Learn about Zinc

Ethical Zinc Natural Clear Zinc Sunscreen is made using specially-developed pharmaceutical grade zinc oxide as the sole active ingredient.

What is Zinc Oxide?

Zinc Oxide is a natural mineral that provides broad spectrum protection against ultraviolet rays. Ethical Zinc uses a specially developed zinc oxide that is the result of over 20 years of research and development from our key technology partners. Simply put, our zinc is designed and tested to perform at the highest level for UV absorption and transparency with no compromises.

Zinc has always been well regarded as the best broad spectrum UV protector available, but originally had limited use due to its thick and white or fluro-coloured appearance.

Today, through patented processes and new technology, we have created a natural clear zinc product that provides broad spectrum protection against UV rays, with no compromises. It’s now such an appealing product that can be worn on the entire face and body for everyday wear.

How does Zinc compare to chemicals?

Zinc Oxide is the only UV protector, with global regulatory safety acceptance, that provides broad spectrum protection against both UVB and UVA.

Ethical Zinc SPF 50+ natural clear zinc sunscreen provides a physical barrier and all natural protection from the sun's harmful rays, while staying clear on your skin.

There are several benefits to using Zinc over chemicals.

Zinc doesn't ignore UVA protection

UV light consists of UVA and UVB rays, with both contributing to skin damage caused by sun exposure.

Many chemical UV absorbers provide inadequate UVA protection.

Our zinc has been specifically designed to enhance the UVA protection performance and offers market-leading protection across the UV spectrum.

UVA light damages the skin at a deeper level, causing the skin to lose its elasticity, which leads to wrinkles and sun spots. UVA light was previously believed to wreak mostly cosmetic damage, but new studies show it's linked with cancer too.

SPF ratings only measure protection from UVB, leaving out potential damage from UVA. As UVA wavelengths are not accounted for, skin may not be protected from the full range of cancer-causing UV radiation by simply using a sunscreen that has high SPF.

Zinc is safe on skin, and for the environment

Zinc oxide has a long history in skincare products such as calamine lotion and nappy rash creams, for use on even the most sensitive of skin.

Ethical Zinc is safe from harmful chemicals found in many other common sunscreen products and is blended with moisturising coconut oil.

There are studies that show chemical UV filters can generate free radical damage and endocrine disruptions or damaging your hormones and DNA at a molecular level. Zinc oxide has shown no evidence of these impacts or hormone disruption.

Some chemical UV filters have recently been banned by Government authorities in USA and Australia due to known damage being caused to coral and ocean life.

Zinc works in the real world

Chemical UV filters may theoretically protect against UV rays in lab settings, however have been found to degrade and destabilize in as little as 30 minutes when exposed to actual sunlight limiting or preventing them from protecting you.

Avobenzone in particular is widely known to degrade rapidly upon exposure to UV light, which is a common chemical absorber that targets UVA protection. Avobenzone requires numerous other chemicals to maintain some degree of stability.

Ethical Zinc's physical zinc oxide barrier keeps working under real world conditions, maintaining very high broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection as a singular active ingredient.

What about nanoparticles?

The definition of a nanoparticle can vary depending on regulatory market so there is a lot of inconsistency in the market place, especially when it comes to the advertisement of some sunscreens.

The way our zinc oxide is manufactured is to create a micronised particle cluster. Under Laser Light Scattering analysis as the primary particle measurement tool, a common technique in the industry, Ethical Zinc's zinc oxide comprises of micron sized particles which are greater than 100nm - or a non-nano size structure. This process is a globally patented process and is designed to allow for high level of transparency and optimal UVA/UVB protection.

While we do classify as a non-nano product - there is significant scientific evidence from regulatory testing to suggest that nanoparticles are not harmful when used on skin as a sunscreen.

Major regulatory bodies worldwide, including Australia, USA and Europe have all heavily scrutinsed nano zinc oxide, over years of testing and concluded full regulatory and safety approval.

The TGA, or Therapeutic Goods Administration concluded in their findings that dermally applied zinc oxide nanoparticles do not reach viable cells or the systemic circulation, even via diseased or damaged skin. You can find more information on their findings here: https://www.tga.gov.au/literature-review-safety-titanium-dioxide-and-zinc-oxide-nanoparticles-sunscreens

There was also a 2018 study conducted by an Australian University that also confirmed these claims: http://www.unisa.edu.au/Media-Centre/Releases/2018/keep-slapping-on-that-sunscreen-and-ignore-toxic-claims

The European Commission was the one to most recently conclude its findings which are summarised here: http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/opinions_layman/zinc-oxide/en/index.htm

You may also find this article from the Environmental Working Group on nanoparticles on sunscreen to answer further questions you may have: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/nanoparticles-in-sunscreen

How does Ethical Zinc compare to other Zinc products?

Our Zinc is special. It's the result of over 20 years of R&D from our technical partners. The material itself performs better than other competing products tested for both UV protection and transparency on skin. It's no longer just a matter of making sure you are using zinc over chemical, but the right kind of zinc too.