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Zinc oxide and matrix metalloprotienase (MMP) activity
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cd33
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Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:11 am      Reply with quote
Matrix metalloprotienases are enzymes which degrade collagen and elastin. They are activated by sun exposure and inflammation, among other things. A lot of topical anti-aging ingredients work by inhibiting matrix metalloprotienases (MMPs).

Zinc oxide is a main ingredient in mineral based sunscreens. Wearing sunscreen is good since blocking ultraviolet light prevents DNA damage, inflammation and subsequent activation of MMPs.

BUT zinc oxide has been shown to increase MMP activity in wound healing (which is good since MMP activity is needed for wound healing; there is a reason for the existence of these enzymes in the skin, after all). Zinc is a necessary cofactor for MMPs.

My questions are:

-Do zinc oxide based sunscreen products increase MMP activity in skin NOT exposed to sunlight? (Not comparing MMP activity between sun exposed skin with or without zinc oxide sunscreen)

-Should this be a factor when deciding to use a mineral based sunscreen or chemical based sunscreen?
Pandax12
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Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:49 am      Reply with quote
Big difference in healthy unexposed skin and wounded skin. I see no issue here.
cd33
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Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:31 am      Reply with quote
Thanks for your input, Pandax12.

Your assertion seems reasonable.

After trying again to find a study that has tested the effects of topical ZnO on MMP activity in healthy skin, I turned up more recent studies which directly contradict the the old information summarized in the first post. One newer article reports that ZnO actually acts as an MMP inhibitor and that is the mechanism by which ZnO enhances wound healing.

Souza, A.P., Line, S.R.P. The biology of matrix metalloproteinases. Rev Fac Odont Bauru. 2002;10:1–6.
"The precise
functions of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in wound healing
are still controversial."

So this is a non-issue.
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Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:19 pm
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