Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

By edit
Face care
By concern
Stage of skin aging
Body care
Skin diagnostic
All Topics
Gluconate de zinc dangers.

Zinc Gluconate: Side Effects and Contraindications?

Zinc gluconate is an active ingredient often incorporated in cosmetic care products or dietary supplements. This form of zinc indeed has numerous benefits for the skin and hair, and is particularly renowned for its anti-inflammatory and mattifying effects. However, one might wonder if the topical application or oral intake of zinc gluconate has any side effects and if there are any contraindications. Find some answers to these questions in this article.

Published February 23, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

What is Zinc Gluconate?

Zinc is a naturally occurring mineral element that is essential for the growth and development of the body's tissues. Moreover, it plays a role in numerous enzymatic reactions, including the metabolism of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Present in small amounts in the human body, zinc stimulates the immune system. The body's zinc supply is primarily ensured by diet and sometimes by the intake of dietary supplements.

Zinc, being unstable, cannot be directly incorporated into cosmetic products. It is therefore transformed into zinc gluconate, whose chemical formula is C12H22O14Zn. This active ingredient is formed of two gluconate anions, each carrying a negative charge, for each zinc cation, carrying two positive charges. The zinc gluconate is primarily known for its anti-inflammatory properties and its matifying effects, making it a valuable ally for acne-prone skin.

However, these are not its only properties. Indeed, the zinc gluconate is also an excellent antioxidant, capable of protecting cells and tissues from oxidative stress and preventing their premature aging. Lastly, it's worth noting that this active ingredient is also incorporated into hair care products, due to its anti-dandruff properties and its inhibitory effect on hair loss.

What are the side effects and contraindications of zinc gluconate?

Zinc gluconate is typically available in the form of topical treatments, but can also be found as dietary supplements. There are no known adverse effects associated with the skin or hair application of zinc gluconate. This active ingredient is considered safe by European regulations (Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009). Zinc gluconate is incorporated at rates between 0.1 and 5% in skincare products because the zinc concentration should not exceed 1%. It's also worth noting that the topical application of zinc gluconate is not advised against for pregnant and/or breastfeeding women, and this active ingredient is not photosensitizing.

Regarding its oral intake, it's important to know that zinc gluconate rarely causes adverse effects when consumed in proportions recommended by physicians. Furthermore, while zinc gluconate intake is feasible for pregnant and/or breastfeeding women, we still recommend you to seek advice from your doctor beforehand. Among the rare side effects reported following the oral intake of zinc gluconate, we can mention abdominal pain, nausea, and skin rashes. It is generally recommended not to exceed 30 mg of zinc per day, which corresponds to 208 mg of zinc gluconate.

Furthermore, it is advised against consuming this active ingredient in conjunction with antibiotics from the cycline or quinolone families, digestive dressings, or medications containing calcium or iron. If this applies to you and you wish to take dietary supplements based on zinc gluconate, seek advice from your doctor so they can guide you and tell you if the combination you are considering is possible.

A clinical case has recently highlighted the dangers associated with excessive ingestion of zinc gluconate. For twelve months, a young woman consumed approximately 2000 mg of zinc gluconate daily. She subsequently developed a anemia corresponding to a copper deficiency induced by zinc and a severe nephrosis, which is a degenerative and non-inflammatory lesion of the kidney tissue. After discontinuing the ingestion of zinc gluconate, both the anemia and nephrosis resolved. This case underscores the importance of adhering to prescribed dosages when it comes to oral intake of a medication or dietary supplement, as zinc gluconate is a potent active ingredient.


  • HEIN M. Copper deficiency anemia and nephrosis in zinc-toxicity: a case report. South Dakota journal of medicine (2003).

  • ORTONNE J. P. Évaluation du potentiel photosensibilisant du gluconate de zinc. Annales de dermatologie et de vénéréologie (2008).


Understand your skin
and its complex needs.

Go further: