Is Zinc Oxide Good for Skin?
We often find zinc oxide on various objects like sunscreen, diaper rash creams, and more. Most people, however, don't know just how important it is to us.
Zinc oxide has many benefits for healing and protection. It is an all-around helper in treating atopic dermatitis, acne, inflammation, burns, and infections.
But with all its healing properties, a larger question remains: is zinc oxide good for skin? How much of it is too much? We will take a deep dive into the benefits of zinc oxide, and how to stay safe while using it.
What Is Zinc Oxide?
Zinc oxide is made from the metallic element zinc, which is found all around nature. Through the process of oxidizing, where zinc combines with oxygen molecules, zinc oxide becomes safer to use.
After zinc and oxygen are vaporized, condensed, and formed into a fine white powder, it can be used in a wide range of skincare products. Zinc oxide powder can be spread on all skin types without leaving a white film, making it an active ingredient against different skin issues.
It keeps your skin safe by making a protective layer. Plus, it helps heal issues like bacterial infection, dryness from the sun, chronic hand eczema, and more for damaged skin caused by prolonged sun exposure.
You may be thinking, "Can zinc oxide help more than just your skin?" Fortunately, yes! Zinc pills free fatty acid levels, helping prevent low blood pressure, more bruises, and too much bleeding.
With more improvements being made on zinc oxide every year, the number of products using it also expands. Many people use it in things like natural mineral sunscreens, acne treatment, calamine lotions, and in their skincare routine.
Is Zinc Oxide Good and Safe for Your Skin?
Zinc oxide is safe in things like makeup, lotion, and even bandages. Many people also use sunscreen with zinc oxide, and you can find it easily online or at pharmacies everywhere.
As scientists have found ways to shrink the zinc oxide particle size, zinc oxide cream has evolved to treat more than just dry skin. It is anti-inflammatory and creates a protective barrier, making it feel fresh and clean.
However, allergic reactions can still happen. It is important to do a patch test before applying any zinc oxide ointment, just like you would for any other cream. Observe first if you experience any skin irritation before continuing to use it.
This is especially important for wound healing products containing zinc oxide. For your own safety, consult a medical professional first before using zinc oxide to treat wounds or as a topical ointment.
What are the Benefits of Zinc Oxide for Skin?
Zinc oxide can do many things to protect us from skin damage, skin conditions, and wounded skin.
Here are some of the ways zinc oxide benefits your skin.
- It protects your skin from sun damage
- It improves skin healing
- It controls excessive oil
- It is used to treat acne
- It can prevent bacterial infections
First up, it is widely known for shielding you from the sun.
Protects Skin From Sun Damage
Zinc oxide is great for sun protection. When you use zinc oxide on your skin, it soaks up and bounces back the sun's UVA and UVB rays, keeping you safe. It stops harmful UV rays from entering your skin.
Your skin protection also depends on the concentration of zinc oxide in sunscreen lotions. Most sunscreens contain 25-35% zinc oxide.
Zinc oxide works better in large amounts, so the more of it, the better. However, remember to only put enough to cover your skin to avoid bad reactions.
Zinc oxide sunscreen is safe to use in large amounts, and is FDA-approved for use on babies under six months. Unlike chemical sunscreens, it doesn't sting around the eyes and works with all skin types.
You can still enjoy getting all the vitamin D you need without much worry as it prioritizes your skin health.
Improves Skin Healing
Many people use zinc oxide for wound healing, dry skin, diaper rash, warts, and more. Besides sun protection, it is great for treating sun damage issues like sunburns, chapped skin, and skin tenderness.
This speedy recovery is thanks to another important chemical: titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is a whitening ingredient found in cosmetic products. Together with zinc oxide, it protects your skin from harmful rays, particularly UVB rays.
Zinc oxide for sunburns is great for its anti-inflammatory properties on sensitive skin, but it can do much more.
Controls Excess Oil
Zinc oxide is an astringent, meaning that it helps shrink skin and pores to curb oil buildup. It is perfect for oily skin types as it relieves clogged pores and stops pesky acne breakouts.
It smooths out your skin and its antibacterial properties lessen the risk of more acne growing.
Anyone with oily skin can tell you how annoying acne can be, but zinc oxide for skin can solve this issue. It helps stop skin irritation and swelling while controlling the production of sebum, which is what makes faces feel oily.
In 2014, a study conducted by the Dermatology Research and Practice found that zinc oxide is an active ingredient in a wide range of dermatological cures, especially in reducing acne.
The research found that zinc oxide is great for acne, whether it's mild, moderate, or severe. It is even more effective when used with antibacterial agents.
Zinc sulfate, which can be taken orally, gives a statistically significant improvement as it prevents bacterial infection in your body.
Prevents Bacterial Infections
We apply zinc oxide powder in many different ways beyond skin care and sun protection. It is trusted by doctors worldwide for its anti-inflammatory uses and its speed in repairing connective tissue.
A 2023 study from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences discovered that zinc oxide is 93% more effective in fighting bacteria compared to other trace minerals.
Zinc oxide helps skin heal faster by reducing chemicals that cause inflammation and keeping the wound moist. This speeds up recovery for various skin issues.
This is why we use zinc oxide to fight diaper rash and swelling with its non-toxic, safe properties. More than sunburns, zinc oxide is trusted to fight against serious skin conditions such as basal cell carcinoma.
How to Use Zinc Oxide on Face
Zinc oxide is incredibly flexible, especially in skin products. When it comes to our face, however, we tend to be more cautious with what we apply.
Zinc oxide can be applied to our faces in many ways, like the following methods.
- As sunscreen
- As cream
- And other ways
Let us look closer at these different topical application methods, starting with sunscreen.
Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
Mineral sunscreen, also known as physical sunscreen, has more zinc oxide than chemical sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide provide stronger protection against UV rays.
Apply a generous amount on your skin 15 minutes before you go out under the sun. We recommend 2-3 tablespoons of cream on your body, and 1 tablespoon on your face.
Remember to reapply physical sunscreens at least every two hours if you are swimming or sweating. With an average amount of 20% zinc oxide in sunscreen, harmful UV rays have little chance of hurting your skin.
Make sure to limit your time under the sun and wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and sunglasses to avoid getting a sunburn. We recommend using physical sunscreen more often to fully enjoy the benefits of zinc oxide.
Zinc Oxide Cream
After washing and moisturizing your face, put a small amount of zinc oxide on acne spots. Leave the cream exposed to speed up acne healing and improve collagen synthesis.
Collagen helps make pores smaller, and your skin feel tighter.
Because different people's skin types may react differently to zinc oxide, talk to your dermatologist before using any skincare stuff with it. Remember to also check the concentration of zinc oxide in the product before you put it on.
Other Ways to Use Zinc Oxide
Whether it's in sunscreen or skincare, make sure to put on zinc oxide correctly for the best results.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before using, and apply enough ointment or powder to cover a rash, burn, or anywhere you need on your skin.
Remember to wash your hands again afterward to avoid hurting your eyes or accidentally swallowing it.
Skin problems, like eczema, can happen when you have a zinc deficiency or a condition where the body doesn't have enough zinc.
You can take certain kinds of zinc pills to help your body make more zinc, which can counteract slower wound healing. Lozenges with zinc gluconate are good for fighting colds.
However, topical zinc oxide should not be ingested, and avoiding contact with the eyes is very important.
Side Effects of Zinc Oxide & Precautions
Allergic reactions to zinc oxide are rare, but there are some cases where it may happen. Side effects may include rashes, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing.
If your skin is extremely sensitive, you may be unable to tolerate even a tiny bit of zinc oxide in your sunscreen or skincare products. In this case, talk to a doctor to figure out what amount works for you.
Pregnant or lactating women may apply zinc oxide on their skin, but like all ointments, it must be used in moderation.
Useful Tips About Zinc Oxide
If you are new to using zinc oxide on your skin or unsure if it is okay for you, it is best to talk to a doctor. They can help you figure out the right amount for you.
Always remember to do patch tests on your skin, especially with new products, to see if you will experience any rashes or itchiness.
Be careful when putting zinc oxide ointment on cuts. Some wounds may react badly to this mineral. It is good for dry skin, but make sure to use moisturizer too, so your skin doesn't get even drier.
One advantage that zinc oxide has against chemical sunscreens is its effectiveness against blue light. We deal with blue light daily from the sun and electronic devices.
If you want a sunscreen that protects against both UV rays and blue light, go for a mineral sunscreen. It might be your best pick.
Even if you are not under the sun all day, it is good to use sunscreen with zinc oxide daily. It helps keep your skin fresh and healthy.
Key Takeaways on Whether Zinc Oxide Is Good for Skin
Zinc oxide is a powerhouse ingredient that can be used in a wide range of ways. Whether it is a diaper rash, acne, or sunburn, this all-purpose useful mineral can help if you use it right.
Always read the labels of any product using zinc oxide before using it to make sure that you are not allergic to any of the listed ingredients. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to consult a doctor before using such products.
Since kids have more sensitive skin, make sure to check the zinc oxide amount in kids' sunscreen before using it to avoid any issues.
Most of all, remember to keep your skin protected and have fun under the sun!