The sun-protecting power pair you should look out for!
Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide: What’s the deal?
You’ve heard a lot about the hefty punch of sun-protecting, skin-loving benefits zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide. You’ve heard a lot about how good this power pair is from your mother to a parade of dermatologists, yet you’re not sure why they’re so good, either.
In recent years, consumers have become increasingly aware of the adverse health effects of harmful chemical sunscreen filters, especially those that break down upon exposure to light (yes, homosalate — we’re looking at you and your friends here)!
In order to know why zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are such superb sun-protecting organic and natural ingredients, it’s important to know the differences and similarities between the two.
Read on to get yourself acquainted with this organic and natural power pair and how they work to defend your skin from the sun’s harmful rays!
True to its name, titanium dioxide is produced from titanium — a highly reflective, white and chalky substance in its natural state. On the other hand, zinc oxide is derived from the organic and natural mineral, zinc. Many dermatologists often recommend the latter instead because it provides broad UVA and UVB protection across more radiation wavelengths. It is also the only active ingredient that has been rigorously tested and FDA-approved as safe for use on babies under 6 months of age and children; a testament to its high degree of safety (U.S Food and Drug Administration 2018)!
To maintain cosmeceutical elegance, safe, organic and natural formulations such as Liht Organics’ All-Day Perfection Foundation an SPF-infused powder foundation, contain sizeably scaled down versions of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They are both measured in nanometres (nm), a unit of measurement used to measure microfine particles. However, zinc oxide is scaled down to 20-300nm, while titanium dioxide to roughly 10-100nm. While there is a slight difference in the sizes of these two organic and natural minerals, both are so small that it glides across the skin with less chalkiness, but also doesn’t penetrate the skin and into the bloodstream à la harmful chemical sunscreen filters!
3. Broad Spectrum UVA and UVB Radiation Protection
Compared to potentially harmful chemical sunscreen filters (such as the non-pregnancy safe retinyl palmitate), zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are organic and natural minerals. They wrap the skin with a sheer
yet strong layer of protection against the sun rays. However, they do not absorb into the skin at all — earning them the title of “physical” blockers most commonly found in mineral sunscreen formulations (Deanne Robinson, M.D, Connecticut Dermatology Group).
The greatest difference lies in their individual strengths — the weight they carry as an organic and natural mineral with sun-protecting properties. The former provides broad spectrum protection against both short and long-wave UVA and UVB radiation, while the latter provides protection against short-wave UVB rays only. However, while it doesn’t provide as much protection from long-wave UVA rays, titanium dioxide blocks out short-wave UVB effectively enough to provide protection from daily sun exposure!