Chemical formula for zinc oxide


Minerals Or Chemicals, That Is The Question

This is an excellent question and it has been posed many times by our customers, and is indicative of the confusion surrounding the antiquated information on the internet referencing Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

The not so simple and sometimes confusing answer, is they can be considered both minerals and chemicals, actually!

Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as they are most commonly referred to, are physical sun blockers and are widely considered minerals in their purist form, yet to be thoroughly accurate, they are inorganic chemical compounds with varying chemical properties depending on which application they are used for. The pure form of the chemical elements found in our periodic table, Titanium (Dioxide) and Zinc (Ore "zincite" ) Oxide are typically known to create the chemical formulas of TiO2 and ZnO. Furthermore, TD and ZO are never and cannot be used directly from the ground in their raw mineral form. They must go through a synthetic chemical process to purify and alter the mineral structure, whereby now providing the creation of the aforementioned chemical compounds we find in mineral makeup and other products today.

zinc-ore-or-zincite.jpgThe most popular versions of Titanium Dioxide that are used today in sunscreens are Anatase and Rutile forms. So, a distinction needs to be made and the fact is, anatase nano-TiO2 is more photocatalytic than the rutile form, and nanoscale rutile is less photoreactive than either anatase and rutile mixtures or anatase alone as provided by the EPA in their 2010 final report on safety of Titanium Dioxide use in sunscreens. This means the "anatase" version has been shown to cause an increase in certain skin cancers and the "rutile" version has been found to be safer for sunscreens and not photocatalytic on skin even in the nano-scale version.

"Rutile" TiO2 (non-nano) is the version we use in all of our mineral makeup products. We also provide further stability to our titanium dioxide through encapsulation with Methicone copolymer, and Jojoba Oil is added into our foundation formulas which vastly reduces fly away in the mineral powders.

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