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Chemical Vs Physical Sunscreen's

Updated: May 6

Are you all of a sudden noticing in the mirror fine lines, wrinkles even some sun spots or pigmentation changes... Well its time to act now with one simple step everyone can do at home and its as simple as a SUNSCREEN!


We all know that we need to wear sunscreen during a beautiful sunny summers day but did you know you must be wearing a sunscreen even during a cloudy winter days to further protect your skin from sun damage and early onset ageing, even cancer?


Choosing a sunscreen can be confusing since there are so many different types to choose from all with different price tags to match. There are two types of sunscreen formulations to choose from, one is Physical sunscreen and the other Chemical sunscreen. Make sure you are using a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum formulation, meaning it protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays with a minimum Sun Protection Factor (spf) 30+ or higher.

UVA deeper penetrating causes ageing and UVB causes burning.

So What Is Physical Sunscreen?

A physical sunscreen can be called Mineral sunscreen or Sunblock.

Physical sunscreen uses minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to deflect UV rays away from the skin. These formulations literally sit on the skin and block or scatter UV radiation before it can penetrate the skin.

There are several benefits of using a physical sunscreen:

  • Blocks both UVA and UVB rays making it a broad spectrum sunscreen

  • Works as soon as it’s applied to the skin and great for sensitive skin types due to it deflecting heat.

  • Clogged pores are avoided because it doesn't deeply penetrate the skin

  • However can be rubbed off easier than chemical sunscreen, especially when it comes in contact with water or sweat

What is a Chemical Sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreens sometimes called Waterproof or Sport sunscreens. These use chemical carbon compounds that convert UV radiation to heat, which is dispersed into the body.

Some benefits of chemical sunscreens include the following:

  • A thinner formulation makes application easier

  • Is more resistant to sweat or water compared to a physical sunscreen so is popular for water activities or sports.

  • However they only start to be effective 20 minutes after application to the skin and they are more likely to irritate the skin. The higher the SPF the more irritating on some skins who are prone to rosacea and redness.

  • Can clog the pores contributing to blackheads and acne.

  • Some common  ingredients of chemical sunscreens include oxybenzone or octinoxate these ingredients have been know to cause damage in the oceanic ecosystem.

These are some of the sunscreens we use at True Dermal:


Epicure Daily Protect. Medik8 Physical Sunscreen. Mesoestetic Light Water Anti- ageing Veil

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