Physical vs Chemical Sunscreen

Physical vs Chemical Sunscreen

Dermalogica SPF

Here are facts you need so you can choose the best sunscreen for your skin.

Story Highlights

Physical sunscreen uses minerals that sit on top of skin and reflect away UV rays.
Chemical sunscreen uses ingredients that absorb and transform UV rays into heat.

The Benefits of Physical Sunscreen

Physical sunscreen, also called mineral sunscreen, sits on top of the skin. Most physical sunscreens leave a white or tinted residue, but newer formulas like  Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 have been made ultra-sheer to help prevent the chalky effect. This makes them suitable for all skin tones.

To identify this type of sunscreen, look for the words "mineral," or "physical," as well as active ingredients like Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide.

Physical Sunscreen:

  • Helps protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • Protects as soon as it’s applied – there's no need to wait before exposing skin to daylight
  • Is generally comfortable for all skin types and conditions, particularly sensitive skin

The Benefits of Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens use ingredients that absorb into skin and transform UV rays into heat. This type of sunscreen tends to be popular because it feels light and absorbs well. Sensitive skins may not tolerate this type of sunscreen. 

Chemical sunscreen: 
  • Helps protect against UVA and UVB rays

  • Needs time to absorb – 15 to 30 minutes – before exposing skin to daylight

  • Is generally comfortable for most skin types and conditions 

  • Tends to be more water and sweat resistant

We have a range of different SPFs to help with not only protecting your skin but also targeting your skin concerns from ageing to breakouts. Take a look at a few of our chemical sunscreens.

Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50

Broad Spectrum moisturiser helps combat the appearance of skin ageing. 

Solar Defence Booster SPF50

Add critical UVA and UVB defence to your moisturiser or foundation with this Broad Spectrum sunscreen for all skin conditions. 

Prisma Protect SPF30  

Light-activated multitasking moisturiser provides broad spectrum defence while preventing future signs of skin damage.

Oil Free Matte SPF30  

This broad spectrum sunscreen helps prevent shine and skin ageing on oily, breakout-prone skin.

what sunscreen to use

It all comes down to which formula you like wearing the most. At Dermalogica, we believe any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen to help protect your skin from UV damage. That’s why we offer a variety of SPF moisturizers and sunscreens that suit different skin types and lifestyles.  

To find out which formula is right for you visit: where you’ll be guided through a three-step process that will generate a custom skin protection plan for your day.  

Or chat directly with Tara via live chat or book a 1-2-1 virtual consultation with face mapping.

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