What is Zinc Oxide (ZnO)?
Zinc oxide is widely used throughout the skincare industry. In fact, recent developments within sunscreen production have found a new way to incorporate zinc oxide to eliminate the white residue left behind after application. Zinc oxide is derived from zinc, which is an elemental metal. Zinc is unique, as it can carry an electrical charge which communicates differently within the body’s internal organs. Most notably, the immune system, digestive tract, brain, and skin.
Zinc oxide is manmade and is produced by chemically heating zinc alongside oxygen molecules. Both elements are vaporized, condensed, and transformed into a fine white powder.
1. Zinc Oxide for Sunburn Prevention
Did you know the SPF in your sunscreen can help you measure how much zinc oxide is present in the product? The higher the SPF rating the greater percentage of zinc oxide; conversely, the higher the SPF measure in sunscreen products largely dictates how long your sunscreen will protect one’s skin against harmful skin damage. This longevity is linked directly to the increased levels of zinc oxide. Zinc oxide helps to reflect and scatter ultraviolet rays. Blocking both UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays, zinc oxide outperforms other chemical additions which only protect against one type of broad spectrum ultraviolet rays.
2. Zinc Oxide for Acne Flare-Ups
Studies show zinc oxide helps to (1) decrease the antimicrobial bodies and bacteria responsible for acne, (2) reduce inflammation stemming from acne and obstructed pores, (3) decreases the likelihood acne will return, (4) regulates sebum production (largely attributed to causing acne), and (5) serves as an astringent, shrinking pore size and thereby decreasing the chances dirt and grime will become lodged into the skin triggering future breakouts. Zinc oxide may be used in conjunction with medications designed to treat acne, and will continue to outlast products acne-causing bacteria eventually becomes immune to. Although, zinc oxide is typically used in tandem with other anti-inflammatory agents, it may be used in singularity.
3. Zinc Oxide for Accelerated Tissue Growth
Zinc oxide is a commonality in the diaper rash industry; the chemical encourages new tissue growth and helps “shed” diaper rashes, skin ulcers, scrapes, burns, and skin irritants by rejuvenating old skin and inviting new skin to replace topical blemishes. The chemical is credited in protecting sensitive skin (especially that of infants) by forming a topical layer and preventing the infiltration of irritants and harmful bacteria. Lowering inflammation, zinc oxide may be used over the entire course of a diaper rash outbreak safely. Studies indicate a five percent inclusion of zinc oxide helps quell irritant diaper dermatitis, often resulting from diarrhea.
4. Zinc Oxide as an Astringent
Astringents are agents prompting the contraction of body tissue, locking out bacteria and harmful substances that may have lodged themselves into pores. Zinc oxide acts as a powerful astringent and helps dry overly oily skin out. Zinc oxide is sometimes used to treat wounds post-surgery. The chemical plays a role in helping repair skin abrasions, encouraging new collagen and connective tissue to replace damaged skin.
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