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Zinc oxide is simply THE best active sunscreen ingredient, and by a wide margin. Covering the entire UVA/UVB spectrum by itself, it has the most consistently effective absorption capabilities, which never degrade. In contrast, petrochemical sunscreens need multiple active ingredients for complete coverage, which degrades quickly on the shelf, and even titanium dioxide needs significant help (from zinc oxide) to cover a large portion of the UVA spectrum range.
Note: In basic terms, UVB rays affect the skin’s surface (think B for Burn) while UVA rays affect deeper tissues (think A for Aging).
When using zinc oxide or especially titanium dioxide, since it’s less molecularly stable and can be toxic in the body, avoid nano products, which use extremely small particles (less than a nanometer) and are typically marketed as “sheer” or “clear.” They can not only absorb through skin and into the bloodstream, they do significant harm to reefs and marine life. Use only products that contain NON-NANO zinc oxide. Most non-nano products will state this clearly within the ingredients.
Remember, the term "reef safe" is unregulated, and many sunscreen brands label their products as “reef-safe” simply because they don’t contain 2 specific petrochemical ingredients banned by a growing list of government jurisdictions, but they contain several other petrochemical ingredients that make them completely UNSAFE for reefs and other marine life, not to mention the humans using them.
Before choosing a sunscreen, read past marketing messages and check both the active and inactive ingredients – and know what they do. It’s the ingredients that matter, not the marketing messages. Waxhead sunscreens use ONLY top-grade non-nano zinc oxide and other certified organic naturally occurring ingredients.
1. Know your ingredients — Flip over your sunscreen and read the ingredients. We want everyone to know what good ingredients are, regardless of whether they use our products or not. Your health is worth it.
2. Buy safe sunscreen — Waxhead is dedicated to using only the healthiest, safest, most effective ingredients in our sunscreens. Shop Safe Sunscreen here.
3. Teach a friend — If you know someone who might still be buying sunscreen with questionable ingredients, please share this post with him/her.
We built Waxhead’s four modern, sun-safety strategies on traditional methods used for thousands of years.