What is the difference between physical and chemical filters?

December 21, 2015 10:11 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There is only one physical filter permitted for use today – titanium dioxide. In 2009, the physical zinc oxide in nano form was banned within the EU. Discussions also took place about stopping titanium dioxide products containing nanoparticles (essentially everything titanium dioxide) until there was sufficient research on this, but it was voted down. Nanoparticles added to products should not leave too much white, sticky film on the skin which physical filters often do. While physical filters allow the sun’s rays to reflect off, chemical filters work in such a way that the skin absorbs sunlight and converts it into harmless radiation. The skin doesn’t turn white or sticky.
Titanium dioxide is a common substance in nature that needs little processing, except that it’s most often used in nano form. The nano form covers 1/3 of UVA protection relative to the specific UVB protection given on the bottle. Therefore, the vast majority of manufacturers also use chemical filters that provide greater protection against UVA rays. Chemical sunscreens are composed of different ingredients, i.e. compounds of various substances produced for this purpose, and therefore labelled as chemicals. Today there are about 26 authorized chemical filters. There is no evidence to suggest that chemical sunscreens are dangerous in any way.
Choose what suits you. The most comfortable sunscreen on your skin and the one you actually use is, after all, possibly the best.

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