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Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen

Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen

When thinking of sunscreen, typically we just think of protection from the sun and not much else, but in reality, there are 2 different types of sunscreen that can protect you in different ways. The 2 categories we break sunscreen into are physical and chemical. But what does this mean? Physical sunscreen contains zinc oxide or titanium oxide and reflect UV rays in order to protect your skin. Chemical sunscreen absorbs UV rays and converts them into heat. Both sunscreens protect you from the sun, but which should you use in different scenarios, and how do you know which is right for you? We're going to dissect what physical and chemical mean. 

Physical sunscreen is best to use if you have acne prone skin because it is less likely to clog pores. It is often heavier and can feel cakey. Physical sunscreen can also rub off very easily and often needs reapplication. A great physical sunscreen is the Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50

Chemical Sunscreen is more so your typical day to day SPF. It is thinner and less likely to rub off when sweating. A chemical sunscreen is much easier to mix in with other skin care products and should be the type of sunscreen that you incorporate in your day to day skin care routine. Some great chemical sunscreens include the EltaMD UV Clear sunscreen and the Supergoop! Unseen Screen. These chemical formulas are great whether you are headed to the beach or just for every day wear. Both sunscreens go on clear and don't leave a white cast. No one will even notice you are wearing SPF!

Conclusively no sunscreen type is better than the other, they are just alternative ways to protect your skin from the sun. We hope you enjoyed our brief explanation of your favorite SPF! Shop all the products mentioned here at

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