Zinc Oxide and UVA Rays

Zinc oxide is a popular ingredient in sunscreen that offers the greatest protection against the damage caused by ultraviolet-a rays (UVA). UVA rays accelerate the aging process. 

No Fun Under the Sun

While mild exposure to the sun provides the healthy benefit of Vitamin D, too much exposure can damage our skin. Excess sun exposure causes photoaging. Photoaging accelerates the adverse effects of chronological aging. No one can stop chronological aging. Chronological aging depends on an individual’s physiology. But photoaging results from exposure to the sun and the amount of melanin present in our skin. 

Adverse Effects from Sun Exposure[1]

  • Deep wrinkles
  • Sunspots
  • Loss of a youthful glow
  • Dryness of the skin
  • Hypo- and Hyperpigmentation
  • Rough, leathery texture
  • Sallowness
  • Increased visibility of scars
  • Rosacea and visible blood vessels
  • Melanoma
  • Skin Cancer

The list of conditions that result from photoaging is long. If you seek reliable protection against photoaging, try sunblock with zinc oxide. But if you’re already living with the results of photoaging, then consult with Skin Care by Alyce. She offers a selection of treatments that can help reverse the damage from photoaging. Conveniently located in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Skin Care by Alyce serves the areas of Wyomissing, Reading, Pottstown, Allentown, Morgantown, Schuylkill County, King of Prussia, Philadelphia, and Lancaster. Connect with Alyce online or by calling (610) 685-2575. Follow our blog to stay updated with all the latest news about skincare.

What Causes Photoaging?

The sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UVR) damages our skin. The most relevant types of UV rays are UVB and UVA. We can protect ourselves against the worst effects of the sun, but it’s difficult to escape them entirely.

Comparison of UVB and UVA Rays[2]

UVB RaysUVA Rays 
Reduced by glass, clouds and ozone layerNot reduced by glass, clouds, and ozone
Primary cause of sunburnPrimary cause of photoaging

UVA Rays and Our Skin

UVB rays are damaging but the Earth’s atmosphere grants us some protection. On the other hand, UVA rays are the primary source of photoaging and negative effects because they shine to the surface irrespective of the atmosphere. These effects include actinic damage, accelerated aging, precancerous and cancerous lesions, and immunosuppression. 

Exposure to UVA rays causes oxidative stress in our skin. Oxidative stress means an unhealthy increase in free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are unpaired electrons that scavenge our bodies in search of other electrons to pair. As these free electrons rummage around, they can damage our proteins, cells, and even our DNA. When we have oxidative stress, these free radicals exceed the ability of our body to detoxify them with antioxidants. Over time, repeated oxidative stress causes premature aging and other undesirable effects including skin cancer. UVA rays have been found to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and cause indirect damage to our DNA. Ninety percent of the cases of skin cancer result from the damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.[3]

Zinc Oxide and Sunscreen

Our skin provides a natural barrier against unhealthy environmental effects. Three layers comprise our skin. The outer layer is the epidermis, the middle layer is the dermis, and the deepest is called the subcutaneous layer. As we age, our epidermis naturally thins. And sun exposure accelerates this effect due to oxidative stress.

With so much known today about how the sun damages our skin through ultraviolet rays, doctors and other health care professionals all strongly recommend using sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection. Many consumers, though, might not know which is the best sunblock to purchase. Companies flood the market with topical gels, lotions, and creams. It can be hard to know which products live up to their marketing. Fortunately, Alyce Versagli, RN has done that research for you. Selecting sunscreen with zinc oxide is the most effective way to protect your skin against the deleterious effects of the sun.

Why Zinc Oxide?

Scientific research shows that zinc oxide is the single most important ingredient in protecting our skin from sun exposure.[4] Zinc oxide reflects, scatters and absorbs both UVB and UVA rays. It offers superior protection to titanium dioxide, another popular ingredient in commercial sunscreen. Zinc oxide delivers the greatest protection against the long-wave UVA rays. 

Zinc oxide is also a mineral-based sunscreen, as opposed to a chemical-based sunscreen. Mineral-based sunscreens are safer because they are not absorbed into our skin. There is less chance of skin irritation and allergic reactions than with chemical-based sunscreen.

Don’t Just Look at SPF

Many consumers might not realize that the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating on sunscreen ONLY refers to UVB protection, not UVA. It’s very important to pay attention to more than just the SPF. A lot of sunscreen (even with SPF ratings) only offers protection against short-wavelength UVB rays. If you want the greatest level of protection, select a sunblock that offers broad-spectrum protection with zinc oxide. Zinc oxide offers the best protection against both types of ultraviolet rays. 

Also, remember that zinc oxide only offers a degree of protection. It doesn’t offer complete immunity to the damage caused by excessive sun exposure.


If sun exposure has already damaged your skin despite using zinc oxide based sunscreen, then you might be a candidate for one or more of our skincare treatments.

Personal Consultation

Alyce Versagli is a Licensed Medical Aesthetician and Registered Nurse. She’s received both Level 1 and Level 2 training from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for using injectables such as Botox and dermal fillers. By adopting some of the treatments offered by Alyce, you can start reversing the most damaging effects caused by photoaging.

Which treatments will work the best for you can best be determined with a comprehensive consultation that reviews your medical history, your aesthetic goals, and expectations. This is the only way to devise a personalized treatment plan best suited for you. The best treatment for your friend might be ill-suited to your medical history and skin type. Learn more by reaching out to Alyce by filling out our online contact form or calling (610) 685-2575. Your consultation deposit will be applied to the treatment(s) you choose. If you would like a preview of the care provided by Alyce, please read over our reviews.

Our Anti-Aging Procedures

While everyone should use sunblock with a high concentration of zinc oxide, many of us still experience the unwanted effects of photoaging. Fortunately, Alyce can introduce you to a variety of treatments that help reverse the effects of excessive sun exposure. Both chronological and photoaging reduces and weakens our bodies’ production of collagen and elastin. Those two compounds are crucial in keeping our skin vibrant, taut, and full of a healthy volume.


Neuromodulators are a class of injectables popularized by Botox. Dermatologists consider neuromodulators safe. They are FDA approved to treat a variety of conditions including the wrinkles on our face. They also prevent, for a time, new wrinkles from forming by relaxing our facial muscles and decreasing muscle tension.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers have been growing in popularity in recent years. They use biocompatible compounds to re-volumize your face, smooth fine lines and facial creases, and restore youthful fullness to your features. 


Dermaplaning is a well-established method of resurfacing the skin by wielding a surgical scalpel with careful, precise movements. This planing technique restores our youthful glow by removing the layer of dead skin that dulls our complexion.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels use topically applied acids to treat our skin for sun damage and improve the overall texture of our skin. They can range from mild applications that only focus on the outermost layer (epidermis) to treatments that penetrate deeper into the middle layer of our skin, the dermis. They boost new collagen and elastin production in the treated area which helps our body heal itself. They are also great for evening out skin tones, brown spots, and texture.

Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Resurfacing 

These resurfacing techniques leverage the unique ability of lasers and IPL to both remove layers of dead skin while also stimulating new collagen and elastin production. Laser and IPL treatments can also treat those bothersome “spider veins”, remove unwanted hair, balance out uneven pigmentation, and more. Ask Alyce about her collection of laser and light treatments.

Microneedling and Radiofrequency (RF) Microneedling

Microneedling uses an electric pen-shaped device to promote new elastin and collagen production and improve the blood supply to the face. This helps us reverse the damaging effects of the sun. RF microneedling uses radio waves to regenerate skin tissue and boost elastin and collagen production.


What is the best sunscreen?

Zinc oxide is the most effective and safest sunscreen ingredient. It works by sitting on the surface of our skin and reflecting, scattering and absorbing both UVA and UVB rays.


  1. Pandel, R., Poljšak, B., Godic, A., & Dahmane, R. (2013). Skin photoaging and the role of antioxidants in its prevention. ISRN dermatology, 2013, 930164. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/930164
  2. Rai, R., Shanmuga, S. C., & Srinivas, C. (2012). Update on photoprotection. Indian journal of dermatology, 57(5), 335–342. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5154.100472
  3. Shanbhag, S., Nayak, A., Narayan, R., & Nayak, U. Y. (2019). Anti-aging and Sunscreens: Paradigm Shift in Cosmetics. Advanced pharmaceutical bulletin, 9(3), 348–359. https://doi.org/10.15171/apb.2019.042
  4. Pinnell, SR, Fairhurst, D, Gillies, R, Mitchnick, MA, Kollias, N. (2000) Microfine Zinc Oxide is a Superior Sunscreen Ingredient to Microfine Titanium Dioxide. Dermatologic Surgery. April 2000 – Volume 26 – Issue 4 – p 309-314 doi: 10.1046/j.1524-4725.2000.99237.x
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