What: Zinc oxide is a natural mineral which provides the safest and most effective protection against UV rays. Unlike chemical sunscreens, zinc forms a physical barrier on the skin, reflecting the sun’s rays rather than absorbing them. Zinc Oxide is the best performing ingredient for blocking both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc is nontoxic and less irritating to skin than chemical sunscreens (Wiki).
Zinc, commonly in powder form, tends to leave a white residue on skin. To eliminate this unwanted whiteness, manufacturers have begun reducing the particle size of zinc, known as nano-particles (under 100 nanometers). But nanos have come under scrutiny over possible health risks. A special process allows us to keep larger zinc oxide particles from clumping whereas the smaller nano and near nano-particle zinc in most other sunscreens clump together to form larger aggregate particles. As a result, our large particle zinc oxide is able to go onto the skin clear.
Origin: Zinc oxide is found in the Earth’s crust as natural mineral zincite. Most zinc is manufactured by French process, in which the zinc is melted, vaporized and cooled to produce zinc particles.
Products Found In: Sunscreen, makeup, acne treatments.
Alternate Names: Flower of zinc, philosopher's wool, pigment white 4, CI 77947, low temperature burned zinc oxide, zinc white, zinc flowers, zinc oxide (non-nano) (EWG).