5 BENEFITS OF ZINC OXIDE
1. Protects Skin from both Sun Burns & Sun Damage
The natural sun-protecting benefits of zinc oxide have been the focus of much skincare research over the past three decades. Zinc oxide has been found to offer protection against “broad spectrum ultraviolet rays” (UVA/UVB), which is not always the case with chemical sunscreens that only block one type of UV light.
Zinc oxide is now added to many more skincare products — it’s also an ingredient in moisturizers, foundations, concealers, BB creams and anti-aging formulas. The only drawback to zinc is that it is chalky white. with iron oxides added for color, however, this is no longer a problem.
How Effective is Zinc Oxide at Protecting Against the Harmful Effects of the Sun?
How reliably a product prevents burns will depend on how much zinc oxide is used in the formula. Percentages of zinc oxide vary widely, and the final percentage will determine the products specified “SPF” level.
In sunscreens, zinc oxide percentages are usually around 25 to 30 percent. Ours has 85-93%.
The less zinc oxide used, the shorter the window of protection. So SPF 30 won’t last as long as SPF 50.
2. Helps Treat Acne
Zinc oxide has both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can lower the severity, duration and pain acne blemishes and breakouts.
A 2013 study printed in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, along with other research regarding zinc for acne, show that there are several ways that zinc oxide can help treat and prevent acne:
Reducing antimicrobial/bacterial properties associated with acne
Lowering inflammation that is triggered in response to acne-causing bacteria and clogged pores
Acting as an astringent, which helps to dry excess oil and shrink, constrict, or tighten the appearance of damaged skin and large pores
Reducing the likelihood that acne will reappear once the skin becomes resistant to antibiotic substances (see below)
Regulating oil/sebum production
Research suggests that zinc used topically on the skin either alone as well as in combination with other agents is effective mostly due to its anti-inflammatory activity and ability to reduce P. acnes bacteria by inhibition of P. acnes lipases and free fatty acid levels. (7) For cases of severe and persistent acne, sometimes a dermatologist will prescribe antibiotics to help stop bacteria from clogging pores.
However, studies have found that acne-related bacteria can become resistant to treatment after some time, therefore for some people the pills/lotions stop working. Antibiotic treatments for acne also tend to cause side effects including redness, increased sensitivity to sunlight, dryness and peeling. The good news is that zinc oxide treatment can continue to be useful even for those with antibiotic-resistant acne.
3. Treats Rashes & Irritation
Much research shows that zinc oxide helps to aid in new tissue growth, skin healing, repair work of wounds, and prevention of inflammation. Zinc oxide can be used to naturally help heal:
Irritation from chemical products
Cold Sores of the Mouth
Zinc oxide is a very common active ingredient in commercial and prescription diaper rash creams. NIH Research shows that ointments containing zinc oxide form a layer of protection against irritants and bacteria. Zinc can be used frequently even on delicate skin to lower inflammation caused by diaper rash.
4. Helps Prevent Bacterial Infections
Zinc oxide can also act as a mild astringent, which can help keep harmful bacteria from causing infections. Zinc is an essential mineral, and helps regulate enzyme functions needed to repair skin wounds and form new collagen and tissue.
A 2003 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that zinc oxide likely helps to reduce bacterial infections not by killing bacteria, but by inhibiting the adhesion and internalization of bacteria. NIH research has shown that zinc oxide also helps to decrease permeability, increase tightness of junctions so that bacteria can’t make their way through, and reduce inflammation through modulating cytokine gene expressions.
Zinc oxide helps reduce redness, swelling, pain, and inflammation caused from bacterial build up. It also helps to minimize the appearance of large pores and prevents shininess of the skin by regulating oil production.
5. Anti-Aging & Improved Healing
Zinc not only helps prevent age spot, wrinkles and future sun damage, it also aids the synthesis of collagen, which helps to build and repair connective tissue. (11)
Studies have found that treating damaged or dry skin with zinc oxide (products) for 48-hours helps skin heal better.