The best sunscreen is the one you’ll happily apply daily
There’s a lot of talk about chemical versus mineral sunscreens, with some touting the benefits of one over the other.
But the one thing that experts agree on consistently: everyone should wear it everyday.
Gwyneth Paltrow has been criticised heavily over the last week after Vogue released a video of her demoing how she applies sunscreen: on the highpoints of her face like highlighter.
Skin experts and dermatologists were horrified and have since been promoting the message that sunscreen should be applied liberally all over the face.
But it can be hard to know what kind of sun protection product to go for, especially when there are different types on the market.
Dr Hiva Fassihi, La Roche-Posay’s consultant dermatologist, tells Metro.co.uk that when it comes to choosing between a chemical and mineral sunscreen, it’s not a simple case of one being better than another.
The two types work differently to protect your skin from the sun, preventing burning and damage which play a role in the likelihood of developing skin cancer and premature skin ageing.
She says: ‘Mineral (or physical) sunscreen ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, reflect and scatter UVR.
‘They are safe and often found in children’s sunscreen formulations. However, they can leave a white residue on the skin and often feel greasy.’
So while minerals reflect the sun’s rays, chemicals absorb them.
Dr Hiva adds: ‘The chemical sunscreens ingredients are very effective in absorbing UVR and are cosmetically much more acceptable.
‘As they both protect the skin in different ways I believe sunscreens containing both physical and chemical blockers offer the best UVR protection in formulations which are cosmetically acceptable.’
But ultimately, she’s of the view that what’s most important is finding a formula ‘you’re happy applying every day’, regardless of which type of filters are in the product as consistency is key.
Saying that she doesn’t subscribe to the idea that ‘one is better than the other’, she advises whichever product you choose to look for a combination of UVA, UVB, UVR, and blue light protection.
One environmental difference to note is that chemical sunscreens are being washed into the sea and damaging coral reefs, an issue that’s predominantly been raised in Australia.
‘While it’s not a huge concern over here in the UK, it’s something that many companies are working on.
‘New research is carried out everyday to find safer sun protection ingredients for us and the environment,’ she adds.
If applying sunscreen everyday feels like a chore or as though it will clog your skin, think again.
Gone are the greasy and heavy sunscreens of yesteryear – you can now find lightweight options that disappear into skin without a white cast.
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