Dr Oz: Chemical Vs Physical Sunscreen & Micronized Zinc Oxide

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Dr Oz: Chemical Vs Physical Sunscreen & Micronized Zinc Oxide

By on May 8, 2013

Dr Oz: Sunscreen Health News

Dr Oz invited Dr Arthur Perry and Dr Elizabeth Tanzi on his show. They disagreed about the cancer risks posed by endocrine disruptors found in sunscreen, but there was something they could agree on. Which is better: physical sunscreen or chemical sunscreen? What’s the difference?

Doctor Oz: White Sunscreen Products

Dr Oz: Chemical Vs Physical Sunscreen & Micronized Zinc Oxide

Dr Oz’s experts talked about recommendation for physical sunscreen, which is made from ingredients such as micronized zinc oxide that are not absorbed.

Dr Oz said that the cosmetic industry changed the way they make sunscreen, in response to customer demands for a product that did not leave the white, creamy look on their skin.

But Dr Perry and Dr Tanzi agree that physical sunscreen, the traditional white style, does not pose a health danger. That is because this type of sunscreen is not absorbed into the skin.

Chemical sunscreen, which rubs in and vanishes almost instantly, is the type that penetrates the skin.

Dr Oz: Chemical Sunscreen Vs Physical Sunscreen

Dr Perry said that chemical sunscreen must penetrate the skin in order to work successfully. They can also be destroyed by UV rays from the sun.

Physical sunscreen blocks the light and sits on the skin to provide a physical barrier. But how do you know which is which when you are in the store?

Dr Oz: Physical Sunscreen Ingredients

Dr Tanzi suggested checking your label for zinc and/or titanium ingredients in a physical sunscreen. She said these products are effective because they reflect UVA and UVB rays, which are also good for people who have sensitive skin.

These sunscreen products are made in part from rocks, as you might have guess by their ingredients. There is something you can look for if you are worried about that filmy or white appearance of the product on your skin.

Dr Oz: Micronized Zinc Oxide Sunscreen

Check the label for micronized zinc oxide, an invisible form of zinc that blocks light and does not absorb. But Dr Perry said they are more expensive than traditional formula physical products.

Dr Oz: How Often Should I Apply Sunscreen?

Dr Perry and Dr Tanzi disagreed about how you should put on sunscreen. Physical sunscreen does not need to be reapplied, he said, unless it has been wiped off; it should last several hours.

But with chemical sunscreen, you need to reapply the product every one to two hours for full protection.

Dr Oz: Sunscreen Reviews

Doctor Oz said he recommended using physical sunscreen with active ingredients like zinc or titanium. Prices can vary between $11 and $95; finely crushed products are more expensive but less visible on the skin.

He recommended sunscreens approved by the Environmental Working Group.

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