Zinc oxide is used in sunscreens as a reflective or physical block against UV rays. As a kid, you probably remember seeing (or even wearing) zinc oxide on the nose—it is pure white and very noticeable. Nowadays it is used as a key ingredient in sunscreens.
Zinc oxide is one of only a few ingredients that are currently used to block the damaging UVA rays. Parsol 1789 (avobenzone) and titanium dioxide are the among some others. Please don’t misunderstand: in a sunscreen, zinc oxide is not a complete block—nothing short of being inside will keep all the sun’s radiation off your skin. But zinc oxide, along with avobenzone and titanium dioxide, are ingredients to look for in your sun products.
If you are a skier, a sailor, or are doing any number of activities that cause you to be out in the sun for long periods of time, consider using zinc oxide to protect your skin. There are even zinc products that are available made in wild and fun colors, so you can protect your skin and make a fashion statement too!
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|OK—this is not necessarily the norm!|