Now the spring is here and we are spending more time outdoor. Don't forget to put on sunscreen!
UV damage is the top cause for skin cancer. It also contributes to pre-mature aging, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and dry skin. For those with pre-existing conditions such as eczema, rosacea, hives, sun rays can exacerbate these conditions and cause redness, itching, and irritation.
With so many sunscreens out there, what are some of the key factors that one needs to consider?
We put together a list and hope it will guide you in the sunscreen selection process:
1. Chemical vs physical sunscreen
Do you know the difference between chemical and physical sunscreen? Chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin and undergo a chemical reaction. When exposed to the sun, this reaction transform UV rays into heat, which is released from the skin eventually. Common chemical UV filters are avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone, etc. Formula contain chemical filters tend to be thinner and less greasy ( with lotion like consistency), making them easy to spread on the skin.
Here are some of the drawbacks of chemical sunscreens: It must be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure, as it takes time to be effective.
Chemical sunscreens may irritate skin
Some chemical filters are hormone disrupters, kids and teens should be careful with chemical sunscreens. They are also less stable compared to physical sunscreen, which means you will need to reapply chemical sunscreens more often.
Chemical sunscreens may not offer full broad spectrum protection.
Physical sunscreen is also called mineral sunscreen that likely contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. It contains inorganic physical UV filters that reflect, scatter, and block the sun rays. They tend to sit on top of the skin. They naturally offer broad spectrum protection, they are safer for kids and teens, especially those contain only zinc oxide. The drawbacks of mineral sunscreens are they tend to be thick, making it harder to spread on skin. Many physical sunscreens leave a white residue and are more greasy than chemical sunscreen.
2. Skin types matters
Most of the physical sunscreens on the market are not suitable for those with oily or combination skin because they are so thick and greasy that can easily clog pores.
Finding an ideal sunscreen for those with pre-existing conditions can be quite challenging! For any one with rosacea, chemical sunscreens cause their skin turn hot and red, where as the physical sunscreens can be non-breathable and traps oil and dirt.
3. scented, unscented, vs fragrance free
Chemical filters have strong scent, therefore most of the chemical sunscreens have added fragrances. Those stated as unscented tend to use mask fragrance to cover up the unpleasant smell. These fragrances tend to trigger allergic reactions.
For sensitive skin types, fragrance free sunscreen is a better choice
4. preservatives in sunscreen
While parabens, a class of commonly used preservatives do not cause irritation or allergic reactions, when exposed under UV rays, they may damage the skin and lead to discoloration.
LEMYKA team has gone through years of research to develop a physical sunscreen with only zinc oxide. It has lotion-like consistency, offers broad spectrum protection with SPF 30+, and is free of harmful and irritating chemicals. Read more about LEMYKA zinc oxide sunscreen.