Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen
Physical sunscreens such as Daily Physical Defense by SkinMedica, more commonly referred to as sunblock, contain active mineral ingredients titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. These ingredients which naturally give both UVA and UVB protection do not penetrate the skin but sit on the surface of the skin and deflect the sun’s rays. Chemical sunscreens such as Total Defense and Repair by SkinMedica, which do penetrate the skin, actually absorb or scatter the sun’s rays. Chemical sunscreens have a tendency to be more irritating to sensitive skin since multiple ingredients are combined to achieve the UVA and UVB coverage. Chemical sunscreens usually rub in easily while Physical Sunscreen can be a little thicker.
So, which one is better?
Physical Sunscreen is the ideal everyday choice, but it’s not waterproof and it must always be applied with your hands. Chemical Sunscreen is better if you are going to be exposed to the sun for extended periods of time because it can be offered in a convenient rub-free, water-resistant aerosol can. The most important point I would like to stress is one must be willing to wear sunscreen daily to protect your skin’s health and your aesthetic investment.