According to the Official Publication of The International Association of Aesthetics, today zinc oxide is a key active ingredient in many diaper rash creams, calamine lotions, mineral sunscreens (zinc oxide also protecting your skin from the sun), vitamin supplements and acne treatments sold in drug stores or prescribed by doctors. Zinc benefits affect different systems of the body, including the immune system, digestive tract, brain, and skin — where it is used as a type of important “building block” for protein synthesis, enzyme creation, and metabolic processes.
Zinc oxide has been found to have the following uses and benefits: First, it can help to lower skin inflammation associated with rashes, allergies, or irritation (including diaper rash). Second, providing broad-spectrum sun protection that prevents burns (including on photo-sensitive skin). Providing protection from skin cancer/neoplasias (basal cell carcinoma), reducing dandruff, treating warts, lowering inflammatory dermatoses (including rosacea), and preventing aging of the skin.
Perhaps zinc’s greatest reputation is its role as a natural alternative to chemical skincare formulations. Chemical ingredients often cause irritation, allergies, or sunburns, particularly on sensitive skin. In fact, did you know that up to 75 percent of sunscreens are toxic, hiding many irritating chemicals?
There are several ways that zinc oxide works on the skin to block sun damage from UV light, making it a better choice for chemical skincare products. Zinc is a mineral, it has the ability to sit atop the skin and reflect the sun by scattering away ultraviolet rays. Zinc oxide is called a “physical barrier substance” for this reason rather than a “chemical substance.” Due to this scattering ability, at least a small amount of zinc oxide is usually added to most commercial chemical sunscreens, too.
Zinc oxide comes in several forms and formulas. While using zinc oxide treatments on the skin alone can help improve skin’s health and appearance, you can also combine topical treatments with a vitamin supplement containing zinc for even better protection and results.