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
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.