Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chemical or Physical Facial Sunscreen? Which to Choose and Why.

With summer only a matter of weeks away it’s time to get serious about sunscreen.

No, that measly SPF 15 in your BB cream is not enough to protect you and your gorgeous young mug from premature ageing!

You need the strong stuff and you need to be wearing it errday, over the top of your serum/moisturiser and under your BB cream/ tinted moisturiser/ foundation.

Why? Because it will prevent burning, halt pigmentation in its ugly tracks (those horrible brown spots commonly found on your cheek bones and upper lip – if you’re on the pill) and stop premature ageing.

As most of you now know, I work for a skincare company so nobody’s more familiar than I with the particularly high-pitched, somewhat hysterical tone emitted from a skin therapist when explaining to a client how important sun protection is to ensure you stay looking beautiful darllllllling.

A cute hate and some good quality sunnies to protect those peepers is also a must!

Lazing by the pool a few Sundays ago ...

So, should you be using a chemical or physical sun block? Or a slinky hybrid containing both?

Here are the facts. 


Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing or sometimes scattering the UV rays. 

  • A chemical sunscreen must go directly onto clean skin, and will take 20 minutes to work.  
  • They are supposed to be better at the UVA (ageing) protection.

  • They utilise well, chemicals, such as: Octylcrylene, Avobenzone,Octinoxate, Octisalate, OxyBenzone and Homosalate and Helioplex to absorb or scatter the UV rays.

  • There has been some worry that some of these filters may cause free radical damage.

  • It should also be noted if pigmentation is on the top of your Skin Concerns list that chemical sunscreens can actually trigger pigmentation – what the flying feck!

My top picks:

Ultraceuticals Ultra Protective Daily Moisturiser Mattifying SPF 30+ (Octylcrylene + Avobenzone) RRP: $65

 Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+ (Octylcrylene + OxyBenzone) RRP: $59.95


A Physical (or mineral) sunscreen reflects UV rays off the skin without allowing it to be absorbed at all.

  • Physical sunscreens should be applied on top of your other skincare products but before makeup and start working immediately. They are better at UVB (burning) protection, but so long as you pick a broad spectrum prod you’re covered. (Or, choose a hybrid with some chemical sunscreens and some zinc oxide.)

  • Physical sunscreens use zinc oxide or/and titanium dioxide to physically block the UV from getting to the skin. Remember zinc from your school days? Vile green or hot pink non-spreadable lard. Modern Day micronized zinc is transparent (ohh fancy) so it won’t leave you looking like Casper after application.

  • For the most part they should not cause irritation which is why the organic skincare brands sell physical sunscreens. However if they do cause you to break out, it’s likely the titanium dioxide that’s causing havoc, not the zinc oxide.

My top picks:

 O Cosmedics Mineral Pro SPF 30+ (Zinc Oxide) RRP: $45.00


 Coola Mineral Face SPF 30+ Matte Finish (Zinc Oxide + Titanium Dioxide) RRP: $40.00

Personally, I prefer a physical sunscreen as my pigmentation has been causing me some bother of late. 

Which do you prefer? Why?

I would love to hear your thoughts beauties. 

T xx