The ingredients are what differentiate chemical and physical sunscreens, explains Joel Schlessinger MD.

As with any skin care product, it’s important to know exactly what you’re buying when you purchase a sunscreen. Sun protection factors, broad spectrum designations and chemical and physical distinctions can seem like gibberish if you don’t understand the difference. In this presentation, Joel Schlessinger MD helps you eliminate some of the guesswork by explaining the difference between chemical and physical sun protection products.

Physical and chemical sunscreens contain certain ingredients that protect the skin differently. Physical sunscreens contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide while chemical sunscreens contain ingredients like avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone and homosalate.

Which is better: chemical or physical? Joel Schlessinger MD explains.

Both physical and chemical sunscreens provide excellent protection against UV rays. While physical sunscreens deflect sunlight, chemical sunscreens neutralize the intensity of the rays. Whether it’s physical or chemical, sunscreen must be reapplied every couple of hours and it is important to choose a water-resistant formula.

Choosing between physical and chemical sunscreen is a matter of preference. Chemical sunscreens are usually colorless while physical sunscreens tend to leave a white residue. Because some of the ingredients may interact with skin, those with sensitive skin should stick with a physical sunscreen.

Joel Schlessinger MD highlights his choices for both chemical and physical sunscreens.

Chemical sunscreens such as LovelySkin Replenishing Sunblock SPF 36 and NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention UVA/UVB Sunscreen SPF 30 PA+++ both offer broad spectrum protection to defend against UVA and UVB rays. These products neutralize UV rays to prevent skin cancer and signs of aging.

For a physical sunscreen, try SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 or Jan Marini Physical Protectant SPF 45. Each of these products forms a barrier against UVA and UVB rays.

Check out more presentations from Joel Schlessinger MD on SlideShare.

Posted Monday, July 29th, 2013 at 7:14 pm
Filed Under Category: SlideShare
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