Summer Staple – Zinc Oxide

In this post, we’ll be exploring zinc oxide, a common ingredient we use all summer.

As summer heats up, we’ll spend the next few posts exploring different ingredients that make our summer fun and safe. In this post, we’ll be exploring zinc oxide, a common ingredient in our lives.

What is zinc oxide and where does it come from?

Zinc oxide powder is a fine white substance derived from the naturally occurring mineral zincite. We use this powder in many cosmetics, foods, and even household products.

What summer products contain zinc oxide?

This versatile ingredient used in the proper refined form and in specific formulations provide us with many common products including sunscreen, calamine lotion, astringent, breakfast cereals, paint, and more!

What properties does zinc oxide possess?

Zinc oxide has a host of properties, below are common household products and the role that zinc oxide plays as an important ingredient.

  • Sunscreen – Zinc oxide works as an excellent physical sunscreen, meaning it lays on our skin in a thin layer and reflects harmful UVA and UVB rays without absorbing into our skin. Thus, providing robust protection against the sun’s harmful rays. 
  • Calamine lotion – Zinc oxide works with other active ingredients to provide a barrier that helps dry skin that’s weeping from poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac. It even has antimicrobial properties that can help keep germs at bay.
  • Astringent – Zinc oxide works as an astringent meaning it helps shrink skin and pores and can absorb excess oils. This can reduce acne and help keep our skin dry in the summer heat.
  • Breakfast cereal – Zinc oxide helps safely fortify breakfast cereals and other foods to make sure we’re getting the nutrients we need.
  • Paint – Zinc oxide’s white color and reflective properties make it a great pigment in many household paints. 

Is it safe?

Yes! Zinc oxide has been used in many capacities since ancient times. We know that in the right doses and the correct formations that zinc oxide safely helps makes our lives and summer better.
This being said, if you inhale a significant quantity of zinc oxide, more than you would encounter in daily life, you can become ill. This is extremely rare and typically occurs in industrial settings rather than in our home lives. Additionally, allergic responses to zinc oxide have been reported but these cases are also very rare.
In our next post, we’ll continue to explore Summer Staple ingredients.

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