We all know how important it is to use a sunblock whenever we go out into the sun. UV rays can cause some serious damage to your skin. Not to mention that melanoma and other types of skin cancer are terrible diseases that can be avoided by just applying some lotion each time you go to the beach.
But which one to choose? There are so many out there that it is almost impossible to know which one is good and which one it isn’t. There are different protection factors, there are different ingredients, different anything. So where to start?
The difference between a chemical sunscreen and a physical sunscreen
My advice is to start with the choice between a chemical sunscreen and a physical one. The difference between the two is obvious, but let me put it simply for you. A chemical sunblock has in its structure all kinds of chemicals like oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and avobenzone that are meant to get absorbed by the skin and protect the skin from the damaging effects of UVBs (burning ultraviolet rays). These ingredients are also called chemical absorbers. They do a pretty good job, but there are UV rays that are not covered by chemical sunscreens.
On the other side, there are physical sunscreens. They are natural. Their primary ingredient is zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. They are natural UV blockers. After you apply a physicalsunscreen, your skin will not absorb the lotion. Instead of absorption, the chemical free sunscreen will form a very thin film that will simply block the UV rays from penetrating the skin and will deviate their trajectory. The phenomenon resembles a mirror that reflects the sun’s rays.
Moreover, the chemical free sunscreens will always protect you from all kinds of UVs, not only UVBs. There are also UVAs, meaning ultraviolet rays that will rush the aging process of the skin. Most of the chemical sunblocks totally disregard this aspect.
As you can see the difference is huge. Instead of poisoning your skin with all those chemicals, maybe you should start looking for a physical sunblock.
Pros and Cons
Like every other product, there are advantages and disadvantages to using a physical sunscreen. However, it’s all about putting them into balance. If the good exceeds the bad, then you know what you have to do.
- ü Physical sunscreen is broad spectrum, which means it can protect your skin from both UVB and UVA rays. The main ingredients in these are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are natural active sunscreen ingredients. Not only they fight the UVBs and UVAs, but they also resist ultraviolet radiation. There is a study suggesting that these two substances are physical attenuators of UVR.
- ü You know how chemical sunscreens work. You have to apply them and then wait for about half an hour for the lotion to be absorbed. Otherwise, the substances will not penetrate the skin, and you will not be protected against UV rays. But it’s not like that with physical sunscreens. Since there is no absorption, there is no waiting time either. All you have to do is apply the lotion, and then you are free to get out in the sun. All it has to do is create that layer I was talking about, which does not take that long.
- ü Chemical-free sunscreens offer protection that lasts a lot longer than regular sunblocks. The effects are persistent, but only in natural conditions. If you go swimming, or you engage in physical activity, and you sweat, the sunblock will disappear. Since it sits on your skin and not within, it gets washed away.
- ü They are far more beneficial to the skin than chemical sunscreens. They are made of natural ingredients which means it is less likely to get a rash or other skin reactions. Chemical-related reactions can cause a lot of unpleasant effects, and if you are one of those people with sensitive skin, then a chemical free sunscreen is your best option.
- ü There are people with different skin conditions who cannot tolerate any kind of product. For example, people with heat-activated skin cannot use a chemical sunscreen because it will get absorbed by the skin and will not provide the protection they need. But physical sunblocks will deflect the sun’s heat, which will spare them from redness or the effects of rosacea. That is why a chemical free sunscreen is highly recommended for people with such skin issues.
- ü Individuals with blemish-prone skin will absolutely love this type of sunscreen. Chemical free sunblocks do not clog the pores, so the chances of you having an outbreak are slim to none. It’s difficult, especially in the summer, to keep your pores clean. It’s hot so the pores will be mostly open; there are dust and dirt everywhere, so it is a recipe for disaster. To add a pore-clogging sunblock would be the last straw.
- ü It will last longer in your closet. If you buy one one at the end of the summer and you don’t need it until next summer, you can keep it. Chemical-free sunscreens maintain the integrity of their ingredients for longer than a chemical sunscreen.
There is no such thing as a perfect product, which is why I feel compelled to tell you about the disadvantages as well.
- ü Reapplying will happen more often than with a chemical sunscreen. Given the fact that it just covers the skin and does not penetrate it, it actually makes sense.
- ü Minerals are the main ingredients in chemical free sunscreens, which means they may leave a chalky look. People with darker complexions may not enjoy this very much.
- ü It is thicker than a chemical sunblock, so rubbing it may take a while.
- ü If you sweat, the chemical free sunscreen may form drops on your skin.
These may cause you some impositions, but they are easier to manage than all the displeasures a chemical sunscreen may cause.
What is the best chemical free sunscreen?
There are a lot of offers one the market for you to choose from. However, just because it says chemical free on the bottle, that doesn’t mean you have to take their word for it. Here are a few products that have been tested by customers and are considered the best.
Blue Lizard Sunscreen Sensitive
If you have sensitive skin, then you are going to love this product. It does not have any fragrance (you know that scented sunscreens are irritating), it does not have parabens and is free of any chemicals.
As all natural sunscreens, Blue Lizard is a broad spectrum sunblock that will protect you against UVAs and UVBs in the most efficient way possible. It contains 10% Zinc Oxide and 5% Titanium Dioxide, the two most powerful minerals.
The SPF is 30. It is not very high but is enough for its purpose. It may take a while to rub it in. It is thicker than other products from the same category, but after you finish applying it, you will have a pleasant sensation. The skin will not feel greasy or cumbersome. For precisely this reason you can use it on your face as well.
As I stated above, this product is perfect for those who have sensitive skin. There are no irritations, and people who used this product say that there is a very pleasant sensation. Sensitive skin is very hard to satisfy, but Blue Lizard Sunscreen will surely deliver the effects you are expecting.
There was some bad talk about this product that it does contain parabens after all, but this has been straightened out. The Blue Lizard Company state that they removed all parabens from all their products, but not all at once. Which is why some people found some products that still contained these chemicals. This is no longer an issue. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
3rd Rock Sunblock SPF 35+ from 3rd Rock Essentials
This product gives a whole new face to the sunscreen industry. This is the first and only alkaline sunblock on the market. It is made with food grade ingredients only, so as you can imagine there are no toxins, everything is natural and organic.
One of the most incredible aspects regarding this sunblock is that it was created using a patented zinc sun protection formula. A lot of resources have been invested in the discovery of the perfect formula, but in the end, it was all worth it. 3rd Rock Sunblock is one of the most effective UVA and UVB protection of all sunblock brands.
The formula of this sunscreen works using an interesting idea. It seems that this product manages to prevent skin cancer. How? By preventing damage to the skin at a cellular level. It prevents mutation, which is how skin cancer appears. According to studies, cancer cells develop the best in acidic environments, but 3rd Rock created a sunscreen with an alkaline Ph.
All physical sunscreens don’t last long if you go swimming or you are engaging in physical activity that causes you to sweat, but this one will last as long as possible. The formula is hypoallergenic and is perfect for all skin types. Even individuals with sensitive skin can use this sunblock without fearing rashes or outbreaks.
The one downside to this product may be the smell. It does not have the greatest scent of all. The formula was meant to be unscented so it wouldn’t contain chemicals, but even natural ingredients have their smell. It’s not bad, but it may come as weird. Other than that, 3rd Rock is perfect. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Peak Sunscreen SPF 30
The beauty of this product is that in its content you can only find 100% natural ingredients. There are no harmful chemicals whatsoever. There are very few brands that can say this. That means your skin will get the deluxe treatment. Prepare yourself to be pampered in everything that nature has best.
There are no nanoparticles, the lotion is hypoallergenic and is safe for all skin types. Even people with sensitive skin can use this. It is actually highly recommended that people with skin conditions use this kind of sunblock, as opposed to those who are filled with chemicals. You will not find in Peak Sunblock none of the following: Gluten, Parabens, Synthetic Chemical Fragrance, RetinylPalmitate, PABA, Oxybenzone, Propylene Glycol, SLS, SLES, and Phthalates.
All mineral sunblocks have to be reapplied after a short period of time due to swimming or sweating. However, Peak sunscreen can last up to 80 minutes. It is also non-harmful for the coral reef or other marine animals.
Last, but not least, Peak sunscreen has an SPF of 30 and is broad spectrum. All this so you can enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about the harmful sun rays. And all that without the use of a single chemical. Peak is the living proof that 100% natural can be achieved. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Although all three products look fantastic when it comes to their contents, one of them rises to the higheststandards. My choice lies with the Peak Sunblock. My choice is based purely on the fact that it is all natural, eco-friendly, and that it lasts longer than the other two when it comes to swimming. The other two last about 40 minutes. I am not saying that it is bad, but if there is a product so good that lasts twice as much, then why not?
I hope that you take sunblock seriously. Thousands of people fall as victims to skin cancer due to sun exposure. Don’t make the same mistake. Protect your skin from all existing UVs and try to do so as naturally as possible. That is why I recommend you buy a chemical free sunscreen that will give you the protection you need only using what nature provides. There are times when chemicals are even more dangerous that the sun rays, so make a smart decision and go all natural. Click here to buy on Amazon
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