Looking to try a new sunscreen in 2023? Why not give zinc sunscreen a whirl! You might have visions of our cricketers or memories of wearing thick lotion as a kid, but believe us when we tell you that the formulas have come a very long way since then. Curious to know more? Keep reading to discover why it could be your favorite sunscreen in 2023.
Zinc oxide is a UV filter used in the production of inorganic (also known as ‘mineral’) sunscreen. It offers broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays but has also historically been really tricky to work with. Given the white powder formula it arrives in, it has often led to the dreaded white or grey tinge to the skin after use. It’s also normally been quite a thick formula which feels a little icky on the skin. Today’s modern formulations, however, mean you can enjoy wearing a zinc sunscreen that feels comfortable to wear and doesn’t leave an odd color on your face.
In the most basic terms, Zinc sunscreen works by mostly absorbing UV rays and converting them into heat. It was once believed that sunscreens like these ones (inorganic formulas) were able to reflect out 100% of the UV rays, however, that’s actually not the case. In reality, mineral filters work by absorbing 95% of rays and only reflecting 5% or a maximum of 15% reflected away.
Wondering if zinc sunscreen is a good choice for you? If you are one of the 1% of the population who suffers from sunscreen allergies, then this is definitely one for you to try! However, given that sunscreen allergy is pretty uncommon, it’s not necessarily a go-to if you have sensitive skin. There are lots of other ingredients in sunscreen formulations that can cause reactions, so more often than not you’re going to want to check the ingredients label on each sunscreen brand and see what works for you.
Many zinc sunscreen formulas have a matte finish, so if you’re someone who prefers a glowy look then this might be one to avoid. That said, zinc sunscreen can safely be worn by everyone including pregnant and breastfeeding people.
If you’re looking for the best sunscreen to try that uses zinc oxide as its UV filter, then give Ultra Violette’s version a try. Known as ‘Lean Screen’, it’s a broad spectrum SPF50+ sunscreen designed specifically for your face. We like that it’ll slide on with consideration to the rest of your skincare and makeup routine – it’s literally designed to work with these products! If you hate fragrance in your beauty products you’ll love this one too, it’s happily fragrance-free!