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Chemical Sunscreens VS Physical Sunscreens- Which Variant Is Your Skin's Next Match?

Want gorgeous skin? Wear. Sunscreen. Daily.

Chemical Sunscreens VS Physical Sunscreen

We've already established that applying sunscreen every day is crucial. Whether you're 15 or 50, give your skin its daily dose of SPF as it not only protects the skin from sunburn (it can do so much more) but also fights common signs of ageing; fine lines & wrinkles, sunspots, etc. What's more? Both, mineral and chemical sunscreens can help protect the skin against skin cancer. Hence, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen should always be a non-negotiable part of your skincare routine.

Now to the most important question- which sunscreen to pick?! Well, Physical vs Chemical Sunscreen has always been a subject of discussion. Let's know more about each of these variants before locking in the perfect sunscreen for you!

What is Physical Sunscreen?

chemical sunscreen vs physical sunscreen: What is Physical Sunscreen - Sunscoop

Also known as mineral sunscreen, a physical sunscreen is the one that 'blocks' the harmful sun rays by creating a physical barrier on the skin. It also reflects the damaging UV rays so that it doesn't penetrate and harm the skin in the long run.

Most physical sunscreens are composed of skin-friendly ingredients such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, etc. However, mineral sunscreens gave a tendency to leave a white cast behind. So, people with gorgeous brown skin, this is something you need to watch out for!

Pros of Physical Sunscreens

  • Starts protecting the skin as soon as it's applied.

  • Offers skin protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

  • Protects the skin from the sun's wrath by reflecting harmful rays

  • Lasts longer than chemical sunscreens

  • Less likely to irritate the skin

  • A perfect pick for people who have heat-activated skin (prone to redness, etc.) since it deflects the sun's rays

  • Usually has a longer shelf life than chemical sunscreen

Cons of Physical Sunscreens

  • Usually leaves a white cast on the skin (so be mindful of that or try a tinted formula instead).

  • Can rub off easily from the skin due to sweat.

  • It may also feel heavy on the skin (not all though) and may lead to more perspiration, thus causing your sunscreen to wear off more quickly.

  • Might not be suitable for acne-prone skin

What Are Chemical Sunscreens?

Sunscoop - physical sunscreen vs chemical sunscreen: What Are Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, work like a sponge; absorb UV rays and do not reflect them. Some of the most commonly used sunscreen chemicals in these include - active ingredients such as oxybenzone, zinc oxide, etc. They also offer immense protection from the sun's wrath and leave absolutely no white cast behind - perfect for everyday wear!

Now, let's learn about the pros and cons that chemical sunscreens tend to have -

Pros of Chemical Sunscreens

  • The formula is lightweight, more breathable and feels great on the skin.

  • You can also wear it under your makeup (or as a base) as it gets absorbed into the skin easily.

  • It spreads easily on the skin and doesn't clog pores.

Cons Chemical Sunscreen

  • In very rare cases, some active sunscreen ingredients may cause brown spots on the skin due to a chemical reaction (so make sure you use SunScoop Sunscreens!)

  • Unlike physical sunscreens, chemical sunscreens take about 15 minutes to become effective.

  • There is an increased chance of irritation (for people with a damaged moisture barrier as multiple ingredients are combined to achieve broad-spectrum protection ).

  • They don't last long so that means reapplication is a must (which ideally, we all should be doing every two hours!)

So Which Sunscreen Type Is Better- Physical or Chemical Sunscreen?

Sunscoop - So Which Sunscreen Type Is Better- Physical or Chemical Sunscreen?

There is no correct answer to this as both - physical and chemical sunscreen - are loved by skincare enthusiasts everywhere. But if you had to choose between the two, then go for the sunscreen that'll feel more comfortable on your skin.

For everyday use, you can try a chemical sunscreen or if you're going to be in the sun for a longer time. If you're going to chill at your home or planning to lie by the beach, we highly recommend physical sunscreen.

"Can I use both physical and chemical sunscreen?" Absolutely!

As long as they are suiting your skin type and not resulting in any new skin woes (acne, redness, inflammation, etc.) you can combine both types, you can mix/combine them both! If you have sensitive skin, we recommend doing a patch test before introducing it to your skincare routine!

Just make sure you are using two fingers' worth and reapplying every two hours!

And how to see if your new sunscreen will suit your skin type or not? Do a patch test!

Time to make SPF your BFF!

FAQs About Chemical Sunscreens VS Physical Sunscreens

Which is more effective chemical or physical sunscreen?

There are pros and cons of both physical and chemical sunscreen but which is more effective depend on individual skin type and preferences. You can try a chemical sunscreen for everyday usage or if you plan to spend more time in the sun. Physical sunscreen is actually recommended when you're going to relax at home or lay out by the beach. Physical sunscreen is best for people with sensitive skin and it does not contain any chemicals or cause skin irritation. Whereas chemical sunscreen is easy to wear and doesnot leave a white cast on the skin. What's important is to wear sunscreen consistently even on days when you are not going out!

Physical sunscreen is often the good choice for people with oily or acne-prone skin. As it does not contain any chemiclas it feels easier on the skin and does not cause any breakouts and will not clog your pores.

It's best to stick to one sunscreen and not mix both the suscreen together. As studies shows that mising physical and chemical sunscreen together may limit the protection against harmuful UV rays.


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