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Everything You Need to Know About Zinc and Your Skin

by Ariana Rojas

Everything You Need to Know About Zinc and Your Skin

You may be familiar with zinc from seeing it on your sunscreen lotions, acne treatments, or makeup products. Most zinc sources are all-natural extracted from the mineral zincite, but you may also find that zinc can be produced synthetically through chemical processing. Zinc is known best as a sunscreen agent and is FDA approved.

What Is Zinc?

Zinc is found in cells throughout the body and is a nutrient that is essential to our health. Some of its functions include helping the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses, healing wounds, assisting in DNA/protein growth, and developing children.

Daily consumption of zinc is vital to maintain health since zinc is not stored for long periods in the body. If your body has a zinc deficiency, you may also start to experience hair loss, eye and skin sores, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Our skin's top layer contains more zinc than any layer underneath, which is why topical use of zinc and supplementing with the mineral can support the growth of new, healthy skin cells.

Benefits of Zinc for Our Skin

Zinc Oxide is derived from zinc. Zinc protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Every ingredient in your sunscreen may not protect you from the sun's damaging rays, but zinc Oxide sure will. Let's look at the benefits of this skin-protecting mineral.

Antimicrobial

The antimicrobial factors help to heal wounds more quickly.

non-comedogenic

Meaning zinc is oil-free and will not clog pores.

sun protection

Protecting your skin against the sun. It is one of the most effective sun protectors available, blocking out both short and long UVA rays and UVB rays.

it's great for all skin types

Since zinc oxide is used as a skin protectant, it rarely irritates the skin. Meaning, all skin types can use zinc oxide—even on those with susceptible skin.

Protecting skin from sun damage such as erythema to premature aging is one of zinc's magic powers. It is naturally inert, making it an excellent sun filter for children or anyone with extremely sensitive or reactive skin. 

Because zinc acts as an enzyme cofactor, it assists in DNA repair and collagen synthesis, which helps to achieve younger and healthier-looking skin.

How to Use It

Using zinc for your skin can help when it's taken both internally and externally. As mentioned earlier, taking zinc taken orally can help heal wounds, reduce inflammation, and improve inflammatory conditions such as acne. Zinc oxide, as mentioned earlier, can most commonly be found in your sunscreen products and works as a popular sun filter, also popular in spot treatments by reducing redness/swelling, drying out wet blemishes, and preventing active spots from further infection by physically separating them from the environment. Zinc applied topically is most effective when sitting on the top layer of the skin, so the method of application matters. Gently pat/press product into the skin, making sure that all sun-exposed areas are evenly covered.

Making sure you are consuming foods with the right amount of zinc is the best way to ensure healthy skin. Your body does a much better job absorbing vitamins and minerals that come from food than from any other form.

Supplementing is an excellent source of zinc. However, it's always important to talk to your physician before incorporating this supplement into your routine.

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