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Natural vs. Chemical Sunscreen | Summer Skin Care

What Is the Difference Between Natural & Chemical Sunscreen?

With summer in full swing, kids and adults are spending hours outdoors. From beach trips to barbecues, swarms of people across the nation are soaking up the sun’s rays and taking advantage of the season’s warm climate. With so much time in the sun, however, people are at greater risk of health problems caused by UV radiation. UV rays can damage skin cells and cause skin cancer even through cloud cover, and according to the American Cancer Society, UV rays can suppress the skin’s immune system and increase the risk of eye problems, wrinkles, dark patches, and early skin aging.

Wearing hats and protective clothing can help protect your skin against these effects, as well as using sunscreen. But, how do you choose, which type of sunscreen to use? Is there a difference between chemical sunscreen and natural sunscreen?

Choosing your summer skin care wisely is important. Here are three things you should know about the differences between natural and chemical sunscreen.

1. Chemical Sunscreen Uses Different Ingredients than Natural Sunscreen

While chemical sunscreen uses a mixture of chemicals to protect your skin, natural sunscreen uses a combination of minerals to ward off harmful UV rays. The main ingredients in chemical sunscreen include oxybenzone, homosalate, avobenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and octocrylene. The minerals commonly used in natural sunscreen, on the other hand, include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

2. Chemical Sunscreen Works Differently than Natural Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreen uses a chemical reaction to turn harmful UV rays into heat, which is then released into the air by your skin. In essence, chemical sunscreen absorbs sunlight and uses a chemical reaction on your skin to get rid of UV rays. Natural sunscreen, on the other hand, reflects the sun’s rays like a mirror and acts as a barrier to protect your skin from harmful rays. Furthermore, the minerals in natural sunscreen are effective immediately, unlike chemical sunscreen that often takes 20 minutes to become effective.

3. Chemical Sunscreen Has Different Side Effects than Natural Sunscreen

Because of their potent and inorganic nature, the active ingredients in chemical sunscreen cause concerns of toxicity. Some chemicals have been known to cause allergic reactions, and some studies have shown that chemical UV filters act like hormones. The rising concerns over negative health effects of chemical sunscreen have led to an increasing production of natural sunscreen, which works effectively to deter harmful UV rays without using controversial chemicals.

Using protective sunscreen can help prevent cancer and other conditions caused by UV rays. By understanding the difference between chemical and natural sunscreen, you can make informed decisions regarding your health and protect yourself against UV radiation. You can still have fun in the sun and be safe this summer by covering up and using a sunscreen that benefits your skin.

For more information on summer skin care, contact the Anaheim Regional Medical Center today.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.