Zinc Oxide as a Sunscreen Ingredient
The active FDA-approved sunscreen ingredient in Farizad’s Veil is cosmetic-grade uncoated, non-nano zinc oxide. Our zinc oxide is carefully sourced from Canada and is GMO-free, pesticide-free, and phthalate-free. It is processed without solvents, is non-irradiated, and has a particle size of 325 nanometers (see below for more on particle size).
What is zinc oxide?
Zinc oxide is a mineral (in powdered form) that works to reflect and absorb the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. It is the top choice sunscreen ingredient by natural and organic skin-care companies for a number of reasons. First, zinc oxide is nontoxic, and does not harm coral reefs or other natural ecosystems and waterways. Second, it is broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. This is essential for cancer protection. By contrast, titanium dioxide, which is used in some sunscreens, does not protect against longer UVA rays. Unlike the ingredients in so-called “chemical” sunscreens, zinc oxide does not become absorbed into the skin; rather, it sits on top of the skin and forms a physical protective barrier, which is why sunscreens containing zinc oxide are often called “physical” sunscreens. Zinc oxide is also highly water-resistant for a natural ingredient.
Why choose uncoated, non-nano zinc oxide?
Some sunscreens use coated zinc oxide, in which the particles have been coated with an inert substance to make them less reactive and easier to mix with other ingredients. But we have chosen to use uncoated zinc oxide in Farizad’s Veil, because it is the most unrefined, closest-to-nature option available. Some sources may claim that uncoated zinc oxide is more photo-reactive than coated, but our sunscreen has been formulated carefully in such a way that this should not be a concern—see below for more details on photo-reactivity.
Nanoparticles are another controversial issue when it comes to sunscreens. A nanoparticle is a particle between 1 and 100 nanometers (nm) in size. Their small size makes them highly reactive, and some concerns have been raised about the possible health risks of nanoparticles if they were to enter the bloodstream. Though these risks have not been proven according to the current state of research, we use non-nano zinc oxide with a particle size of 325 nm in Farizad’s Veil to ensure that the particles will remain on the surface of the skin and will not be absorbed into the body.
Do I need to worry about zinc oxide being photo-reactive?
While zinc oxide can be photo-reactive (meaning that when exposed to UV rays it can generate free radicals), we are confident that it is the best skin-care ingredient choice for sun protection and that the formula we use to create Farizad’s Veil is safe and will not cause any damage to living cells. First, the rate of reactivity for zinc oxide is very low compared to that of the active ingredients used in other, chemical sunscreens, according to research published in Nanotechnology: Science and Applications. Second, a report by the Australian government’s Department of Health and Ageing found that because zinc oxide sits on top of the outer, dead layer of the skin (the stratum corneum), and does not absorb into the layers below, any free radicals that might be generated would not affect the living skin cells below the top layer. And finally, Farizad’s Veil’s powder format means that it can be mixed with any facial oil or serum you like, and we recommend that you to combine it with one of our antioxidant-rich products, such as Ruby Facial Oil, Ferns and Moss Face Serum, or Tigress Face Balm for even more protection against free radicals.
Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing, Theraputic Goods Administration. “A Review of the Scientific Literature on the Safety of Nanoparticulate Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide in Sunscreens.” 2009.
Smijs T. & Pavel, S. “Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles in Sunscreens: Focus on Their Safety and Effectiveness.” Nanotechnology, Science and Applications 2011:4, pp. 95–112.
“Zinc Oxide Sunscreen & Nanoparticles.” (accessed December 12, 2017).