zinc sunscreen

The Ultimate Guide to Zinc Sunscreen for Healthy Skin

As someone who has dedicated years to understanding skin health and sun protection, I can confidently say that zinc is one of the most powerful ingredients in natural skincare. 

After a decade of working outdoors and facing a skin cancer diagnosis before my 30th birthday, I realized the critical importance of effective sun protection. 

This journey led me to become the founder of Skorcha Organic Suncare, a natural zinc-based Australian brand committed to both skin health and environmental sustainability. In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore why zinc sunscreen is superior to chemical sunscreens and how it can benefit your skin and the environment.

Check out our natural tinted face sunscreen here!

Article at a Glance:

  • What is Zinc Sunscreen and How Does It Work?
  • The Benefits of Using Zinc Sunscreen
  • Best Zinc Sunscreens on the Market

What Is Zinc Sunscreen and How Does It Work?

Using zinc oxide as its main ingredient, this type of mineral sunscreen creates a shield on your skin. It bounces back harmful UV rays, giving you broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.

Zinc Oxide vs Titanium Dioxide

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the two main active ingredients used in mineral sunscreens. While both offer sun protection, zinc oxide provides better UVA protection compared to titanium dioxide. Zinc oxide sunscreens are often recommended for those with sensitive skin as they are less likely to cause irritation.

Mineral Sunscreen vs Chemical UV Filters

Mineral sunscreen spf, also known as physical sunscreens, sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, absorb into the skin and convert UV rays into heat. Mineral sunscreens provide protection immediately upon application, while chemical sunscreens take about 20 minutes to become effective.

We wrote a full list of sunscreen ingredients to avoid, when shopping for natural zinc based sunscreens make sure to check your labels!

How Zinc Sunscreen Protects Your Skin

Zinc sunscreen works by creating a physical barrier on your skin that reflects and scatters the sun’s UV rays. Zinc oxide provides broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are associated with premature skin aging while UVB rays are the main cause of sunburns. 

Using a natural clear zinc sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 can significantly reduce your risk of sun damage with regular use.

The Benefits of Using Zinc Sunscreen

The Benefits of Using Zinc Sunscreen

Using zinc sunscreen over the past few years has really improved how I manage my sensitive skin. Some of the best perks include:

Zinc sunscreen provides natural sun protection by using zinc oxide as a physical barrier.

1. Suitable for Sensitive Skin

Because it’s non-irritating, zinc oxide in sunscreen works well if you’ve got delicate skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema. These products usually avoid heavy scents and extra additives too.

However, it should not be used on diseased skin.

2. Environmentally Friendly

As someone who loves the ocean, I feel good knowing that my zinc sunscreen spf is reef-safe. Zinc oxide sunscreens do not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate , two common sunscreen chemicals that can be harmful to marine life and coral reefs. By choosing a zinc sunscreen, you can help protect vulnerable aquatic ecosystems.

3. Non-Nano Zinc Oxide

Some zinc sunscreens use non-nano, naturally sourced zinc oxide, which means the particles are larger than 100 nanometers. Non-nano particles are less likely to be absorbed into the skin and have a lower risk of causing health issues. 

However, they can leave more of a white cast on the skin compared to nano zinc oxide.

4. Natural and Gentle Ingredients

Many zinc sunscreens are formulated with naturally-derived and gentle ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamin E. These ingredients can help moisturize and soothe the skin while providing sun protection. Look for zinc sunscreens that are free from parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.

There are many chemical active ingredients in over 70% of the sunscreens on the market that can cause endocrine disruption, irritation and there have been recent sunscreen recalls due to potentially carcinogenic ingredients in some popular chemical based sunscreens aswell.

Check out our full list of reasons to swap to natural zinc-based sunscreen here

How to Choose the Best Zinc Sunscreen for Your Skin Type

How to Choose the Best Zinc Sunscreen for Your Skin Type

With so many zinc sunscreen options out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your skin type. Here are some key factors to consider:

Clear Zinc vs Tinted Zinc

Zinc sunscreens come in both clear and tinted formulas. Clear zinc can leave a slight white cast on the skin, especially on darker skin tones. Tinted sunscreens help offset the white cast and can provide a more natural finish. Consider your skin tone and personal preferences when deciding between clear zinc and tinted sunscreen.

Water Resistance and SPF

If you plan on swimming or sweating, look for a water-resistant zinc sunscreen. Sunscreens are classified as water-resistant for either 40 or 80 minutes. The SPF level indicates the amount of UVB protection – an SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays, while an SPF 50 blocks about 98%. Dermatologists recommend using at least SPF 30 for effective sun protection.

Broad Spectrum UVB Protection

A great pick for sunscreen is one with zinc offering broad spectrum protection—it blocks both harmful UVA and UVB radiation effectively. While UVA dives deep causing early aging signs like wrinkles, UVB sticks to damaging just the top layer leading to burns; but don’t worry because trusted zinc oxide covers them comprehensively.

Choosing the Right SPF

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. However, no sunscreen can block 100% of UV rays. It’s important to reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, or more often if swimming or sweating. Proper application is key to getting the most protection from your zinc oxide mineral sunscreen.

Best Zinc Sunscreens on the Market

Organic Face Sunscreen Tinted Mineral SPF 50

(80 customer reviews)
Original price was: AU$40.00.Current price is: AU$34.99.

With so many great zinc sunscreens available now, it’s easier than ever to find one that works for your skin type and lifestyle. Here are some of the top-rated options:

  •  Skorcha Organic Suncare: Our natural zinc-based sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection with organic ingredients. Plus, every purchase supports marine ecology by planting a mangrove tree.
  •  Badger Balm: Known for its simple, organic formulations and effective sun protection.
  •  Thinkbaby: A favorite for families, offering high SPF and water resistance.

In its yearly sunscreen report, the EWG highlights top choices based on safety and performance. Their best picks for zinc sunscreens in the latest edition include Badger Clear Zinc SPF-40 , Thinksport’s powerful SPF-50+, along with Adorable Baby’s gentle but strong formula at an SPFs level of-30+. Additionally ,they suggest opting for lotion forms rather than spray types to ensure uniform application.

I choose Skorcha Face and organic zinc-based sunscreen because it combines the robust protection of zinc oxide with the nourishing benefits of Kakadu plum and hyaluronic acid. Kakadu plum is rich in vitamin C, which brightens the skin and fights free radicals, while hyaluronic acid provides deep hydration, ensuring my skin stays moisturized throughout the day. 

This unique formulation not only offers superior sun protection but also enhances the overall health and appearance of my skin, making it an essential part of my daily skincare routine.

Tips for Applying and Reapplying Zinc Sunscreen

Tips for Applying and Reapplying Zinc Sunscreen

Now that you’ve got your perfect zinc sunscreen, it’s important to apply it correctly to get the most protection. Here are my top tips:

In addition to using zinc sunscreen, remember to wear protective clothing, hats, and eyewear to further shield your skin from harmful UV rays.

How Much to Apply

Most people do not apply enough sunscreen to get the full SPF on the label. The general rule is to apply 1 ounce (a shot glass full) to cover your entire body 30 minutes before sun exposure. For just your face, apply a nickel-sized dollop. Don’t forget often-missed spots like the ears, neck, and tops of feet.

In addition to sunscreen, wearing protective clothing is crucial to prevent skin damage from prolonged UV exposure.

When to Reapply

Reapply zinc sunscreen at least every 2 hours, or immediately after swimming, sweating excessively, or towel drying. Zinc oxide can rub off with friction from sand, clothing, or towels, so it’s important to reapply often to maintain optimal protection. Set a timer on your phone to remind you when it’s time to reapply.

Applying to Face and Lips

Use a gentle zinc oxide sunscreen formulated for the face to avoid clogging pores and causing breakouts. Moisturize your face first, then apply zinc sunscreen as the last step in your skincare routine. For your lips, choose a zinc oxide SPF lip balm and reapply frequently, as lips are particularly prone to sun damage.

Sunscreen and Makeup

If you wear makeup, apply your zinc sunscreen first and allow it to set for a few minutes before applying makeup on top. You can also find tinted zinc sunscreens or CC creams with SPF to streamline your routine. Powder SPFs with zinc oxide can be useful for reapplication over makeup throughout the day.

Key Takeaway:  

Zinc sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection by creating a physical barrier that reflects and scatters UV rays. It’s ideal for sensitive skin, environmentally friendly, and contains natural ingredients. To get the best results, choose a formula suited to your skin type, ensure it offers broad spectrum protection with at least SPF 30, and apply it correctly.

Shop Organic Sunscreen

FAQs in Relation to Zinc Sunscreen

Is sunscreen with zinc better?

Zinc sunscreen provides broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide acts as a physical barrier that reflects UV rays away, making it gentle on sensitive skin types.

What are the disadvantages of zinc oxide sunscreen?

Zinc oxide can leave a white cast, especially in higher concentrations. Some formulas may feel thicker than chemical sunscreens.

Why do dermatologists recommend zinc sunscreen?

Dermatologists prefer it because it’s less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions. It also offers strong sun protection.

Do you rub in zinc sunscreen?

You should rub in zinc sunscreen thoroughly until any visible residue disappears for effective sun protection.


So there you have it, folks – the lowdown on zinc sunscreen and why it deserves a spot in your skincare lineup. We’ve covered everything from the science behind how it works to the top picks for every skin type and budget. By now, you’re probably itching to get your hands on some zinc sunscreen of your own.

But before you go slathering it on, remember: the key to getting the most out of your zinc sunscreen is to apply it correctly and consistently. Don’t be stingy with the amount you use, and be sure to reapply every two hours (or more often if you’re swimming or sweating). And don’t forget to show your lips some love with a zinc-based SPF lip balm!

With zinc sunscreen as your trusty sidekick, you can enjoy all your favorite outdoor activities without worrying about the damaging effects of the sun. So go ahead and bask in that sunshine – your skin will thank you for it.

Mick Wadley – Founder of Skorcha

After a decade in the scorching sun as a roofer and going door-to-door in sales – I was forced to take my skin health seriously following a skin cancer scare before the age of 30. 

So began my passion for suncare, which is both effective and natural. Crafted for adventure and endurance sports, Skorcha formulas are non-greasy, have no eye sting and absolutely no bullshit (100% Organic).

My goal is to share what I’ve learned about skin health and safe ingredients, encouraging people to enjoy the great outdoors!

Mick Wadley

Mick Wadley – Founder of Skorcha

After a decade in the scorching sun as a roofer and going door-to-door in sales – I was forced to take my skin health seriously following a skin cancer scare before the age of 30.

So began my passion for suncare, which is both effective and natural. Crafted for adventure and endurance sports, Skorcha formulas are non-greasy, have no eye sting and absolutely no bullshit (100% Organic).

My goal is to share what I’ve learned about skin health and safe ingredients, inspiring happier, healthier lives through adventure, organic goodness and conservation!

Help us plant a mangrove tree with every Skorcha product sold to protect fragile marine ecosystems and support underprivileged communities around the world.

Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Products sold on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for direct, individual medical treatment or advice. It is the responsibility of you and your healthcare providers to make all decisions regarding your health. Skorcha recommends that you consult with your healthcare providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of any disease or condition.