Zinc Oxide: End-of-Summer Skin Care Tips

Cynthia Bailey, MD|July 14, 2014

zinc oxide protectionHave glowing, moist, soft skin as you enjoy the last of the languid, balmy days of summer.

Exfoliate, get your golden glow safely, and keep up your sun protection to prevent a leathered, weathered complexion.

For the best anti-aging protection of your skin, use broad spectrum sun protection with a trustworthy mineral zinc oxide sunscreen combined with a comprehensive sun protection strategy. Beyond sunscreen, you need sun-protection clothing, hats, shade, and sunglasses to keep aging UV rays off of your skin.  With or without sunscreen there are really effective things you can do to keep the rays off of your skin, which will prevent darkening of uneven pigment and the weathered and leathered look that comes from sun exposure. Here is my practical, easy-to-use sun protection advice My personal favorite facial sunscreen is a time saving all-in-one product that my skin loves and that I think looks great. I know that it: 1. gives me the highest quality and most trusted broad spectrum protection. 2. gives my complexion the perfect golden glow. 3. evens out any complexion flaws I may have that day. It’s Suntegrity’s BB Cream SPF 30 Sunscreen made with natural ingredients.  

"I use Suntegrity every day under my makeup. Some days I wear it as a base without makeup. You can never tell I have sunscreen on. I also like Solbar when I am performing water sports like paddle boarding, wake boarding, or swimming. It never gets in your eyes and it provides good coverage. Thanks Dr Bailey!"  Kathleen R.

Here is a nice summary of why keeping the sun, including the UV-A1 ray, off of your skin is the most effective anti-aging step you can do for your complexion. Most chemical sunscreens don’t block UV-A1, but zinc oxide does.Zinc Oxide and sun hats Because broad spectrum UV protection is so important, including the blocking of UV-A1, I only recommend zinc oxide-based products. Here is an excerpt from an upcoming post I've written (again you may quote me with attribution): 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. In my opinion, the other one, avobenzone, is too fragile to be depended on. • 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, which 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. In addition to sun protection, hydration (always from the outside because drinking water does not hydrate your skin meaningfully any more than applying moisturizer quenches your thirst), exfoliation, and antioxidant skin care products are important. For a healthy golden glow you can apply self tanners to freshly exfoliated and hydrated skin – the look is healthy, radiant skin. Eating carrots will also tint your skin with natural golden beta carotene too.  

Fight free radicals from the sun and environmental stressors.

You get an additional level of environmental damage protection for your skin by using free-radical-fighting antioxidant skin care products under your sunscreen. But, you need to know that it takes high concentrations of the right antioxidants in your product to get this benefit. The best of the best products, in my opinion, are Green Tea Antioxidant Therapy and Vitamin C Anti-Aging Professional Treatment Serum.

Keep your pores clean.

Deep clean your pores and remove sunscreen, product residue, makeup, and clogged pore debris at the end of each day. Your skin will look better and your products will work better too. I recommend the Clarisonic Skin Cleansing Brush System to be used at least every night.

Dial in the right skin hydration for your skin type and the climate.

Deeply hydrated skin always looks better and is healthier than parched skin. As the weather changes, so should your moisturizer. When you’re in a drier climate, you will need richer moisturizing products; when you are in a more humid climate, you will need lighter and/or less moisturizing creams. My favorite all over moisturizer for drier climates and drier skin is my All Natural Butter Cream. For humid climates or for those who just need a little hydration on their facial skin, I find that my Daily Moisturizing Cream for Oily to Normal Skin dials that in beautifully. Apply it to your entire face or only to the drier areas.

Exfoliated skin looks best!

Exfoliated skin is always smoother, more youthful appearing, and has more even skin color. This is especially true if you plan to use self-tanners. The best exfoliation includes both physical and AHA exfoliation, and the best professional grade product combination is found in my Anti-Aging Body Kit.  

If you have found these zinc oxide sun protection tips helpful, please show your thanks by commenting on, sharing, “liking,” Google+, tweeting, and “pinning,” using the social sharing buttons above and below this blog post with friends and family.



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