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2 Types of Sunscreen

types of sunscreen // Woman in bikini with sunblock

Did you know there are two types of sunscreen? Me either, until I did some research since summer is on its way, the weather is getting warmer and we need to protect our skin from the harmful sun rays to prevent sunburns and especially skin aging caused by the sun. Learn which type is the right one for your skin.

types of sunscreen // Woman in bikini with sunblock

Photo via Getty Images // Tom Merton

There are two types of sunscreens: chemical, which is more common, and physical sun blockers. Chemical sunscreens include ingredients like avobenzone, mexoryl, octinoxate and octisalate. They get absorbed into your skin, and work by then absorbing the sun’s rays, thus protecting you. Physical sunscreens, which include zinc oxide and titanium oxide, sit on the top of your skin without being absorbed, and block the UV rays.

Physical sunscreens can give you that ghostly pallor you’re looking to avoid. While chemical sunscreens can be harsh if you have sensitive skin, and they often feel greasy. (There’s also some controversy about safety, although most dermatologists agree that the amount used in sunscreens is safe. Read about it over at the Environmental Working Group’s website.)

5 Non-Greasy Sunscreens & Non-Chalky:

1. Clarins UV Plus Multi Protection Day Screen SPF 40, $22.50: If you want to use a physical sunblock without looking like a mime, the key is to find a fluid (often called a “veil”) formulation. It goes on smoothly and blends perfectly. You can wear makeup over it without it pilling, which sometimes happens with thicker physical sunscreens.

2. L’Oreal Paris Silky Sheer BB Face Lotion SPF 50+, $8.99: One of the reasons BB creams became so popular is because they’re multi-taskers, often including sunscreen. The problem is, if the creams are a bit thicker, women generally don’t use enough on their faces to provide adequate sun protection. You can get around that again by using a fluid formulation. This one is tinted yet sheer, contains a high SPF (via chemical sunscreens), and absorbs well without leaving a greasy sheen.

3. Supergoop Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40, $28: This sunscreen contains both zinc, a physical blocker, and octinoxate, a chemical blocker. It goes on smoothly and dries down without a hint of greasiness or white residue.

4. La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultralight Sunscreen Fluid, $29.99: A veil version of a chemical sunscreen. This one also absorbs instantly and is great to use under makeup because it’s so lightweight.

5. RéVive Intensite Creme Lustre Day Firming Moisture Cream SPF 30, $385: This is the money-is-no-object, do-everything choice. It contains a chemical sunscreen, but because it is in the most luxurious anti-aging cream ever, it never feels greasy or heavy.

Products Mentioned:

If you live in the Philippines, I recommend you buy it from Gracey’s America.

Which type of sunscreen do you prefer? Or if have other beauty questions, just leave it on the comments section below.