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Let’s Get Physical
with Sun Block

Applying SunscreenDear Audrey,

I’ve heard people talking about physical sun block. What is it and how does it differ from the sunscreen that is in my moisturizer and foundation?

Great question! I know that there are lots of ways to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Whether you’re a someone who loves to sit and relax in the sun or a hardened outdoor athlete its really important to protect your skin every day. There are really two different types of ways to protect your skin either physical sunblock or chemical-based sunscreen. Both of them offer different ways to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Let’s Get Physical

Physical sunblock literally sits on top of the skin. It does not absorb into the pores of the skin. The sunblock serves as a barrier to reflect the sun rays away from the skin. Physical sunblock has active ingredients that are not chemicals; instead they are "physical" ingredients. The two active ingredients in a physical sunblock are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Both are composed of naturally-occurring elements on The Periodic Table. Zinc oxide serves as protection from the entire spectrum of UVA and UVB rays, while titanium dioxide protects the skin from UVB rays and offers slight protection from UVA rays. The combination of these two active ingredients is a powerful mixture of full protection from the harsh sun. 

One thing to note is that physical sunscreens tend to leave white streaks after application and don’t offer as much UVA protection compared to chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens are also a bit thicker so they may be more difficult to apply.

Chemically Speaking

A chemical sunscreen is one that is absorbed into the skin and pores, and literally absorbs the light of the sun's rays. The active ingredients in a chemical sunscreen are chemically-based. Chemical filters offer more coverage against UVA and UVB rays than physical sunscreens, but the range of protection will depend on the particular ingredients. EWG (Environmental Working Group) recommends that you will select a product with broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) of protection while looking for one that has fewer hazardous chemicals that penetrate the skin causing irritation or allergic reactions to the skin.

What Choices do you have?

Many Skin Care companies like Dermalogica offer moisturizers with chemical-based formulations that protect against UVA and UVB rays or a physical sunscreen that actually reflects damaging rays. Also available are physical sunscreen products like Burnout or Original Sprout.

Ultimately the best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt—but when that’s not what you want, come on into Westside Beauty Supply and let our trained professionals help you select the right sunscreen, moisturizer with sunscreen or foundation with sunscreen. You’ll be glad you did!

Audrey

Have a beauty related question? We'd love to hear it, and so would our readers. Email your questions to


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If you don't have a stylist or esthetician you work with, give us a call and we'll set up an appointment to help you with your skin-care or hair-care products. We have several make-up artists that are happy to help you find new colors and techniques that make you feel beautiful. Letting us know when you are coming in will ensure we can give you all our attention. This is a free service, and there is no obligation to buy our products.

 

Disclaimer: This newsletter is a compilation of many voices and is not necessarily a single person. We have done our best to represent the subject matter as thoroughly as possible, but we make no guarantees. Please use this newsletter as only one of several sources, as it contains both facts and opinions.