the UV light from coming into contact with our skin, so that our skin does not burn and cause pre-mature ageing of the skin.
Types of UV rays
There are three different types of UV rays:
This specific type of ultraviolet light is linked to the ageing of the skin.
Due to their long wavelength, they penetrate through to the second layer of the skin.
Used in modern tanning beds.
This is the ultraviolet frequency which has the ability to burn your skin.
They only interact with the top layer of the skin.
These are the rays which are heavily linked to skin cancer.
You don't have to worry about these rays, as the ozone protects you from this frequency of rays.
These have the shortest frequency.
Usually used in old-school tanning beds.
These sunscreens contains ingredients which physically block UV rays.
They are made up of mineral or inorganic ingredients which reflect UV rays away from the skin.
Pros of physical sunscreens
Safe for use during pregnancy and for babies
Less likely to irritate the skin
Better for people with heat sensitivity
Cons of physical sunscreens
Can be rubbed off and sweated off so application should be more frequent
Can appear white or chalky, especially on deeper skin tones
A thick layer needs to be applied for it to be very effective
These sunscreens contain ingredients which dissipate UV rays from light energy into heat energy on the skin.
Mexoryl SX is a rather recent sunscreen ingredient and works wonders against UVA rays. People are trying to get a hold of sunscreens containing Mexoryl SX as it prevents skin ageing from the sun.
Pros of chemical sunscreens
Thinner in consistency, easily spreadable
Easily combines with other products in your skincare routine
You don't need to apply as much product
Cons of chemical sunscreens
Can be irritating to the skin and eyes
Only becomes effective 20 minutes after application
Can clog pores and increase breakouts
Which are the best sunscreens?
The best sunscreens protect you from both UVA and UVB rays effectively.
But as mentioned above, there are both pros and cons to physical and chemical sunscreens.
I would suggest you apply a chemical sunscreen as part of your daily routine which mainly protect your face from UVA rays. This way, you will not develop premature wrinkles.
However, during the summer months, I use a physical blocker on my body - as I do not want to over-sensitise my skin.
If you're wondering what an SPF is, click here to find out.