Zinc does a lot of goods things in our bodies. It is required for the activity of many enzymes and proteins, supports our immune system and our sense of smell and taste. For acne, Zinc has been shown through scientific research to reduce the severity by up to 50% in some studies(1).
It is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants reduce inflammation and inflammatory damage to sebum is one of the root causes of acne.
It helps keeps pores from becoming blocked by reducing the production of keratin. Keratin is the tough protein that binds skin cells together (the hard stuff on the soles of our feet). Too much keratin prevents skin cells from separating into small chunks and instead it sheds in sheets and blocks pores.
It is a DHT blocker and reduces the effect of hormones on the skin. DHT blockers reduce the amount of sebum (skin oil) the skin produces. Sebum sticks the skin sheets together & blocks pores.
It tempers the inflammatory response to bacteria. When bacteria breed within a blocked pore they cause irritation and inflammation (our pimples turn red and painful). Studies have shown that acne-prone skin reacts far more strongly to bacteria than normal skin. Zinc lessens this reaction.
Do you need more Zinc in your life?
Clinical data shows that people who suffer from acne are generally zinc deficient. On average people with acne have 24% lower zinc levels than those without acne(2).
The optimal dosage of zinc for acne has not yet been agreed in scientific circles, the RDA varies depending on age, sex and other factors but is around 11mg/day in healthy adult males . Several studies showing good results for acne have used between 30mg/day and 50mg/day of elemental zinc. This is A LOT of Zinc to obtain from food (Oysters contain the most Zinc (on average 16.6mg) so you would need to eat a lot of Oysters a day every day to get the correct elemental amount. Pumpkin seeds contain 7.64 mg per 100 g which makes them a good snack choice.
Not surprisingly supplementation is a good and easier alternative.
One thing to note with supplements - elemental Zinc and the stated amount of Zinc in a supplement may not be the same thing - check the label!
About 28 Day Skin
28 Day Skin is a daily therapy programme that eliminates acne-causing bacteria at the source to clear pimples, restore the skins natural balance and help prevent breakouts.
(1) Multicenter Randomized Comparative Double-Blind Controlled Clinical Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of Zinc Gluconate versus Minocycline Hydrochloride in the Treatment of Inflammatory Acne vulgarisDermatology 2001;203:135-140. Dreno et al.
(2) Ozuguz et al. Evaluation of serum vitamins A and E and zinc levels according to the severity of acne vulgaris. Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2013 Jul 5 Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology Volume 33, 2014 - Issue 2