The high incidence of skin cancer cases and our broadening knowledge about the aging process have prompted dermatologists to prescribe sunscreens to patients to protect their skin from sunburn and from the harmful effects of ultra violet rays. Sunscreens have been formulated primarily to absorb the harmful UV rays. The most popular ingredients used in sunscreen preparations are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Zinc oxide has been found to be the best ingredient used for sunscreens because it remains on the surface of the skin after its application, in addition to its having photostable characteristics.
Because they are insoluble, zinc oxide particles do not penetrate the inner layer of the skin making it free from contamination and infection. A study conducted by German scientists show that those microscopic particles of this chemical compound, when applied on the skin, remain on the outer layer of the stratum corneum and does not penetrate the innermost layer of the skin, the dermis or the epidermis. Photostability is the characteristic of a molecule to remain stable when exposed to various sources of radiation.
It is advisable to have photostable sunscreens so that the particles do not simply disintegrate when exposed to radioactive substances thus providing the skin maximum protection from UV rays. Zinc oxide has been used to treat various skin ailments Maintaining the Highest of Standards since years ago and was first used as a component of calamine lotions and creams and later marketed in paste form. It has been certified by the FDA as a safe ingredient for sunscreens. Research has shown that since this substance was first used, no medical literature has been found to have reported about the adverse effects associated with its use.