If you’re skincare obsessed (like us), then you probably are aware that you should be wearing sunscreen every day, rain or shine. Those UV rays can cut through clouds and cause signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, which you know we don’t want! Especially if you’re looking to prolong the effects of your anti-aging skin treatments, wearing sunscreen every day is a must. Keep reading to learn about the two types of sunscreen, and why one might be better for you than the other.

Physical Sunscreens

Physical sunscreens, or mineral sunscreens, contain one of two active ingredients: Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. Some formulations may contain both. These filters physically block out the rays of the sun, bouncing them off of our skin. They often feel a little more thick on the skin, and are more likely to leave a white cast behind.

Physical sunscreens have a reputation for being the “safest” sunscreens since they are photostable (they have a formula that doesn’t change when it interacts with the sun). Essentially, they are less likely to cause irritation on the skin because their ingredients are stable under normal conditions. As a bonus, physical sunscreen filters are also generally considered to be safer for coral reefs. Hawaii recently banned the sale of sunscreens with certain chemical filters in them, for example, to protect their fragile ecosystem.

Chemical Sunscreens

There are so many chemical sunscreen filters that we can’t name them all here. These filters sometimes absorb UV rays, which can cause sensitivity issues. Every formulation is different, so a little more trial and error may be necessary to find ingredients that your skin agrees with. Chemical filters are generally formulated to feel better on the skin, and they generally don’t leave you with a ghostly pallor after application.

Because these sunscreens may feel better on the skin, you might also be more inclined to wear them every day, which can help protect you from UV rays. Research the active ingredients to make sure that they are photostable (i.e. won’t undergo a chemical reaction when in the sun), and consider finding samples to identify a formula that works for you before you splurge on a big bottle.

Protecting yourself from damaging UV rays can help fight premature aging and also prevent certain skin cancer down the road. Call us today at (914) 234-8670 to learn more about keeping your skin safe in the sun.

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