Studies also suggest non-nanoparticles of zinc oxide bring no harm to plant and wildlife, including coral reefs. Let’s look at some ambiguous scenarios you may come across. Not only is it super lightweight, blendable, vegan, non-toxic and cruelty-free, but it also protects against the skin’s three biggest threats: UV rays, blue light and pollution. For more severe levels of sun sensitivity, it appears to work better to use sunscreens with a higher percentage of zinc oxide (16-25%). remains sinks in remarkably easily. Articles, images, and information on this website may not be copied, reproduced, transmitted, distributed, or printed in any form without written permission. The mineral deflects rays to help protect and prevent accelerated deterioration of the … That’s why most cosmetic brands use mined zinc to produce purified zinc oxide in their laboratories. A lot of other sunscreens I find have 10% zinc oxide or above. Any sunscreen with zinc or titanium will do, but at the right percentage. The protective ingredient in sunscreens is zinc oxide. In sunscreens, zinc oxide percentages are usually around 25 to 30 percent. It is more common to see 2-7% concentrations. Youve all gotten sunburns, exposure to too much sunlight can cause them, or even more precise, exposure to the UV (Ultraviolet) light causes sunburns. However, a concentration of over 25% of zinc oxide not only is not cosmetically acceptable, but it would alter the texture of the lotion making it unpleasant on the skin. Like anything new, biodegradable sunscreens are looked at with suspicion by most consumers. In products such as makeup, including foundation, BB creams and facial moisturizers, the percentage (and therefore coverage) is usually lower around 10 to 19 percent. If sensitivity occurs in the form of rash or irritation, discontinue use. See below. zinc oxide containing sunscreens (3-10% zinc oxide) appear to work ok for general application. 3% (maximum allowed and the standard concentration used now) Don’t accept anything less than 3%. Sunscreens that use the ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, or special sunscreens made for infants or toddlers may cause less irritation to their sensitive skin. I think this is good, but am not 100%. Zinc oxide cream is for external/topical use only, so be careful not to swallow any or to get it into your eyes, ears or mouth. study that found that almost half of sunscreens (and almost 75% of natural sunscreens) did not pass tests that verified the SPF claims on their labels. This concentration corresponds to an SPF of 24, which is on the lower side but still ideal for people with darker skin. Q: How much sunscreen should I be using on my face and body? Yikes Basically when I look at a sunscreen, I don’t care about or even look at the SPF as long as it’s 30 or more.What I care about is sunscreen zinc percentage. As a single ingredient, zinc oxide is the broadest range sunscreen on the market. According to a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, zinc oxide can regulate sebum production, reduce acne associated inflammation and eventually treat acne. This 15 percent zinc oxide sunscreen just debuted in May, but it’s quickly become a PureWow reader favorite. Copyright © 2013-2020 Just About Skin. zinc oxide and titanium dioxide Zinc oxide and titanium dioxides are safest for a baby's delicate skin. Many renowned brands propose biodegradable sunscreens that contain less than 10% of zinc oxide while providing an SPF of 50+, thanks to the association of this mineral with titanium dioxide. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any concerns or questions about a persistent problem or medical condition. Scientific literature shows that particles larger than 30nm do not get absorbed into the skin nor enter the bloodstream, posing no threat to human health. Higher concentrations of up to 25% are cosmetically acceptable for lotions with an SPF higher than 32. Zinc oxide has a long history of safe use. Zinc is currently the only common sunscreen ingredient that blocks the entire UVA and UVB spectrum, fighting the sun’s aging affects on skin. There are no standard guidelines. What percentage do these need to be in to be effective, or does it matter? Just because an active ingredient is in a sunscreen doesn’t mean it can protect you sufficiently. I turn the sunscreen over and look at the zinc percentage. When the FDA began to consider sunscreen safety, it grandfathered in active ingredients from the late 1970s without reviewing the evidence of their potential hazards. Zinc oxide is defined as a physical blocker of UV rays. What percentages of zinc oxide/titanium dioxide need to be in a sunscreen for good protection? You might hear differing opinions from other professionals. It is more common to see 2-7% concentrations. As a single ingredient, zinc oxide is the broadest range sunscreen on the market. In fact, the zinc oxide particles often leave a white patina on the skin, and that’s one of the reasons many people prefer regular lotions. 10 Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound with the formula Zn O.ZnO is a white powder that is insoluble in water. To help you further understand how this mineral plays a key role in your skin care regimen, especially in the sun-protection department, here are some commonly asked questions answered by top dermatologists. I'm looking at Paula's Choice sunscreen and the ones I'm looking at have around 3% of both or 6% zinc oxide and 2.32% titanium dioxide, etc. Percentages of zinc oxide vary widely, and the final percentage will determine the products specified “SPF” level. Zinc is currently the only common sunscreen ingredient that blocks the entire UVA and UVB spectrum, fighting the sun’s aging affects on skin. This is one of the main active ingredients used in sunscreens, and blocks both UVA and UVB rays, providing broad-spectrum protection. Zinc Oxide is the premier natural, mineral sunscreen ingredient on the market today. Best Matte Zinc Oxide Sunscreen: REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen Midday shine is the worst , but that’s nothing this sunscreen can’t solve. Q: How much sunscreen should I be using on my face and body? We’ve learned that, given a choice between Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, you should choose Zinc Oxide. ( source ) I don’t know that I’d avoid titanium dioxide with as much vehemence as I avoid oxybenzone, for example, but pure zinc oxide sunblocks are probably the best choice. The chemical scatters ultraviolet rays coming from the sun and absorbs and reacts with only a small percentage … We have rounded up the best zinc oxide sunscreen lotions available on the market right now. Also, a formula with a higher concentration of actives is much more difficult to formulate into a cosmetically acceptable product. Badger's ‘clear zinc’ sunscreen products use a specialized zinc oxide powder made of micron-sized mesoporous zinc oxide aggregates. how it has been manufactured, performance ingredients in the formula). However, this is far from the truth. Hi - does the percentage of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in sunscreen matter? Zinc oxide is a better sunscreen ingredient, as it offers the best UVA protection of all current sunscreen chemicals, and titanium dioxide is second best. Ex- I just bought a SPF 50 Australian sunscreen with 4% zinc oxide and 4% titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide might have complex names, but the way they protect skin is simple. This active compound present in biodegradable sun lotions sits on your skin and forms a protective barrier against the harmful rays. Here’s a breakdown of the amount of zinc oxide in the most common skincare products you’re using: Sunscreens – 25-30% Makeup Products – 10-19% Studies show it’s safe, with no evidence of skin penetration, even after repeated use. While you might be tempted to Choose Brand B because it offers a higher total percentage of actives (8%) than Brand A (5%), you’re getting more Zinc Oxide in Brand A. I would choose Brand A, all other things being equal. Snorkelsandfins.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Zinc oxide (ZnO), the most ionic of the wurtzite semiconductors, finds major applications in catalysis and as variable resistors. On the one hand, you want the one that provides the MOST coverage of the UVA spectrum (UVA-1 and UVA-2). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. There are endless polemics regarding how much is too much zinc oxide in sunscreen. Replacing your regular sunscreen with a biodegradable one containing zinc oxide or zinc oxide and titanium dioxide is a great way to reduce skin cancer risk, lower the risk of skin allergies to sunscreen, and protect the environment. With this in mind, our advice is to opt for a non-nanoparticle zinc oxide sunscreen. If out in high risk sun situations, try to find zinc 15-20%. On the other hand, you want a higher concentration of active ingredients. The problem with what you said above, is the statement that a product meets the minimum requirement for blocking a high percentage of UVA. Using a sunscreen dedicated for this area, such as this one, is a good way to get the protection you need, without worrying about it running into and stinging your eyes. Zinc oxide has a long history of safe use. Same notes for Zinc Oxide apply. Unlike the chemicals present in regular sunscreens, zinc oxide is not absorbed into the skin, and it is effective right after application. This concentration corresponds to an SPF of 24, which is on the lower side but still ideal for people with darker skin. Zinc oxide is known as a physical sunscreen that contains a mineral ingredient capable of protecting skin from UV rays. I'm looking at Paula's Choice sunscreen and the ones I'm looking at have around 3% of both or 6% zinc oxide and 2.32% titanium dioxide, etc. Zinc Oxide: 5% minimum; 10-20% is ideal. I might choose Brand B over Brand A if it contained good antioxidants and Brand A didn’t. Tricky, eh? Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. No, zinc oxide is not harmful to humans. To increase the SP factor of their lotions, many manufacturers use both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as active ingredients. Any sunscreen with zinc or titanium will do, but at the right percentage. My view is that, the higher the better, so long as you don’t clog your pores. Buy It ($22) ILIA. For more severe levels of sun sensitivity, it appears to work better to use sunscreens with a higher percentage of zinc oxide (16-25%). Biodegradable sunscreens containing only zinc oxide as an active ingredient provide adequate protection at concentrations above 15%. Read on for a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top 5 sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Z-Block sunscreen contains Zinc oxide- The only ingredient classified by USFDA that provides broad spectrum coverage across the entire UVB & UVA range. There are two types of UV, UVA solar radiation that causes skin wrinkling, and skin aging, and this radiation penetrates deep in the skin, but does not cause sunburns. Safe, effective, and broad-spectrum, non-nano Zinc Oxide physically blocks harmful, damaging solar rays. So how do you pick the best sunscreen for you? Here's what you need to know about titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. When the FDA began to consider sunscreen safety, it grandfathered in active ingredients from the late 1970s without reviewing the evidence of their potential hazards. Zinc oxide: is a very effective sunscreen regardless of your skin color. Most manufacturers of biodegradable lotions use either non-nanoparticles or nanoparticles greater than 30nm in their products. Micronized zinc oxide appears to be a better UVA filter than micronized titanium dioxide so, given a choice, opt for zinc. Choose Brand A. 3 doctors agree Like anything new, biodegradable sunscreens are looked at with suspicion by most consumers. Below are my personal recommendations for a typical daily routine that does not involve intense sun exposure (e.g. The more zinc the better but the highest I’ve seen (that’s cosmetically tolerable) is 18-20 percent. While there has been some debate regarding the safety of these particles, studies suggest they are perfectly safe to use in creams and lotions. Using a sunscreen dedicated for this area, such as this one, is a good way to get the protection you need, without worrying about it running into and stinging your eyes. Zinc oxide is a better sunscreen ingredient, as it offers the best UVA protection of all current sunscreen chemicals, and titanium dioxide is second best. Zinc oxide is a harmless mineral able to provide UV protection and not only. Let’s take a look! For many people the zinc oxide sunscreens seem to last all day. Look for a sunscreen that contains at least one of the following, Leffell says: ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide. What do you do? Safe, effective, and broad-spectrum, non-nano Zinc Oxide physically blocks harmful, damaging solar rays. If I want a sunscreen that’s about SPF 15, then I’ll add about 1.08oz of zinc oxide. To counteract this trend, many manufacturers have started to use nanoparticles of zinc oxide which remain clear on skin. This property has made it a key ingredient in mineral – or biodegradable – sunscreens. EleVen by Venus On-the-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 contains the highest possible concentration of zinc oxide, 25 percent, in a silicone-free and … Biodegradable sunscreens containing only zinc oxide as an active ingredient provide adequate protection at concentrations above 15%. To ensure your next zinc oxide sunscreen offers premium sun protection and there are a few must-have features you should look for: After thorough research into requirements for sunscreen using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to be effective, SimplySunSafe recommends Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 30 as the best sunscreen using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. All Rights Reserved. It is not irritating and compatible with sensitive skin. These aren’t directly related. I look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains at least 9 percent zinc or titanium. What percentage of zinc oxide should be in sunscreen? You should be ensuring your sunscreen specifically contains zinc oxide. The percentage of zinc oxide used is a factor in determining SPF levels. In this article, we will tell you what zinc oxide is and why its presence in sunscreen shouldn’t concern you. It is not irritating and compatible with sensitive skin. For a higher level of protection, you’ll want add 20% of the lotions weight in zinc oxide. A handful of products combine zinc oxide with chemical filters. When outdoors, sunscreen should be reapplied approximately every two hours, or as often as the label says. It is used as an additive in numerous materials and products including cosmetics, food supplements, rubbers, plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, lubricants, paints, ointments, adhesives, sealants, pigments, foods, batteries, ferrites, fire retardants, and first-aid tapes. Although zinc oxide occurs in nature, the mineral is quite rare. Due to its many benefits, zinc oxide is also an active ingredient in many other skin care products including makeup products such as blemishes and lip balms, powders, ointments, and diaper rash creams. trekking in the Sahari Desert) or intense physical activity. It’s mattifying formula means you won’t look the slightest bit greasy, and because it’s made with fast-absorbing, clean zinc oxide, it won’t irritate or clog pores like chemical sunscreens . But aside from offering sun protection, there is more that you need to know about zinc oxide–this along with other interesting facts are what we’ll disclose as this article offers everything you need to know about the ingredient. This should not surprise you, as lower concentrations require lower raw material costs. Surprisingly, not all sunscreens offer this level of protection. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, affecting more than 1 million people every year, according to the American Cancer Society. The other type, UVB, causes sunburns! You've probably heard the term "zinc oxide" thrown around a lot recently, and it's for a good reason. I was wondering how you would respond to what I just now read: "When looking for a quality sunscreen, I often hear people ask what the percentage of Zinc Oxide is in a particular formula. Zinc oxide is found in the sunscreens that are recommended by dermatologists because they don’t contain oxybenzone (a harmful chemical), which is very common in most other sunscreens. Anything at this level in a. Your skin when exposed to UVB light produces melanin, and that is why you g… Look for a sunscreen that contains at least one of the following, Leffell says: ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide. Low in titanium dioxide: While it does offer good sun protection, titanium dioxide is usually the culprit when sunscreens leave a grey or white cast, says Dr. Laughlin. My personal rule of thumb is: choose the formula that offers a higher percentage of Zinc Oxide. A lot of other sunscreens I find have 10% zinc oxide or above. A hybrid of the two (a zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreen) is suitable, but physical sunscreens that rely purely on titanium dioxide should be used sparingly. Concentrations between 15 and 20% correspond to an SPF of up to 32. Due to this reason, some dermatologists and cosmetic brands promoting regular sunscreens have concluded that biodegradable lotions might be ineffective. Quite often, a formula will combine both. Let’s say you’re comparing that with a formula that only has Zinc Oxide. Details: This sunscreen from COOLA contains 3.2 percent titanium dioxide and 7.0 percent zinc oxide. Is it harmful? ( source ) I don’t know that I’d avoid titanium dioxide with as much vehemence as I avoid oxybenzone, for example, but pure zinc oxide sunblocks are probably the best choice. 25% is the legal maximum. I look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains at least 9 percent zinc or titanium. However, if protecting the environment is one of the reasons you’re thinking to switch to biodegradable sunscreen, know that nanoparticles smaller than 35nm can be toxic to marine life. FACT. 10 Z-Block sunscreen is 100% free of chemical actives, so no irritation. Zinc oxide is defined as a physical blocker of UV rays. For many people the zinc oxide sunscreens seem to last all day. The only sunscreen safe for young children are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are physical blockers. Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen, which is why undesirable sunburns and tanning can occur despite sunscreen application. Brand B:   2% Zinc Oxide + 6% Titanium Dioxide. Advantages of zinc oxide. How To Choose Products For Irritated Eyes, Irritated Eyes? zinc oxide containing sunscreens (3-10% zinc oxide) appear to work ok for general application. Best Reef Safe Sunscreen List [ Ocean & Eco Friendly ] 2020, 14 Best Scuba Fins in 2020 – Reviews and Diver’s Guide, 5 Best Full Face Scuba Diving Masks in 2020. Anything at this level in a cream form will be very thick and … Zinc oxide is the only ingredient which does that. High in zinc oxide: For adequate (SPF 30 or higher) protection, the concentration of zinc oxide should be at least 20 percent. This mineral can also treat rash and skin irritation, including diaper rash. A handful of products combine zinc oxide with chemical filters. 3 doctors agree In this way, cosmetic brands have managed to reduce the concentration of both minerals and increase the UV protection factor of their sunscreens. Because zinc oxide is a metal that’s been oxidized, sunscreens containing it, such as SolRX's SPF 50 Zinc Sunscreen and Zinc Sunscreen Face Stick, are considered mineral rather than chemical, and are therefore more natural than most of the sunscreens currently on the market. Regular zinc oxide also blocks visible light up to wavelengths 700 nm, whereas zinc nanoparticles block only up to 380 - 400 nm, depending on the specific formulation. More often than not, there isn’t enough of an active ingredient. There is no right answer because what you need depends on your situation and habits, such as where you are, how often you re-apply, whether you’re sweating from physical activity, etc. Sunscreens that use the ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, or special sunscreens made for infants or toddlers may cause less irritation to their sensitive skin. I can see why I confused you on this. The protective ingredient in sunscreens is zinc oxide. Unlike the chemicals present in regular sunscreens, zinc oxide is not absorbed into the skin, and it is effective right after application. From 350-400 nanometers, titanium dioxide does little to protect you while zinc oxide has you covered. 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