Chemical Sunscreen vs Physical Sunscreen: Which Is Right For Me?
Listen up beauty fans! We’ve done the research; weighed up the factors and come to the definitive conclusion that sunscreen is the number 1 step of your skincare routine that should never be skipped! After all, what’s the point of applying skincare to improve damage that you could have prevented in the first place?! Whilst total sun exposure is unavoidable, we can definitely minimize the effects of sun damage with proper protection. That means a high factor sunscreen and regular application.
But wait! Before you complain that greasy sunscreens cause clogged pores and breakouts, we’ll stop you right there. Did you know that there are different types of sunscreen? And that different formulations suit different skin types? If you answered no to both of those questions then don’t worry, you are not alone and we’re going to break down the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens right here so that you can discover which sunscreen is right for your skin type.
What is the difference between physical and chemical sunscreen?
The main difference between physical and chemical sunscreen comes down to the different mechanisms each type use to filter UV rays and protect the skin from damage. Physical, also known as mineral, sunscreen sits on top of skin and reﬂects away UV rays whilst Chemical sunscreen uses ingredients that absorb and transform UV rays into heat.
Is physical sunscreen better than chemical?
Both physical and chemical sunscreens with a high factor SPF are highly protective and the main differences come down to personal choice. For example, chemical sunscreens tend to be less thick and more transparent, therefore absorb easily and sit better under make-up. On the other hand, physical sunscreens can be thicker and therefore more moisturizing.
Which sunscreen is best for my skin type?
Which sunscreen is best for your skin will depend on what type of skin you have. Chemical sunscreens are lightweight, with a non-sticky feel that is ideal for daily wear. They spread easily on the skin and, as the chemical filters do not have a physical presence, there is no white cast. By contrast, a physical sunscreen is often thicker and contains Zinc Oxide in the ingredients which sits on the skin and reflects UV rays. As such, physical sunscreens are less suited to oily or acne-prone skin but better for sensitive skin since the heat dissipation of chemical sunscreens can cause irritation.
How often do I need to reapply sunscreen?
In order to adequately protect our skin from harmful UV rays, we should be applying a high factor sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside and every two hours thereafter. Further considerations come down to what kind of physical activity you are doing in the sun. Chemical sunscreens are more effective at resisting water and sweat, so they're usually the better choice when you're swimming or doing physical activity in the sun. However since physical sunscreens are usually thicker and whiter, it is easy to see where they have been applied and where they have been rubbed off. This helps ensure sensitive areas are covered and protection levels better maintained.
Best Korean Sunscreens
Korean sunscreens offer excellent protection against the sun with a range of options available from chemical, physical and even a mix of both. Here, we’ll help you choose the best sunscreen for face protection that will suit your skincare routine and produce the best results!
Best sunscreen to wear under makeup
With its fast-absorbing, silky smooth texture, KLAIRS All Day Airy Sunscreen is our best sunscreen for face under makeup. Super lightweight yet powerful, this chemical sunscreen has a weightless formula that absorbs quickly without leaving behind any stickiness or white cast.
Best Korean Sun Stick
For when you’re on the go but want to remain sun safe, ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Airy Sun Stick takes the crown for best daily sunscreen for face. Mess free and easy to apply, it has a smooth texture that glides over the skin and reaches all areas of the face. Additionally it is infused with Hyaluronic acid to help retain hydration levels in the skin.
Best mineral sunscreen for face
If you prefer a mineral sunscreen to a chemical sunscreen then THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Derma Mineral Sun Cream really is the best face sunscreen for sensitive skin. Not only does it offer a strong UV protection but it also contains Calamine, Vitamin E derivatives and Zinc Oxide which help to soothe damaged and irritation.
Best sunscreen for troubled skin
A common complaint about wearing sunscreen is that it can exacerbate or emphasize skin problems such as enlarged pores, oiliness, and blemishes to name a few. To this, we offer ROUND LAB Birch Juice Moisturizing Sunscreen. This lightweight, hydrating and fresh sunscreen provides essential protection against harmful UV rays and contains Birch Sap and Hyaluronic Acid which, when combined together, creates a synergistic effect that not only plumps, firms and replenishes hydration but also helps improve skin texture and tone by smoothing out fine lines and rough patches.
The best of both
Chemical and physical sunscreens both bring different benefits to the skin and therefore we don’t blame you if you’re having a hard time deciding which is better. And guess what… you don’t have to! COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream has both physical and chemical sunscreen factors meaning you can have your cake and eat it too! This gentle daily sunscreen contains Aloe Vera Leaf Extract to help moisturize and nourish the skin and can be used on the face and the body.
Hopefully we have done a good job of convincing you of the benefits of wearing SPF every day but if you need a quick recap, we’ll simplify the main points: not only does sunscreen protect us against harmful UV rays that can cause cancer and skin damage, but they can also nourish your skin and improve various skin concerns! Wear a high factor sunscreen everyday and your skin will be happier for it - simple!
Stock up on your favourite Korean sunscreens in Australia here at BONIIK – the Best Korean Beauty Skincare Makeup Store in Australia!