Physical or Chemical Sunscreen? Why not both☀️
We already know how important sunscreen is in daily routine. Sunscreen helps protect us from overexposure to the sun’s damaging rays, which can contribute to fine lines and wrinkles, signs of premature aging, even skin cancer.
When choosing a sunscreen, we often face a question: physical or chemical sunscreen?
Physical sunscreens, more commonly known as mineral sunscreens, work by creating a physical barrier on the skin.
Mineral sunscreens deliver broad-spectrum protection by reflecting UV radiation away from skin. They also help ward off UVA-related skin damage, including hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.
Most mineral sunscreens are formulated with zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Both ingredients are recognized as safe and effective.
Mineral sunscreens do have downsides though: they can be difficult to spread, and most glaringly, they tend to leave behind a noticeable white cast to the skin. They also aren’t always as water resistant as chemical options, so it may need to be re-applied with more diligence.
Chemical sunscreens don’t sit on the skin or block rays. Instead, they feature active ingredients that absorb UV rays before our skin can soak them up. These chemical UV filters include:
Oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, octinoxate etc.
Because they’re designed for absorption, chemical sunscreens tend to go on smoothly without feeling sticky or greasy, and they don’t leave the telltale white cast.
Regarding safety of the ingredients, research institutions have not yet found evidence that the majority of sunscreen chemicals can cause harmful side effects.
Physical sunblock tends to be:
- Less irritating and a better fit for sensitive skin.
- More moisturizing, which can feel heavy on the skin.
- Difficult to fully blend into the skin. However, many Korean brands offer matte and tinted versions that have less of a white cast.
Chemical sunscreen is a better option if you:
- Are swimming and need a water-resistant formulation.
- Play sports or sweat a lot during the day.
- Want a sunscreen that absorbs quickly into the skin.
Fresh Mask has a collection of Korean sunscreens that feature both chemical and physical sun protection factors. They offer effective high protection against UVA and UVB, can be best companion in daily use as well as for water sports. Check them out: