Zinc Oxide : Benefits & Usage in Skin Care
It is often said that in the world of cricket, an all-rounder is worth the weight in gold. Just like an all-rounder can make useful contributions with both bat and ball whenever the team needs it, an element called zinc oxide can also make useful contributions when the wearer needs it.
So, when it comes to skin-care, zinc oxide is nothing less than an all-rounder that has an incredible ability to contribute towards protection, nourishment and enhancement of the skin. Apart from being a skin nourishment agent, zinc oxide has healing properties as it is antiseptic in nature.
This is the reason for zinc oxide being used in bandages, ointments, skin care products, among many other things. Do you want to know more about this all-rounder who works round the clock to offer complete protection to your skin? If yes, do read this article till the end and once you complete reading, you will be amazed to see the incredible benefits that this humble zinc oxide possesses.
For the ease of understanding, we have divided this article into two major sections; zinc oxide and zinc oxide sunscreen.
Zinc oxide benefits
As the name suggests, zinc oxide is made from two substances, zinc and oxygen. The chemical formula of zinc oxide is ZnO. Zinc oxide is an inorganic and natural compound that is made from one atom of zinc and one atom of oxygen.
Zinc oxide for skin care
Zinc oxide is often used in sunscreens. But the important question is why is zinc oxide used in sunscreens? The answer is quite simple.
First, zinc oxide, which is an inorganic compound made from zinc and oxygen, has an innate ability to protect the skin from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays emitted by the scorching sun. Zinc oxide, which is nothing but a white coloured powder, acts as a shield and offers optimum protection to the skin against skin damage, skin cancer and other skin-related problems, including burns, dryness and ageing.
Second, zinc oxide is insoluble in water. This property of zinc oxide ensures that it stays on despite there being any sweat or water on the skin. The insoluble nature of zinc oxide makes it popular among athletes, including swimmers as there is guarantee that zinc oxide will not get washed away easily because of sweat or water.
Third, zinc oxide is suitable for different types of skin. Whether you have an oily skin or a dry skin, young skin or old skin, there is no need to worry as zinc oxide caters to different skin types and offers complete protection. In a nutshell, zinc oxide helps in protecting skin cells from getting damaged, halts the ageing process, and prevents skin dryness by filtering out the harmful UV rays emitted by the burning sun. Thus, we can say that zinc oxide is nothing less than an elixir to have a great skin.
Zinc oxide is better than other ingredients
Zinc oxide is an inorganic and natural compound, since it is made from the mineral zinc and oxygen. The formula of zinc oxide is ZnO, which suggests that zinc oxide is made from one atom of zinc and one atom of oxygen.
Zinc and oxygen are both natural ingredients, which makes zinc oxide, a natural compound too, devoid of any kind of chemical substances. Zinc oxide can be used on a daily basis to protect the skin from damage caused by the sun. The users of zinc oxide can be rest assured that there are no side effects of this inorganic natural compound as it is completely natural and pure.
Zinc oxide, which is known to be sweat-resistant, water-proof and oil-free, can be used by anyone and everyone. Given these properties of zinc oxide, it can thus stay on top of the skin for longer periods of time and offer optimum protection to the skin. Unlike the other ingredients, zinc oxide starts working immediately from the moment it is used. You do not have to wait for a single minute for zinc oxide to show its effect.
Zinc oxide can be used by males and females
Whether a male or a female, zinc oxide can be used by either of the genders. Since the underlying part of the body that is being protected is the skin which is common for males and females, zinc oxide can be used to offer protection against the harmful UV rays emitted by the scorching sun. Zinc oxide acts as a shield and blocks the dangerous UV rays from interacting with the skin cells.
If there is any kind of interaction between the UV rays and the skin cells, then there is a high chance of contracting skin-related problems, including burns,dryness, aging and skin cancer, to name a few.
Males and females, both, venture out of their homes for work and the moment they step out they are exposed to the dangerous UV rays emitted by the burning sun. In order to protect the largest organ of the body which is the skin from these dangerous UV rays, one can apply zinc oxide which will act as a shield and block the UV rays from interacting with the skin cells, thereby providing protection.
There are some parts of the world which have extremely hot weather, for instance, the Middle East can be one such region where it tends to get very hot. The sun is very strong there and can cause serious damage to the skin, if the people there leave their skin unattended. Therefore, using zinc oxide is of paramount importance for people living in such hot conditions as well as for tourists who visit these places during summer season.
Benefits of using zinc oxide
Unlike the other ingredients, zinc oxide has certain qualities which make it stand apart from its peers. For instance, zinc oxide, which is a natural compound has the ability to stay on top of the skin for longer durations of time. Zinc oxide is sweat resistant, water-proof and oil-free, which makes it strong enough to stay on top of the skin. It acts as a protective shield and offers protection to the exposed body parts from the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun.
Zinc oxide takes utmost care of the skin in such a way that the applicants can completely forget about the sun causing damage to their skin and purely concentrate on their job at hand. Apart from these benefits, zinc oxide, which is made from natural substances like zinc and oxygen, has hardly any side effects. Moreover, zinc oxide, which is soothing in nature, can be useful in maintaining an even skin tone and fight premature skin ageing issues.
Zinc oxide also has antiseptic properties and thus can be used in healing wounds. Zinc oxide is used in bandages, ointments and other healing medicines.
Zinc oxide for cricketers
Cricket is a game in which there is a high chance of getting hurt physically. One could get hurt on arms, legs, fingers, for that matter even face. Apart from these body parts where one could get hurt while playing cricket, the sport can harm the largest external organ of the body, which is the skin.
Yes, cricket being an outdoor sport, the cricketers are exposed to sun for longer periods of time. The sun, though provides the required light, to play the sport, emits some harmful UV rays which can cause damage to the exposed body parts of the cricketers. Cricketers, who are cognizant of this fact, often apply a white coloured cream, which protects them from these harmful UV rays of the sun.
Do read: How to select the best sunscreen for cricketers
This white coloured cream is nothing but zinc oxide. This zinc oxide can be applied to different parts of the body that are exposed to the sun, like arms, cheeks, nose and lips. Typically, zinc oxide is applied to the body parts that are exposed to the damaging UV rays emitted by the sun. Thus, we can say that zinc oxide is one of the essential components in the life of sportsmen and sportswomen, especially for those who are involved in outdoor sports like cricket.
Outdoor sports involve some kind of risk caused due to the UV rays emitted by the burning sun. These harmful UV rays can affect the exposed parts of the body during the time when the athletes are involved in the sports and can cause serious skin damage, including skin cancer. It is also known that a former captain of the Australian menâ€™s cricket team was diagnosed with skin cancer.
Also read: Zinc oxide sunscreen for trekking
Given the long periods of time cricketers spend outdoors, it could be possible that the aforementioned cricketer was affected by skin cancer due to the harsh UV rays emitted by the scorching sun. Therefore, in order to protect themselves from such ailments, the sportsmen and sportswomen apply a white coloured cream, which is nothing but zinc oxide.
Zinc oxide is commonly applied by athletes who are expected to be outdoors in the sun for longer periods of time. For instance, cricketers if they are playing a Test match or an One Day match, they are required to be out in the middle for as many as eight hours atleast. To protect themselves from the harmful UV rays that they are exposed to during the course of play, the cricketers apply zinc oxide on their cheeks, nose, lips, arms and other exposed parts of the body. Zinc oxide acts as a protective shield and protects the cricketers from the hurting UV rays emitted by the sun.
So just like any other cricket equipment, there is no doubt that zinc oxide is an integral part of a cricketer's life. While cricket gear like helmet, pads and gloves protect the players from the ball, zinc oxide protects the players from the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun.
For cricketers, read: Zinc oxide sunscreen for cricket players
Incorporating zinc oxide in daily routine
While there are many skin-care products that contain zinc oxide, including sunscreen and face wash, in this article, we will look at incorporating zinc oxide in our daily routine using a zinc oxide sunscreen.
Zinc oxide sunscreen
While it is not easy to apply zinc oxide, which is a white coloured powder directly on the skin of the body parts that are exposed to the sun, zinc oxide can be applied in the form of a zinc oxide sunscreen. As discussed earlier about the white coloured cream, zinc oxide sunscreen is that white coloured cream.
Selecting a good zinc oxide sunscreen
The first and foremost factor that one must look for is the SPF (Sun Protection Factor). There are a large range of zinc oxide sunscreens available with different SPFs. For instance, SPF 15, SPF 25, SPF 30, SPF 40, SPF 50, to name a few.
A sunscreen with a higher SPF rating is known to provide more protection against the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun. Letâ€™s take an example of a zinc oxide sunscreen with SPF 30. A zinc oxide sunscreen with SPF 30 offers protection against 97 percent of the UV rays emitted by the scorching sun. In other words, a zinc oxide sunscreen with SPF 30 allows only three percent of the UV rays emitted by the sun to hit the skin of the zinc oxide sunscreen applicant. If the users want more protection, then he/she can opt for a zinc oxide with SPF 50 or SPF 100. A zinc oxide sunscreen with SPF 50 and SPF 100 provides protection against 98 percent and 99 percent of the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun respectively. It is also known that a zinc oxide sunscreen with an SPF in the range of 30 to 50 has the ability to protect the zinc oxide sunscreen applicant from sunburn.
Second, it is important to select a zinc oxide sunscreen that is completely natural or mineral-based. A zinc oxide sunscreen, which is made up of zinc oxide, is mineral based. The white coloured particles which are nothing but zinc oxide have the ability to protect the skin against the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun. While selecting the zinc oxide sunscreen, one must ensure that he/she reads the ingredients which are used in the making of the zinc oxide sunscreen. Apart from zinc oxide sunscreens, there are some other zinc oxide sunscreens which contain aloe vera, which gives a more natural effect to the sunscreen. The natural zinc oxide sunscreen is suitable for any skin type and seldom causes any side effects. A good zinc oxide sunscreen is water-proof, sweat-resistant and oil-free.
Must read: Is zinc sunscreen better? Mineral vs. Chemical sunscreens
Third, a good zinc oxide sunscreen should be easily washable with warm water and face wash. If the applicant is not able to get rid of his/her zinc oxide sunscreen after the use with warm water and face wash, then there is some issue with the zinc oxide sunscreen that is being used.
How to apply zinc oxide sunscreen
Now that we understand the advantages and uses of zinc oxide and zinc oxide sunscreen, the other important question is in what quantity should the zinc oxide sunscreen be applied? There is no fixed quantity. In other words, one size doesnâ€™t fit all. Depending on your skin type and outdoor activity, the zinc oxide sunscreen should be applied.
It is suggested that if you apply a good enough quantity of zinc oxide sunscreen on a regular basis then it will work wonders for you. According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines, sunscreen should be applied every two hours and if the applicant is involved in an activity which causes him/her to sweat profusely, like playing sports, then the sunscreen should be applied once in less than two hours.
How to remove zinc oxide sunscreen
Face wash and warm water can be used to remove the zinc oxide sunscreen. Only water will not be able to get rid of the zinc oxide sunscreen, which is an oil-based product. In view of this, any oil, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, etc. can help to remove the zinc oxide sunscreen.
Pour a little oil into the palm of your hand, then massage it all over your face. Leave it to soak in for a minute or two. After that, wash your face with warm water. Apart from the oils, you can use a face wash and warm water to remove the zinc oxide sunscreen. Mix the face wash in the warm water and apply it on your face. Keep it for around 10 seconds and then wipe your face. You can repeat this process till the time the zinc oxide sunscreen is completely off your face.
Skin-related problems are almost an inevitable part of our lives. In order to protect our skin, which is the largest organ of the body, from any damage, it is important for us to incorporate zinc oxide in our routine. If you haven't still, now is the time. Through this article, it is quite clear that there are numerous benefits of zinc oxide, which makes it an elixir for our skin.