Zinc PCA and zinc pyrithione are important ingredients that have many uses in different commercial products, such as skincare products.
What is Zinc PCA (Zinc Pyrrolidone Carboxylic Acid)?
Zinc PCA or zinc pyrrolidone carboxylic acid is a trace element that differs from zinc and is useful in treating pimples, breakouts, etc. It is also referred to as “zinc salt.” It is apparently highly effective against pimples and breakouts. Zinc PCA can reduce the redness and sebum secretion and support the usual healing process of the skin.
Zinc PCA is different from the zinc element, and it is useful in skincare in the form of zinc salts. These compounds have zinc in a more easily soluble way. This means that these are released easily when applied to the skin.
Moreover, PCA is an amino acid derivative that can occur naturally in the skin and is a part of the natural moisturizing factor. This factor is known for specific substances that are able to bind water. Here, the salts of PCA tend to bind water in the skin to reduce transepidermal water loss. This reason makes it useful in moisturizing and in cosmetics made for dry skin. The properties of zinc PCA can be described as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory medicine.
What is Zinc Pyrithione?
Zinc pyrithione or pyrithione zinc is a coordination complex of zinc. This compound has fungistatic and bacteriostatic properties, making it useful in treating seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. In other words, it can inhibit the division of fungal cells and bacterial cells.
The chemical formula of zinc PCA is C10H8N2O2S2Zn. The molar mass of this compound is 317.70 g/mol. It appears as a colorless solid, and its melting point of this solid is 240 degrees Celsius while it decomposes at higher temperatures. The solubility of zinc pyrithione in water is 8 ppm at pH=7.
The ligand that forms from pyrithione usually occurs as a monoanion. These ligands are chelated to Zn2+ via oxygen and sulfur centers. Moreover, in its crystalline state, this compound exists as a centrosymmetric dimer. In this dimer, the zinc is bound to two sulfur and three oxygen centers. However, when it occurs in a solution, these dimers tend to dissociate via the scission of one Zn-O bond. Furthermore, pyrithione can be described as the conjugated base that is derived from 2-mercaptopyridine-N-oxide, which is a derivative of Pyridine-N-oxide.
Zinc pyrithione is used in medicine, the manufacture of paints, sponges, clothing, etc. In the field of medicine, zinc pyrithione is useful in treating dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. This compound shows antibacterial properties and is effective against many pathogens that are coming from Streptococcus and Staphylococcus genera. There are some other medical uses, including the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, ringworm fungus, athlete’s foot, dry skin, atopic dermatitis, etc. Furthermore, there are uses of zinc pyrithione in paint manufacturing, where it can protect the surface from mildew and algae. Some household sponges are also made using zinc pyrithione due to its antibacterial properties. Similarly, zinc pyrithione is used in the textile industry in manufacturing clothing because of its antimicrobial properties.
What is the Difference Between Zinc PCA and Zinc Pyrithione?
Zinc PCA and zinc pyrithione are organic compounds belonging to different categories. The key difference between zinc PCA and zinc pyrithione is that zinc PCA is a carboxylic acid compound, whereas zinc pyrithione is a coordination complex.
The below infographic presents the differences between zinc PCA and zinc pyrithione in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Zinc PCA vs Zinc Pyrithione
Zinc PCA or zinc pyrrolidone carboxylic acid is a trace element that differs from zinc and is useful in treating pimples, breakouts, etc. Zinc pyrithione or pyrithione zinc is a coordination complex of zinc. The key difference between zinc PCA and zinc pyrithione is that zinc PCA is a carboxylic acid compound, whereas zinc pyrithione is a coordination complex.
1. “Skincare Guide for Acne Prone Skin – Zinc PCA.” System Akvile.