Zinc is an important nutritious mineral found in our body that protects the immune system and metabolism function by fighting off harmful cells and bacteria.
This superstar mineral is also thought to help keep you healthy by reducing illnesses, preventing colds, and being extremely important for wound healing.
But zinc has also been studied for other medical concerns, too. It is actually one of the most studied elements for various skin concerns, including acne. Moreover;
It’s been proven that people with acne have up to 24% less zinc compared to people with healthy skin and this tells us that zinc deficiency can be associated with acne severity.
While our body usually gets enough zinc through a varied diet, some people may find temporary supplementation beneficial.
In this article, you’re going to find out about…
The 5 Key Benefits of Zinc For Your Skin:
1. It’s a powerful antioxidant
Zinc is a key part of your skin’s dietary defense squad. This powerful mineral fights the formation of damaging free radicals and decreases oxidative stress.
It protects the skin’s barrier against environmental aggressors and actively protects the fibroblast cells which are responsible for collagen production to support the structure of the skin and reduce premature signs of aging.
2. It helps heal rashes & sores
Zinc actively reduces inflammation by boosting the immune system to fight off harmful bacteria and diseases. It’s an anti-microbial agent, which helps to soothe and heal the skin rapidly.
It’s a common ingredient in hemorrhoid treatments and diaper rash creams, and researches show that zinc can effectively shorten the duration and reduce the severity of cold sores.
3. Relieves an itchy scalp and combats dandruff
Zinc pyrithione is often the active ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners.
Dandruff occurs due to fungal or yeast overgrowth and can result in moderate to severe inflammation of the skin. This causes the skin cells to flake off and expose the underlying skin to infections.
Zinc pyrithione not only helps control the fungal overgrowth but also reduces the amount of oil the yeast feeds on, while its anti-inflammatory properties soothe irritation and relieve itchiness.
4. It helps heal acne
Acne develops when a buildup of bacteria and dead skin cells accumulates inside the pore and prevents the sebum from coming out to the surface of the skin.
Acne can easily become inflamed, causing the surrounding skin to turn red, swollen, and itchy. By boosting the immune function, zinc can help control and reduce the inflammatory response.
It can also inhibit the overgrowth of the yeast malassezia that is the main cause behind fungal acne. You can read my other article on the difference between common bacterial acne and fungal acne here.
Zinc also regulates cellular turnover and can help reduce excess sebum production and prevent pores from clogging.
5. It provides excellent sun protection
Zinc oxide is a compound that contains zinc and the main ingredient in a physical sunscreen.
It acts as a physical barrier between the harmful UV rays and the skin, preventing them from penetrating deeper into the skin layer and demolishing the production of healthy cells.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, zinc oxide can help protect even the most sensitive skins without causing unwanted irritation.
Zinc & The Skin: Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Zinc Do You Really Need Daily?
According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements…
The daily recommended amount of zinc should be up to 12 mg in adults, including breastfeeding women, and 2-8 mg for children between the ages of 1-13 years old.
What Are The Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency?
Symptoms of zinc deficiency tend to be linked to the roles this mineral performs in the body. If you have some of the following symptoms, it may be an indication that you have a zinc deficiency:
Zinc is distributed throughout the cells in your body, and this can sometimes make it difficult to detect zinc deficiency through a simple blood test.
If you have symptoms that are causing you to be concerned about zinc deficiency, talk to your doctor and discuss a way to do an accurate reading.
Other tests for zinc deficiency may include a urine test and analysis of a strand of your hair.
The Types of Foods Rich in Zinc You Need To Eat
Before considering a dietary supplement of zinc for your health or skin concerns, keep a food log to determine whether you’re getting enough zinc through your diet.
As with other nutrients, your body can absorb zinc more effectively from the foods you’re eating rather than supplements or topical applications.
Here are some foods that are rich in zinc:
Does Zinc Have Side Effects?
Although zinc is nutritionally important, too much good isn’t always good. And as with everything, it is also possible to get too much zinc.
While there are no serious or life-threatening consequences from over intake of zinc and you can always lower your dose, watch out for the following symptoms:
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
The Acne Solution: Your Ultimate Guide To Flawless Complexion
An extensive, no-nonsense course showing you how to never have acne again, from a licensed Esthetician specializing in oily/acne-prone skin.