Don’t we all rush to our nearest cosmetic stores to grab our favorite bottle of sunscreen as soon as summer arrives?However, the application of sunscreen shouldn’t be limited to summers alone. Sunscreen is necessary for your skin throughout the year to shield your skin from the harsh rays of the sun.
Why should you use a sunscreen on a regular basis?
- Using a sunscreen on a regular basis drastically decreases your risk of developing a skin cancer. As you may know one of the biggest reasons for skin cancer today is the direct exposure of the skin to the harmful UV rays of the sun. Sunscreen protects your skin against these harmful rays thus decreasing the risk of skin cancer.
- Sunscreen keeps you looking young and radiant. Did you know that one of the major causes of premature skin aging is ultraviolet exposure? By wearing sunscreen you cut down risk of getting wrinkles and spots on your face at an early age.
- Sunscreen helps you keep an even skin tone. It protects your skin from getting those brown spots or freckles that you dread so much and also prevents skin discoloration.
- The ozone layer acts as a sun shield for the earth by absorbing the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun before it reaches the ground. As the ozone layer is depleting, our skin needs additional protection from these harmful rays.
- Sunscreen protects you from more than just sunburn. Well, if you’ve ever had a sunburn, you probably understand just how unpleasant the burning skin can be. Sunscreen, in combination with increased consumption of water, can protect you against several other health issues caused by sun exposure like Heat stroke and Heat exhaustion which can lead to nausea, muscle cramps and even brain damage if left untreated.
Sunscreen, thus, can be considered as one of the most important steps in your beauty and skincare regime irrespective of the climate or even your age.
You’ve probably heard that there’s a difference between physical and chemical sunscreens. Each type has its own pros and cons. You might have heard about sunscreens that you don’t have to reapply or several others which may even be harmful to your skin. But, what does science say about this? Let’s have a deeper look.
Difference between physical and chemical sunscreen
So basically, physical sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium oxide which sits on the top of your skin and acts as a ‘physical barrier’ for UV rays. This type of sunscreen does not penetrate your skin. By sitting only on the top of your skin, they literally block the UVA/UVB rays of the sun. Therefore, the skin underneath in not affected by their work.
Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun rays, changing them into heat and then releasing the heat. The usual composition of this type of sunscreen includes ingredients such as octylcrylen, avobenzone and octinoxate. Since, chemical sunscreens work ‘within’ the skin, they may cause irritation in certain skin types.
What is best for you?
Chemical sunscreens are usually thinner in consistency because their composition allows them to be. They are easily absorbed by the skin and are great under makeup for achieving a matt finish look. Chemical sunscreens are best for people having an acne prone skin. Since, it is non-comodogenic in nature, it helps prevent breakouts on the skin. These types of sunscreen may also be beneficial during sports or water activities. This is because it easily penetrates the skin and doesn’t need reapplication. The main point to keep in mind while opting for a chemical sunscreen is doing a patch test before applying. It’s done to make sure that it doesn’t cause skin irritation.
Physical sunscreens are usually greasy and have a thicker consistency compared to chemical sunscreens because they work as blocking agents for UV rays. The ingredient named titanium oxide present in almost all physical sunscreens may cause a skin irritation in a few people.
Basically, if you’re finding chemical sunscreens irritating for your skin, you can switch to a physical one. But, you want to make sure that sunscreen you pick is water resistant and atleast SPF 30. Yoy have to reapply physical sunscreens 2-3 times a day. This includes each time you wash your face or even wipe it with your hands or a towel.
Now that you know all the differences between physical and chemical sunscreens, you’re all set to choose the best one suited for your skin type.