This is the difference between Physical, Chemical, and Hybrid Sunscreen

Table of contents:

This is the difference between Physical, Chemical, and Hybrid Sunscreen
This is the difference between Physical, Chemical, and Hybrid Sunscreen

Currently, there are many sunscreen products available with different formulas. There are several types, namely physical, chemical, and hybrid sunscreens. What are the differences between the three? So as not to be confused, come on, read this article to the end

Sunscreen is one of the skin care products that you must have and use every day. Not only when you are going to be active outside the house, sunscreen should also be used even if you are only indoors.

You know the difference between Physical, Chemical, and Hybrid Sunscreen - Alodokter

The main function of this product is to protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun or UV rays. The reason is, continuous exposure to UV rays can increase the risk of skin cancer and changes in skin color to become darker.

In addition, excessive sun exposure is also prone to causing sunburn or the appearance of signs of premature aging on the skin, such as wrinkles and facial skin that looks down.

Knowing the Types of Sunscreen

There are three types of sunscreen that you can use, namely physical, chemical, and hybrid sunscreen. Broadly speaking, the three functions are the same, namely providing protection against excessive sun exposure.

However, each type of sunscreen has a different content and way of working. For more details, here are the differences between physical, chemical, and hybrid sunscreens:

Physical Sunscreen

Physical sunscreen or also known as mineral sunscreen is a type of sunscreen that works like a fortress or shield that blocks UV rays from penetrating into the skin. Examples of physical sunscreens include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.


  • Proven safe and effective in protecting skin from harmful UV rays
  • Good for use by all ages, from children, teenagers, to adults
  • Safe to use by owners of sensitive and dry skin
  • Does not clog pores
  • Provides immediate protection after use without waiting for some time


  • The texture is thick and leaves a white cast when applied
  • Not suitable for use by people with acne-prone or combination skin because it can trigger acne
  • Easy to lose when the skin is sweaty
  • Needs to be used more often than chemical sunscreens

Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens work beneath the skin's surface by absorbing UV rays and turning them into heat so they don't get to the deeper layers of the skin. Some of the chemicals included in the chemical sunscreen are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, octisalate, and ecamsule.


  • Proven effective in protecting skin from harmful UV rays
  • The texture is light and does not cause white cast
  • Water and sweat resistant
  • Available in many forms, such as lotion, stick, and spray


  • More risk of causing allergic reactions and irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin
  • Trigger or worsen symptoms of melasma or rosacea
  • You need to wait 20-30 minutes until the sunscreen is completely absorbed and ready to work
  • Not recommended for use when swimming in the sea, because it can damage coral reefs

Hybrid Sunscreen

Hybrid sunscreen is the latest innovation and is on the rise in the beauty world. This type of sunscreen is a combination of physical and chemical types. Hybrid sunscreen can be used by people with acne-prone and combination skin.

Even so, the effectiveness of hybrid sunscreens still needs to be investigated further. The reason is, a study states, a mixture of active ingredients in physical and chemical sunscreens can reduce the effectiveness of hybrid sunscreens after 2 hours of use.

So, this sunscreen is not suitable for use by people who do outdoor activities for a long time.

So, which type of sunscreen is better?

After knowing the difference, you might be confused about which sunscreen to choose, right? In terms of safety and effectiveness, physical sunscreen might be a good choice for you to use. This is because of the minimal long-term risk of using it.

Even so, that doesn't mean chemical and hybrid sunscreens aren't good to use, right? Both types of sunscreen are also able to protect your skin from the dangers of sun exposure, really. What you need to pay attention to is to adjust the type of sunscreen you will use according to your skin condition and needs.

If your skin type is acne-prone or combination, you are advised to use chemical or hybrid sunscreen. On the other hand, if you have sensitive and dry skin, use a physical sunscreen. Remember, make sure the type of sunscreen you choose has at least SPF 30, okay.

If you are still unsure about choosing the right type of sunscreen or you have other questions regarding the types of sunscreen, you should consult with a dermatologist further, OK.

Popular topic