The Difference Between Physical and Chemical Sunscreen!

Types of Sunscreen/Sunblock:  Chemical  Physical (also known as mineral sunscreen)  
 How does it protect you from the sun? Absorb Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, dissipating it as it heats Reflect or scatter ultraviolet (UV) radiation
UV Filters (active ingredients) FDA Approved listed:

  • Octylcrylene (also known as:  Uvinul N539T, OCR, Eusolex OCR)
  • Ensulizole (also known as:  Phenylbenzimiazole sulfonic acid,  PBSA, Eusolex 232,  Parsol HS)
  • Avobenzone (also known as:  Butyl methoxy-dibenzoyl-methane, Parsol 1789, Eusolex 9020, Escalol 517, BMBM)
  • Octinoxate (also known as:  Octyl methoxy-cinnamate, OMC,
    Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, EHMC, Escalol 557,  Parsol MCX, Eusolex 2292, Tinosorb OMC, Uvinul MC80)
  • Octisalate (also known as:  Octyl salicylate,  Ethylhexyl salicylate, EHS,  Escalol 587)
  • Oxybenzone (also known as:  Benzophenone-3,   BP3, Uvinul M40, Eusolex 4360, Escalol 567)
  • Helioplex
  • Homosalate (also known as:  Homomethyl salicylate & HMS)
  • Mexoryl SX and XL (also known as:  Terephthalylidene dicamphor  sulfonic acid, TDSA, Ecamsule, Drometrizole trisiloxane, Ecamsule)
  • Cinoxate (also known as:  2-Ethoxyethyl p-methoxycinnamate)
  • Dioxybenzone (also known as:  Benzophenone-8)
  • Meradimate (also known as:  Menthyl anthranilate)
  • Sulisobenzone (also known as:  Benzophenone-4,  BP4, Uvinul MS40, Escalol 577)
  • Trolamine salicylate (also known as:  Triethanolamine salicylate)
  • zinc oxide (also known as: ZnO, CI 77947, Nogenol, Pigment white 4,  Zinc gelatin)
  • Titanium oxide (also known as:  TiO2, CI Pigment white 6,  Titanium Peroxide, CI 77891, Pigment white 6)
Comedogenic Tendencies
(ability to clog pores)
Chemical filters tend to be more irritating to skin. *Some can cause allergic reactions. Causes less skin irritation than other UV absorbing chemicals.   Still can be problematic for some people.  *If you have breaks or reactions to mineral make up steer clear of physical sunscreen.
Level of Protection(look for broad-spectrum protection on label) Chemical filters offer more coverage against UVA and UVB rays than physical sunscreens. How much protection is offered depends on the particle size of the UV filters and overall product formulation.
FDA – Federal Drug Administration Generally safe, however some chemical filters generate free radicals which can make your skin age.Many chemical UV filters have not been FDA approved in the States, but are in sunscreens sold in other countries. Pretty safe, FDA approved.
Types of Ultraviolet (UV) Rays: (Wavelengths) UV-A UV-B UV-C
  This is the longest wavelength and is not absorbed by the ozone. It penetrates the skin deeper than UV-B. Responsible for sunburns. It is partially blocked by the ozone layer. This is totally absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere; we encounter it only from artificial radiation sources.
What is SPF? The Sun Protection Factor or SPF measures how effectively the sunscreen formula limits skin exposure to UV-B rays that burn the skin. The higher the SPF the more protection the sunscreen will provide against UV-B rays. SPF does not measure UV-A. If you are looking for UV-A protection, it is recommended that you purchase a product that has broad-spectrum protection.

Ultraviolet (UV) photons harm the DNA molecule...

Ultraviolet (UV) photons harm the DNA molecules of living organisms in different ways. In one common damage event, adjacent bases bond with each other, instead of across the “ladder.” This makes a bulge, and the distorted DNA molecule does not function properly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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