Whether it’s rash cream, sunscreen, itch relief salve or wound care, there’s a common ingredient listed in a variety of skin care products: zinc oxide. If zinc oxide can truly be counted on to prevent or treat a wide range of skin conditions, the next question is, is it safe?
After reading up on what the experts say, I continue to bank my confidence on this mineral and here’s why:
So what’s the deal with the nanoparticle controversy and is zinc oxide linked to cancer?
A nanometer refers to size, and one nanometer is 100,000 times thinner than a strand of hair. There was concern that particles less than 30 nanometers could be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. Cosmetic companies preferred the smaller particle-sized zinc oxide because the finished product could be applied without excessive whiteness to the skin. It turns out, there are no studies proving that nanoparticles of zinc oxide could penetrate healthy human skin, and studies linking zinc oxide to cancer have been inconclusive. To calm customer fear, the majority of companies who use zinc oxide now use the larger, non-nano sized particles. If you are making your own skin care products and want to be on the safe side, make sure the zinc oxide you buy is non-nano zinc oxide. (You can order uncoated, non-nano zinc oxide from us at MadeOn or in larger quantities at From Nature With Love.)
Is there any way that zinc oxide is NOT safe?
Have you considered making your own sunscreen? It’s easy!