The Difference Between Uncoated Zinc Oxide and Coated Zinc Oxide


Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a versatile compound known for its wide range of applications, from sunscreens and cosmetics to rubber manufacturing and electronics. Uncoated and coated zinc oxide are two common variations of this compound, each offering distinct properties and advantages depending on the intended use. In this article, we delve into the differences between this two to understand how they impact various industries and products.


Uncoated Zinc Oxide

Uncoated zinc oxide refers to the pure form of the compound, where zinc atoms are bound to oxygen atoms. This raw material is often characterized by its white, powdery appearance. It possesses several key properties that make it valuable in numerous applications:

  • UV Protection
    Uncoated zinc oxide is well-known for its exceptional ability to block ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This property makes it a crucial ingredient in sunscreens and skincare products. When applied to the skin, this particles create a physical barrier that reflects and scatters UV rays, preventing them from penetrating the skin.
  • Safe and Gentle
    Uncoated zinc oxide is considered safe for human use, as it sits on the skin’s surface without being absorbed. This characteristic reduces the risk of skin irritation or allergies, making it suitable for sensitive skin types.
  • Broad-Spectrum Protection
    Unlike some chemical UV filters, uncoated zinc oxide provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. This is essential for guarding against sunburn, premature aging, and the risk of skin cancer.


Coated Zinc Oxide

Coated zinc oxide, on the other hand, undergoes an additional manufacturing process where a protective layer is applied to the surface of the zinc oxide particles. This coating can be made from various materials, such as silicones, organic compounds, or other minerals. The coating process imparts new qualities to the zinc oxide, expanding its range of applications:

  • Enhanced Dispersion
    Coated zinc oxide particles often exhibit improved dispersion properties in various formulations. This makes them ideal for products where even distribution is critical, such as coatings, paints, and rubber products.
  • Reduced Reactivity
    Coating zinc oxide can alter its reactivity with other substances. This is particularly beneficial in applications where the previous one might interact unfavorably with certain compounds, such as in the rubber industry.
  • Stabilization
    Coatings can help stabilize zinc oxide against factors like heat, light, and chemical reactions, extending the product’s shelf life and effectiveness.


Application Differences

The choice between this two types of zinc oxide depends on the intended application:

  • Sunscreen
    Uncoated zinc oxide is often preferred for sunscreens due to its excellent UV-blocking properties and skin-friendly nature.
  • Rubber Manufacturing
    Coated zinc oxide is used in the rubber industry to prevent unwanted reactions between zinc oxide and rubber components, enhancing the durability and performance of rubber products.
  • Cosmetics
    Uncoated zinc oxide is commonly used in cosmetics like mineral makeup for its natural sun protection and non-irritating characteristics.
  • Electronics
    Coated zinc oxide finds application in electronics, where its improved dispersion and stability properties are advantageous.


In conclusion, both uncoated and coated zinc oxide have distinct characteristics that suit various applications across industries. Uncoated zinc oxide excels in UV protection and skin safety, while coated zinc oxide offers improved dispersion, reduced reactivity, and enhanced stability. The choice between the two depends on the specific requirements of the intended product or process, highlighting the versatility and adaptability of this remarkable compound.

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