If you’ve watched any sunscreen review video, you’re probably familiar with the term “white cast.” It’s a common focus for content creators who evaluate whether a sunscreen leaves a visible white residue on the skin.
Incorporating sunscreen into your skincare routine is essential. Dermatologists universally advise against skipping this step as it shields your skin from sun-related damage and helps prevent premature aging, skin cancer, and the development of dark spots.
However, finding a sunscreen that doesn’t leave behind a noticeable white residue on your skin can be a challenge. While offering protection, certain sunscreens have the downside of leaving an unflattering and unwanted pale tint on your skin, potentially causing embarrassment or spoiling your look for the day.
What is white cast?
The white cast refers to the visible white tint or residue left on the skin following the application of sunscreen, according to WebMD.
What causes white cast?
Some sunscreens contain minerals ingredients such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) that deflect the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and create a protective layer on the skin’s surface. They sit on top of the skin, acting as a physical barrier against sun damage.
Due to these sun-protecting minerals being less easily absorbed by the skin than chemical ingredients, they result in the formation of a white cast, according to Sugar Cosmetics.
While some individuals with fair or pale complexions might not find white cast an issue, it may not be the same for those with darker skin tones.
Ideally, sunscreens should seamlessly blend into the skin, remaining invisible to the naked eye upon application.
What are the types of sunscreen that leaves white cast?
Not all sunscreens leave a white cast.
The two primary types of sunscreens are chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. Each type comprises distinct sets of ingredients. Despite their differences, both types help shield your skin from sun-induced damage.
Physical sunscreens are typically associated with white cast as they contain inorganic filters such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that don’t get absorbed into the skin, according to The Beauty Inside Out.
On the other hand, chemical sunscreens utilize organic filters that absorb sunlight rather than reflecting it. This type of sunscreen usually doesn’t leave a noticeable white cast on the skin.
Is white cast bad?
White cast has no adverse effects on your skin’s health or protection. In fact, the inorganic filters in physical sunscreens offer remarkable protection against the sun, as per The Beauty Inside Out.
However, it doesn’t look good since it creates an undesirable contrast or unnatural tone, especially in flash photography or under certain lighting conditions.
How to avoid white cast
To avoid the white cast effect, you can do the following:
1. Choose a chemical sunscreen.
2. Use a tinted sunscreen that blends seamlessly with your skin tone.
3. Opt for a foundation with SPF.
4. Allow the white cast to settle by waiting approximately 10 minutes after applying sunscreen.
5. Apply bronzer over the sunscreen to diminish the appearance of white cast.
6. Pat the sunscreen gently onto your skin rather than rubbing it in.
7. Moisturize first before applying sunscreen.