Best Zinc Oxide Sunscreen?

Edle

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Oct 17, 2012
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Peat seem to think zinc oxide is the least toxic of the active sunscreen ingredients.

I have not had success in finding a good one. The problem is that the other ingredients seem to be quite off (seed oils). I have to use sunscreen on my face every day, and I frequently have to use on large parts of my body, so I am quite keen to find the least toxic.

I currently use Kinesys SPF 30 Ointment with Pure Zinc Oxide:

Active Sunscreen Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 25%
Inactive Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Capric / Caprylic Triglyceride, Beeswax, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil and Tocopherols, Polyhydroxystearic Acid (and) Isostearic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (and) Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Bisabolol

I am not very happy with the sunflower and soybean oil :-(

I have tried Badger in the past. It contains olive oil, which is slightly better than soja and sunflower oil (I usually put coconut oil on my skin before applying), but I tended to get sunburned with this sunscreen, and it feels pretty terrible on the skin.

SPF 30 Badger:
Active Sunscreen Ingredients: Non-Nano, Uncoated Zinc Oxide 18.75%
Inactive Ingredients: *Olea Europaea (Organic Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax), *Butyrospermum Parkii (Organic Shea) Butter, *Theobroma Cacao (Organic Cocoa) Butter, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Oil, Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), and CO2 Extract of *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Organic Seabuckthorn).

Does anyone have zinc oxide sunscreens without seed oils to recommend?

Have anyone tried making at home with some success? I see that recipes typically includes one seed oil (grapeseed, soja or sunflower) in addition to coconut and beeswax. I wonder if the consistency relies on it, or if I can make it without.

Thank you!
 

key

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I get a zinc oxide cream(generic rite aid brand) that's used mainly for diaper rash. The only ingredients are like zinc oxide, white petroleum, beeswax.
 

gretchen

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The brands I hear mentioned frequently on skincare boards include Eco Baby, Burnout, Marie Veronique, Pratima, and Devita. Coppertone Sensitive makes a cheap drugstore product that contains 14% zinc.
 

crX

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I've used the Devita -- pretty pricey. It did go on very nice though, didn't look white like most of them do. I can't recall the exact reason I stopped using it, but it was either because they use nanoparticles, PUFA's or Vitamin A in their cream. Lately I've been using an inexpensive fragrance-free Coppertone KIDS version which seems to have the fewest worrisome ingredients, but I like the idea of using diaper cream :)
 

Edle

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key said:
I get a zinc oxide cream(generic rite aid brand) that's used mainly for diaper rash. The only ingredients are like zinc oxide, white petroleum, beeswax.

Thank you so much key! I checked out Rite Zinc Oxide ointment.

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (20%)
Inactive Ingredients: Light Mineral Oil, White Beeswax, White Petrolatum

I am a bit worried about the light mineral oil and the petrolatum. I see that petrolatum (if not super clean) can contain endocrine disruptors. The other problem with petrolatum, which I understand is like vaseline, is that it keeps moisture in the skin, and since I live in the tropics, this might not be the best for a sunscreen in 40C degrees.

gretchen said:
The brands I hear mentioned frequently on skincare boards include Eco Baby, Burnout, Marie Veronique, Pratima, and Devita. Coppertone Sensitive makes a cheap drugstore product that contains 14% zinc.

Thank you gretchen! So I checked all the ones you listed:

Eco Baby sunscreen:
ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Zinc Oxide 22%
Inactive ingredients: Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Silica, Cera Alba (Bee’s Wax), Butyrospermum Parkii Seed (Shea) Butter, Candelilla Wax, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba), Organic Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado), Organic Rosehips Seed Oil, Carota Sativa (Carrot) Oil, Botswellia Carterii (Frankincense), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract.

BurnOut Eco-Sensitive Clean and Clear Sunscreen SPF 30:
Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 18.6%
Other Ingredients: Deionized Water, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Vegetable Glycerin, Sorbitol, Imperata Cylindrica (Root) Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Lecithin, Arabidopsis Extract, Plankton Extract, Aloe Vera, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Citric Acid.

Marie Veronique Moisturizing Face Screen, SPF 30:
Active Ingredient: 20% non-nano zinc oxide
Other ingredients: Camellia sinensis (green& white tea), non-nano zinc oxide, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba oil), Prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel oil), Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam seed oil), Helianthus annuus (sunflower oil), emu oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), vegetable glycerin, Elaesis guineensis (red palm oil), Rubus idaeus (red raspberry seed oil), lecithin, potassium sorbate, allantoin, Cosmocil CQ*, xanthan gum, mica, Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn oil), Calodendrum Capense (yangu oil), Rosemarinus officinalis (rosemary oleoresin), pearl powder, Daucus carota (carrot seed) essential oil, Cistus incanus (cistus) essential oil, Helichrysum italicum (helichrysum) essential oil, iron oxides, Spirulina platensis (spirulina) (medium tint only).

Pratima NEEM VETIVER BODY SUNSCREEN SPF30:
IONIZED WATER, NON-NANO MICRONIZED ZINC OXIDE 18.6%, ORGANIC EXTRACTS OF NEEM, LICORICE, IMPERATA CYLINDRICA EXTRACT, VITAMIN E, LECITHIN, ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL OF VETIVER, XANTHAN GUM.

Devita SPF 30:
Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide: 19%
Inactive Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), purified water (aqua), capric/caprylic triglycerides (derived from coconut oil), glycerin (vegetable), hyaluronic acid (vegan source), glyceryl stearate SE (derived from vegetable oil), stearic acid, lecithin phospholipid, tocopherol (vitamin E), allantoin, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract.

Coppertone Sensitive SPF 50:
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Zinc Oxide (14.5%).
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Chloride.

The Coppertone is definitely out, as it contains octinoxate as an active ingredient which I understand can have estrogenic effects. Plus lots of chemicals as inactive ingredients, including paraben.

BurnOut has coconut oil which is good, then glycerin and lecithin, which is not so good.

Eco Baby: lots of seed oil.

Marie Veronique: don´t know about jojoba, which might not be so bad, but otherwise it has lots of PUFA seed oils.

The Pratima Neem is interesting. I see that Neem oil is used as a contraceptive. If taken as capsules by men, they loose their fertility.... So, am not sure how safe it is. Monounsaturated fat mainly. Lecithin is probably from soya or sunflower.

Devita might be the best. I don´t know how bad glycerin is. It does have grape seed oil, but it is the ingredient in the lowest quantity.

BurnOut and Devita seems to be the best of these, but I don´t think they are much better than the Kinesys I am currently using which contains coconut oil as the highest quantity oil, and then seed oil.

crX said:
I've used the Devita -- pretty pricey. It did go on very nice though, didn't look white like most of them do. I can't recall the exact reason I stopped using it, but it was either because they use nanoparticles, PUFA's or Vitamin A in their cream. Lately I've been using an inexpensive fragrance-free Coppertone KIDS version which seems to have the fewest worrisome ingredients, but I like the idea of using diaper cream :)

Hi crX - and thanks! Yes, the Devita does not look so bad - the best so far, but agreed, pricey at US$ 26 for 2.5oz.

Coppertone - zinc oxide is not the only active ingredient. The others can be pretty toxic:
http://www.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/about- ... n,_SPF_50/
 

nwo2012

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Why buy when you can make it? Just get zinc oxide powder. Mix it into coconut oil and apply. For higher SPF add more zinc powder.
Thats it. We even send a jar to our daughter's pre-school and they know that's all the are allowed to apply to her skin. Works great. No toxic seed oils. Thats how they used to be made.

edit: if you need a bit more protection from burning you could mix in a good quality, such as unique-e, vitamin e oil and also progest-e (i tend to add a drop or two of these to sensitive areas like the face.
 

Edle

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nwo2012 said:
Why buy when you can make it? Just get zinc oxide powder. Mix it into coconut oil and apply. For higher SPF add more zinc powder.
Thats it. We even send a jar to our daughter's pre-school and they know that's all the are allowed to apply to her skin. Works great. No toxic seed oils. Thats how they used to be made.

edit: if you need a bit more protection from burning you could mix in a good quality, such as unique-e, vitamin e oil and also progest-e (i tend to add a drop or two of these to sensitive areas like the face.

nwo2012 - thanks! This was exactly my question: if it really is that simple, or if one needed other ingredients (than coconut oil and zinc oxide) to get an acceptable consistency. I will try. I already ordered 1 lb of zinc oxide on Amazon. Much appreciated!
 

Jenn

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I just use coconut oil and a hat and long sleeves. ;) My sun tolerance has greatly increased since going low PUFA and using coconut oil. My son can go all day with just coconut oil now. It took him a year. I am still a work in progress.
 

nwo2012

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Jenn said:
I just use coconut oil and a hat and long sleeves. ;) My sun tolerance has greatly increased since going low PUFA and using coconut oil. My son can go all day with just coconut oil now. It took him a year. I am still a work in progress.

Not sure where you are but the extremely high UVs in Australia require the reflective and absorptive properties of the zinc oxide. I can go all day without burning, with just coconut oil, in the Med but over here the sun is nasty!

Yes hat and sleeves are good, especially wearing red or orange, but you also want say 30 minutes full exposure for Vit D. Also try swimming in the ocean in long sleevs and a hat, lol. Also try that in 35-40C with high humidity.
 
J

j.

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nwo2012 said:
Yes hat and sleeves are good, especially wearing red or orange, but you also want say 30 minutes full exposure for Vit D. Also try swimming in the ocean in long sleevs and a hat, lol. Also try that in 35-40C with high humidity.

Depending on how pale one's skin is, that could be too much for some people.
 

crX

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I like the idea of buying some zinc oxide powder and making my own. It seems a little ridiculous to pay exorbitant prices for manufacturers to NOT put things in sunscreens. I actually came to use the Coppertone as a lesser evil I guess -- I had researched on EWG but everything they ranked high had PUFA's and cost an arm and a leg, and the Coppertone had the right price with the fewest questionable ingredients in that range. Plus, I can pick it up anywhere and don't have to special order or anything, so for me it came down to choosing the best from what was practical and available, as I find I'm often doing with food nowadays too, just to make life livable. I actually don't use it all the time, only when I know I'm going to be out in the sun for any duration, and am trying to trust more in the intelligence of my own skin to protect itself, as I feel like I foolishly followed the advice of dermatologists for many years to use sunscreen on a daily basis when I didn't really need it.
 

nwo2012

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crX said:
I like the idea of buying some zinc oxide powder and making my own. It seems a little ridiculous to pay exorbitant prices for manufacturers to NOT put things in sunscreens. I actually came to use the Coppertone as a lesser evil I guess -- I had researched on EWG but everything they ranked high had PUFA's and cost an arm and a leg, and the Coppertone had the right price with the fewest questionable ingredients in that range. Plus, I can pick it up anywhere and don't have to special order or anything, so for me it came down to choosing the best from what was practical and available, as I find I'm often doing with food nowadays too, just to make life livable. I actually don't use it all the time, only when I know I'm going to be out in the sun for any duration, and am trying to trust more in the intelligence of my own skin to protect itself, as I feel like I foolishly followed the advice of dermatologists for many years to use sunscreen on a daily basis when I didn't really need it.

In those situations (where you dont want to use any sunscreen) still use coconut oil for it's nourishing effects. I make just about everything we use as a family, its half the fun.
 

crX

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Yes, nwo, I've made my own lotions too -- you should have seen some of my 'experiments' with beeswax, honey, and various ingredients I'd put in them. Since I never wanted to bother with order emulsifying wax they never ended up staying mixed very well however, and sometimes I'd get an allergic reaction to god-knows-what I've put in there :). I've ended up finding that the best thing for me is coconut oil put on with a mixture of glycerin and water. I'ts very hot and arid where I live so the coconut oil just doesn't seem enough without the glycerin. Thanks for the idea for the zinc powder, I can just add that in when needed -- makes it quite elegant and simple.

While I agree that sun overexposure is not desirable, I do believe in Peat's line of thinking on the matter -- that skin degeneration has more to do with degenerative processes going on in the body than with moderate amounts of sun exposure.
 

nwo2012

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crX said:
Yes, nwo, I've made my own lotions too -- you should have seen some of my 'experiments' with beeswax, honey, and various ingredients I'd put in them. Since I never wanted to bother with order emulsifying wax they never ended up staying mixed very well however, and sometimes I'd get an allergic reaction to god-knows-what I've put in there :). I've ended up finding that the best thing for me is coconut oil put on with a mixture of glycerin and water. I'ts very hot and arid where I live so the coconut oil just doesn't seem enough without the glycerin. Thanks for the idea for the zinc powder, I can just add that in when needed -- makes it quite elegant and simple.

While I agree that sun overexposure is not desirable, I do believe in Peat's line of thinking on the matter -- that skin degeneration has more to do with degenerative processes going on in the body than with moderate amounts of sun exposure.

Agree. The longest sun exposure without burning is best to limit skin aging and boost health. But what we eat is a bigger factor.
 

gretchen

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crX said:
I like the idea of buying some zinc oxide powder and making my own. It seems a little ridiculous to pay exorbitant prices for manufacturers to NOT put things in sunscreens. I actually came to use the Coppertone as a lesser evil I guess -- I had researched on EWG but everything they ranked high had PUFA's and cost an arm and a leg, and the Coppertone had the right price with the fewest questionable ingredients in that range. Plus, I can pick it up anywhere and don't have to special order or anything, so for me it came down to choosing the best from what was practical and available, as I find I'm often doing with food nowadays too, just to make life livable. I actually don't use it all the time, only when I know I'm going to be out in the sun for any duration, and am trying to trust more in the intelligence of my own skin to protect itself, as I feel like I foolishly followed the advice of dermatologists for many years to use sunscreen on a daily basis when I didn't really need it.

DIY skincare is pretty popular these days but there may be some reasons not to make your own sunscreen:
http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well- ... -sunscreen

I've noticed the Coppertone missing from some stores lately. It's so thick and white, not really that cosmetically elegant for me personally.

I agree with you about picking up food. I normally wouldn't tell people this, but I go to 7-11 almost daily for things like OJ and milk. It's just easier.
 

Edle

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gretchen said:
DIY skincare is pretty popular these days but there may be some reasons not to make your own sunscreen:
http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well- ... -sunscreen

This article is probably sponsored by industry. I checked out the other posts by the same author, and most of them look sponsored. I would be surprised if someone did not have an agenda here.

As for whether it providing protection, one will find out soon enough. As for the particle size of the zinc oxide - yes, it seems to be an issue. I hope the one I have ordered is good. http://www.essentialdepot.com/servlet/t ... Categories says it is nano sized plus 20%.

nwo2012 said:
I can go all day without burning, with just coconut oil, in the Med but over here the sun is nasty!

Have to say the same is the case in Thailand where I live. I can go out for short periods with coconut oil only, but for longer exposure I need sunscreen, low PUFA diet or not.

I have seen coconut oil sold in bottles indicating SPF 8. I wonder if that is an accurate reflection of the protection.
 

nwo2012

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gretchen said:
crX said:
I like the idea of buying some zinc oxide powder and making my own. It seems a little ridiculous to pay exorbitant prices for manufacturers to NOT put things in sunscreens. I actually came to use the Coppertone as a lesser evil I guess -- I had researched on EWG but everything they ranked high had PUFA's and cost an arm and a leg, and the Coppertone had the right price with the fewest questionable ingredients in that range. Plus, I can pick it up anywhere and don't have to special order or anything, so for me it came down to choosing the best from what was practical and available, as I find I'm often doing with food nowadays too, just to make life livable. I actually don't use it all the time, only when I know I'm going to be out in the sun for any duration, and am trying to trust more in the intelligence of my own skin to protect itself, as I feel like I foolishly followed the advice of dermatologists for many years to use sunscreen on a daily basis when I didn't really need it.

DIY skincare is pretty popular these days but there may be some reasons not to make your own sunscreen:
http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well- ... -sunscreen

I've noticed the Coppertone missing from some stores lately. It's so thick and white, not really that cosmetically elegant for me personally.

I agree with you about picking up food. I normally wouldn't tell people this, but I go to 7-11 almost daily for things like OJ and milk. It's just easier.


Im afraid linking to a sheep-based website means very little to non-sheep. No offence. Much better to trust yourself than the 'pros'. Oh yeah better to trust a Dr than treat yourself too perhaps? Or trust the government with your clean water supply? Or dentists? Or public health figures? I think you see where Im coming from. If you dont then Im talking to the wrong person. ;)
 

judi

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nwo2012, how do you make sure the zinc oxide you get contains no nanoparticles, considering that nanoparticles have been found in most of the sunscreeens that boasted to have none (by Friends of the Earth last year I believe)?

Thanks
 

nwo2012

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Because it's USP-2. Large particle size and low reactivity.
Very safe as per RP.
 
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