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I was laying in bed the other day drifting off to sleep when I found myself thinking about Mark Zuckerberg - weird, I know, but specifically that time when he was spotted with a ghostly-white face at the beach. It's undoubtedly one of my fondest memories of the social media mogul, but I can't say I haven't embarrassingly experienced the same thing myself. What's even more hilarious is that many people tried to recreate this photo, (I'm specifically referencing the viral YouTube video of iDubbbz and Ethan Klein putting loads of sunscreen on their faces in an attempt to recreate it) only to come up short - and the reason? They weren't using the "right" type of sunscreen. So, if you want to know how to avoid your sunscreen turning your face white and Zucc'ing up your next beach trip, keep reading on.
First, what does it mean to be Zucc'd?
The term "Zucc'd" has been coined as a way to describe something negative that happens as a result of what people perceive is Mark Zuckerberg's doing - particularly being banned on Facebook. However, the term "Zucc" has hilariously also become a versatile way of saying something sucks. Think-- "Hey Mark, that totally Zuccs."
Anyways, now that we got the definitions out of the way, from the lizard-alien speculations to his name, Mark Zuckerberg has become one of the internet's favorite memes -- so, of course when he was spotted surfing with a super-white face, the internet went wild about it.
At Mark's expense, one good thing became of the entire situation: we learned what kind of wardrobe-malfunction-causing-agent to use caution with at the beach - and the magic answer is zinc oxide.
Now, that doesn't mean to avoid it completely - after all, zinc oxide is a popular skin protectant found as the main ingredient in most sunscreens. It does a darn good job at what it's supposed to do, but if you plan on going into cool water and are afraid of the same mishap, you might want to reconsider how it is applied.
The reason that zinc has a whitening effect (also called white casting) is because zinc oxide is naturally white, yellowing only when it's warmed like by touching your skin, that's why when you put it on and it sits on your skin for a while it doesn't normally look weird. However, when it cools down it becomes bright white again, and in the case of wearing it in water - well, you can see how that worked out for Mark.
Thankfully, there are some super simple ways to negate these Zucc-y effects during or after application:
Apply your sunscreen ahead of time
First and foremost, since zinc and titanium oxide are heavy minerals, start by applying your sunscreen at least 20 minutes to an hour early so they have ample time to absorb into your skin. The longer it has to both warm and absorb, the less it will sit so densely on the top layer of your skin and react with cool water.
Use tinted or chemical-based sunscreen
If you are in a rush and simply can't wait for your sunscreen to set, consider using a chemical-based or tinted sunscreen. Though this may not totally remedy the problem, it will surely lessen it. Both of these types of sunscreens are cut with other ingredients that will help minimize zinc oxide's dramatic whitening effects. The downside is that tints and chemicals are more likely to cause irritations and allergic reactions, so use these with caution.
Apply makeup on top
When all else fails, apply your favorite concealer on top of your sunscreen. Applying it below will not only keep it from properly absorbing, it won't be much of a concealer at that point either.
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