Why is the kind of sunblock I use important?

How does sunblock work?  Mineral, or physical blocks, and chemical blocks are the two major forms of sun protection and they vary greatly with how they perform their job.

Look at your SPF and see what is listed as the “active ingredient.”  Common chemical blocks are avobenzone, octinoxate and octisalate while physical blocks contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  Chemical blocks allow UVA/UVB rays into the skin and then neutralizes them, which minimizes damage but also creates a warm sensation in the skin.  The cells that create a tan or brown pigment in our skin are very sensitive to heat.  If you have melasma or brown discoloration on your skin, this heat sensation can make your pigment darker!

Physical/mineral blocks rest on top of the skin and deflect the sun’s rays while keeping the skin cool.  They do not allow any UVA/UVB rays to penetrate the skin.

If you suffer from melasma or hyperpigmentation, PLEASE use a physical block!  Use it when you workout, or even in the sauna.  It is so important during the summer months to keep your skin as calm and cool as possible!  And if you love your Neutrogena or Bobbi Brown chemical blocks, then be sure to use an antioxidant serum every morning and night under your SPF to further neutralize those harmful UVA/UVB rays from wrecking havoc on the skin.