Zinc – healthcare, cosmetics and Covid

Zinc – healthcare, cosmetics and Covid

Zinc ‘indications’ – the US National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) systematic review on zinc supplements following trials in 2021, showed benefits in viral respiratory infections, which is of interest to the pharmaceutical sector. Zinc also remains popular in cosmetics.

Zinc is known to support the immune system, particularly against viruses, however this additional specific ‘indication’ could go as far as preventing and treating respiratory infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 (ScienceDirect).

  • The review consisted of 28 random controlled trials of 5,446 participants (adults up to the age of 65) who had already acquired a viral respiratory infection or were inoculated with a rhinovirus.
  • In the majority of the trials, zinc was provided in the form of zinc acetate or gluconate lozenges at total daily doses of 45mg to 300mg for up to two weeks. Some of the trials used nasal sprays or gels instead.
  • In the participants that were given the supplement, their symptoms resolved up to two days sooner than those that received the placebo.

In addition to zinc’s ability to enhance the immune system, it is beneficial in the treatment of severe medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, and Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (Anglo American, 2021).


Zinc oxide market segments

Zinc oxide’s (ZnO) primary use is in galvanizing (60%), for which we expect demand to grow strongly. Zinc oxide (ZnO) demand in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals (exhibit 1) will, in our view, also drive demand growth.


Exhibit 1 –Zinc Oxide (ZnO) usage by industry 2020A

Exhibit 1 –Zinc Oxide (ZnO) usage by industry 2020ASources: ACF Equity Research Graphics; CAS, Chem Analyst 2014


Zinc’s cosmetic uses

Zinc oxide can occur naturally as mineral zincite, but for its use in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals it is produced synthetically by electrolyzing a solution of sodium bicarbonate with a zinc anode – formed into a powder.

Zinc oxide is an essential ingredient in personal care products such as foot powders, makeup, bath soaps, baby lotions, as well as sunscreens and antiseptic ointments. In healthcare, usage is currently dominated by supplements.

The global dietary supplements market is forecast to reach US$ 128.64bn in 2028E up from $71.81bn in 2021A, a CAGR of 8.68% (Fortune business insights forecast, 2021).


Zinc market growth expectations

ACF Equity Research projects that the global zinc oxide market will reach US$ 7.58bn by 2030E, up from 4.2bn in 2020A at a CAGR of 6%. Our zinc oxide market growth expectations are in part influenced by the continuous increase in ZnO applications in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors.


Exhibit 2 –ZnO market size forecast 2018A – 2030E

Exhibit 2 -ZnO market size forecast 2018A - 2030ESources: ACF Equity Research Estimates; Expert Market Research; Verified Research; Research and Markets



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