Say “No” to Nanoparticles in Sunscreen


As a child, you truly enjoyed the wonderful feeling of being under the sun. Growing up, you gradually realize that the sun can be your enemy especially after prolonged exposure. Fortunately, the threats of sun-related skin diseases can be minimized with the use of sun protection products like sunscreen and sun block lotions.

One of the chemical-free ingredients commonly used in sunblock products is zinc. It is an effective shield against the sun’s rays but people complained of the thick white cast that it leaves on the skin. This is where nanoparticles enter the picture. Some manufacturers have decided to shrink zinc into particles not bigger than 100 nanometers for the purpose of improving a product’s sun protection factor (SPF) and completely removing the white cast. Through nanoparticles, the products provide complete transparency along with a thinner texture, but the particles may be so small they enter the bloodstream and we have yet to determine the side effects from this over time as it is a newer technology.  The good news is that there are safer options however called “non-nano” particle sunscreens with zinc oxide which provide a heavily ground zinc oxide which not only removes that white film but does not leave a heavy white cast on the skin.

The problem with nanoparticles is due to the minute size of the particles, they can thoroughly penetrate the skin. Several groups have raised issues concerning nano-particles and their possible capabilities of going through the body’s deep tissues as well as the bloodstream. While no negative health claims have been made to date, nano-particles are a concern until we know more.  Still, it can be difficult to distinguish the forms because of labeling shortcomings. There are nanoparticle free products offer sun protection while making use of ingredients that are not hazardous.

Zinc oxide also offers numerous benefits to those concerned about breakouts, and reddened and inflamed skin.  It’s in old fashioned diaper rash creams for a reason.  So don’t give up on zinc oxide just select the formulas with non-nanoparticle zinc oxide and  you will minimize the white cast and still prevent aging and age related cancers by using an SPF sunblock daily.

Truly natural products are recommended if you don’t want to use things which you are unsure of. If you are about to spend money over a sunscreen, select a product that not only protects your skin but also cares for your wellbeing.


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