Zinc For Acne: Does It Help?
Usingzinc for acnehas been gaining plenty of traction of late, with some healthcare professionals and dermatologists recommending only zinc-based treatments for their patient's skin problems. On the other hand, there's a faction of skincare specialists who are adamant that not only are zinc acne products ineffective but also the mineral aggravates pimples and blackheads further. So, the million-pound question remains, does zinc help with acne? And if indeed it does, what is the best type of zinc for acne? Here's a detailed overview of that and more.
Exploring Zinc Benefits for Acne
Let's make it clear from the beginning that zinc is one of the essential minerals that the body needs to complete a number of crucial life-supporting processes. Some of the major ones include:
- Cell division
- Wound healing
- Protein and DNA synthesis
- Enzyme activity
- Immune system functioning
- Growth and development
But that aside, what does zinc do for acne? Well, there are two major ways in which zinc can treat acne or pimples: Topically in a serum or cream or orally through a swallowable supplement. Proponents of using zinc for hormonal acne mostly attribute its potency to its incredible anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects that could potentially pacify the angriest of acne lesions. Speaking of which, it is no surprise that these traits can also make zinc a worthwhile treatment for a range of other inflammatory skin problems such as eczema and rosacea.
There are also numerous studies which illustrate how taking supplements designed around availing zinc for cystic acne can also be beneficial in banishing blackheads and inflamed lesions.The evidence was so overwhelming that dermatologists began prescribing zinc in combination or formulation with other acne-bursting ingredients to reduce the severity of symptoms in their patients.
Thirdly, and most importantly, there are several findings that have linked zinc deficiency with more severe cases of acne vulgaris. In a way, the studies found a nexus between elevated skin problems and significantly low levels of zinc in the bloodstream of acne sufferers. In other words, you are more prone to breakouts and acne when you're suffering from a zinc deficiency. And it is quite easy to see why.
1. Zinc has Potent Antibacterial and Antiviral Properties
Acne vulgaris is primarily caused by the activity and proliferation of acne-causing bacteria on your skin. It then goes without saying that if we found a way of inhibiting, preventing or slowing down the multiplication of p.acnes, then we will have solved part of the equation associated with pimples and zits. By clamping down on how fast acne-aggravating pathogens can thrive on your face, zinc effectively and directly lowers your chances of dealing with breakouts.
2. Zinc Regulates the Production of Oil
Experts believe that zinc supplementation lowers one's propensity of developing breakouts and acne lesions by controlling how the skin exudes sebum for moisturization and protection against environmental aggressors. Apparently, acne-causing bacteria mostly thrive on the same sebum that the skin secretes to keep itself glowing and in excellent physical shape. That's the reason persons with extremely oily skin seem to struggle more with acne-related problems than their counterparts with moderate to less oily natural complexions. By regulating the amount of oil or sebum your pores secrete, in one way or another, zinc ensures that you have flawless skin and struggle less with breakouts.
3. Boosts the Skin's Ability to Heal Itself
Zinc has been observed to have unique skin-healing properties: it's no surprise that most topical ointments for dressing wounds notably contain zinc as one of the active ingredients in the formulation. While acne lesions are not necessarily physical wounds, the mechanism through which the body's internal self-repairing system employs to treat them remains largely the same. In simple terms, having a high zinc content is commensurate to a faster rate of your skin healing itself that then translates to lower incidences of breakouts and lesions.
Speaking of the skin's healing ability, ever wondered why zinc acne scars topical treatment tend to be more effective than conventional ones? It turns out that zinc is a critical cofactor in the enzymatic reaction involved in the protein synthesis required to fade scar tissue. It then follows that it is easier to rock an almost flawless complexion when your zinc levels are not bordering next to a serious deficiency.
4. Lowers Inflammation
Inflammation sits at the crux of any nasty acne episode that you have ever dealt with. So much that it would be virtually impossible for your skin to breakout if your tendency to develop inflammation is next to zero i.e all other factors are held constant. This is actually one of the most important but highly understated associations between zinc and acne. Intrinsically, it is also what makes taking zinc for cystic acne such a worthwhile consideration considering that inflammation is the genesis for these types of breakouts.
Do Zinc Pills Help Acne?
Now that we have answered the burning question, 'Can zinc help acne?', it is only fair to turn our attention to the various forms through which one can integrate zinc into their skincare regimen. One of the most popular ones that has been making rounds in the interwebs is supplementing with zinc pills. And this leads to yet another concern, does zinc supplements help acne?
Well, for starters, it's crucial to iron out the kinks and lay bare the facts. Taking zinc pills will only help stem your acne breakouts if you have already had a severe deficiency in this mineral in the first place. As far as this goes, vegetarians and vegans are the ones who are mostly at risk of being deficient in this essential nutrient considering that the mineral is commonly present in animal products such as lean beef, eggs and dairy.
Now, considering that the average American or Westerner who is not a strict vegetarian or a practicing vegan has many avenues through which zinc finds its way to their plate, it is safe to conclude that supplementing with standard nutritional-based zinc supplements will not help your complexion. What you do need, nonetheless, is a properly-formulated zinc-based acne treatment pills. Aside from just availing zinc, such pills come packed with a number of additional active ingredients that can kickstart the healing process that can finally put an end to your acne woes.
A good example of such helpful constituent elements that you can find in AENO's Perfect Skin Pills will include:
- Probiotics: They act as a natural detoxifying agent that can flush out toxins from your skin. Apart from battling premature aging, these probiotics prove helpful in reducing the incidences of breakouts and aid in managing extremely dry skin.
- Vitex:Extracted from the fabled chaste tree (Vitex Agnus-castus), this is yet another researched ingredient that has proven to be key in helping both men and women- who are prone to cystic acne breakouts - balance their androgen hormones.
- Niacinamide:A form of the highly essential vitamin B-3, Niacinamide targets acne by helping in the reconstruction of the skin cells which also shields your complexion against environmental aggressors such as pollution, common toxins, sunlight and the likes. It has also been observed to be quite remarkable in battling inflammatory acne forms such as pustules and papules. Overall, upping your intake of this vitamin is guaranteed to result in the improvement of one skin's texture and fewer acne lesions.
As you can see, it is not enough to take zinc for cystic acne if you desire flawless skin, especially if you have not been diagnosed with a zinc deficiency. You have to take it alongside a range of other beneficial ingredients that can fast track your progress to reaching your ultimate skin goals.
Zinc Dosage For Acne
Now that we have isolated the right type of zinc pills to take for your breakouts, one may wonder, how much zinc should I take for acne? Well, according to the manufacturers behind these revolutionary pills, that is solely dependent on the severity of your acne episodes. The recommended zinc dosage for acne will, therefore, revolve around one pill per day (for the mildest of breakouts) to upto six capsules a day for those battling extremely severe acne. Either way, remember that you will not just be taking zinc for your skin problems. On the contrary, you are cleansing your skin from inside out while also regulating your sebum production to keep acne at bay.
Does Zinc Cause Acne?
Now, to the major misconception that has seen many people shun zinc-based acne treatment: does zinc cause acne? No, doesn't. On the contrary, topical application zinc can potentially kill acne-causing Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. The mineral can also inhibit the growth and reproduction of latent bacteria when applied topically. Having said that, the reason most topical zinc ointments are not as effective as touted against inflammatory and cystic acne is because there's only so much that wiping off bacteria from your skin can do. For you to steer clear of regular breakout incidences, you require a combination of both the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of zinc plus the skin-healing properties of the mineral integrated into your system.
The only and best way to do this is adding zinc capsules to your wellness and skin care regimen. And there should not be just any standard zinc pills, you have to carefully select and go for one that's specifically fashioned to work against cystic and severe inflammatory acne episodes.
So, can too much zinc cause acne? Well, too much of anything is poison regardless of how beneficial it is when used sparingly. And that's why it is imperative to adhere strictly to the manufacturer's recommended daily dosage.
There's no refuting that zinc is incredibly beneficial for acne. However, as much topical application of zinc ointments appears to work for mild to moderate skin breakouts, it is largely ineffective against severe/inflammatory cystic acne episodes. You will have to find a way of integrating the mineral into your system for you to take maximum advantage of its unique skin-healing capabilities to fight the inflammation on a cellular level. That's where zinc-based acne pills come into the picture.