Spring = Sun Exposure = Sunscreen. As long as it’s SPF 30, right? We wish it were that simple! Shopping for sunscreen can be confusing, especially with the various types of sunscreen out on the market. Sure, they may do the job – protecting your skin from UV rays. However, many of these sunscreens contain harmful ingredients that allow your skin to absorb toxic chemicals. As of today, the FDA and EWG say that only two active sunscreens are safe and effective – Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
What is Zinc Oxide?
Zinc oxide is a naturally occurring mineral from zincite, a rare element that is commercially unavailable. However, there are specialized methods for producing zinc oxide. This special mineral compound is not water-soluble, which requires a carrier agent to be combined with. For cosmetic purposes, zinc oxide must be blended with other mineral ingredients.
Why Zinc Oxide As A Sunscreen?
Natural (physical) sunscreens contain mineral ingredients, such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, which create a barrier on your skin. They are intended to scatter and reflect broad-spectrum UVA/UVB rays rather than absorbing them. Zinc oxide is so safe that it is widely used to treat a variety of skin conditions for kids, such as diaper rashes. Unlike other sunscreens that require time for skin to absorb, zinc oxide immediately starts protecting your skin as soon as it is applied. It creates a physical barrier, blocking your skin from harmful UV rays. On a side note, zinc oxide is also reef friendly – protect the Earth!
Mineral Sunscreen vs Chemical Sunscreen: What's the Difference?
Chemical sunscreens are water-soluble and absorb into the skin and bloodstream. They contain ingredients, such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, and octocrylene, that convert UV rays into heat that is then released from the skin. According to EWG, these ingredients are considered toxic chemicals where they’ve been linked to health issues from allergies to hormone disruption (infertility), and cell damage. Chemical sunscreen requires around 20 minutes to become effective.
Mineral sunscreens are non-water-soluble and blocks the skin from a wide range of UV rays. As mentioned earlier, the only mineral (physical) sunscreen ingredients considered safe for use are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. They reflect UVA/UVB rays, blocking your skin from environmental stressors, and work immediately when applied. Mineral sunscreens are safe and gentle on sensitive skin, and less likely to clog pores!
What Is The Best Sunscreen For My Face?
Zinc oxide is an anti-irritant that is extremely safe for sensitive skin types (often found in baby products). While both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are safe choices for a mineral (physical) sunscreen, zinc oxide provides more UVA protection while titanium oxide is weaker in this category. Luckily, zinc oxide is the only mineral ingredient we use for our Protec Plus Natural SPF 30. You’ve probably heard this hundreds of times from us by now but it is absolutely vital to apply sunscreen every day. Rain or shine, even on the cloudiest of days, don’t forget to use SPF this season!