Zinc oxide is a mineral with a wide application, which is mainly used in the modern skin care industry to provide numerous benefits for the skin. Although the trend is quite recent, the application of zinc in skin care is not new. The first record of zinc applied to the skin was found in some ancient medicinal writings dated around 500 BC — Reports mentioned the evidence of the mineral used in the ancient Indian medicinal world for the natural healing skin balm, called Pushpanjen. Today, the benefits of zinc oxide and functions, it is a key ingredient in many products, including mineral sunscreens, calamine lotions, ointments for the treatment of acne and even creams for diaper rash.
So how can we define zinc oxide? As the name implies, zinc oxide is derived from zinc ore, a natural metallic element that is also used in electronics, home and chemicals. The ability of zinc as an elemental metal to carry an electric charge is beneficial to the body. Different body systems are positively affected, including the brain, digestive tract, immunity and skin. Zinc oxide is not found naturally in nature, but is synthesized by heating the zinc ore and combining it with oxygen molecules. After being vaporized and condensed, the newly formed mineral is formed in fine white powder that provides a layer to protect the skin.
Benefits of Zinc Oxide:
The advance of zinc oxide particles pioneered in 2008. Since then, the particles have been continuously researched, tested and advanced to be one of the most potent ingredients in skin care products. This is because zinc oxide has many benefits for the skin. If you are not familiar with zinc oxide and how it could be the best magic ingredient for your skin, read the benefits of zinc oxide that will probably surprise you.
1. Offers Protection Against Ultraviolet Rays:
Zinc oxide has a series of natural sun protection qualities that have become the focus of numerous studies on skin care in the last three decades. Scientists and skin care experts have discovered that zinc oxide does a very good job of protecting the skin against ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B. This wide range of protection is a benefit compared to many commercial solar queens that only offer protection against a type of ultraviolet ray, either UVA or UVB. In the past, the sunscreen quality of zinc oxide had only been used in the manufacture of non-stick screens. But today, it already moves beyond that. Many companies incorporate zinc oxide in various skin care products, such as concealers, moisturizers, BB creams, mineral makeup and serums and anti-aging ointments. In sunscreens, the percentage of zinc oxide is usually around 25-30 percent. Other makeup products as a base, moisturizers and BB cream have a lower percentage of zinc oxide, usually 10 to 19 percent. This percentage is usually shown through the SPF level. The higher the SPF level, the longer it provides protection from the sun.
In the past, there was a bad reputation in the use of zinc oxide as an ingredient for sunscreens, as it caused visible white streaks on some parts of the skin. It was because the skin could not completely absorb zinc oxide. However, today the technology in the skin care industry has solved the problem and found a perfect solution. Many products on the market today use microfine zinc oxide particles that can be easily absorbed by the skin’s surface. As a result, it does not leave white stripes.
2. Does Not Cause Skin Irritation:
The benefits of zinc oxide may receive the most attention for their ability to be the alternative to skin care chemicals without the allergies or irritations that usually come with such chemical formula. These allergies usually occur in sensitive skin. But it is not a rare incident because, in fact, up to 75% of marketed sunscreens contain irritating and potentially toxic chemicals. On the contrary, zinc oxide offers a better alternative. Because it is a mineral, it can form a protective layer on the skin and scatter away from harmful ultraviolet lights. Then, instead of protecting your skin with a chemical method, it acts as a physical barrier, just like the multiple umbrellas that protect and reflect the sunlight that attacks your skin. Allergic reactions to chemical sunscreens usually occur because those chemical compounds absorb ultraviolet rays. These rays are trapped on the surface of the skin. While it cannot penetrate deeper into the deeper layers of the skin, the chemical itself commonly contains allergens such as oxybenzone that is toxic and irritating. Different chemicals must be combined because a chemical can usually only block one type of ultraviolet rays. This is why sunscreens can cause swelling, hives or acne on sensitive skin, something that will not be found in zinc oxide-based sunscreens.
3. It is safe:
Small zinc oxide particles are safe for both short-term and long-term use. However, some scientists still insist that additional research be done to ensure long-term safety for humans. The chemicals on the market can be as effective as sunscreens with zinc oxide formula, but these chemicals contain different substances to provide protection against a broad spectrum of UV rays. In addition to allergies, there are worse risks that may occur due to the hazardous chemicals incorporated in the products.
4. Prevents Infections:
Zinc works as a mild astringent as it naturally dries the skin by reducing oil production. Consequently, it also reduces the chances of bacteria growing and infecting the skin. One study demonstrated the ability of zinc oxide to reduce bacterial infections in a unique but powerful way.
“Instead of eliminating bacteria, zinc oxide acts by inhibiting the internalization and adhesion of bacteria”.
It also decreases the permeability of the cells, improving the tightness of the pores and the joints so that the bacteria cannot penetrate them. As the path of the bacteria is blocked and it is impossible for them to make their way, they cannot form new colonies and, in fact, the tissue. Further,
5. Treat Acne:
Zinc oxide is also known as an effective ingredient for acne treatment. In general, zinc oxide is combined with a series of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory substances to effectively treat acne problems, in the same way, the combination with antibacterial agents, zinc gluconate and zinc sulfate are also recommended for this. These elements work together to reduce the severity, appearance and pain of acne. These minerals also reduce the duration of inflammation and accelerate the healing process. A research team published a study, mentioning the different ways zinc oxide works to prevent and treat blemishes and acne breakouts. First, zinc oxide relieves infection caused by bacteria or microbes associated with acne. Then, the inflammation that is invoked in response to the bacterial attack and the clogging of the pores decreases. Once the acne disappears, zinc oxide reduces the likelihood of acne reappearing on the skin, as it makes the skin more resistant to microbial infection.
In addition, the benefits of zinc oxide also combat acne by stabilizing the oil on the skin. Regulates the production of sebum or skin oil and acts as an astringent that removes and dries excess fat. As a result, acne is less likely to reappear, damaged skin will begin to heal faster and large pores will contract. Several studies suggested that the topical application of zinc oxide, either mixed with other ingredients or used alone, is effective in combating acne due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial nature. The inhibition of the bacteria by preventing its activities of lipases and free fatty acids causes the bacteria to disappear. For persistent and severe acne, dermatologists sometimes suggest using zinc along with antibiotics. Antibiotic treatment for acne problems may cause callousness and resistance later, but zinc oxide will continue to be a useful ingredient even for those whose acne has developed resistance.
6. Treat Diaper Rash:
There are many prescription and commercial diaper dermatitis creams that use zinc oxide as one of their active ingredients. Diaper dermatitis is a form of irritation in the baby’s skin related to the use of diaper. Some studies have shown that zinc oxide ointments can help protect the baby’s delicate skin by stimulating a protective layer that repels bacteria and irritants. Bacteria and other agents will not be able to penetrate the layer and cause area. In addition, zinc ointments are safe to use as often as necessary to reduce the risk of inflammation. The content of 5% zinc ointment is sufficient to protect the skin and reduce irritation symptoms when applied to the affected area of babies suffering from irritating diaper rash with IDD).
7. Reduce Redness and Swelling:
Redness, swelling and pain are usually caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the skin. Since zinc oxide has some antibacterial properties, topical use of the ointment on the skin can also help reduce these symptoms. The mineral is also gentle to the skin and provides a calming effect.
8. Reduce Pores:
As an additional favor, the benefits of zinc oxide, like many other astringent commercial products, also gives your skin a smooth and perfect appearance because it shrinks large pores. More importantly, this is achieved naturally without clogging the pores.
9. Prevents the Fatty Appearance on the Face:
Since zinc oxide also regulates the production of sebum and oil on the skin, it also prevents the skin from looking shiny and oily. Your skin will look shiny and soft with well controlled sebum. However, it does so without drying out the skin. As a result, you will have clean, smooth skin with small pores and no acne problems.
10. Accelerate Wound Healing:
Zinc oxide is a mineral that plays a very important role in stabilizing and regulating the functions of the enzymes that are required to repair the epidermal wound and form new skin tissues. Because of this, zinc oxide has also been traditionally used to treat wounds resulting from surgery, sores or ulcers. Zinc also plays an important role in helping the production of new collagen. The studies found evidence that treating dry, injured or damaged skin with zinc oxide for approximately two days after damage occurs helps speed healing, reduce inflammation, restore pigment and better regulate sebum. When used with other products, zinc also helps increase the absorption of other minerals.
11. Keep the Youthful Look:
Because it is a fairly powerful mineral that contains a wide variety of anti-aging properties that tend to be effective; The benefits of zinc oxide have the ability not only to help your skin stay young by preventing sun damage – such as spots, wrinkles, among others – but also has the particularity of accelerating the synthesis of collagen and gives way to new skin tissue. As you know, collagen is a substance that occurs naturally in our body, but can only be synthesized with the help of certain essential minerals such as zinc. It is well known that as people get older, collagen production is decreasing, which is why zinc oxide plays a fundamental role in this process, since it reconstructs and repairs so-called connective tissues.
12. Prevents and Reduces Wrinkles:
If you don’t want your beauty to be ruined by annoying wrinkles and fine lines, not exposing your skin to sunlight should be your first defense attempt. Yes, we should blame most of the signs of sun aging. According to research, 80% of wrinkle cases are caused by sun exposure. Human beings need the sun for many things. Tanned and shiny skin is even considered as an exotic beauty that is pursued by many women, either directly sunbathing or being in the tanning booth. But while it has a wonderful short-term effect on our skin, it eventually accelerates the aging process. Most of the changes in the skin that we consider to be normal and unavoidable signs of aging, including wrinkles, are actually caused by the sun. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light will damage elastin, skin fibers. When these fibers are damaged, the skin began to become loose, elastic and elastic tissue with little elasticity. Because it loses its elastic ability to return to the original shape after stretching, movements of the face such as smiling, laughing and talking will do overtime creating lines and wrinkles. Therefore, it is imperative to protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV light if you want to maintain an impeccable youthful appearance. The benefits of zinc oxide in sunscreens is one of the most effective substances to combat UV radiation, which consequently also prevents wrinkles.
13. Prevents Age Spots:
In addition to wrinkles and sunburn, one of the main consequences of sunlight is the point of age. An age spot is also called liver spot, sunspot or sun lentigines. It appears on the skin as a flat brown, black or gray spot in areas that are mostly exposed to the sun, such as the face, shoulders, back of the hand and shoulders. Age spots are actually the result of excessive melanin production that can be triggered for several reasons, including, and perhaps mainly, prolonged exposure to the sun. Because of this, the best way to avoid aging spots is to protect your skin from the danger of the sun using the best sunscreens with zinc oxide as a key active ingredient.
14. Treat Melasma:
Melasma is a common skin condition that causes discolored spots on certain areas of the skin. These patches are darker than the rest of your skin. Dark discoloration usually occurs on faces and other areas that are commonly exposed to the sun. Once again, the ability of zinc oxide to protect your skin against the harmful effects of sunlight is what makes it the best weapon against this skin condition. Although common, melasma is quite difficult to cure. However, you can always use zinc oxide ointments to alleviate this discoloration problem and make the dark patches gradually disappear from your skin.
15. Promotes Healthy Scalp:
Your scalp is also part of the skin that needs protection. Many problems can occur to your scalp, including dryness, too much oil and the general lack of nutrients that causes hair loss. The benefits of zinc oxide are also used in many hair products to combat dandruff and hair loss. Zinc deficiency is actually a very common cause of dandruff. Zinc helps strengthen the structure of your cell membranes and prevent peeling of the scalp. Zinc oxide also helps your scalp by blocking moisture so it doesn’t dry out. The particles have the perfect formulation to combat scalp problems.