Zinc should be included in any healthy daily regimen, but zinc supplements are particularly good for treating inflamed acne (acne vulgaris, cystic or hormonal acne). While zinc alone is not likely to clear acne, when taken in combination with vitamin A and selenium, we have seen dramatic results with our patients. There is a long list of reasons why zinc is an effective acne treatment:
- Zinc is an important anti-inflammatory for the skin. Inflammation is one of the causes of acne.
Zinc helps with the metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids which also helps reduce inflammation!
Zinc is naturally antibacterial that reduces the effect of bacteria on the skin!
Zinc is an important antioxidant for the skin!
Zinc helps to break down substance P, the nerve chemical that causes sebum production when the body is stressed!
Zinc is responsible for transporting Vitamin A, an anti-acne, liver nutrient!
Zinc helps apoptosis, programmed cell death which is a natural part of your skin being renewed. If apoptosis is delayed, as in the case of zinc deficiency, the skin cells stick instead of dying and sloughing as they should, which leads to clogged pores!
Zinc reduces the activation of keratinocytes. Keratinocytes are cells that produce keratin, a resistant protein that binds skin cells. Too much keratin prevents the cells from separating and leads to blocked pores, as is the case in acne. By reducing keratin, zinc helps keep pores open.
Zinc from food.
People with acne often have low levels of zinc in their system. Approximately 30 – 45 mg per day is the therapeutic dose of elemental zinc for acne, but this is not necessarily easy to achieve through diet alone. If you eat a lot of meat, and do not eat grains or beans a lot, then you might not have to supplement. Meats, crabs and oysters are the best foods for zinc absorption. More is not better, just need enough.
Zinc occurs naturally in beans, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, whole grains, but most of the zinc in these foods is not absorbed because of low bioavailability. If you mainly eat whole grains and beans for zinc, you could actually be more at risk for zinc deficiency because these foods contain phytates that bind minerals like zinc and prevent them from absorbing them.
Signs of zinc deficiency.
Zinc deficiency is common, affecting almost a quarter of the world. Here are some common signs:
- White spots on your fingernails.
- Dry skin.
- Frequent colds.
- Hair loss.
- Low sex drive.
Zinc Supplements for Acne
Zinc helps to improve most of the causes of acne. When zinc is taken in combination with other vitamins, minerals and herbs for acne, it just might be the missing link you need. We recommend the Vitamedica Healthy Skin supplement and in cases of more severe acne, the slightly stronger Clear Skin Formula Daily Packs that contain 24 mg of Zinc with better bioavailability like Amino Acid Chelate.
Jessica has been a medical beautician, certified trainer for acne and healing diets since 2003. Like many, she fought against acne and was frustrated with an endless cycle that cleared and then returned. He decided to find a way to clear acne without pharmaceuticals. Today, it offers a complete acne regimen – combining proven products, natural supplements and lifestyle changes – with a 90% success rate. Her natural acne clinic just outside of Denver, Colorado and she also offers virtual treatment programs for people across the country.