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The sun doesn’t have to be scary, and neither does your daily skincare routine. If you fear the effects of sun damage and aging on your skin, chemical sunscreen can provide you with the optimal protection needed to protect yourself against those scary UV rays.

Generally lightweight in texture, chemical sunscreen doesn’t have the chalky appearance that you will find with most physical sunscreens.

What’s the difference between physical vs chemical sunscreen?

Unlike a physical sunscreen that sits on the surface of one’s skin, chemical sunscreens are designed to penetrate the skin and soak up the UVA and UVB rays like a sponge, before they have a chance to cause any damage.

How to tell if sunscreen is physical or chemical

Physical sunscreens will generally contain ingredients such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, which are mineral ingredients that you might find listed in the ingredients section on the back of your mineral makeup products.

In Chemical sunscreens, the ingredients can be a little more complicated - with tongue-twisting names such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Though these names are long and a little scary, scientists continue to develop chemical sunscreen formulas that are thinner and less irritating every day.

Making sunscreen a part of your daily skincare routine has never been easier. Chemical sunscreens are generally lightweight in texture, making them perfect for application under your makeup, or as a moisturiser.

What are the best chemical sunscreen brands?

You can now find lightweight products that also double as a serum, such as the Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum.

If you’re looking for a facial sunscreen that’s not going to leave a greasy residue, try the La Roche-Posay Sunscreen for the face.

Or if you’re looking for a high SPF primer to apply before your foundation, the Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF50+ doubles as a moisturiser and a sunscreen.

Why wear sunscreen every day?

Sunscreen is quite literally the shield defending your skin from the sun. The damaging effects that UV rays from the sun can cause on your skin are all the more frightening. The sun can cause damage to your skin in a number of ways, including:

  • Sunburn - which can cause hyperpigmentation and in extreme cases blistering and scarring on the skin (as well as heaps of pain and bulk aloe vera use).
  • Aging - the sun accelerates the speed at which our skin ages by breaking down the collagen faster, therefore causing more wrinkles and leathery skin texture.
  • Melanoma - a type of skin cancer that usually occurs on parts of the body that have been overexposed to the sun, such as moles.

You wouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight, so don’t go out in the sun without sunscreen.

33 products found.

Goodie Bag September

Skinstitut Age Defence SPF50+ by SkinstitutSkinstitut Age Defence SPF50+ by Skinstitut

$36.02 $49.00


4.2 of 269 reviews

Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF50 by DermalogicaDermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF50 by Dermalogica

$47.52 $54.00


4.7 of 9 reviews

Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30 by DermalogicaDermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30 by Dermalogica

$71.28 $81.00


4.5 of 54 reviews

Showing 20 products of 33.

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Recent reviews on Chemical Sunscreen products

Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum
Ultra Violette
Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum


I actually love this. Genius idea making spf serum. The product smells great, no white cast, absorbs quick and leaves you with a dewy glow.
My only gripe is the white pipette applicator bit is a little short and can be difficult to use at the end of skin care with moisturiser hands.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Anti-Shine Dry Touch Facial Sunscreen SPF50+
La Roche-Posay
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Anti-Shine Dry Touch Facial Sunscreen SPF50+

Only good for oily skin

I bought this for my husband as he has oily skin. I also give it a try as I love trying new sunscreen. However it does not suit my combination skin as I feel it's a bit thick and hard to apply. My husband, otherwise, loves it as it does not make his skin shiny or greasy. Well done La-Roche Posay for producing such good sunscreens.
Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum
Ultra Violette
Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum


This is literally the only sunscreen I can wear. Every other one causes an allergic reaction!