Which type of sun protection should I use?

Posted by The Skin Alley on

We can all definitely agree that sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Proper sun protection will prevent premature ageing, wrinkles, sun spots, pigmentation to even cancer. Like mentioned by the World Health Organisation, the sun emits three different types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA, UVB and UVC. All have the potential to impose damage to your skin but they do so all differently.


  • UVC is the most damaging type of ultraviolet radiation of three. Thankfully, it is completely filtered by the atmosphere and will not affect your skin.
  • UVB is filtered by the atmosphere and cannot penetrate beyond the superficial layers of skin. UVB also causes premature skin ageing, sun spots, pigmentation to even cancer.
  • UVA has the ability to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and is the culprit behind your bad tan lines. Like UVB, UVA also contributes to your skins premature ageing and enhance the development of skin cancer.


Ever wondered what ‘SPF 30’ meant? This refers to the amount of time it would take your skin to get burnt if you didn’t have sunscreen on. SPF (sun protection factor) 30 simply means your skin is protected from ultraviolet radiation 30 times longer than not having any sunscreen on.

Sun protection is such an essential step in your skin care routine. If it’s not, then make it a priority.

Different Types of sunscreens 

Physical sunscreens remain on the surface of your skin and creates a physical barrier protecting you from both UVA and UVB. This barrier can block and scatter the UV rays before they penetrate your skin. This is because of the mineral filters that are used. Most commonly used minerals are titanium oxide and zinc oxide. Physical sunscreens such as Korean skincare Innisfree Tone Up No Sebum or Innisfree The Minimum sunscreen are particularly great for those with sensitive skin or for young children. Though it may fall short for some people as they tend to leave a white cast behind or are thicker in consistency.


Unlike physical sunscreens, chemical sunscreens like COSRX Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun (containing snail secretion filtrate which is packed with nutrients that can combat many skin concerns) work by converting UV rays into heat and then releasing that heat from the skin. Most commonly used ingredients are organic (carbon based) compounds such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avenobenzone. Chemical sunscreens are highly effective without needing to be in high concentration. The formulation is usually lightweight ideal for daily wear. Unlike mineral based products, chemical sunscreen can possibly cause redness or irritation (especially those with damaged skin barrier) because of the combination of ingredients used to achieve broad spectrum protection.

anti-ageing chemical sunscreen cosrx innisfree physical sunscreen pigmentation SPF sun protection UV

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