SPF
Zinc oxide is a physical sunscreen that can help protect the skin against the sun's UVA and UVB rays. It works by forming a physical barrier to UV light and reflecting the sun's rays away from the skin. Zinc oxide has a low known risk of skin irritation and can be used in formulations for all skin types, including babies and those with sensitive skin, and can be found in sunscreens created for both the face and body.

Zinc Oxide FAQs

Here, we’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about zinc oxide.

What is Zinc Oxide?

Zinc oxide is a key ingredient in topical mineral sunscreen (also known as a physical sunscreen) that helps provide sun protection against damaging UVA and UVB rays. It can be found in SPF created for both the face and body. Zinc oxide sunscreen is generally well-tolerated and can be used in formulations for all skin types, including on babies and those with sensitive skin. This is why the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends applying zinc oxide topically as mineral sunscreen for young children, as opposed to chemical sunscreen, as well as for those with certain skin conditions such as and sensitive skin.1 Zinc oxide sunscreen is also advisable for kids and adults that are allergic to active ingredients in chemical sunscreens.

How Does Zinc Oxide Protect Skin?

How zinc oxide SPF provides sun protection is actually quite simple. By creating a thin physical barrier, it helps protect your skin from the sun. The SPF sits on your skin’s surface and deflects harmful rays, much like a mirror reflecting light.2

What Does Zinc Oxide Do?

Zinc oxide sunscreen works by forming a physical barrier against UV light and reflecting the sun's rays away from your skin. It’s an excellent form of sun protection, especially for babies, children, and adults, as well as those with sensitive skin or allergies to active ingredients in chemical sunscreens.

Is Zinc Oxide Safe?

Zinc oxide sunscreen is typically well-tolerated and considered safe for all skin types. Mineral SPF, like ones with zinc oxide, are even well-tolerated by people with sensitive skin, and those that are allergic to active ingredients in chemical sunscreen.

Is Zinc Oxide Good for Skin?

Wearing SPF, whether zinc oxide sunscreen or a chemical sunscreen, all day, every day—rain or shine—and reapplying it every two hours is crucial for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. No matter your age or race, sunscreen is your first line of defense against sun damage, premature aging, and, most importantly, skin cancer.3

 

Sources:

1. Sunscreen FAQs; American Academy of Dermatology:https://www.aad.org/media/stats-sunscreen

2. How Do I Know if I’m Using the Right Sunscreen? https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/sunscreen-patients/choosing-right-sunscreen

3. Sunscreen FAQshttps://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/sunscreen-patients/sunscreen-faqs

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