Zinc Oxide Sunscreen: 5 Reasons Why They Are Best For Any Skin Type

Written by Dane Hanzel Damoco, Modified May 25, 2018
zinc oxide sunscreen

Sunscreen. Before enjoying your fun in the sun, you know you should have it in your skin care arsenal, right? But remember, sunscreens are not created equal. A physical sunscreen, also called ‘chemical free sunscreen’, is said to be the “good guy” because it is less likely to irritate the skin, clog pores and produce cell-damaging free radicals unlike its chemical counterpart.

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You might be wondering, “What’s wrong with chemical sunscreens?” Well, the main downside of chemical sunscreens is that their sun-fighting ingredients can be absorbed into the skin. According to Environmental Working Group, some chemical UV filters in chemical sunscreens may mimic hormones and trigger allergic skin reactions.

What Is Zinc Oxide Sunscreen

UV rays effects and aging

Zinc oxide sunscreens are hailed as a more natural, physical sunscreen and for good reasons. You will often see zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the active ingredients in many physical sunscreens. They are considered two of the most protective broad-spectrum ingredients with filters that protect skin against UVA and UVB rays.

Both ingredients are also known for their antimicrobial properties. However, in terms of effectiveness, zinc oxide has an edge over titanium dioxide: it is better at blocking long UVA rays, which makes it the better choice for sun protection.

  • 5 Benefits Of Zinc Oxide Sunscreen

    A. All-Around Skin Protection

     Skin Protection from sun damage

    When you frequently expose your skin to the sun, the damage starts to take toll. You may find your skin looking darker, dry, wrinkled, flaky, and even leathery. Zinc oxide-based sunscreen protects skin from sunburns and damage by sitting on top of your skin, forming a barrier against UVA and UVB rays. According to the New York Times, it reflects light, much like a mirror.

    UVA rays reach the deeper layers of skin, causing premature aging and increasing the risk of skin cancer, while UVB rays tend to damage the surface and cause sunburns.

    B. No Streaks Or Chalky Feel

    Zinc oxide-based sunscreens are used to be notoriously heavy – leaving skin with white, pasty residue. But thanks to modern skin care science, micronized zinc oxide sunscreen has made lightweight, residue-free sunscreen formulations possible. Micronized forms of zinc oxide (and often combined with titanium dioxide) are probably the most cosmetically sophisticated sunscreens ever made. Their small particles are less likely to leave white streaks on your skin, but not small enough to be absorbed by skin or cause any significant harm. You can also find zinc oxide sunscreen for face that leaves skin with a matte finish.

    C. Recommended For Sensitive Or Acne Prone Skin

    Acne Reduction

    According to Dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, zinc oxide can help soothe the inflammation of acne and may reduce oil production. In fact, the element of zinc oxide can help speed up the skin’s natural healing process. It is also noncomedogenic, which means it does not contain oils that can clog pores. Moreover, unlike chemical sunscreens that may contain toxic chemicals like oxybenzone, zinc oxide does not disrupt hormones and aggravate skin issues like acne and rosacea.

    D. Longer Sun Protection

    Zinc oxide-based sunscreens provide long sun protection, but how long would depend on certain factors. Here’s a tip: If you are looking for a sunscreen, SPF matters. If you need to bask in the sun, go with a zinc oxide-based sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, which can block 97 to 99 per cent of UVB rays. Also, no sunscreen lasts forever – it wears off. The term, “water-resistant” means your sunscreen can protect your skin against UV rays despite the presence of water or sweat. It could be:

    • Water resistant for 40 minutes.
    • Water resistant for 80 minutes.

    E. Skin-Friendly Ingredients

    Green Tea ingredients

    Today, many zinc oxide sunscreens are formulated with age-defying and skin-loving ingredients, such as Shea butter and green tea, so you get multi-benefits other than just sun protection.

    Green tea can reduce direct effects of sunburn. It is also believed that rather than blocking UV rays, green tea protects skin against sun damage by fighting free radicals and reducing inflammation. On the other hand, Shea butter is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and mild sun protective properties. It soothes, nourishes and hydrates the skin while it is exposed to the sun.

    Other skin-loving options include oil-free and fragrance-free formulations, such as Dermaxsol, a dermal defense moisturizer with SPF 30 by SolvadermTM Skin Care.

    Related: How To Repair Sun Damaged Skin And Get A Youthful Looking Skin

    Conclusion

    Physical sunscreens with zinc oxide have tons of skin benefits and are generally safe to use. So before the sun gets the best of you, slather on a zinc oxide-based sunscreen with broad spectrum protection. Do this regularly before soaking up the sun and don’t forget to re-apply every two hours, or after swimming, bathing or toweling.

    Related: Zinc Oxide Sunscreen: 5 Reasons Why They Are Best For Any Skin Type

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