Zinc oxide for skin
We have been talking a lot about zinc oxide at Lyonsleaf this month as we have had so much feedback from our customers on what they use it for and it is so varied, we though this month we would delve a bit deeper into this ingredient and answer some questions about zinc oxide and its uses in skincare.
What is Zinc oxide?
ZnO is the chemical formula for zinc oxide an inorganic compound and is naturally occurring in a few parts of the world. It is a white odourless powder that doesn't dissolve in water.
Is Zinc Oxide Natural?
Yes, it is naturally occurring as Zincite but not very common, deposits are found in some parts of the USA. It is a very beautiful yellow/orange crystal, the colour is due to impurities from manganese and other trace elements. (see image) Most Zinc oxide is manufactured by electrolysis as a nature identical compound to meet the demand for it as it is used in some many different industries.
Why use Zinc oxide in skincare?
The short answer is because it does wonders for skin, it has some useful properties that can help keep skin healthy. If you are a parent then you will probably be aware of zinc oxide as an ingredient in nappy creams, it’s brilliant as a water barrier so helps protect delicate baby’s skin.
As a sunblock it protects against UV and is an antioxidant.
It can help with calming redness on the skin so if you are prone to perioral dermatitis, acne or rosacea this is a wonder ingredient.
For teenage skin or anyone prone to breakouts a pot of zinc oxide cream dabbed onto the area will help to dry out any excess sebum and return the skin to clean and clear.
Then there is chicken pox, zinc oxide is the ingredient in Calamine lotion that helps to dry out and calm chicken pox inflammation.
Is zinc Oxide OK to use on sensitive skin?
Absolutely, zinc oxide is calming on the skin and perfect for aggravated and sensitive skin. It is a common ingredient in nappy cream, sunscreen. Zinc oxide helps to reduce excess sebum.
How do I remove zinc oxide residue from clothes?
This is it the small downside, as zinc oxide is not water soluble it can be tricky to remove any staining from clothing. We have found the best thing to use is cleaning alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or white vinegar. Start by removing as much residue by hand then spray the alcohol on the area and rinse under warm water, repeat this until the zinc oxide has been removed. This method is eco friendly and inexpensive and it works.
What are zinc oxides other uses?
Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound used in a number of manufacturing processes. It can be found in rubbers, plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, lubricants, paints, ointments, adhesives, sealants, pigments, foods, batteries, ferrites, fire retardants, and first-aid tapes.