Zinc oxide as sunscreen

I've read many recipes online for diy sunscreen using zinc oxide. I've also read on this forum that zinc oxide clumps together leaving holes in the coverage unless you use other ingredients with it. 

I have hyper sensitive skin on my face that I can't use preservatives or many other ingredients without a reaction. The only thing I have found to 'work' (as in it stops the itching, mostly, that I have without anything) is capric/caprylic triglycerides so I use that only as a facial oil. The problem with this is that I can get sun burnt more easily walking round with oil on my face so an inert ingredient that provides some protection would be ideal. 

My questions are, some recipes that claim to work using zinc oxide don't have dispersing ingredients added so even if it does clump might it still provide better protection than nothing at all? And if you do have to use additional ingredients to get an even coverage what ingredients would those be? The fewer the ingredients and the less irritating to sensitive skin the better for me!

Any advice is much appreciated 

Comments

  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited June 2018
    Sunscreens are difficult Formulations and it is counter-intuitive to try to use "fewer ingredients" unless you know the function of each. Even with a bare-bones Formulation, it will have a long Ingredient Declarations. Between you and me, I hate these silly, gimmicky lines that try to aggressively reduce ingredients. It is laborious.

    My questions are, some recipes that claim to work using zinc oxide don't have dispersing ingredients added so even if it does clump might it still provide better protection than nothing at all?
    1. It will not pass mandatory testing.
    2. It is inexpensive enough that your cost savings of making your own are a false economy.

    I can't use preservatives or many other ingredients without a reaction.
    I can't even begin to tackle this one accurately. For example, since there are so many different classes of preservatives, I would be HIGHLY skeptical that every preservative makes you develop a reaction.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Zinc oxide & titanium dioxide combination is today's trend in sunscreen.
    Now it is marketed as chemical free sunscreen other sunscreens are carcinogenic.
    Now it's also trending Nano zinc costlier then normal Zinc oxide.
    Normal Zinc oxide 10% sunscreen formulation is tough.
    mainly texture & smooth application is challenging  
  • Thanks for commenting. So the general jist is that it wouldn't be any good just adding zinc oxide to cct oil? 

    Microformulations, I have tried every preservative you can buy as a consumer. It has cost a lot. I've tried them and the only one that I didn't react to was leucidal SF but some people on here suggested it was not safe so I didn't pursue it. Other than that, I get a reaction. This is because I have damaged skin due to medication and trying to treat dermatitis. I live with these consequences now as I had no problem using anything before. It has been years now and the issue isn't going away. If you can suggest one that is less well known and not available on sites like makingcosmetics or lotioncrafter then I'd be happy to try it. But then the other issue  I have is reactions to ingredients you have to put in formulations to make them stable etc. I haven't tried everything here but I've tried enough to give up trying. I made my own. I got formulators to make some for me. And of course I've tried so many products you can buy it has cost a fortune. Including all the specialty ones for sensitive skin. As I say, put cct oil is about the only thing that doesn't cause a reaction. Squalane does and mixing them still causes me problems. Anything with carbon chain lengths C12-C24 is problematic as they encourage dermatitis so again I'm open to ideas if you have some suggestions. I'd love to find a product/formulation that was ok for me. I'd pay a lot for it!


  • Making semiopaque sunscreens with ZnO is tricky.
    You'd be safer by buying a reputable, commercial product. They have been properly and thoroughly tested to be able to claim the SPF you see on the label.

    If you don't mind the totally opaque (white) look
    you can try several recipes available online. They're more forgiving to misformulation/mismanufacture for thick, opaque layers
    you can try Titanium dioxide as well.
  • Use ZinClear IM with TiO2 and xanthan gum in water.If for your own use  you can make a slurry which will not clump or whiten skin
  • I can't use products, or at least I can't find a product, that you can buy in the shops as they give me a reaction, which is why I am having to make my own. As soon as I start to use water based formulas I have to use preservatives and I haven't found one I can use. So I am looking for an oil only based formula
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