How to wash off a tacky sunscreen | The Brown Bottle

How to wash off a tacky sunscreen

Feb 2, 2017 by Sora

Have you thought about how to wash off sun protection products properly? Have you struggled to remove the stubborn oily residue after you used a waterproof sunblock? Or worried about what happens if you wash too harshly? Come, I’ll let you know how to wash off them effectively.

How can I properly wash off oily sunscreens?

Is it okay to just wash off with a foaming cleanser?

I have acne prone skin… should I still use a cleansing oil, as oil dissolves oil?

Many of my friends have specially asked me when we’re having BBQs on the beach. We all are well educated on why we should wear sunblocks even though the skin feels tacky and greasy.

Types of sunscreens

There are two types of sunscreens;

  • Chemical sunscreens contain organic (carbon-based) compounds, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, that absorb UV rays and change them into heat, then release that heat from the skin. They are often referred to as chemical absorbers.
  • Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, that reflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. They are often referred to as physical blockers. Physical sunscreens are getting popular as they are seen as the ‘greener’ sunscreen ingredient choice, rather than using chemical UV absorbers as many consumers do.

How can I wash off sunscreen residue properly?

You should check what kind of sunscreen ingredients are in your sunscreen products, as the proper cleansing methods are really up to the sunscreen ingredients. There are lots of sunscreens in both of chemical and physical, but let’s remember the two common physical sunscreens’ names, ‘zinc oxide’ and ‘titanium oxide’.

If your sunscreen product doesn’t contain those ingredients, you can consider the product is chemical sunscreen blend which is easily washed off compared to physical sunscreens, so use any type of cleansers you prefer.

If your sunscreen product contains one or both of physical ingredients, of course, it’s a physical sunscreen blend or combination of physical and chemical sunscreens blend. However, it’s not easy to wash off compare with chemical sunscreens. Because, those physical sunscreens are now available in micronized and nano forms, and often silicone based coatings to enable easy spreadability to allow the formulation of transparent and semi-transparent sunscreen products to reduce an undesirable ‘ghosty’ white residue on the skin. To wash off this type of sunscreen properly, initially, you need to use a cleansing oil, cleansing water, or cleansing lotion to lift up and dissolve the micronized zinc oxide or titanium oxide powders that are inside your pores. Then wash again with a foaming cleanser or cleansers to remove the residue properly.

As a tip, physical sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 25-30, still might be okay to be washed with a foaming cleanser only. However, if your product’s SPF is over 35 or a waterproof sunscreen product, double facial cleansing as mentioned above is necessary. 

So what should you do if you wonder what is a suitable sunscreen cleansing method? READ YOUR SUNSCREENS' INGREDIENT LISTS FIRST! :) 

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