Zinc: The Other ‘Z’ Word

This post is long overdue.  It probably should’ve been one of the first posts for acne relief.  The amazing acne benefits of taking zinc supplement regularly are well known to many zit hoarders, but there are those who aren’t aware.  I sure didn’t know until a year and a half ago after suffering for decades.

Among other benefits, zinc supplements will aid in wound healing, dandruff, dermatitis issues, strengthen the immune system and help fight symptoms of the common cold.  Most importantly, zinc helps heal zits, reduce acne inflammation and reduce the hormonal effects on skin that activates the oil glands.  Say What?!  My skin has definitely become less oily since adding zinc into my routine.

Zinc is an essential mineral that can be naturally present in some foods (oysters, red meat, veal, some seeds).  If you’re not getting enough zinc in foods, a supplement is your friend.  You can get it in pill form, nasal sprays, gels or lozenges.  Pay attention to the labels because zinc supplements come in several forms; zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate and zinc acetate.  The percentage of elemental zinc varies by form.

A daily intake of zinc is necessary to maintain a steady level because the body has no specialized zinc storage system.  The body needs around 8-11 mg of zinc, but the recommended dosage of zinc is 50mg.  That is because the body only absorbs a portion of the zinc that is ingested (approximately 20-40%).  Taking too much of zinc can be harmful (100 mg+).  A zinc overdose will not allow iron, copper and magnesium to metabolize properly, can reduce your metabolism and weaken your immune system.  Taking zinc on an empty stomach (without food) will make you incredibly nauseous.  I did this a long time ago and believe me, I was miserable.

My acne fighting regimen includes a lot of supplements; zinc, multivitamin and fish oil (currently liquid form).  It isn’t easy to take all of them and it isn’t easy to accept that I have to take all of them.  The temporary annoyance of taking three supplements completely outweighs the emotional headache of the zit that follows if I don’t.

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