Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Zinc Oxide For Skin Photoprotection
Zinc oxide, a powd
ery white substance before it's mixed into a cream product, is a common active ingredient in physical sunscreens. This substance, together with titanium dioxide, a
re the two main mineral sunscreens available that off
er great mineral-based protection. Physical sunscreen formulations are especially recommended for expecting mothers, children, and those with sensitive skin, as they are not absorbed into the skin like chemical formulations. Although there is generally n
o reason to believe chemical sunscreens—when used properly—pose any health threat, in
dividuals may have different reactions.
Zinc oxide is a very safe and stable ingredient that has never been s
hown to impose any direct health hazard to humans or the environment.
Zinc oxide in sunscreen works by sitting on top of the skin to block ultraviolet (UV) radiation from penetrating and damaging the cells beneath—the process that causes skin cancers after cumulative exposure. Think of it as wearin
g a shield over your exposed skin. While UVB rays burn your skin, UVA radiation is known to cause both skin cancer and photo-aging effects, such as sunspots, discolora
tion, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
and safety benefits aside, some prefer physical formulas like those containing mainly zinc oxide for their silky, non-oily feeling on the skin.
If you're someone who hates the heavy, greasy feeling of sunscreen, perhaps give a fully mineral-based product a try.