If there’s one thing we absolutely need in our skincare routine, it’s sunscreen. Because sun damage is no joke and is the root cause of most skin concerns. There is one reason why people avoid SPF and it’s because some sunscreens just make the skin look oily and cause breakouts. But not zinc oxide sunscreens!
When you’re looking to buy sunscreen, look for ones that have Zinc or Titanium Oxide as a key ingredient in their formulas because it is what makes all the difference. Zinc oxide sunscreens keep the skin soothed and mattified and have a lot more benefits for your skin. Here’s everything I love about zinc oxide sunscreens.
Also Read: Does Sunscreen prevent tanning
What is Zinc Oxide?
Zinc oxide is a naturally occurring mineral that is usually used to treat skin irritation like minor burns, cuts, and rashes. When used in sunscreen formulas, it helps blocks the UVA and UVB rays from damaging your skin – just like a physical shield. Sunscreen with zinc oxide is recommended for children and people with extremely sensitive skin because its mineral composition won’t irritate your skin or cause skin damage. It’s one of the ingredients that’s been approved by the FDA.
Best Zinc Oxide Sunscreens In India
Since not all SPFs are created equal, get ready to check out a list of the best zinc oxide sunscreens in India that measure up.
POPxo H2O Booster Sunscreen Gel
This is a lightweight mattifying sunscreen that is enriched with hyaluronic acid and kakadu plum. It is super hydrating and extremely soothing on my acne-prone skin.
Pros: It feels refreshing and makes the skin matte without causing excess dryness.
Cons: It has SPF 30 which means you have to reapply it more often.
POPxo Selfie-Ready Tinted Sunscreen
Enriched with soothing spinach extract, this sunscreen makes my skin look radiant and even-toned. The tinted formula helps blur out dark spots and discoloration.
Pros: It is water resistant and comes with SPF 50.
Cons: It has one shade that works for fair to medium skin tones.
St.Botanica Vitamin C SPF 75 Dry Touch Sunscreen
Loaded with vitamin C, this is a mineral-based sunscreen that makes skin feel refreshed and look mattified. It also contains hyaluronic acid that keeps my skin hydrated without looking oily.
Pros: It offers a whopping SPF 75 and is perfect for hot and humid days.
Cons: There are none.
82°E Turmeric Shield
Infused with turmeric and ceramides, this sunscreen is super soothing and hydrating. It protects the skin barrier from damage and also helps brighten my complexion.
Pros: It is extremely gentle, nourishing, and refreshing when applied to the skin.
Cons: It is a little expensive.
Earth Rhythm Mineral Sunstick
This sunscreen in-a-stick formula is perfect for girls on the go. It helps me load up on SPF anywhere anytime because it is so easy to use.
Pros: This sunscreen can be easily reapplied over makeup and it offers SPF 50.
Cons: Needs to be wiped clean before the next use as the stick is rubbed on the face.
Re’equil Sheer Zinc Tinted Mineral Sunscreen
This is a tinted sunscreen that makes my skin look amazing. It keeps my skin protected from sun damage all while evening out my skin tone and leaving it with a matte finish.
Pros: The formula offers broad spectrum SPF 50 protection.
Cons: Stains clothing like the collar areas after a few hours.
St.Botanica Vitamin C SPF 30 Sunscreen Mineral Based & Water Resistant
This mineral sunscreen comes in a spray format that makes it super easy to apply and reapply. It is loaded with vitamin C and helps my skin look more radiant and smooth.
Pros: It is water-resistant and budget-friendly.
Cons: It has only SPF 30 which isn’t enough for long hours outdoors in the sun.
St. Botanica Goji Berry Sunscreen Serum
Enriched with goji berries, this sunscreen is lightweight and super nourishing. Rich in vitamin C and with a serum texture, this sunscreen gets absorbed by the skin super quickly and makes it juicy and plump.
Pros: It serves up SPF 50 and it feels weightless on the skin.
Cons: It is not water resistant.
Organic Harvest All Skin SPF 60 Sunscreen
Enriched with kakadu plum, acai berries, and chia seeds, this sunscreen is extremely nourishing and hydrating. It makes my skin feel refreshed and soothed.
Pros: It contains SPF 60 and is loaded with natural ingredients.
Cons: It is not water-resistant or sweatproof.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense
With broad-spectrum protection and a lightweight formula, this sunscreen is perfect for plumping up my skin. It helps me fight signs of skin ageing and also keeps my skin super hydrated.
Pros: It helps minimise fine lines and wrinkles.
Cons: It is pretty expensive.
Estee Lauder Perfectionist Pro Multi-Defense Aqua UV Gel
With a light gel formula, this sunscreen is simply divine. It is loaded with antioxidants and helps make the skin firm and bouncy.
Pros: It contains SPF 50 and luxe ingredients.
Cons: It is a high-end product and costs a lot of money.
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry Touch Sunscreen Spf50+
This is one of the most affordable zinc oxide sunscreens in India. It’s mineral-based and offers an SPF of 50. Wear it to the beach or wear it every day, it’s going to offer broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays.
Pros: Easily available, affordable.
Cons: Thick consistency takes time to blend and leaves a white cast on the skin.
Also Read: Types Of Sunscreen
Ustraa Sports Sunscreen
If you want to gift your significant other a sunscreen, this is a great option. It’s perfect for any kind of sports activity. It’s going to keep your skin matte and shine-free, it’s non-sticky.
Pros: It’s perfect if you spend a majority of the day out and about or if you play any kind of sports. It has an SPF of 50 to protect you against UVA and UVB rays.
Cons: It’s designed specifically for men.
Also Read: Can We Apply Compact Powder After Sunscreen
COOLA SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen
If you’re looking for a sunscreen with a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, this one from Coola is perfect for everyday wear. It has an SPF of 30 with ingredients like Rose Hip Oil and Vitamin C. It’s going to help smoothen out fine lines and wrinkles while brightening up your skin.
Pros: Keeps your skin matte and shine-free and it’s water resistant.
Cons: It may not work for people with dry skin types.
Also Read: Sunscreen Ingredients To Avoid
Epicuren Zinc Oxide Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 27
This sunscreen has a whipped formula and a transparent colour making it easy to blend and spread out. It’s going to protect your skin from UV damage and any hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
Pros: Perfect for all skin types, fragrance-free, and the whipped transparent formula is easily spreadable.
Cons: Expensive and not easily available.
Also Read: What Is Pa Rating In Sunscreen
The Inkey List Zinc Oxide Moisturiser
If you are looking for a good quality sunscreen with a physical and chemical property but with zinc as the primary ingredient then The Inkey List is your brand. It’s got a no-nonsense mantra where the packaging of all its products is quite basic while ingredients are high-quality. This particular sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection of SPF 50+. It’s lightweight and easily spreadable and won’t clog your pores or leave a white cast on your skin.
Pros: Perfect for people who want the feel of a moisturiser in a sunscreen. Can be used under makeup and it’s got a high SPF of 50.
Cons: Not easily available in India.
Also Read: How To Remove Sunscreen From Face Naturally
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defence SPF 30
If you don’t mind spending a little extra money on a brand that focuses on clean beauty and is toxin-free, check out Drunk Elephant. This sunscreen is formulated without any potential irritants like essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance/dyes and SLS.
Pros: It’s got 20% of zinc oxide in the formula as well as raspberry seed and marula oil and it’s cruelty-free. It’s got a very fluid-like formula that blends easily and won’t leave a white cast.
Cons: Expensive and not easily available in India.
Also Read: How to apply sunscreen on face
Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen
If your skin has reacted badly to sun exposure or to another product, this sunscreen is perfect for you. It’s formulated to be ultra-soothing and mild with ingredients like green tea and zinc oxide.
Pros: Fragrance-free and perfect for sensitive, reactive skin
Cons: Only SPF 30 which is not enough to give your skin adequate protection if you spend the majority of your time outdoors.
Also Read: Non Greasy Sunscreen
Vilvah Melt-In-Milk Sunscreen SPF 50
My skin drinks up this milky sunscreen. The formula is enriched with zinc and soy milk extract. It is water resistant and has broad spectrum SPF 50.
Pros: Can offer sun protection even while in the pool or ocean.
Cons: Needs to be applied every two hours even though it is water-resistant.
Jovees Sun Zinc Shield
This zinc sunscreen delivers a matte finish and is quickly absorbed by the skin. It offers broad spectrum SPF 60 protection and it does not clog my pores.
Pros: Offers broad spectrum protection from the sun and smartphone and laptop screens as well.
Cons: There are none.
1. How is it better than my regular sunscreen?
If you have sensitive skin, a zinc oxide sunscreen might be better than other chemical sunscreens. This is because zinc is a naturally occurring mineral and it is milder on your skin as compared to other ingredients like oxybenzone that are found in chemical sunscreens. If your skin is prone to acne, irritation, or even a rash, definitely give this kind of sunscreen a try.
“Sunscreens, which have zinc oxide, block both the rays and give better protection to the skin. Unlike our regular sunscreens, a sunscreen with zinc oxide helps in lowering skin inflammation associated with rashes, allergies, and irritation. Sunscreens with zinc oxide help in improving wound healing and preventing bacterial infection, they help in treating acne breakouts and keep moisture locked into dry skin.” says Dr. Chiranjiv Chhabra, Director, and Consultant Dermatologist at Alive Wellness.
2. Is it safe to use for acne-prone skin and sensitive skin?
Yes, it is in fact recommended by dermatologists for children and people with very sensitive skin.
3. Will it give me a white cast?
Unfortunately yes. A lot of sunscreens formulated with zinc oxide are known to have a paste(y) consistency and leave a white cast on your skin. If you wear makeup, this white cast is easy to hide. If you don’t wear makeup then make sure you blend the sunscreen well so that there are no white patches. There are a few higher-end sunscreens that don’t give you a white cast that are definitely worth the investment.
4. How does zinc oxide benefit your skin?
Unlike other sunscreens that require to be put on 30 minutes before sun exposure, sunscreens with zinc in them start protecting your skin from the sun the minute you apply them. But it’s always better to put them on 10 to 15 minutes before sun exposure. The ingredient sits on the surface of your skin while deflecting light. Think of it as a reflective surface, a mirror perhaps. That’s what a layer of zinc oxide on your skin does to the UV rays, it deflects them. Sunscreens with zinc oxide in them have a milky consistency and a paste-like appearance. They do tend to leave a white cast on your skin.
Dr. Chiranjiv Chhabra told me why zinc is such a key ingredient used while formulating sunscreens and here’s what she said. “Zinc is a key sunscreen ingredient because it is effective in providing protection from UV light.
- It plays an important role in safeguarding our skin from sunburns and sun-induced skin damage as it has natural sun-protecting benefits.
- Over time, it helps cures acne.
- It has soothing properties and therefore helps treats rashes and irritation because it helps in growing new tissues and repair work of wounds.
- It helps improve the synthesis of new skin tissue and collagen.”
5. What’s the difference between physical and chemical sunscreen?
A chemical sunscreen absorbs the UVA and UVB rays and converts them into heat. This absorption sometimes causes allergic reactions or skin irritation in some people with sensitive skin. That’s when you turn to a physical sunscreen. A physical sunscreen is like a physical barrier, it reflects the UVA and UVB rays away from the skin. It basically bounces off the rays like a mirror.
6. What skin types would you recommend a zinc oxide sunscreen to?
“Skin type: Oily, combination, and acne-prone. Zinc oxide is widely used to treat a variety of skin conditions in products such as calamine cream and antiseptic ointments and as a skin protectant ingredient as it helps in healing wounds. The most common skin care issue is acne-prone skin. Zinc oxide as an ingredient in sunscreen can help in preventing breakouts and control sebum production. It is a substance that effectively works in drying excess oil in the skin. More than that, it also helps revive your skin’s glow by shrinking large pores and tightening skin to help conceal damaged skin.” adds Dr. Chhabra.