Chemical vs Physical Sunscreen

Ask any esthetician and they’ll tell you that applying sunscreen is one of the most important steps in a skin care routine. Not only does sunscreen protect from sun damage, it also reduces the risk of skin cancer and prevents the appearance of aging. So how do you choose the best sunscreen for your clients? Sun protection generally falls into one of two categories: chemical and physical (mineral). Both provide protection, but they differ in their active ingredients as well as the way they protect against UV exposure. Here are some important facts to help you choose between chemical and mineral sunscreens.

What’s the difference?

Chemical sunscreens are often referred to as “absorbers.” Their active ingredients are organic (carbon-based) compounds that absorb UV rays. Through a chemical reaction, these compounds convert UV rays into heat, then release that heat into the skin.
Physical sunscreens are “reflectors.” Their active ingredients include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which act as physical blockers. These minerals form a protective barrier on the skin and reflect harmful UV rays before they make contact with the skin’s surface.

Why choose mineral sunscreens?

Mineral sunscreens typically employ zinc oxide as a physical blocker of UV rays. It can be found in many lightweight SPF products and also has multiple benefits for the skin. Unlike chemical sunscreens that trap UV rays and convert them into heat, zinc oxide keeps the skin cool and allows it to breathe. It reflects the heat and energy of the sun’s rays away from the skin. For this reason, mineral sunscreen is particularly beneficial in minimizing skin inflammation and redness associated with acne, rosacea, and skin sensitivity. Zinc also triggers collagen production and repairs connective tissue, helping prevent premature aging. 
In addition to reflecting both UVB and UVA rays from the skin’s surface, mineral sunscreens are also hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic. With their anti-inflammatory properties, they are gentle enough for the most sensitive skin types. They are free of pore-clogging silicones, making them a better option for those prone to blemishes. 

When to wear sunscreen

To keep your skin looking radiant and healthy in the long run, it is essential to wear sunscreen on a daily basis. Applying sunscreen is not limited to sun-soaked vacations and beach days. You may be surprised to learn that even indoors you need to use SPF products. Through glass windows, UVA light can still reach you and cause the same amount of sun damage as if you were outside.
Whichever type of sunscreen you choose for your clients, it’s crucial that they incorporate it into their skin care routine. Indoors or outdoors, there is a potential for exposure to stressors that can age the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. For a step-by-step guide on how to apply all mineral SPF moisturizers and sunscreens, click here to watch this informative video.

About Eminence Organic Skin Care

Eminence Organic Skin Care is an award-winning provider of the most effective, professional skin care in the natural and organic skin care industry. With a portfolio of over 200 cruelty-free products, Eminence Organics provides results-oriented treatments to spas in over 60 countries. As a Certified B Corporation® and a pioneer of organic professional skin care, Eminence Organics proudly embraces eco-friendly practices and plants a tree for every retail product sold.

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