3 Reasons Your Sunscreen Needs Zinc Oxide

This is a flat lay of various physical sunscreens with zinc oxide.

3 Reasons Your Sunscreen Needs Zinc Oxide

September 22, 2020

After doing some research for an Instagram Reel video (this one) we found a lot of information I wanted to break down in a blog post. You already knew I was a sunscreen fanatic, especially living in Arizona where we have about 300 days of sunshine a year. Not exaggerating. If you wanted sun most of the year, this is the place to be. Hence why people come to retire here. It's good for the bones, and I'm starting to already appreciate being in such a warm place because every time I go to New York City, I feel like my joints and bones all ache. With all of that said, let's dive into sunscreen a bit more because it's interesting.

What is zinc oxide?

Zinc oxide is a mineral, or organic compound, typically used topically to treat diaper rash, burns, chapped skin, dandruff, and other skin irritations. 

Why does your sunscreen need zinc?

  1. Zinc oxide is an organic compound which means it's not a man made chemical. In the limited studies done, zinc oxide tends to be better for your body and cause less damage. When you apply products to your skin, you are essentially allowing them into your bloodstream. Choose wisely.

  2. The difference with zinc oxide, and other ingredients used for UVA and UVB protection, is that zinc oxide shields the skin by reflecting UV radiation. It reflects, rather than absorbs the rays. When it come to the broad spectrum of ray, you want them reflected off your skin and thrown back into the universe and you don't want your skin absorbing the rays to prevent damage. Zinc oxide acts like a mirror reflecting that light off your skin.

  3. Zinc oxide is also a lighter consistency and is less likely to cause agitation and irritation to the skin. It's a lighter compound so it is also much less likely to clog your pores. No clogging happening here!

What are some of my favorite sunscreens?

Truthfully I don't think you can ever go wrong with Skinceuticals, but the top three I recommend come from Skinceuticals, Obagi Medical and Alastin.

Obagi Physical Defense Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 50

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

Alastin HydraTint Pro Mineral Sunscreen SPF 36

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte™ Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

Does your go-to sunscreen have chemicals, or a combination of zinc oxide and titanium oxide?

If you ever have questions or need specific recommendations for your skin, feel free to email me at:

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I have noticed a huge difference in my skin wearing mineral sunscreen… I actually just switched to wearing a tinted spf moisturizer on my face to protect from sun exposure!

I never knew about this! Thanks so much for sharing, I’m going to start paying more attention to the sunscreen I buy! Xx.

ooooh thank you so much for sharing this!! i have started doing spf everyday and this was super helpful!

xx rebecca //

Ive just recently started wearing only tinted sunscreen since m y dermatologist recommends it to help with infared light as well, now i want to try that first Obaji tinted one you mentioned!

Skinceuticals has been my favorite brand for years, I love their products and find that they work really well for my skin type.

Zinc is so important to have in sunscreen so I am glad you are spreading the word!!

This isn’t something I was familiar with, so I appreciate you doing the research to share with your audience. I’ll have to be on the lookout for whether my sunscreens have zinc oxide in them or not. I’m so fascinated by this now!

This is new info for me so thanks for sharing. May need to try out some of these! xoxo, Sarah

You always have such awesome and helpful skincare posts! Definitely going to check out these products you listed!