Sunscreen - always a hot topic and an absolute must for anyone serious about skincare. Spring, summer, fall and yes, WINTER - damaging UVA rays penetrate weather and cloud cover - and whether you live in a city or in the countryside, you need it. There is no city in the world where buildings block all the sun on every single corner or street - and all exposure adds up and contributes to the decline of the skin.
Zinc Oxide is the premier natural, mineral sunscreen ingredient on the market today. Safe, effective, and broad-spectrum, non-nano Zinc Oxide physically blocks harmful, damaging solar rays. The mineral deflects rays to help protect and prevent accelerated deterioration of the skin and slow the appearance of skin aging. Chemical sunscreens like Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, and Octinoxate, perform differently.
When looking for a quality sunscreen, I often hear people ask what the percentage of Zinc Oxide is in a particular formula. Even when the product already states having a high SPF rating. Why? There is a misconception that more Zinc Oxide in a product will deliver a higher level of UV protection and it just isn’t true. It’s not that simple.
Percentage of Zinc Oxide in a product does not equate to higher or lower SPF or more or less UVA protection.
SPF measures UVB rays only - the damaging rays that burn and age skin. UVA rays are responsible for skin damage but they do not cause sunburn. UVA rays make their way through the clouds in the sky and your windows and cause skin damage.
UVA protection is not given a number or a rating to measure its ability to protect against UVA rays. A product's ability to guard against UVA rays is either approved as meeting the minimum requirement for blocking a high percentage of the UVA rays, which concludes it Broad Spectrum.
There are many different sizes, types, and quality of Zinc Oxide each requires varying percentages necessary to make the sunscreen product effective and reach a specific SPF. And It’s the proper formulation that allows or disallows Zinc Oxide to disperse properly on the skin and allow it to become or not become a specific, effective SPF rating. It’s also the proper formulation that allows Zinc Oxide to stay suspended and emulsified properly in the bottle and remain stable, which again, will contribute to whether the product will or will not be dispersed effectively on the skin, protect properly, and reach a specific SPF rating.
Testing sunscreen products
There are different levels and costs to clinically screening and testing the effectiveness of an SPF that is required by the FDA. What a brand can claim on a label can require additional testing and each country has its own SPF regulations.
The FDA doesn’t test sunscreen products. Brands are required to have their SPF products tested by an FDA registered, state-certified lab and submit the results to the FDA.