In the market for a new sunscreen? Make sure it has zinc oxide.
Zinc is gentler. It provides better protection. It doesn’t leave you at risk of sunburn after a couple of hours in the sun.
Here’s all you need to know about zinc oxide and why having it in your sunscreen is a must:
What Is Zinc Oxide?
Zinc oxide is a white mineral. That’s why it’s considered a physical sunscreen.
You’ve probably heard that physical sunscreens are better because they create a barrier on the skin that reflects UV light away from it. It doesn’t work exactly like that though.
Let me explain. It’s true that zinc oxide does scatter away between 5-10% of UV rays. But, it treats the remaining 90% of UV rays like any other UV filter: it absorbs them and transforms them into a less damaging form of energy (heat).
And that’s perfectly safe.
Zinc Oxide Provides Broad Spectrum Protection
Usually, UV filters are one trick ponies; they block either UVA or UVB rays - not both. That’s why you need 4 or 5 of them to provide decent sun protection.
Not zinc oxide. This white mineral is the only UV filter that provides broad spectrum protection on its own. It’s so remarkable, it does a better job at keeping UV damage at bay alone than 4 or 5 UV filters combined.
Zinc Oxide Is Photostable
Ever wonder why you need to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours? The ironic truth is that the UV filters you use to protect your skin from sunlight are broken down by said sunlight!
In other words, after a while, those UV filters stop working. Some UV filters, like avobenzone, are really delicate and break down really quickly. If you want to prevent sunburns and wrinkles, you need to reapply them often.
Zinc oxide is way more photostable. Although it breaks down too eventually, this process happens a lot more slowly. That’s why it’s harder to get a sunburn when you’re wearing a zinc oxide-based sunscreen.
Let’s be clear: you still need to reapply zinc oxide-based sunscreens too. But you can get away with doing it a little less often.
Zinc Oxide Is Gentler On The Skin
Remember when we talked about zinc oxide working well solo? That alone makes it gentler on the skin. The more UV filters a sunscreen has, the higher the chance one of them will give you an irritation or allergy.
But, there’s more. Zinc oxide is well-known for helping to soothe inflammation. You can use it to calm down irritations, rashes (even diaper rashes!) and allergic reactions.
It’s so gentle, it doesn’t irritate even the most sensitive of skin types. It’s safe for babies, too!
Are There No Side Effects?
Nope. No side effects. Zinc oxide is 100% non-toxic and safe.
The biggest downside it that it's base can be quite greasy feeling, and it leaves a white cast on the skin. It’s a white mineral, remember? So there is no way to remove the "white" from the formula.
If the white cast bothers you, pick a tinted version. The added pigment will neutralize the white cast, making your skin look more natural.
Our SPF 40 Age-Defying Mineral Sunscreen comes in both tinted and non-tinted versions to suit every skin tone and needs. Take your pick!
Ready to switch to zinc oxide-based sunscreens? Be warned, you’ll never want to go back!