Physical vs Chemical Sunscreen

Most people do not know that there are different types of sunscreens beyond their brands available in the market. Besides looking out for the SPF, UVA and UVB protection, another important thing to look out for is the ingredients found inside your product, which defines whether it is a Physical Sunscreen, or a Chemical Sunscreen.

Physical Sunscreen Chemical Sunscreen
Deflecting or blocking sun ray Absorbs sun ray
Active Ingredients Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide effectively blocks out UVA rays Only blocks out UVB rays
Starts protection immediately after application Must wait for 20-30mins after application for protection to be activated
Very safe & FDA approved Tends to irritate skin
Rubs off more easily, so needs to be reapplied frequently Some chemical filters generate free radicals, leading to more damage in the long-run

NOVU doctors advise our patients against using chemical sunscreens, as sun exposure causes chemical reaction, accompanied by the release of heat (exothermic reaction of chemicals), which then aggravates melasma, and causes premature skin aging. NOVU doctors recommend using Physical sunscreens of SPF> 30, with broad-spectrum UVA & UVB protection sunscreen, with low oil to water ratio.

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