Important Things to Know about Zinc Oxide
What is zinc oxide used for?
Because zinc oxide helps protect the skin against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, it is commonly used in sunscreen. In addition, the distribution characteristics of zinc oxide help it to spread evenly over the body.
How do physical sunscreens compare to chemical sunscreens?
Active ingredients in physical and chemical sunscreens differ in the mechanism by which they protect the skin from the sun. Physical sunscreens, like zinc oxide, form a physical shield-like barrier to UV light by reflecting rays away from the skin. Meanwhile, chemical sunscreens work in the top layers of the skin and absorb UV rays before they penetrate the skin’s deeper layers.
How does zinc oxide work?
Zinc oxide is a physical UV filter that reflects and scatters damaging UVA and UVB rays off the skin’s surface to help to prevent sunburn and long-term sun damage. Unlike chemical UV filters that penetrate the uppermost layers of the skin to absorb UV rays before they can damage deeper layers, physical sunscreen ingredients like zinc oxide form a shield-like UV barrier on the skin’s surface.
Who should use zinc oxide?
Zinc oxide is a physical UV filter with a low known risk of skin irritation, which means that sunscreens made with zinc oxide can be suitable for all skin types, including babies and those with sensitive skin.
How is zinc oxide used?
To maximize zinc oxide's effectiveness, proper application is essential, so always apply a sufficient amount of zinc oxide sunscreen to exposed skin before sun exposure, and reapply it at least every two hours and immediately after swimming, sweating or towel-drying. To help avoid a white, chalky residue, look for sunscreens that contain a micronized zinc oxide, like InVisibleZinc™ Technology.
Can zinc oxide be used on the body?
Zinc oxide effectively blocks UV rays—making it appropriate for use in sunscreens designed for the face or the body. In addition, it's low known risk of irritation makes it suitable for use on babies and children as well.
Can zinc oxide be used with other skincare ingredients?
Zinc oxide is an inert mineral-based ingredient. A sunscreen with zinc oxide is the ideal final step in any morning skincare routine.
Explore Our Ingredients
- Facts About Benzoyl Peroxide in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Dimethicone in Skincare | CeraVe
- What Is Glycolic Acid | CeraVe
- Facts About Hyaluronic Acid in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Lactic Acid in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Niacinamide in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Petrolatum in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Pramoxine Hydrochloride in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Retinol in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Salicylic Acid in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Titanium Dioxide in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Urea in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Vitamin C in Skincare | CeraVe
- Facts About Zinc Oxide in Skincare | CeraVe
Stay Informed On All Things Skincare
Sign up to receive information about new products, skincare routines, tips, and special offers.*