Your plan to use sunscreen every day is a wise one. The damage from sun exposure all adds up over time, whether you're lying on the beach or just spending a few minutes walking from the parking lot to the store, and your history of AK and basal cell carcinoma shows that significant skin damage has already been done, putting you at increased risk of developing other precancers and skin cancers.
Yes, the physical (aka "inorganic") sunscreens zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are considered among the best sunscreen ingredients because they provide effective protection against the widest range of the sun's UVB and UVA wavelengths. They will no longer be called "sunblocks," nonetheless, because the FDA has deemed that NO sunscreen can BLOCK UV completely (and doesn't want consumers misled). They do, however, put up a physical impediment against UV, as opposed to "chemical" (aka "organic") sunscreens that tend to absorb UV rays instead. You rarely see titanium dioxide and zinc oxide combined, because each covers the UVA-UVB spectrum so extensively on its own, and because they don't necessarily mix well, sometimes in fact destabilizing other ingredients such as the UVA filter avobenzone when used together. On the other hand, neither titanium dioxide nor zinc oxide is usually used on its own — they are usually combined with other UVA and UVB filters.
There's no reason not to use powdered sunscreen on the face, as long as you use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher (30 or higher for extended outdoor use), apply it properly and sufficiently, and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or heavy sweating -- just as with other types of sunscreen.
Remember, sunscreen is just one vital part of a complete sun protection program, which should also include shade and sun-protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.View Thread
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