Zinc Oxide is seen as the premier ingredient in what is considered to be the most important skin care product; sunscreen. As such it is definitely one of the kindest ingredients out there. In addition to its ability to block UVA and UVB rays it is thought to have a number of additional skin benefits when applied topically in a well formulated skin care product.
So what exactly is Zinc Oxide?
Zinc Oxide is an inorganic compound with the formula ZnO. Although it occurs naturally as the mineral zincite, most zinc oxide is produced synthetically.
Zinc oxide as a mixture with about 0.5% iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3) is called calamine and is used in calamine lotion. Two minerals, zincite and hemimorphite, have been historically called calamine.
How is Zinc Oxide used in skin care?
Zinc Oxide is used in products such as; barrier creams, calamine cream, anti-dandruff shampoos, and antiseptic ointments.
It can be used in ointments, creams, and lotions to protect against sunburn and other damage to the skin caused by ultraviolet light. It is a broad spectrum UVA and UVB absorber and is completely photostable.
What skin care benefits does Zinc Oxide bring?
Zinc Oxide is a natural mineral which provides the safest and most effective protection against UV rays. Unlike chemical sunscreens, zinc forms a physical barrier on the skin, reflecting the sun’s rays rather than absorbing them. Zinc Oxide is the best performing ingredient for blocking both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc is non-toxic and less irritating to skin than chemical sunscreens.
One benefit of zinc for skin is in the area of wound healing. Zinc is a mineral that the body requires for the synthesis of collagen, which is a requirement for the healing of skin wounds. Zinc is also a component in the proper functioning of enzymes that are required by the body to repair skin wounds.
Deodorising and anti-bacterial
Zinc Oxide can often be found in deodorising products.
In topical uses, Zinc Oxide is thought to have anti-inflammatory qualities.
Zinc Oxide is thought to assist in regulating oil gland production.
The benefit of zinc as a mild astringent is well noted. An astringent is a chemical substance that shrinks, constricts, or tightens body tissues. Zinc Oxide has this mild astringent property.
Who is Zinc Oxide beneficial for?
Those who prefer to use a mineral sunscreen but still require broad spectrum protection.
Those suffering from inflammatory skin conditions especially acne.
Those looking for a natural barrier cream for the treatment of cuts and burns.
Does Zinc Oxide come with any side effects?
Zinc Oxide is believed to be non-allergenic and non-comedogenic (it doesn’t clog pores) and is generally safe to use. Zinc Oxide is considered to have no risk of skin sensitisation.
Zinc Oxide can be drying on the skin if it is not combined in a skin care product with other moisturising ingredients.
In recent years, there have been concerns about the use of nano-sized zinc oxide in sunscreen formulations. Nanotechnology is about taking a material and making it much smaller than its original size. In the case of zinc oxide, nanotechnology is used to make it more aesthetically pleasing, as well as enhance its SPF. There is no definitive evidence to suggest that nano-sized zinc oxide is a safety concern for skin. However, Odylique are cautious on this issue and use non-nano Zinc Oxide within their natural sunscreen.
Which kind of products contain Zinc Oxide?
100% Natural Zinc & Calendula Cream
This anti-inflammatory, calming cream is ideal for combination/oily skin types or those that are prone to acne. It also works really well as a barrier cream for cuts, grazes or burns. The key ingredients include:
Natural Sun Screen
An all natural, broad spectrum, non-greasy, non-whitening sun cream packed with calming, protective and antioxidant ingredients including:
Zinc Oxide (non-nano)
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