Zinc oxide (ZnO) is an inorganic and insoluble compound that is mainly used as an additive in various products such as rubber, ceramics, paints, lubricants, foods, batteries, plastics, first-aid tapes, antiseptic creams, cosmetic creams, and medical substances. One of the major applications of zinc oxide is its usage in creams, ointments, and lotions to protect human skin against sunburn and harmful UV rays. Zinc oxide also finds application in treatment of a number of skin conditions and is widely used in products such as anti-dandruff shampoos, calamine creams, anti-septic ointments, baby care powder, and barrier creams for treating diaper rashes. Owing to the high refractive index, antibacterial properties, UV protection properties, and high thermal conductivity, zinc oxide has a vast application in personal and cosmetics industry.

Increasing investments in research and development initiatives, rising penetration of zinc oxide in various end-user industries such as rubber industry, ceramics, personal care and others, coupled with significant physiochemical attributes such as UV protection that provides protection from sunburn when used in sunscreen creams and lotions and antibacterial properties that aid any cuts or skin diseases are the major factors driving the demand for zinc oxide globally. On the other hand, high concentrations of zinc oxide leads to toxicity concerns, which is expected to restrain the growth of global zinc oxide market.

Zinc Oxide Market Taxonomy

By End-Use Industry

The Global market can be segmented on the basis of end-use industry:

  • Rubber
  • Personal Care and Cosmetics
  • Hair care
  • Skin care
  • Color cosmetics
  • Toiletries
  • Others (Face Powder, Talcum Powder, etc.)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • First-aid tapes
  • Antiseptic creams
  • Dental cements
  • Others (Dietary Supplements, etc.)
  • Electronics
  • Chemicals
  • Glass & Ceramics
  • Agriculture
  • Others (Food, Paints & Coatings, Power Generation, etc.)

By Production Methods

The global market can be classified on the basis of production methods:

  • Direct process
  • Indirect process
  • Laboratory synthesis
  • Wet chemical process
  • ZnO nanostructures

Rubber industry contributes a major share to the zinc oxide market. However, in recent times, zinc oxide has gained significant traction in the booming personal care and cosmetics industry. Owing to its non-toxic property, zinc oxide is widely used in products such as baby lotions, talcum powder, nail care products, body soaps, and makeup products. It has a significant application in sunscreen lotions and creams in specific concentrations, attributed to its ability to provide wide protecting spectrum from UV rays and remains scattered on the skin without getting absorbed in the blood.

Zinc Oxide Market Outlook – Flourishing Cosmetics Industry Positioning Asia Pacific as Key Market

Based on the regional outlook, zinc oxide market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. The market in Asia Pacific is projected to exhibit robust growth during the forecast period (2016-2024), owing to burgeoning growth of the personal care products and cosmetics market in the region. Europe is expected to account for a favorable share in the global zinc oxide market due to the government’s approval on using zinc oxide market in beauty and skin care products. Approval and usage of zinc oxide in sunscreen products in U.S. is expected to drive the growth of market in North America. The study by Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety concluded that application of zinc oxide does not pose risk of adverse effect in humans when used at a concentration up to 25% in UV protection creams. Therefore, the approval for usage of zinc oxide in skin care products in Europe and North America will shoot up the demand for global market of zinc oxide.

Some of the key players operating in zinc oxide market are Croda International, Symrise, Merck KGaA, Umicore SA, Showa Denko, G.H. chemicals Ltd., Advanced Nano Technologies Ltd., Weifang Longa Zinc Industry Co. Ltd., and others. Major manufacturers in the global zinc oxide industries are focusing on research and development activities along with organic growth to gain a competitive advantage and expand their global presence. With the approval of application of zinc oxide in UV filter products in Europe, Croda International has gained a wider opportunity of tapping the larger consumer base with its products.

Other companies operating in zinc oxide market include Nano Labs, Sigma Aldrich Company LLC, American Elements, and US Research Nanomaterials Inc.

Key Development

Several players in zinc oxide market are engaged on developing organic and inorganic growth strategies such as plant capacity expansion, merger and acquisition in order to enhance their global presence. For instance,

  • In May 2015, U.S. Zinc, manufacturer and supplier of zinc oxide, zinc metal, zinc dust and zinc fines, expands its zinc oxide production in China by 9000 metric tons per year. The expansion enables the U.S. Zinc to cater to the specialty zinc oxide markets.
  • In September 2017, Zinc Oxide LLC, manufacturer of zinc oxide, acquired Zochem, a subsidiary of American Zinc Recycling LLC. Through this acquisition, Zinc Oxide LLC, aim to be the leading supplier of zinc oxide in North America.
  • In January 2019, EverZinc Group, one of the leading company in zinc chemicals production, acquired G.H. Chemicals Ltd., and Microzinc Inc., referred as “GHC”, a manufacturer and exporter of French Process Zinc Oxide products, to meet the growing demand of zinc chemicals in North America.
  • EverZinc Group also invested in zinc oxide to increase its production from 55 KT to 85 KT in December 2019, through new production lines and company acquisitions.
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