What’s the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens?

There are two main types of sunscreen: physical and chemical. Both have their own unique properties and benefits, and both help protect our skin from UV rays.

The benefits of physical sunscreen

Physical sunscreen, also called mineral sunscreen, sits on top of skin. Most physical sunscreens leave a white or tinted residue on skin, but newer formulas like Invisible Physical Defense 30+ and Porescreen 40+ have been made ultra-sheer to help prevent a chalky effect. To identify this type of sunscreen, look for the words “mineral,” or “physical,” as well as active ingredients like Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide.

Physical sunscreen:

  • Helps protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • Protects as soon as it’s applied – there’s no need to wait before exposing skin to daylight
  • Is generally comfortable for all skin types and conditions, particularly sensitive skin
  • Is applied over the top of your skin care as all other products can’t penetrate through a physical sunscreen.
  • Generally a physical SPF will not be combined with a moisturiser

The benefits of chemical sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens use ingredients that absorb into skin and transform UV rays into heat. This type of sunscreen tends to be popular because it feels light and looks unnoticeable.

Chemical sunscreen:

  • Helps protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • Needs time to absorb – 15 to 30 minutes – before exposing skin to daylight
  • Is generally comfortable for most skin types and conditions
  • Tends to be more water- and sweat-resistant
  • Moisturisers with SPF in them is generally a chemical SPF as this allows the moisturising factors to absorb into your skin

What sunscreen to use

It all comes down to which formula you like wearing the most. We believe any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen to help protect your skin from UV damage. That’s why we love that Dermalogica offer a broad range of SPF moisturizers and sunscreens that suit different preferences and lifestyles. To find out which formula is right for you, come in for a chat. Dermalogica have EIGHT different SPF’s to choose from so there is something for every skin and every season.

Plus, with the launch of the NEW Dermalogica Porescreen40+ on September 4th, for all of September 2023, Tranquility is giving you 10% off all SPF purchases. So stock up and protect your skin this Summer season.

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