Which Sunscreens are Safer?

Skin Care Boston , MAWhether it’s the middle of summer or dead of winter, you still should be wearing sunscreen to prevent sunburn, skin cancer, and signs of premature aging. Or so that’s what some people say. Others say that some sunscreens actually cause allergies and more serious issues, like cancer. How do you know who to believe? We recommend doing your own research, but keep reading to get an overview of each of the sunscreen arguments.

Physical Sunscreens

Physical sunscreens, mineral sunscreens, and chemical-free sunscreens all refer to the same product. These sunscreens use a physical filter to protect you from UV rays, so you’re likely going to see Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide (or both) as active ingredients in your sunscreen of choice.

These sunscreens can get a bad rap for being thick, chalky, and bad at blending into the skin. That white film that gets left behind can be a deal-breaker for people who want to wear sunscreen on their face everyday.

Thankfully, there are more options. Both Zinc and Titanium Dioxide have been shrunk into “nano-sized” particles by chemists, to help new formulations blend in better. So far, studies don’t indicate that these smaller particles can sink into the skin deep enough to cause you trouble. If you are concerned about side effects, then avoid nano-sized particles, and try to mix some sunscreen in with foundation to help blend it into your skin better.

Chemical Sunscreens

There are many more chemical sunscreen options, which can be a good and bad thing. Learning about all of the chemical filters can take a lot of work, so if you have concerns it might be best to search them out specifically. For example, if you know that you’re worried about skin sensitivities or hormone-disruption, perform a quick Google search to find brands that are safe for you to use. Certain filters like Oxybenzone are well-known troublemakers, so it’s best to avoid them if you can. For example, Oxybenzone has been linked to damage of coral reefs and disruption of human hormones.

One great thing about chemical sunscreens is their smoother formulations allow a more effortless application on the skin. You won’t find the white cast of physical sunscreens here.

Choose a sunscreen that works best for you, and avoid sun damage starting today. Cotact us online or call us at (978) 739-9500 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Petropoulos to learn more about keeping your skin protected from UV damage.

Posted in: Skin Care