Which solar filter suits me?
Choosing the right sunscreen
Apply, apply and apply again. How often do you hear from us and from the news these days about the importance of applying sunscreen? In our previous blog, you have read all about the damage that the radiation from the sun can cause. In this blog, we will talk more about how you can better protect yourself and what to look out for when buying a product.
When you go to a pharmacy looking for a new sunscreen, you can choose from dozens of different types, including sprays and creams. In addition, sun protection products differ in sun factor (SPF) and, of course, price. Choosing a product does not get any easier, and often people rely on what smells good, is not too expensive and looks nice. But is this okay?
Different types of solar filters 
To help you make the right choice for a sunscreen product, we will start by explaining the different protection filters of a sunscreen product. This is because you are dealing with a chemical filter or a mineral
The chemical filter is also called an organic filter. This is because it owes its name to the organic substances contained in this filter. These substances can absorb the UV rays and convert them into harmless forms. This is possible due to the special chemical structure that these substances have. Chemical filters are intended to penetrate the skin and thus absorb the UV rays. This is why it is important to apply a chemical factor 30 minutes before going out into the sun. The filter must be properly penetrated into the skin in order to be able to absorb the UV radiation. Another advantage is that the chemical filter can be slightly more water-resistant, this is because the filter penetrates the skin and cannot be rinsed off.
A disadvantage of the chemical filters is that a group of these filters can end up in the bloodstream and cause health problems. Also, the chemical filters are not always stable, which means that they do not always provide the protection that the product promises. Furthermore, these chemical filters can also cause skin irritations, such as sun bumps and contact allergies. The chemical sunscreens that should be avoided are: Benzophenone-3, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Octyl Methoxycinnamate and Octocrylene. These names can be found in the ingredients list.
Fortunately, there are also chemical filters that scientific research has shown to be ‘good chemical filters’:
– Bis-Ethylhexyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine
– Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate
– Ethylhexyl Triazone
– Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol (nano)
The mineral filter
The mineral filter is also called the physical filter. This sunscreen creates a physical layer of protection on the skin, which reflects the UV rays like a mirror. This sunscreen, in contrast to the chemical filter, does not soak into the skin. A mineral filter is only formed by two types of ingredients, namely zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These two ingredients are used separately in solar products, but also together, and the more a product contains, the higher the protection factor. The disadvantage of this mineral sunscreen is that the two ingredients have a white colour, and as a result can leave a white layer on the skin. Fortunately, in the land of cosmetics, they have already devised nanotechnology. This technology cuts the active substances into microscopic, small particles, making the solar product more transparent.
The advantage of these mineral filters is that they do not penetrate the skin and are therefore not a health hazard. This sunscreen is therefore also suitable for children and babies (not under the age of 3 months), here you will find the products that are safe for your child. In addition, this sunscreen provides immediate protection and does not require any application time. Fernblock 
Heliocare’s protective contain an additional ingredient in the 360-degree line. This brand is known for the Fernblock. But what is this? Polypodium leucotomos, also called extract from the Fern plant, is the secret ingredient of this Fernblock. This ingredient was discovered by the Native Americans, who used to make tea from the leaves of the ferns, resulting in the fact that they burn less quickly. Extensive research by Fitzpatrick and the Harvard Medical School, among others, has shown that this extract has a number of properties that have a positive effect on the protection of the skin. These properties are:
- Protecting DNA: The Fernblock can help prevent and even repair damage to the DNA caused by sunlight.
- Protection against oxidation: Fernblock protects the skin against free radicals, especially those generated by sunlight. These free radicals often cause skin ageing because they damage skin cells.
- Protection of the immune system: Sunlight can affect the resistance of our skin. The Fernblock ensures that the skin’s immune system works optimally again.
- Protection against skin ageing: The Fernblock also protects the structures in our skin that are important in our fight against skin ageing. The Fernblock protects the collagen and elastin fibres, so you will be less likely to experience sagging and ageing skin.
As skin therapists, we believe it is important to apply sunscreen properly and regularly, but it is also important to do so with the right product. Hopefully, this explanation will help you make a more conscious choice when it comes to your sunscreen.
Want to know more? We are happy to advise you.
 Broek, S. (2012) Chemical and Physical Sunscreens, Which is the best choice? Pharmaceutical Sciences. Antwerp