Zinc oxide is a commonly used ingredient in a variety of personal care products, including sunscreens, diaper creams, and skin creams. It has been deemed safe for use by regulatory agencies around the world, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Commission on Cosmetic Ingredients.
Zinc oxide is also used in other topical products, such as diaper creams, as a skin protectant. It works by forming a barrier on the skin that helps to protect it from irritants and moisture. This can be especially helpful for babies and individuals with sensitive skin.
How does Zinc Oxide Sunscreen work?
Zinc oxide sunscreens works by sitting on top of the skin and reflecting and scattering UV rays. It is considered to be a physical sunscreen, as opposed to a chemical sunscreen, which absorbs UV rays. Physical sunscreens are generally considered to be more stable and less likely to cause skin irritation than chemical sunscreens.
Non-nano Zinc Oxide
Non-nano (larger than 100 nanometers) zinc oxide is safe for reefs and marine life, but NANO zinc oxide particles (smaller than 100 nanometers) can be ingested by marine animals including coral, causing internal damage, and when washed off into ocean, they can react with UV rays to generate hydrogen peroxide which can be toxic to phytoplankton—a vital nutrient to many reef and coral species.
Kenneth Howe, a dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology says, “Mineral sunscreen nano particles larger than 30 nanometers are not absorbed into our bodies through the skin. Particles smaller than 30 nanometers, on the other hand, can be absorbed through the skin and then enter our bloodstream. The effects these internally absorbed nano particles might have on our health is not yet known.”
Other Uses for Zinc Oxide
In addition to its use in personal care products, zinc oxide is also used in a variety of industrial applications, such as ceramics, glass, and paint. When used in these applications, zinc oxide is typically considered to be safe as long as proper safety precautions are taken.
Overall, zinc oxide is considered to be a safe and effective ingredient for use in personal care products and other applications. It has been widely studied and has been deemed safe by regulatory agencies around the world. However, as with any substance, it is always wise to patch test before using it on a large surface of the skin, to check if the individual is allergic to it or if it causes any irritation.
1. Know your ingredients — Flip over your sunscreen and read the ingredients. We want everyone to know what good ingredients are, regardless of whether they use our products or not. Your health is worth it.
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