Hi Jeff  –  I loved your question and comment above.

I’m still looking into this.  So far…..and I’m keeping an open mind, this seems like an expense ploy to me.  I talked to our rep, regional sales manager, and sales director 2 weeks ago on a conference call.   The formula looks cheaper (the base) and they added 3% more zinc.  It’s not a good trade in my mind.  And are we really quibbling over 18% versus 21% zinc, except as a marketing tool?  It matters so much more if it’s applied correctly and often.

Why do I think this?   Zinc oxide is zinc oxide!  The differences are in the percentages, and in it’s “cosmetic elegance,” which is related to whether it’s a microparticle or a nanoparticle.  And the base makes a difference with how pleasant it is to use.   One of our key battles, even with active skin cancer patients, is getting them to use their sunscreen consistently!

What makes a great sunscreen!

  • High zinc (9-20%) – higher is better depending on your outdoor activities.  9% might be fine with an indoor job and an early morning walk, and not great if you lead trail hikes all day or surf.
  • Pleasant to use –  light or no fragrance, moisturizing without being sticky for normal to dry.   And a gel or non-comedogenic form for those with oily skin or acne.
  • Easy to spread –  not too stiff, too runny, or too sticky.
  • Cosmetic compatibility –  Not chalky, can go under makeup and not “pill,” and a universal tint version is nice.
  • Clear instructions for use.
  • A label that’s readable.

Why the Image sunscreen change isn’t great

  • Not clear why this is so great for blue light.  The extra 3% zinc is not enough different to make a difference
  • Chalkier and less spreadable
  • A base that contains fewer chemicals would be good, not the same or more. They aren’t great for us or the environment
  • Why add Shea nut extract?

Comments and observations always appreciated!

Hope this helps,
Dr. BI
Founder, SkinTour
Director, Madison Skin & Laser Center
Follow my skin tips and travels on Instagram!

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