Recently, there was a lot of speculation in the media about sun protection products, their quality, and ingredients. Hot discussion arose in the comments and we received a lot of emails as a result too. The topic was so exciting, we decided to seek an independent cosmetologist advice and share this useful information with you. We hope you find it useful!
So which SPF filters are more harmful, chemical or physical? Or should you use none?
Fears also follow trends
Let's put it straight, neither chemical nor physical filters can be considered absolutely safe. However, the harm of excessive exposure to sunlight is 100% proven, and science has not yet come up with any better protection from the sun. Therefore, we are forced to use sunscreens and other SPF containing products, in spite of certain risks and side effects.
It’s interesting that fears follow trends. Several years ago it was common to discuss the harm of physical filters. Today they discuss the harm of chemical ones. But let’s look deeper into that. Some chemical filters, which until recently were considered excellent protectors against ultraviolet rays, are considered obsolete or unsafe for health in the light of recent research. We want to emphasize separately - only some chemical filters have "distinguished themselves" by serious side effects. However, people began to shy away from all chemical filters indiscriminately and created the panic effect.
Physical filters are easy to remember
With physical filters everything is quite simple – there are two main ones:
- Titanium Dioxide;
- Zinc Oxide.
Their names are simple and easy to spot in the list of ingredients. With chemical filters, things are more complicated. In cosmetics, there’re usually not just 2-3 chemical filters used, but dozens. Most of them have rather complicated names, moreover, some also have synonyms. They are hard to remember and easy to make you confused. Everyone likes simple solutions. Therefore, people readily follow the panic - choose products with physical filters, avoid products with chemical ones. But what is noteworthy, media that declare all chemical filters evil indiscriminately, often don't even disclose a list of “dangerous” filters. How would you avoid chemical filters, if you do not even know their names? And this is where the error lies in this approach.
Disadvantages of physical filters
First, physical filters work only as reflectors, and if they missed the sun rays, you need the help of chemical filters that will absorb the missed ultraviolet. Simply put, without chemical filters it is difficult to provide reliable protection. Secondly, physical filters are also not 100% harmless.
- They overload the skin;
- Slow normal renewal of the epidermis;
- Stay on the skin as a thick whitish film;
- Promote the release of free radicals.
Thirdly, physical filters are unreliable. Fans of physical filters often believe that if they apply a cream with SPF50 in the morning, then their skin is under reliable protection until the evening. Unfortunately, this optimism is very wrong. When the base of the cream is absorbed into the skin, the mineral particles dry up and easily fall off your face like a powder. A huge part of the protection from the sun can be lost by lunch. And if a person avoids the products with chemical filters, he will have to beware of ultraviolet rays, because self-contained physical filters can’t provide a reliable protection.
And if some chemical filters are dangerous only in potential (that is, scientists only assume that they can cause negative consequences), then the damage to ultraviolet rays has long been proven - it damages skin cells, provokes a number of diseases and causes accelerated aging.
Chemical filters are good and bad
Many sunscreens are a combination of physical and chemical filters. In other words, even if there are physical filters in the list of ingredients, you still can’t sleep peacefully. It is entirely possible that chemical filters also lurk in the composition, and precisely those that need to be avoided.
Benzophenone-3 - BAD
For example, studies show that a popular chemical filter such as Benzophenone-3 is able to penetrate the bloodstream, adversely affect our endocrine system, as well as marine life and flora and fauna, plus is noted as a strong allergen. And of course, in the light of such studies, sunscreens with these filters should be avoided. They are still manufactured and you can meet them on the shelves of stores.
Tinosorb S - GOOD
There are chemical filters with a good reputation. For example, Tinosorb S. It has a rather complex chemical name (Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine), but the filter is modern, stable, with broad-spectrum, protects from UV-rays, and also from the negative effect of the "blue light" screens of smartphones, computers and other gadgets. Therefore, if you see such a filter in your sunscreen, you do not need to be afraid of it.
We hope now you will not be afraid of all chemical filters indiscriminately. Moreover, without chemical filters, it is impossible to provide reliable protection. Unfortunately, today there is absolutely no safe solution. If you avoid all chemical filters because of possible negative consequences, you need to be prepared for the side effects of physical filters, as well as the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays that will miss physical filters.
Finally, we can give you 4 useful tips that will help to reduce the risks and side effects of sunscreen filters to a minimum.
- Choose a product that contains different sunscreen filters. In this case, the percentage of input of each filter will be low, so the possible side effects of this filter will be minimal.
- Choose sunscreens, which contain antioxidants. And not one random antioxidant, but 2-3 or more. It can be vitamins C and E, extract of green tea and ginkgo biloba, etc.
- Avoid products with chemical filters that already have data on low efficacy or serious side effects.
- Do not use products with nanoforms of physical filters for damaged skin. Nanoparticles are toxic to the living cells of our skin.
We suggest the following popular Korean sunscreens with known lists of ingredients, reliable functionality, a mixture of filters, no dangerous chemical filters, and heaps of antioxidants and extra caring ingredients:
- 3W Clinic Intensive UV Sunblock Cream
- TonyMoly My Sunny Perfecting Sun Block
- Missha All-Around Safe Blocks
- Food a Holic Multi Sun Screen
- COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream
Original source: https://kosmetologa.net/vred-spf/