Zinc oxide (ZnO) is an inorganic compound between zinc and oxygen. It appears as a white powder that is insoluble in water, it can also be called zinc white.
When added to cream, zinc oxide will form a barrier over oily substances, allowing them to penetrate the skin and retain moisture. In addition, zinc oxide has astringent and mild antibacterial properties.
Zinc oxide is approved in EU countries as a physical UV filter in cosmetic products also as an alternative to chemical sunscreens. It works by forming a thin film on the skin and reflecting the sun's rays. Zinc oxide is also used as a concealer in make-up and theatre make-up.