With the importance of protecting your skin against UV rays, have you ever wondered what’s actually in sunscreen? Which aspects of the product actually protect your skin? Dr Fabrizio Spada, Research and Development Manager at SunSense's manufactuer, Ego Pharmaceuticals, provides some answers.
THERE ARE TWO MAIN CATEGORIES OF UV FILTERS
Dr Spada reveals that the key ingredient in all sunscreen that provides protection against UV radiation are “UV filters”. All sunscreens contain UV filters and the role of the UV filters is to reduce the amount of UV radiation that actually hits your skin. There are two main categories of UV filter ingredients.
One is called chemical filters and the other is physical filters.
- Chemical Filters: The chemical filters or also known as chemical absorbers, absorb the UV radiation and dissipate that energy.
- Physical Filters: The physical filters or physical blockers are used to reflect the light back. Think of physical filters as a mirror put in front on top of your skin to reflect UV radiation.
Why is that important?
According to Dr Spada, it’s important to decide which kind of filters the consumer wants to use for their sunscreens. Often, a blend of physical and chemical filters are used to achieve broad spectrum SPF. However, not all skin types are tolerant to sunscreen ingredients. Physical blockers are considered more tolerated for sensitive skin and they’re more suitable whenever there’s an underlying issue or skin condition. So while formulating our Sunscreen range, a lot of thought is put behind what kinds of UV filters are used in each sunscreen.
Additionally, at SunSense all our sunscreens are always tested dermatologically towards sensitive skin and we clearly stay away from known allergens in all our products such as fragrances or dyes. Dr. Spada put a particular spotlight on sensitising preservatives such as MI, which are never used in Ego products because it’s a known allergen and has shown to cause skin issues upon repeated exposure.