Physical Sunscreen: what is it? Why is it so popular?

Holy Grail Products For Sensitive Skin

Physical sunscreens, also known as mineral sunscreens, sit on the skin instead of absorbing it. Under the skin it forms a barrier on the skin surface that reflects UV rays to prevent damage and sunburn.

Unlike chemical sunscreens, which absorb and scatter the harsh UV rays of the sun, physical sunscreen forms a barrier around the skin that filters the UV rays. Mineral sunscreen, on the other hand, uses mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide, manganese, copper, iron, zinc sulfate and copper oxide as active ingredients to block the UVA and UV rays. Mineral sunscreen uses mineral components such as iron oxide or copper sulphide or iron oxides as active ingredients.

The minerals simply sit on the skin and protect it by reflecting the UV rays. Now that we have a better understanding of the differences between chemicals and minerals, we should take a closer look at this.

The goal is to make sure that your sunscreen is good for all skin types, and not just your skin type. Physical sunscreens do not contain chemical sunscreen, but zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. On the other hand, physical (also called “mineral” sunscreen) contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and often feels sticky when you go on the skin.

One of the reasons why mineral sunscreens have become so popular is that many people are worried that the components of chemical sunscreens are absorbed by their bodies. The active ingredient has been shown to be absorbed in certain sunsets and enters the bloodstream, although no data has yet shown that the FDA-approved chemicals in sunscreens are harmful.

Unlike its chemical counterparts, which absorb harmful sunlight, mineral sunscreen protects against the sun by sitting on the skin and physically blocking the harmful ray. Just like chemical sunscreens, you should apply at least one SPF 30 daily and apply again when using a mineral formula.

Currently, more than 80 percent of FDA-approved chemical sunscreens, including avocobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone and others, are banned or under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Currently, there are no FDA-approved physical ingredients for physical sunscreens, but zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are widely recognized as safe and effective. Both have no evidence of hormone imbalances and have no adverse effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar or cholesterol levels, according to the EEC’s 2020 guidelines. Minerals also form a protective barrier under the skin, which deflects and scatters harmful UV rays. [Sources: 3, 10]

Sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and premature ageing, but not all sunscreens are made the same. My favourite mineral sunscreen is LimeLife Alcone, and it contains the complete Sun Set Collection, the Perfect Perfect Suncream, Perfect Mineral Sunscreen and Perfect Minerals Sunscreen, as well as a variety of other products.

This sounds ideal for acne-prone skin, but unfortunately there are few broad-spectrum chemical sunscreens that protect against UVA rays. Mineral sunscreen uses natural sunscreen and contains a combination of minerals such as copper, iron, zinc, copper oxide and zinc sulfate to protect the skin by creating a “physical barrier.” [Sources: 0, 6]

Mineral sunscreens are ideal for many people, including pregnant women or people with sensitive or acne-prone skin. Greenfield says there are no FDA-approved chemicals in mineral sunscreen such as zinc oxide or zinc sulfate.

The best option is a mineral sunscreen with a high concentration of minerals such as zinc oxide or zinc sulphate. Some sunscreens are better than sunscreen, but others are better for people with sensitive or acne-sensitive skin.

Niacinamide. What is it? What does it do?

Recommended Product

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream | Body and Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin | Body Cream with Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, and Ceramides

Back to Basics

Unfortunately, there aren’t many high-quality studies looking at topical niacinamide for many cosmetic uses.

Niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an attractive treatment for skin conditions marked by inflammation, like acne. In fact, in two double-blind studies—one published in 2013 and the other published in 1995, both in the International Journal of Dermatology—a topical preparation of 4 percent niacinamide treated moderate acne just as well as 1 percent clindamycin (a topical antibiotic commonly prescribed to acne patients) when applied twice daily for eight weeks.

Other research suggests that a 2 percent topical niacinamide may also inhibit the production of oil, which could be beneficial to people dealing with acne. Plus, both dermatologists we talked to say that niacinamide is relatively nonirritating compared to other acne treatments, making it an especially attractive option for people with dry or sensitive skin.

However, niacinamide is more frequently studied in combination with other topical medications—not on its own, which makes it difficult to know how effective it would be by itself. Based on the available evidence, well-studied options like prescription retinoids (and sunscreen!) or other antioxidants, like vitamin C, will probably do more for you than niacinamide if hyperpigmentation, fine lines, or wrinkles are your primary concerns. But if your skin is too sensitive to handle those other options, or you’re just looking for a gentler treatment for whatever reason, niacinamide might be a helpful alternative.

My morning skin care routine

Sometimes less is more. That’s certainly my philosophy about skin care (and writing ;). I have sensitive skin and rosacea, and I don’t like to spend a lot of time getting ready. So, I’ve learned to choose products that are gentle, anti-aging, and essential, to save time and money.

Here’s my simple, sensitive skin friendly, budget friendly, 15 minute morning skin care ritual.

  • Drink a glass of water
  • Wash face and hands with a gentle cleanser
  • Apply Cerave to face, then hands, then neck
  • Apply EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 to face, then hands, then neck
  • Mouthwash, floss, brush teeth
  • Concealer under eyes, blemishes
  • Light dusting of powder on the t-zone
  • Brow gel
  • Mascara
  • CeraVe Healing Ointment on lips, cuticles

Take care 🙂

Holy Grail SPF: EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46

Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic. This is the holy grail SPF for sensitive skin.

Please check these retailers for current prices

Product review

The texture is silky and lightweight, and it glides effortlessly on the skin. The formulation glides on smoothly, has no fragrance, and moisturizes my very dry skin. It’s transparent with no white cast, and leaves a lightly dewey finish. It uses a transparent mineral (zinc oxide) sunscreen, and provides a youthful dewey finish when worn alone, or as a smooth base for makeup. 

How I use it

After gently cleansing my face and hands, I apply one pump to my face and rub the excess on my hands and finally my neck. I’ll use concealer under my eyes, and lightly dust powder over my t-zone.

The details

  • 9.0% transparent zinc oxide
  • Antioxidant protection combats skin-aging free radicals associated with ultraviolet (UV) and infrared radiation (IR).
  • Calms and protects acne-prone skin
  • Leaves no residue
  • UVA/UVB sun protection
  • Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic

Includes both physical and chemical sunscreen (zinc oxide, octinoxate), in addition to hyaluronic acid and other antioxidants like 5% niacinamide and vitamin E, which makes it an especially good sunscreen for minimizing hyperpigmentation and brightening skin tone.

Oil-free EltaMD UV Clear helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to discoloration and breakouts associated to acne and rosacea. It contains niacinamide (vitamin B3), hyaluronic acid and lactic acid, ingredients that promote the appearance of healthy-looking skin.

Use it in good health 😊

Please check these retailers for current prices
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