Zinc sunscreen is a must for athletes involved in sports that demand staying outdoors for longer durations of time. Zinc sunscreen is used to protect the exposed parts of the body against the harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays emitted by the scorching sun. Sports such as cricket, cycling, running, among many are demanding as they expect the players to be out in the sun. Advertently or inadvertently, the athletes get exposed to the harmful rays emitted by the sun, which can sometimes even cause skin cancer. Therefore, protecting oneself against these rays is of utmost importance.
A zinc sunscreen acts as an effective protective shield as it fights against the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun and provides protection to the exposed parts of the body. A zinc sunscreen is nothing but a white cream or a white sunscreen that is sported by the athletes. Zinc sunscreen is also known as a mineral sunscreen or a physical sunscreen, since it is made from zinc oxide, which contains the mineral zinc. It is called as a physical sunscreen because it has the property to sit on top of the skin and not get easily absorbed by the body.
Ingredients of zinc sunscreen
Zinc sunscreen is made up of zinc oxide, the chemical formula for which is ZnO. The formula suggests that in zinc oxide there is one atom of zinc and one atom of oxygen. These two atoms are held together by an ionic bond.
Apart from making zinc oxide using a chemical formula, zinc oxide is available in nature in the form of a mineral called zincite, however, zincite is very rare and not available commercially.
Zinc oxide is a white-coloured powder known for its protective and purifying properties. Zinc oxide is sometimes known as a UV protective filter, since it provides protection against the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun. Apart from its protective and purifying properties, zinc oxide has anti-inflammatory, astringent and drying properties.
Features of zinc sunscreen
Zinc sunscreen is made from zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is known to be a stable sunscreen ingredient which is less likely to break down in a bottle or on the skin.
- Zinc oxide can be used by people having a sensitive skin. It does not cause irritation to people with sensitive skin.
- Zinc oxide cannot be easily absorbed by the body. Hence, when there is sweat, it does not get absorbed.
- Also it does not get absorbed in the water easily. It is water insoluble.
- Zinc oxide sits right on top of the skin and protects the exposed body parts from the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun.
Mineral vs. Chemical sunscreen – Why Zinc sunscreen is better than other regular sunscreens
Zinc sunscreen is also known as a physical sunscreen/mineral sunscreen, while an ordinary sunscreen is known as a chemical sunscreen.
The second difference between a zinc sunscreen and an ordinary sunscreen is that the zinc sunscreen sits right on top of the skin and block the UV rays emitted by the sun at the surface because of the presence of zinc oxide, while an ordinary sunscreen absorbs the UV rays emitted by the sun like a sponge. Regular sunscreen could be made of from any of the ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate.
The third difference between a zinc sunscreen and an ordinary sunscreen is that the zinc sunscreen can be used by anyone with any skin type; be it sensitive or strong, while an ordinary sunscreen may not be best suited for people with a sensitive skin type.
The fourth difference between a zinc sunscreen and a regular chemical based sunscreen is that a zinc sunscreen’s formulation tends to be thicker and may potentially leave a white cast behind on deeper skin tones, on the other hand, an ordinary sunscreen is usually lighter, clearer, and more enjoyable to wear. However the ingredients used in the manufacture of an ordinary sunscreen can have negative effects on the environment.
Benefits of using zinc sunscreen
There are numerous benefits of using a zinc sunscreen.
First, a zinc sunscreen is made from zinc oxide, which is considered to be a safe ingredient for sunscreens and skincare by both the FDA and dermatologists. The experts believe that zinc oxide has the ability to deal with specific skin issues.
Second, given the safe nature of zinc oxide, which is a primary ingredient in zinc sunscreen, it is also safe for the children. Third, people having skin issues can always opt for a zinc sunscreen as it is anti-inflammatory in nature. Fourth, zinc sunscreen seldom causes any side effects or reactions.
Though there is no doubt that an ordinary sunscreen can help protect people from the harmful UV rays emitted by the scorching sun, zinc sunscreen, with its rich ingredient in the form of zinc oxide is altogether in a different league.
Zinc sunscreen is an effective protective shield that protects the exposed parts of the body against the harsh sun rays. Zinc sunscreen is mainly used by athletes involved in sports such as cricket, cycling, running, to name a few, that demand longer periods of time for the athletes to remain outdoors in the sun.
There is seldom any doubt that zinc sunscreen is better than an ordinary sunscreen, it is important to choose the best zinc sunscreen that suits and meets the requirements. Though a zinc sunscreen is also known as a mineral sunscreen not all the zinc sunscreens are pure mineral-based.
Therefore, one must be well-aware while making the purchase. It is important to read the ingredients used to make a zinc sunscreen thoroughly. It is known that not all sunscreens that contain zinc oxide are completely mineral-based. While some could be made by blending the minerals together, there is a possibility that some sunscreens are made from a mixture of minerals and synthetic chemical actives.