Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Natural Versus Regular Sunscreen.


If you ready anything about your skin, beauty, or health, you'll see that being told to wear sunscreen is at the forefront, even in winter.  I admit, I don't usually wear sunscreen in winter since I live in Alaska up near the Arctic Circle and I'm seldom out during the few hours of sun but I'm back wearing it by the time the sun is out several hours a day.

Then when you are shopping for sunscreen, you see so many choices in the local store, online, or recommendations via your friends.  You'll hear some people talk about natural sunscreens being better for you than those "chemical" ones but what do they mean by that?  Natural is simply another word for sunscreens classified as mineral or physical.  They contain active ingredients like zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide which form a physical barrier between your skin and the sun, causing the sun to reflect away from the skin.  If you have sensitive or acne prone skin, it is strongly recommended you use this type of sunscreen.

Over the years, manufacturers have worked hard to make these sunscreens more acceptable.  There was always a kid who had a bright white nose or white all over their body but now they look more natural and are so much easier to apply.  In addition, they come in SPF's of 70 or so. One time, I accidentally purchased one and it really wasn't bad but I prefer something a bit lighter on my skin.

On the other hand, chemical sunscreens actually contain ingredients that absorb the suns rays, turn them into heat before releasing the heat through the skin. Chemical sunscreens contain oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate. Furthermore, chemical sunscreens can be lighter, go on to form a sheer finish and are more easily absorbed into the skin.  Unfortunately, there are two things to know about chemical sunscreens.  First they can irritate certain types of skin and second it is possible they have adverse environmental effects but its not solidly proven yet.

Although mineral sunscreens may be better environmentally, the best sunscreen to get is the one you will wear.  It is best to choose one you are willing to wear everyday and that fits your lifestyle.  I have one I use on my face because it is very light, doesn't sting my eyes, while doing a great job.  I have another I wear on the rest of my body, including my neck and both are SPF 50 minimum.

In addition, companies have created tinted sunscreens that help blur imperfections, developed ones that will hydrate your skin, mattify the skin, or work with mature skin.  It is possible to use both types of sunscreen on different parts of your body depending on need. When you purchase your sunscreen, keep your skin type in mind otherwise you might suffer from a breakout due to materials in the sunscreen or a sensitivity reaction to chemicals.  In cases like these look for a sunscreen that are oil free or non-comedogenic.

So the bottom line is to purchase the type of sunscreen you like and will use but it should be rated at least at SPF 30 and classified as a broad spectrum.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day and don't forget to wear sunscreen everyday even if it's cloudy.

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