Featured Articles ➔
Is Zinc Good for Your Skin or Can It Cause Skin Problems?
Supplements are always present in my diet because I know I don’t always eat healthy foods for my body. I always make sure, however, that I get enough information on those supplements so that I don’t get unwanted side effects. Recently, I’ve been doing my research to try to answer the question “is zinc good for your skin?”
- What is zinc deficiency?
- How to prevent zinc deficiency
- Types of zinc products
- Zinc benefits and side effects for the skin
What is zinc deficiency?
Many of our body functions rely on zinc intake. Pregnant women have to increase their dose of zinc to help the baby grow healthy and develop all its bodily functions. Zinc deficiency is often noticeable in individuals with a weak immune system or a lack of appetite. Other symptoms that suggest zinc deficiency are hair loss, irritability, and rough or dry skin.
These symptoms may be associated with other medical conditions as well, but if you generally have dry skin and frail hair, it might help to add more zinc-rich products to your daily diet.
How to prevent zinc deficiency
Several activities can lead to zinc losses. Usually, zinc and other minerals are lost through water being eliminated from the body. Thus, physical exercises, frequent urination, diarrhea, and alcohol consumption can cause severe zinc deficiencies.
To prevent them, it is recommended to incorporate zinc-rich products into our diets. Meat, especially veal and chicken, is at the top of the list when it comes to foods that are high in zinc. On the second spot, we have lentils and beans, a very rich source of protein, as well. Finally, seeds and nuts also have large amounts of zinc mineral and it is recommended to consume them as often as possible.
Drinking mineral water while practicing sports and generally staying hydrated will help prevent zinc and other mineral deficiencies. For even better results, you can also drink electrolyte-enriched water and eat protein bars.
Types of zinc products
Zinc supplements often come in the form of pills. They may be consumed as they are or combined with other minerals and vitamins, such as magnesium, vitamin C, or hyaluronic acid, which can also help in treating skin problems. If you don't need zinc intake, but have mild skin problems that can be treated externally, you should probably use zinc-based creams.
Zinc creams or lotions are applied locally. Results depend a lot on the way they are applied. Zinc-based skin products should only be gently tapped on the skin and left to dry. Zinc creams have a rough consistency and they usually leave the skin whiter where they have been applied.
Zinc benefits and side effects for the skin
If we look up zinc in the medical dictionary, we will see that it is an anti-inflammatory mineral. This means, among other things, that zinc helps heal wounds faster. This is the reason why many products used to treat burns and surgical wounds contain zinc.
Due to its ability to treat skin wounds, zinc is also beneficial for the treatment of acne. Dermatologists recommend patients to apply zinc lotion or cream on the affected areas because it helps dry and calm the eruption.
Zinc is also dermatologists’ first choice when it comes to sunscreen lotions. The mineral blocks UVA-UVB rays and is, therefore, highly recommended for fair skin that gets easily sunburnt. Again, zinc-based sunscreen lotion is applied by tapping it on the skin to ensure maximum protection.
Similar to other God-given remedies, zinc, too, has its disadvantages. Let’s see what the side effects are.
The daily intake of zinc is usually small (8 mg). The daily dose can be increased, depending on each individual’s needs, but only under medical supervision.
Taking a larger amount of zinc can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Moreover, the side effects could be very much similar to those of zinc deficiency. You might start to lose hair and develop skin eruptions.
The best solution, therefore, to maintain the optimal levels of zinc in your body, is to eat as many zinc-rich foods as possible. If you still want to increase the daily intake of zinc, you can take general supplements and vitamins that contain zinc, as well.
For clearer skin, it is best if you use zinc lotions or creams. Make sure you apply them after cleansing your face with a natural, gentle face wash. Many skin problems are alleviated by simply using the correct face cleansers. Particularly if your skin is sensitive, be very careful when choosing your face wash.
I would add that your skin will benefit more from the use of zinc-based products if you also apply a zinc purifying mask once a week. If you have oily skin or acne, you might want to apply a gentle peeling product to help unclog the pores. Finish the treatment with a zinc or mineral-rich serum to close the pores and tighten the skin.
Zinc is a wonder product for problematic skin. It helps prevent skin breaks, sunburns, and even skin cancer. Yet, it is important to take the appropriate dose of zinc for your needs and not exaggerate. Doctors and dermatologists are the ones who can determine what type of zinc product you should use, so make sure you get checked before starting the treatment.