Sunscreen: Chemical or Physical?

In Canada, we wait all year for the summer heat; for pools, gardens and outside fun! Thankfully, most of us have embraced the need to protect ourselves from the sun and skin cancer. Did you know there are 2 types of sunscreen, physical and chemical? Here is some information from our spa and other sources (listed below) that might help you make the choice that’s right for you:

Physical sunscreen: what is it?
– It blocks the sun’s rays, reflecting UV radiation back into the atmosphere using ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
– The ingredients scatter both UVA and UVB rays, providing your skin with full protection from sun damage.
– This type of sunscreen provides immediate protection as soon as it’s applied.

Chemical sunscreen: what is it?
– It forms a thin film on the skin that reduces ultraviolet radiation (UVR) penetration to the skin.
– Includes chemical ingredients like avobenzone and benzophenone, which absorb UV rays.
– You will need to wait 20 minutes after applying chemical sunscreen before its protection kicks in.
– There is a concern among some that this type of sunscreen may cause free radicals, causing irritation, and in some cases damage, to the skin.

No matter which sunscreen you choose, remember to re-apply regularly to keep your protection consistent throughout the day.

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