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Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen

Our skin is precious and we need to protect it. Every year, the summer rays get us thinking that maybe we need to update our sun defense regime. The thing is, we should be shielding ourselves all year round. Every time we walk outside we are exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays. In our hotter months, higher heats make covering up uncomfortable, and a wide brimmed hat isn’t always practical.

So what are our options? Most of us are overwhelmed by what the drugstore aisle offers to shade our skin. The thing is, the best options aren’t always sitting on those shelves. There is a big difference between the protection offered by a physical sunscreen versus a chemical sunscreen, which is what most common drugstore options will be. Let us explain:
Physical Sunscreen
Physical sunscreen, or physical blockers, are non-toxic substances that use ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are natural minerals that have been ground into fine powders. Physical sunscreen works by deflecting the sun and blocking those harsh UV rays from damaging your skin. You know how on a hot, dry day at the beach, it is still moist and cool under the rocks? That’s how physical sunscreen works. It is essentially crushed, powdered rock keeping the sun’s heat away from your skin and locking in the moisture. That means that there is no waiting for anything to sink in, it starts protecting immediately after application. It is also better for sensitive and heat activated skin types.
Chemical Sunscreen
This type of formula is combined with 12 different chemicals, some of which have not been FDA approved. Some chemical sunscreens can produce free radicals that can cause irritation and damage to the skin. They’ve been proven to interfere with hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid, which have been linked to breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. It is also more likely to irritate sensitive skin types and clog pores.

For our medical estheticians, the non-toxic physical sunscreens are their top choice. Physical sunscreen is less irritating, has a longer shelf life, and lasts longer in direct UV light.
To take care of our faces, we rely on the the Sunforgettable line by Colorescience, a skin care collection that’s infused with physical blockers designed to make using sun protection part of your daily routine. The Sunforgettable Brush comes in multiple shades, is easy to to re-apply, and is a chemical and fragrance free option that you can barely tell you have on. Or try the Tint du Soleil from Colorscience, a SPF 30 foundation in a creamy, hydrating formula, designed to feel like bare skin. If an everyday foundation isn’t for you, try adding a small amount of physical sunscreen into your moisturizer to easily incorporate it into your morning ritual and ensure your skin is protected. Being that physical sunscreen is so pure, only a little amount is needed for you to get the right amount of protection.

Even when we feel like we haven’t seen it for months, that sunshine is up there. We need to be protecting your skin from head to toe all year round. With shorter sleeves and high hems in our near future, we need to be especially vigilant. Our staff have a wealth of knowledge on the topic. Send your questions our way or come for a visit!
Urban Body Laser
777 Hornby St #860, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2G3
(604) 696-5506