Sun protection factors (SPFs) are an essential part of skin health measures. Regular use of sun protection factors can help reduce your risk of skin cancer, sun damage and ageing changes. Mr Banwell and his team therefore strongly recommend you use the very best SPFs possible to protect your skin and to be safe in the sun.

Remember there are two main types of sun creams – chemical and mineral. The main difference is that chemical sun care products contain UV filtering ingredients that take time to be absorbed by the skin – hence people using the 20 minute rule before sun exposure. By contrast, mineral sunscreens contain inert UV protective ingredients such as zinc or titanium oxide and form a protective barrier on top of the skin – these have an immediate effect.

What is more, some people who suffer allergies or sensitivities to chemical UV filters find that mineral SPFs do not irritate their skin. Zinc is also anti-inflammatory and does not block pores. The downside of mineral SPFs is that they used to be very thick and white but newer preparations are more ‘cosmetically elegant’ (micronized forms) and become transparent when applied – they are even available in spray format too!

The differences between chemical and mineral are many:

Advantages of chemical sunscreens:

good protection from both UVA and UVB rays (not all sunscreens offer this, so do check). The most popular UVA and UVB filters include benzophenone, avobezone, parsol and cinnamates.

Disadvantages:

The chemical filters parsol and cinnamates may not be good for sensitive skins, but the main irritant - the UVB-filtering ingredient PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) - has been phased out of most sunscreens.

Advantages of mineral sunscreens:

 Zinc or titanium. Excellent physical protection (they are not absorbed). Less sensitising than chemical. Some argue that in creating a barrier between skin and sun, they are more effective than chemical filters at blocking UVA and UVB. Zinc oxide also has anti-inflammatory healing properties.

Disadvantages:

Thicker and more occlusive than chemical sunscreens. This has long been their biggest drawback, but the newest mineral sunscreens are much more refined (as mentioned above) and cosmetically elegant.

To purchase sun protection factors (SPFs) in Sussex, Kent, Surrey and London please phone 0845 2600 261 now. We stock a wide range of SPFs for patients living in East Grinstead, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Brighton, Guildford, Caterham, Chichester, Worthing and London.

Recommended sun protection products

Rationale Neutraliser

Rationale Neutraliser

Heliocare 

Heliocare

Image Skin Care 

Prevention Spray

Please contact Mr Banwell's office on 01342 330302 or email help@skinhealth.org.uk for further information.

E-mail Paul Banwell

Book a Consultation

Clinic locations

Rationale

Rationale Skin Care

Skin Facts

Detected early melanoma is very treatable. Check your moles today

Twitter Bird Facebook Like

Like Skin Health on Facebook

Follow Skin Health on Twitter

help@skinhealth.org.uk