Physical Vs. Chemical Sunscreens

It's the peak of summer and we all know the sun can be intense and hot, so it's important to protect our skin. The majority of us just want to focus on slicing watermelon, making a batch of fresh lemonade, and how in the world do I get all the sand off of my feet before getting back in the car... I've forgotten the sunscreen many times on our outings, then I find myself running into the store only to be completely overwhelmed by all the options in front of me. My go to sunscreen resource is the Environmental Working Group's Guide To Sunscreen, but if you don't want to be doing ingredient research right in the aisle of the store a really quick tip is to think, do I want a physical sunscreen or a chemical based sunscreen?

Physical Vs. Chemical Sunscreens

Physical sunscreens reflect the sun's rays with ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, there is no waiting for it to kick in it works on contact as it is a physical barrier. Physical sunscreens often leave a white glow on our skin, we've grown accustomed to this! Chemical sunscreens (conventional brands, the spray you smell even 20 feet away from someone at the pool when they are applying it) work by seeping into your skin and they absorb the sun's rays. Chemical sunscreens are recommended to apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Chemical sunscreens have been linked to toxicity in aquatic life and endocrine disruption in our bodies.

I choose physical sunscreens for my family, of course if there is no other choice, I always choose to protect our skin with a chemical sunscreen over no protection. My go to brand choices are Badger, California Baby, and Garden Goddess. Over the years we have just honed in on what works best for our sensitive skin. I also recommend keeping an eye out for the Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care seal. The standards Whole Foods Market has adopted prohibits chemical based active ingredients and they also screen for particle size, so they do not contain any nano-particles. I greatly appreciate the work Whole Foods does to maximize my confidence when buying safe skin care products.

Disclaimer, I was compensated by Whole Foods Market as a WFM Ambassador for this post. Content is purely at my discretion.