Zinc oxide

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What is zinc oxide?

Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a white powder known for its protective and purifying properties. It is also known as a UV protective filter, reflecting UVA and UVB rays. In addition, zinc has anti-inflammatory, astringent and drying properties.

To identify it in our products, take a look at the ingredients list on packaging. It can be found under the name ZINC OXIDE or CI 77947. 

Where does it come from?

Where does it come from?

In cosmetics, zinc oxide is from synthetic origin.

Where does it come from?

Although it occurs naturally as the mineral zincite, most zinc oxide is produced synthetically.

What is it used for?

Zinc oxide is used for its many properties and applications, as a UV filter in sunscreen (in the form of nano zinc oxide), as an agent to soothe skin and ease irritation, and as a white pigment in some make-up products such as foundation.

  • UV filter

  • Soothing

  • White pigment

Why is it questioned?

Zinc oxide is accused of causing undesirable effects when applied on damaged skin, and of impacting the aquatic environment.


  • Extensive reviews* have been conducted on the safety of zinc oxide used in cosmetics and as a sunscreen. They show that zinc oxide can be safely used in cosmetics.
  • The concentration level of zinc oxide in our products is controlled carefully in order to limit their impact on the environment
  • Zinc Oxide is one of only two filters in recognized as safe and effective by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration

*By the US Food & Drug Administration and the EU Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety.

Why and how do we use it?

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We use it as a sun filter as it is very efficient in blocking UV rays and thus protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun (such as skin cancer, sunburn or premature aging of the skin).

It is one of the only sun filters still allowed in some countries such as the United States, which has indicated it as GRASE (generally recognized as safe and effective).

We use it in an optimal and regulated concentration level in our products, making it suitable for sensitive skin. It is not present in products that can be inhaled or ingested (such as aerosols or lipsticks).

We control the concentration level of zinc oxide used in our formulas very carefully to limit the impact of our products on the environment.

When zinc oxide is present in nano form in our formulas, we always inform consumers in a transparent manner in the countries where regulation requires it, by labelling it as [nano] in the full ingredients list found on packaging. 

Zinc oxide in nano form is safe and is unlikely to penetrate the skin's inner layers.


Sun protection: a real public health issue

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  • Suncare products: understanding the protection factor

  • What impact do ultraviolet rays have on our skin?


Sun filters

Sun filters are ingredients that absorb or reflect the UV rays from sunlight to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun.

  • Homosalate

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  • Mexoryl® SX

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  • Mexoryl®  XL

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  • Octinoxate

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  • Octocrylene

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  • Oxybenzone

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  • Sun filters

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  • Titanium dioxide

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