The Difference Between Physical and Chemical Sunscreens

Physical sunscreens protect your skin from the sun by deflecting or blocking the sun’s rays, while chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays. Some chemical filters can scatter sun rays, but still mostly just absorb them.

All sunscreens have an active ingredient (also known as a UV filter) that protects you from the sun.

Physical UV Filters:

  • Titanium dioxide (TiO2)
  • Zinc oxide (ZnO)

Chemical UV Filters:

  • Octylcrylene
  • Avobenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Homosalate
  • Helioplex
  • 4-MBC
  • Mexoryl SX and XL
  • Tinosorb S and M
  • Uvinul T 150
  • Uvinul A Plus

Stability

You want to choose a sunscreen which has active ingredients that are photostable, meaning they retain their stability upon exposure to sunlight and are unchanged. Physical UV filters are generally stable, however you do want to be careful when choosing a chemical sunscreen, as not all of them stay unaffected with sun exposure (avobenzone, for instance, is notoriously unstable).

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All EltaMD sunscreens at NewDermaMed are formulated with zinc oxide, which is the most photostable sunscreen ingredient.

Comedogenicity

Many people with oilier, break out prone skin tend to stray away from using an SPF because they worry it may worsen their skin. Chemical filters tend to be more irritating to the skin, and in some cases, may even cause allergic reactions. Those with problematic skin will want to choose a sunscreen formulated with zinc oxide, as it is generally safe and can be used even on the most delicate skin. Titanium dioxide can cause problems for some people. If you break out from mineral makeup, it’s the titanium dioxide that could be the culprit.

Protection

Chemical filters generally offer more coverage against UVA and UVB rays than physical sunscreens, but the range of protection will depend on the photostability of its active ingredient. Because your skin needs to time to absorb chemicals, you need to wait 20 minutes post-application for effective sun protection.

Titanium dioxide protects against UVB rays, but not the full spectrum of UVA rays. Zinc oxide is the most photostable sunscreen ingredient, and protects against the entire spectrum of UVA and UVB rays. All physical sunscreens begin protecting you immediately upon application.

Texture

Physical sunscreens are thick and opaque, and can sometimes leave a white cast or tint on the skin. It can rub off more easily and must be frequently reapplied. Chemical sunscreens are colorless, odorless, and usually runny. They can even double as a makeup primer, depending on the active formulation.

Safety

All physical sunscreens have been deemed safe and are completely approved by the FDA. While chemical sunscreen are generally safe, some chemical filters can actually generate free radicals, which can cause skin damage, irritation, and even aging. Many chemical UV filters have not been approved by the FDA, but are commonly found in sunscreens sold in Europe and Asia.

Skin Resurfacing with the Cutera™ Pearl Fractional

From wrinkles to stretch marks and everything in between, Pearl Fractional is the “one laser” to choose to renew the surface of the skin with instant and noticeable results after just one treatment. Fractional skin resurfacing uses micro-beams of laser energy to create areas of affected tissue that extend through the epidermis into the dermis. The body’s natural healing process creates new, healthy tissue to replace the areas of affected tissue, resulting in healthier, younger looking skin.

Pearl Fractional laser skin resurfacing can be used to treat a variety of skin concerns on different areas of the body, such as:

  • Aging skin
  • Crow’s feet
  • Stretch marks
  • Surgical scars
  • Enlarged pores
  • Moderate to severe acne scars
  • Fine lines
  • Moderate to deep wrinkles
  • Melasma
  • Sun damage
  • Skin laxity
  • Uneven pigmentation

When compared to traditional carbon dioxide (CO2) laser resurfacing, Pearl Fractional produces similar results with much less downtime and significant results after only a single treatment. A recent comparative study to other fractional devices demonstrated that Pearl Fractional was a more comfortable patient experience; further, the treatment is possible with only topical anesthetics.

Because of the intensity of skin resurfacing, we strongly advise patients to consider laser skin resurfacing during the winter months to avoid damage causing UV ray exposure from the sun on newly resurfaced, fresh skin.

Not sure if you’re a candidate for Pearl Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing? Contact NewDermaMed today for a complimentary skin evaluation to determine the best skin care solution for you.

Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 is essential for overall health and vitality. The anti-inflammatory fatty acids enable the reduction of acne and improve the health of the skin cell membrane, by providing a barrier against harmful properties resulting from the environment. The membrane is the powerhouse of the cell’s ability to hold water and thus, yields moister within the skin for softer, more robust and wrinkle-free skin.

Amongst the many benefits, omega 3 aids the delivery of nutrients to effectively enter the cell, while ensuring waste is properly discarded. This process helps to guard the skin against becoming acne-prone or rosacea prone, and further promotes “anti-aging” properties. Its anti-inflammatory traits have also been linked to mood-enhancing benefits.

To maintain a healthier skin complexion, make sure to incorporate foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids include seafood (especially tuna and salmon) as well as walnuts, canola oil, and flax seed.

For individuals that want to consume omega-3 in the form of supplements, intake a tablespoon of fish oil. Make sure there are no added preservatives or fragrances, and the oil has been purified to remove any mercury or other toxic substances. If you prefer tablet forms, intake 200mg DHA and 300 mg EPA omega-3 pills daily.

Individuals suffering from skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, melasma, skin aging, hyperpigmentation and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, should avoid foods that spike insulin levels, including sugar, white flour, simple carbohydrates and starchy goods. Insulin is directly linked to spike in inflammation, which can irritate and worsen any skin condition.

For more information on how to maintain healthy skin, as well as to treat any existing skin conditions, contact NewDermaMed Cosmetic and Advanced Laser Clinic. Our board-certified medical professionals will be happy to provide you with a free consultation with the VISIA Complexion Analysis. With this revolutionary medical technology we are able to assess your current skin condition and effectively assist you with all your inquiries and concerns regarding your skin care regimen.