Zinc Oxide: How Much Should be in Sunscreen and Why?
Vitamin D from UV rays builds your immunity, boosts mood and well-being, may protect against certain cancers and potentially aid in lowering blood pressure. With all these advantages, worrying if your zinc oxide sunscreen is providing the proper protection while retaining these benefits shouldn't be a problem. Let's dive into the 'need to know' of zinc oxide.
What is Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound. According to Nanotechnology Science and Applications, zinc oxide protects against UVA or Ultraviolet rays. UVA rays have long wavelengths, while Ultraviolet B waves are shorter. UVA rays age skin while UBB rays burn skin.
Zinc Oxide or ZnO is a mineral in sunscreens used for its sun-blocking abilities. Titanium Oxide is also used to protect against UVB rays, and together they are said to provide UVA and UVB "broad-band" protection from the sun. Zinc oxide and titanium oxide are also known as UV filters.
Traditional sunscreens can include these compounds in nanoparticle forms which can be harmful and destabilizing, rendering these sunscreens unsafe and even toxic. Additionally, Photochemical Sciences found that mixtures with no nano zinc oxide had the smallest changes after two hours. Their absorption mainly stayed the same, while nano-zinc oxide sunscreen tainted and had greater toxicity. Researchers found that micro zinc oxide particles and nano zinc particles caused toxicity when exposed to radiation however non-nano zinc oxide sunscreens hve been proven to be safe for the environment.
An organic zinc oxide sunscreen excludes nanoparticle forms of these chemicals and works with only one of the compounds above. Zinc oxide's natural and organic form is known as the mineral zincite. Typically most skin and beauty products rely on the synthetic version of this chemical. Zincite, however, is known to improve skin and is used to treat wounds, burns, and scars.
When Seneca the Younger said, "Everything that exceeds the bounds of moderation has an unstable foundation," he was talking about sun damage. Too many UV rays can seep in and damage under-protected or unprotected skin. UV rays are so powerful that they seep deep within your skin, hiding their destructive effects for years before you realize there's been a breach of your skin's dermis.
According to Brooklyn College, the first layer, the epidermis, is only about 0.05-1.5 millimeters thick–which explains why a crisp sheet of paper can cut your skin so quickly. Your thinnest skin is on your eyelids, and your thickest skin is on the soles of your feet. The dermis is between 1 to 4mm thick. The epidermis needs to be adequately protected, as it is not difficult to rupture this skin barrier. When sun damage occurs, according to the American Cancer Society, you can develop wrinkles, leathery skin, rough skin patches that turn into cancer, and thick skin. Unprotected eyes can even develop cataracts or inflamed corneas.
Zinc Oxide Benefits
Adequate zinc oxide for sunscreen should use natural mineral zinc oxide and requires responsible sun exposure. Some benefits you may experience that are also essential in blocking the sun's UV rays are the following:
- Protects against UVA and UVB rays
- Anti-aging (wrinkles, leathery skin)
- Retain skin moisture
- Promote elasticity
- Antioxidants (fight free radicals)
- Protects against certain cancers
How Much Zinc Oxide Should Your Sunscreen Have?
First of all, your zinc oxide sunscreen should be free of nanoparticle zinc. A safe zinc oxide sunscreen should have at least 19% - 22% non nano zinc oxide in it to have at least a Sun Protection Factor of 30.
Shop our sunscreen with zinc oxide to protect your skin organically from UVA and UVB sun rays.