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    What is the Best Type of Sunscreen?

    It is important to get outside and have some fun in the sun. However, enjoying a sunny day has its risks and drawbacks. For instance, the sun emits harmful ultraviolet radiation (UV rays). There are different types of UV rays, classified by the length and strength of their wavelengths. The most common and main types of UV rays are UVA, UVB, and UVC, with UVA having the longest wavelength followed by UVB and UVC.

    Ultraviolet radiation reaches the body in the form of UVA and UVB rays. While UVBs only penetrate the outer layers of skin, the UVA rays are much more harmful due to their longer wavelengths. These can penetrate deep into the skin and cause permanent skin damage. This includes cellular changes and an increased risk of skin cancer, whereas UVB rays can cause sunburn and skin inflammation.

    One way of protecting the skin from sun exposure and damage caused by UV rays is to wear sunscreen before you go out in the sun.

    Types of Sunscreen- Which One Should You Choose?

    Sunscreens contain active ingredients that create UV filters. As they work to form barriers with the help of UV filters, UV rays do not penetrate skin layers. There are two types of sunscreens: mineral (physical) sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. Both types work to do the same job, using different mechanisms.

    Mineral Sunscreen

    Mineral sunscreen contains the active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, both of which are FDA-approved.

    Benefits of Zinc Oxide

    • Blocks both UVA and UVB rays: Not all sunscreens provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide can reduce your risk of sunburn or wrinkles as it effectively scatters and reflects the harmful ultraviolet radiations.
    • Works instantly: Zinc oxide is an active ingredient that works right away. It instantly creates a physical barrier between your skin and the sun to protect you from its harmful effects.
    • Safe for the skin: Although zinc oxide is an active ingredient, it does not cause any harm to the skin. While it is suitable to be used on sensitive skin, the ingredient is also often used to treat minor skin irritations.

    Mineral sunscreen is also sometimes called physical sunscreen, as these provide UV protection by creating a physical barrier. They sit on the surface of your skin and block UVA and UVB rays by scattering and deflecting them away. Not only do these sunscreens provide effective protection from the sun, but they are also instant, so you do not have to wait before going out.

    While this type of sunscreen is the most common and effective, as with any sunscreen, you will need to reapply frequently for the maximal benefit.

    Chemical Sunscreen

    A chemical sunscreen also works to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. However, it is quite different from a physical or mineral sunscreen. This is because chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin and penetrate the deeper layers. Once the sunscreen is deep in your skin, it starts working by absorbing ultraviolet radiation and changing it into heat. Your skin then releases this heat energy normally.

    While a chemical sunscreen promises protection from sun exposure, it is unclear. This is because chemical sunscreens allow UV rays to penetrate into the skin in order to change them into harmless heat. This suggests that this type of sunscreen may not be able to protect the skin from all UVA rays that penetrate deep into the skin.

    On top of that, chemical sunscreens demand more frequent reapplication in direct sunlight as they can use up chemicals more quickly. These sunscreens can also be harmful to rosacea-prone and sensitive skin due to their heat-releasing property. Moreover, heated skin can also lead to an increase in pigmentation of the skin in individuals suffering from hyper-pigmentation.

    Choosing a Sunscreen

    Here are a few things to keep in mind while choosing sunscreen.

    Check the Ingredients

    Make sure you read the ingredients at the back of your product in order to choose the safest sunscreen. Currently, the safest ingredients seem to be zinc oxide and titanium dioxide found in minerals. In 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an announcement in which it deemed only 2 of 16 UV filters used in sunscreens (the minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide), as generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE). The remaining 14 ingredients were determined either unsafe or are under further review.

    Consider Usage

    How often you need to be out in the sun and use sunscreen is a big considering factor when it comes to purchasing a sunscreen. They key with sunscreen usage is regular and frequent application to obtain the most benefits.


    At Hale Cosmeceuticals, we have always tried to stay ahead of the curve, and never used Chemical ingredients for our sunscreens. We encourage everyone to choose a sunscreen that suits them, and is comfortable for usage on a regular basis. Preventing UV and sun damage is key to keep our skin healthy. We also several SPF products which we are proud of, including our Surya SPF-35!





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