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Zinc Oxide

Zinc is a mineral responsible for a variety of functions in the body. Zinc plays a role in the transmission of nervous system signals and is needed for proper protein and cell membrane structure. The mineral is also found in enzymes, is part of the process that releases hormones throughout the body and helps to regulate cell growth. Zinc occurs naturally in a variety of foods, including meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, legumes, dairy products, vegetables and grains. The recommended daily allowance for zinc is 11 milligrams daily for adult males and 8 milligrams daily for adult females, reports the Office of Dietary Supplements.

Zinc oxide neutralizes acid and possesses mild bactericidal properties; it is therefore an ideal component in body cream and antiseptic healing cream, helping reduce soreness and redness.
Additionally, zinc oxide is used in medical tapes and plasters, some toothpaste formulations and in dental cements.
No less importantly, zinc oxide is incorporated into dietary supplements and vitamin tablets as a source of zinc, which comprises an essential micronutrient for the human body. Zinc is often touted as a remedy to the common cold and it is added to some over-the-counter cold medications.


Zinc oxide and its derivatives contribute to various hair and skin care cosmetic preparations, thanks to their optical and biochemical properties. In powders and creams, they protect the skin by absorbing the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, and also promote healing in ointments used to treat sunburn.

Simple zinc salts impart astringent and skin conditioning properties to creams; more complex salts provide fungi static properties that enhance the effectiveness of deodorants, soaps, and antidandruff products.