Sun Safety Tip: Some Sunscreen Needs Time to Activate

Sun Safety Tip: Some Sunscreen Needs Time to Activate

Fun fact: all sunscreens are not the same. Some work instantly while others need 15-30 minutes to absorb.

Physical sunscreen works immediately because it sits on top of your skin & reflects UV rays. Chemical sunscreens need 15-30 minutes to be effective because they need to be absorbed into your skin. Both can be effective - here's a quick primer on the two...

  • Physical (or mineral) sunscreens sit on top of your skin & reflect the sun's rays. The main active ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It tends to be thicker and can be harder to blend into skin (think old school zinc). Popular mineral sunscreens: Coola, Blue Lizard and Sun Bum.
  • Chemical sunscreens absorb into skin, then absorb UV rays, convertsthe rays into heat and release them from the body. Active ingredients in chemical sunscreens include avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone. Chemical sunscreens are typically lighter and easier to apply. Popular chemical sunscreens: Elta MD and Supergoop