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    Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen – What’s the Difference?

    • 2 min read

    BY CHELSEA SIMMONS

    jane iredale makeup products

    Choosing a sunscreen can be overwhelming. There are so many factors to consider (SPF, formulation, application, etc.) that it’s easy to give up and just pick the first one you see. One of the most confusing elements of the process is deciding whether to buy a physical sunscreen or a chemical one.

    If you’re uncertain whether you want to transition from a chemical sunscreen to a physical one, here are some points of difference to help you choose which type of sunscreen is best for you.

    What isPhysical Sunscreen

    • Contains physical sun blockers; active mineral ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
    • Provides chemical-free broad spectrum coverage (protects against both UVA and UVB rays).
    • Remains on the surface of your skin.
    • Acts like tiny mirrors reflecting, refracting and absorbing rays.
    • Begins working as soon as you apply.
    • Less likely to cause irritation on your skin.
    • Is available in a range of SPF levels and can be very water-resistant.

    What is Chemical Sunscreen

    • Contains organic (carbon-based) chemical compounds.
    • Provides broad spectrum coverage by combining multiple ingredients; zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide are also used in some formulas.
    • Works by penetrating your skin’s surface.
    • Absorbs the sun’s rays into the ingredients like a sponge.
    • Requires approximately 20 minutes to fully sink into your skin.
    • Increased likelihood of skin irritation due to the combination of ingredients.
    • Is available in a range of SPF levels and can be very water-resistant.
    Are you ready to try a chemical-free sunscreen? Look no further because jane iredale has seven physical sunscreens that have earned The Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Approval: PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation SPF 20, Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder SPF 20, Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15, Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream SPF 25, Powder-Me SPF Dry Sunscreen SPF 30, LipDrink Lip Balm SPF 15 and HandDrink Hand Cream SPF 15. Want to learn more about sunscreen? Click here to see important facts about SPF and sun exposure.
    Chelsea Simmons

    Chelsea Simmons

    Chelsea began her beauty journey in 2010 as a fashion and beauty freelancer at Ladies’ Home Journal magazine. There she had the chance to test and review hundreds of products while quickly falling for the benefits the clean makeup she tried. After leaving the magazine industry, she worked as a publicist for international fragrance and beauty brands until 2016 when she landed at jane iredale. Here, she has discovered liquid eyeliner doesn’t have to burn her eyes, foundation doesn’t have to feel heavy, and that the jane iredale Global Educators truly have the best beauty hacks. Since then, she’s shared her 10+ years of experience with you on The Good Glow Blog.