Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Center

Sunscreens: Chemical vs. Physical Blockers

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Sunscreens: Chemical vs. Physical Blockers

Last week was a great week at the new office, our first full week.  My favorite question from a patient was “What is different about the sunscreens you have in your office compared to the sunscreens that I can buy at the store?”

I do get this question a lot, especially around springtime when everyone is thinking about getting started with the outdoor activities.

The main difference is that most of the over the counter sunscreens are chemical blockers and the ones available at Janiga MDs Plastic Surgery and Dermatology are mostly physical blockers.

Chemical blockers degrade rapidly in the sun and wash off in water easily, and application should be every 2 hours because of this.  The sunscreens that are offered in our office are either purely physical blockers (minerals) or a combination of physical and chemical.  The fact that they contain physical blockers allows them to last longer, be more water resistant, and protect against a broader spectrum of the sun.  If you are anything like me, the smell of sunscreen is sometimes distasteful and the physical blockers also have very little odor.   Another reason people prefer the physical blockers is the “chemical free” aspect.

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