In my opinion, they are.
Seeing patient after patient in my dermatology practice, I’ve seen this proven to me over the years.
Why do zinc oxide sunscreens work so well?
- Zinc oxide particles in sunscreen sit invisibly on the surface of your skin bouncing the UV rays off like balls bouncing off of a hard surface. There is no chemical reaction at your skin level as there is with chemical sunscreens.
- Zinc oxide is one of the two UV-A1 sunscreen ingredients approved by the FDA. The other one, avobenzone, is too fragile to depend, on in my opinion.
- Zinc oxide gives you broad spectrum protection from UVB all the way through to UV-A1, meaning your skin is getting the best sun protection possible.
- Zinc oxide is a stable sunscreen ingredient that is much less likely than chemical ingredients to break down in the bottle or on your skin.
- Zinc oxide gives broader protection than titanium dioxide and is cosmetically more elegant to use (aka invisible on your skin)
- Zinc oxide does not irritate sensitive skin.
- Zinc oxide is not absorbed into your body; it stays on your skin where you put it and where it can protect you from the sun.
One of my long-term patients came into my office right after returning from a sunny cruise vacation. She loves the sun and puts sunscreens to the ultimate test. As I was examining her skin, which looked like it had been well sun protected, she said,
“Those zinc oxide sunscreens are the best!“
“(During my) long vacation and cruise in the sun… I used a zinc oxide SPF 30 sunscreen every day and look how well it worked! Other people were using SPF 50s and burning. Because mine had zinc it worked – my skin didn’t burn like theirs did.” Brenda W Sebastopol, CA
Science says a lot of things about sunscreen, but the proof of what really works is visible in my dermatology office every day. Zinc oxide gave Brenda better protection than her fellow cruisers because it works better. I recommend you trust your own and your family’s skin only to zinc oxide sunscreens.