Let's Get Physical ... Blockers. Not all sun protectors are created equal
CHEMICAL VS PHYSICAL, WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
FIRST THINGS FIRST. There are two different types of sunscreen protective agents available- chemical blockers and physical blockers. Both protect the skin but there are major differences between them.
Chemical sunscreen agents are active ingredients like oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, benzophenone, octisalate, and homosalate. They tend to be easier to rub into the skin without a white residue and are less expensive to manufacture. They mainly work by absorbing the UV easily and dissipating the UV energy by undergoing a chemical reaction in the skin. However, they have been shown to absorb into our bodies. Recent tests have been inconclusive as to whether this poses a health risk, but some studies have suggested that absorption of the chemical components in these sunscreens can affect oestrogen levels. On top of this, they are the key ingredients responsible for allergic contact reactions to sunscreens, a topic I published a paper on in my registrar days of training as a specialist.
Physical sunscreen agents are the other type of sunscreen that has a mineral base. They provide a physical barrier to stop the absorption of the sun’s harmful rays by deflecting and reflecting it off the skin. The active ingredients in these types of products are titanium dioxide or zinc.
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They are inert meaning they cause NO allergic reactions on the skin. They are less likely to be absorbed into the body and they do not produce byproducts in the skin. SO, in general they are preferable to chemical sunscreen agents, especially if you are one of those sensitive skin people.
The downside of this type of sunscreen is that it can leave a white residue on the skin which is cosmetically unappealing. They are more difficult to formulate with, and more expensive to manufacture.
It’s best to experiment with different brands of sunscreen in this category until you find ‘the one’, that holy grail that provides not only good coverage but blends well. No piling, no pilling, no clogging.
Discover the Concentrated CC+
Finding that perfect balance of a physical protector isn’t easy, but it was a challenge I was determined to overcome. Yep, they say the secret to success is perseverance.
That’s why I developed my own Concentrated CC+. Twelve years in the making, working with formulators from eccentric Mr. Saintron in Paris to the Dandenong ranges in rural Victoria, to chemists in Singapore and beyond. I searched far and wide, not compromising on my idea and dream. Finally we found the right formulator here in Sydney Australia who not only understood my concept but had the technological expertise to match.
So what's so different about DrNC CC+ cream?
Let’s break it down:
Protection like you are wearing nothing at all: It’s a weightless SPF 30 formulation, that doesn’t pill, pile up, clog or mess with your make up. A high SPF that doesn’t feel like you are wearing sunscreen.
- Physical blockers only! Using BOTH zinc and titanium dioxide to form a barrier protecting you from UVA & UVB rays.
- More Than SPF protection: The Benefit of 5% B3
while 5% vitamin B3 (niacinamide) goes beyond and confers protection from infrared and environmental damage. B3 has the added benefit of repairing your skin, reducing pigmentation, and protecting the skin’s immune system from the sun. The level I use (ie 5%) are the levels used in Australian pioneering studies showing its immune protecting capacity at the University of Sydney by professor Diona Damian.
So far we have developed light and medium tones with colour correcting particles that correct and perfect your complexion at the same time. For me, I wear it every day. The final protective step before I walk out the door each morning. Knowing I am doing the best for my skin.
Application is everything when it comes to making sure the protection I am getting on my face matches the SPF reading on the tube (30). SO a generous pea size per cheek and additional for the forehead is the way to go.
THE NITTY GRITTY: top tips for picking protection
Firstly it should be broad spectrum which means it protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
Secondly, it should have an SPF minimum of at least 30 . 30 and above is the most commonly used sunscreen and has been shown to filter out at least 97-98% of UVB radiation.
Thirdly, Check out the ingredients: physical blockers ie zinc and titanium dioxide are my go-to. A combination of both is ideal to ensure broad-spectrum, ie covering you against BOTH UAV and UVB rays. It can be difficult to find good physical blocker only sunscreens, so next best are products that have a combo of physical and chemical agents.
You need a quality product that ticks all of these boxes while being cosmetically appealing and with no hidden nasties. Find this and you’re set. We might be biased as we created it, but we think that you won’t find a better daily face protector that you actually WANT TO WEAR, than the CONCENTRATED CC+ (Now Available in 2 Shades. Further shades to come).
Discover the Concentrated CC+
Don’t forget, it’s not only aging that we are trying to prevent with our daily application of sunscreen. Everyone can get skin cancer regardless of their skin colour. Two out of three Australians get at least one in their lifetime!!!
Remember, Bob Marley died from a melanoma that developed on his big toe when he was only 36. People of all shades should see a dermatologist annually as early detection gives the best chance for a cure.
The take away:
Our beautiful sunshine and outdoor lifestyle make summer such a great season, but Australia also has some of the highest UVA and infrared radiation levels in the world. This means that everyone needs to protect themselves EVERY DAY. There is no such thing as “healthy” sun exposure. It only takes five minutes to start activating enzymes in your skin that start eating up your collagen and elastin fibres (yep the beginning of the ageing process and wrinkle development). Let alone damaging your DNA and instigating the skin cancer development cascade.
So ensure you are putting your best face forward and choose to wear SPF every day.