Zinc to fight acne

Zinc is an essential trace element for the skin, present in greater or lesser quantities in food, but also in several medicines and food supplements. If you have acne, zinc is often prescribed or advised.



How does zinc work in acne?

On a microscopic scale, zinc acts as a cofactor in many enzymatic reactions. Zinc has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and healing properties for the skin. If you have acne, zinc is beneficial because it has multiple benefits. This is why you should be careful to avoid any zinc deficiency, or even increase zinc intake, to fight against acne.

Zinc and acne, before and after

Keep in mind the use of zinc on spots rarely leads to spectacular, overnight results and the effect is generally observed after several months of treatment. Zinc’s impact on hormonal production or severe acne will be modest or even nil, as these are forms of acne that require specific treatments. Zinc-based acne treatment is often offered in addition to other acne treatments or during specific periods such as summer (as zinc is not photosensitizing) or pregnancy (as zinc is compatible with the second and third trimesters of pregnancy).

Where can I find zinc?

In cases of acne, zinc must first and foremost form a part of your diet! Zinc is found in foods of animal origin such as oysters, calf liver, most meats and shellfish. For vegetarians, the main sources of zinc are wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and most pulses.

There are several zinc-based acne medications available with or without prescription. A zinc cure for acne is achieved through daily intake of 30 mg of zinc over a period of at least three months. These medications should preferably be taken on an empty stomach and at a different time from other medications to limit the risk of interactions.

Many food supplements, some of which claim to impact the skin and acne spots, contain zinc but also other trace elements, vitamins and plants. Take the time needed to read the labels and ask a doctor or pharmacist for advice on how to safely take advantage of the benefits of zinc for acne.

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