Why Does Sunscreen Leave a White Cast?

Have you ever wondered why does sunscreen leave a white cast? Worry not because this is normal — and it even has its benefits. Read on to discover why you should be happy if your sunscreen leaves a white cast.

According to a dermatologist from New York, United States, Dr Michelle Henry, the white cast effect occurs because of a white content, namely titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, contained in sunscreen.

Both ingredients help prevent damage from the sun’s harmful rays by remaining on the skin’s surface. 

Instead of being harmful, the white cast effect caused by these two types of ingredients has several benefits.

One of them is that the sunscreen is not absorbed into the skin. As such, it is less likely to cause a reaction on the skin.

Other advantages of a mineral sunscreen are:

  • It effectively protects against a broader spectrum of sun rays, preventing short and long-term damage. This includes ageing due to radiation from harmful UV rays, especially UVA and UVB.
  • It is not readily soluble in water and other organic solvents. This happens because the content of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which cause the white cast effect, has a dense white pigment. Thus, the sunscreen product will survive and be on the skin’s surface even though it is exposed to water.

What kind of sunscreen will give more white cast effects to the skin?


Two types of sunscreen are most common and widely circulating in the market: Chemical Sunscreen and Mineral  Sunscreen. Although both are used to protect the skin from harmful UV rays, they certainly have some crucial differences. Here’s an explanation:

1. Chemical Sunscreens

According to a dermatologist from Augusta, Georgia, Dr Lauren Ploch, MD, Chemical Sunscreen is a type of sunscreen that protects the skin from sun exposure by absorbing UV rays into the skin.

After the light is absorbed into the skin, the chemicals in this type of sunscreen (such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate) will then create a chemical reaction and turn the UV rays into heat, so they don’t get into the layers deeper skin.

For mothers who don’t like the white cast effect after using sunscreen, you may consider this because it tends to be more easily applied to the skin without leaving a white cast effect.

However, you also need to know that chemical sunscreens can cause skin reactions despite being easier to apply.

Dr Ploch also said that chemical sunscreens could cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin and worsen melasma and rosacea.

2. Mineral Sunscreens

According to an expert from New York, United States, Dr Jennifer L. MacGregor, MD, Mineral Sunscreen or what can be called Physical Sunscreen, is a type of sunscreen that protects the skin from sun exposure by reflecting exposure to UV rays that hit the skin.

Reflecting or deflecting UV rays can occur because this type of sunscreen contains white titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which work as shields and protect the skin from exposure to UV rays by remaining above the skin’s surface.

So, because there are both of these ingredients, as explained earlier, mineral sunscreen will certainly leave a white cast effect on the skin.

However, this type of sunscreen is very suitable for those with sensitive skin, including babies and children because it doesn’t get absorbed into the skin. It sits on top of the skin to create a barrier against harmful UV rays.

In addition, mineral sunscreens work much faster than chemical sunscreens, which have to wait about 15 minutes to protect the skin as a whole.

This makes it ideal for Mamas and their babies who must leave the house immediately.

Safe and Effective Sunscreen Used for Skin

Even though until now, there has been no research that found harmful and unsafe ingredients in sunscreen products, several experts and dermatology organizations recommend not using chemical sunscreens that contain oxybenzone in them.

In line with this, they recommend to use mineral sunscreen more because it contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are the healthiest compounds.

These are also proven safe and effective for sensitive skin, such as babies, children, and pregnant women.

Mama's Choice Baby Gentle Sunscreen

Get a 21% Discount on Mama’s Choice Baby Gentle Sunscreen | $18.90 $14.90

One of the mineral sunscreens that Mama can choose to give to her little one is Mama’s Choice Baby Gentle Sunscreen.

Besides containing SPF 30 PA++, which can protect your little one’s sensitive skin from exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays, it also includes three additional natural ingredients such as:

  • Coconut: as a shield that protects baby’s skin from irritating effects and prevents sunburn due to UV rays.
  • Avocado: the content of antioxidants and vitamins in it can help nourish and protect the skin from free radicals.
  • Aloe Vera: helps moisturize the baby’s skin while calming the skin.

Get a 21% Discount on Mama’s Choice Baby Gentle Sunscreen | $18.90 $14.90

This has also been carefully tested by experts and is proven safe and effective in protecting your little one’s sensitive skin without causing an oily effect on the skin. 

9 out of 10 users have also felt the benefits after regular use.

Apart from providing mineral sunscreen for your little one, Mama’s Choice also provides mineral sunscreen for you, which is the Mama’s Choice Daily Protection Face Moisturizer.

It contains SPF 20 PA++ content with rice extract and hyaluronic acid to protect and nourish Mama’s facial skin problems caused by UVA/UVB rays. This includes signs of ageing, dull and dry skin, and uneven skin texture and tone.

Step out with your little one without worrying about the dangers of harmful UV rays thanks to Mama’s Choice Baby Gentle Sunscreen. Try it today!

Mama's Choice Gentle Baby Sunscreen

Get a 21% Discount on Mama’s Choice Baby Gentle Sunscreen | $18.90 $14.90

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Author Mama's Choice Team

Mama's Choice Team

A team of passionate writers, young mamas, and creative superheroes who help mamas face motherhood one educational article at a time!


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