This sunscreen comes in a small squeeze-tube container outfitted with a metal clip that fastens to your clothing (or life preserver, backpack, etc.). It’s a convenient way to tote your sunscreen so you’ll remember to reapply on long days outdoors. Invisible Zinc markets this to kids, but it’s suitable for adults, too.
Although the ingredient list for this product isn’t complete, which is permissible because Australia’s sunscreen regulatory standards allow this absurd lack of disclosure for sunscreens, it contains zinc oxide as the active ingredient and its texture, application, and finish are nearly identical to those of Invisible Zinc’s Face + Body Sunscreen SPF 30+. Therefore, the same comments apply: Despite the “invisible” portion of this brand’s name, this sunscreen leaves a white cast due to the high amount of zinc oxide (the sole active ingredient).
Without question this provides great broad-spectrum protection, but the tradeoff is a sunscreen that doesn’t become invisible on skin. Still, compared with the other zinc oxide–based sunscreens from Invisible Zinc, this is less visible on skin once it sets.
Applying this to the face is fine as long as you keep in mind that it can feel heavy and somewhat tacky. Generally speaking, most will prefer to use this from the neck down and apply a lighter-weight sunscreen to the face. Of course, it also works well to protect especially vulnerable areas, such as the tops of the ears, feet, and hands. It also is suitable for sports enthusiasts and swimmers, provided you take care to reapply at regular intervals and after toweling off.
The formula is best for normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts.
- Provides broad-spectrum protection.
- Convenient, clip-on option for on-the-go usage.
- Does not look invisible on skin.
- Moisturizes, but the tacky finish doesn’t feel great on facial skin.
- Lacks antioxidants to provide additional environmental protection.
- Not for blemish-prone skin.
JUNIOR CLIP-ON is a handy go-anywhere clip-on for school bag, sports bag or pram that offers SPF30+UVA+UVB physical protection barrier of Zinc Oxide. Invisible Zinc is low irritant, suitable for sensitive skin and the whole family. No chemical UV absorbers.
Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 18%; Other: Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol
Invisible Zinc is focused on sun protection, using only zinc oxide as the active ingredient. Just like the mineral sunscreen ingredient titanium dioxide, zinc oxide provides broad-spectrum sun protection all by itself and is a great option for sensitive skin or for use around the eyes because neither zinc oxide nor titanium dioxide are likely to sting if you get them in your eyes, whereas other sunscreen actives (such as octinoxate or avobenzone) can cause stinging.
Hailing from (and sold primarily in) Australia, Invisible Zinc makes a big deal about the zinc oxide their sunscreens contain, way too big a deal. Although zinc oxide is an excellent sunscreen ingredient, it isn't the only one or the best option for all skin types. In fact, the large amount of zinc oxide Invisible Zinc typically includes in their products coats the skin with a thick, occlusive texture that can feel heavy and exacerbate a person's tendency to break out.
Where Invisible Zinc goes astray is their claim that they use micronized zinc oxide that is "invisible to the naked eye," but that's not the case—their sunscreens are glaringly visible on skin—there's no mistaking the slight to moderate white cast their products leave on your skin! Interestingly, we've seen many zinc oxide–based sunscreens that don't claim to be invisible on skin, but that show nary a trace of a white cast once blended on, but not any from this line.
If the fact that their regular sunscreens and their facial moisturizer with sunscreen are actually quite visible on skin isn't disappointing enough, almost all of these sunscreens feel uncomfortably thick and heavy, especially when applied to the face. Without question they provide reliable broad-spectrum protection, but the application is disappointing.
It also surprised us that supermodel and Australia native Elle Macpherson is the spokesperson for this brand, and that she's clearly sporting a tan on the company's Web site! In a classic example of mixed messages, Invisible Zinc wants you to know their products provide serious sun protection, but you can still get a tan! Granted that Elle's tan may be from a self-tanner, but they don't tell you that—all you see is a gorgeously tan and bikinied Elle.
We had such high hopes for this brand. Many of our Australian readers ask us about it, and we're always thrilled when we find brilliant sunscreens to recommend. It's just that for these products, while the sun protection is assuredly there, the aesthetics fall short. One last comment: We would have rated Invisible Zinc higher if their products contained a good array of antioxidants. Research has made it clear that antioxidants help boost skin's environmental defenses and make sunscreens even more effective.
For more information about Invisible Zinc, visit http://invisiblezinc.com.au/.
Note: All prices are in Australian dollars. Invisible Zinc is sold primarily in Australia, but is available in select U.S. locations as well as in South Africa. It also is available online from various Australian, United Kingdom, and U.S. beauty and personal care Web sites. For a list of locations, please visit the company's Web site listed above and click on "stockists."