When you’re learning the A-Z of glow-boosting vitamins and minerals for the skin, you should be brushing up on zinc. Don’t be fooled by it being last on the list, zinc packs a serious punch.
Besides supporting the body’s immune system, zinc has a bit of a reputation for being a show-off in the skincare world, and so has found its way into a range of skincare products. So, let’s take a look at why you need zinc for your skin.
Zinc Benefits for Skin
Firstly, zinc is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. If you’ve got irritated skin thanks to some very unwelcome acne or dryness, take notes. If you’ll let us get a bit geeky for a second, zinc slows the release of inflammatory proteins called cytokines. Less cytokines means less inflammation.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory nature, zinc can also control flare-ups of acne by reducing the usual redness that comes along with nasty pimples. As a little acne-fighting bonus, zinc also reduces keratin which clogs pores. It’s a clever little cookie, isn’t it?
Zinc also brings along some pretty fantastic anti-ageing benefits. It is an essential nutrient for boosting collagen and elastin production. And if you’re not new here, you know that means plumper, more youthful-looking skin. Collagen is produced by zinc-dependent enzymes called collagenases so yes, it is quite important for that juicy glow.
You’ve probably heard of antioxidants, but what are they really? Well, they fight off free radicals that can break down collagen production and yup, you guessed it, zinc is one of them!
You’ve also probably heard people refer to zinc in the sun protection realm. When paired with oxygen, zinc oxide is formed, which shields the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, making it more effective than chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens (those that contain zinc oxide) are also less irritating, but we’ll talk more about why we love them in a bit.
As a little fun fact, zinc oxide also creates a protective layer around the skin, preventing transepidermal water loss which is a fancy term to describe when skin moisture is lost to the environment. This keeps the skin hydrated and prevents premature ageing.
How to Incorporate Zinc into Your Life
Okay, so now that we’ve definitely sold you on the benefits of zinc for the skin (Right...Right?), let's get to the important stuff: how do you reap those sweet benefits?
Zinc in Skincare
When applied topically, zinc has some killer sun protection, which is why it is the active ingredient in our Skin Shield Natural Sunscreen. It creates a barrier that protects the skin from UV rays. The zinc oxide also helps to repair, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. Yes, it really is that amazing. Want a double dose of zinc? Our coverage products even the skin tone, while calming and healing damaged skin. Try our Liquid Mineral Foundation, Loose Mineral Foundation or the Mineral BB Cream for a gorgeous sheer coverage. Who said you couldn’t combine makeup and skincare?
Including Zinc in Your Diet
Our bodies are pretty amazing but unfortunately, can’t produce zinc or store it for long periods of time. That’s why eating foods high in zinc is going to be your ticket to glowing skin town (we love it there). You should be aiming for about 8 milligrams of zinc a day. Getting there means getting friendly with foods like chicken, red meat, milk, cheese and eggs. For all you lovely vegans out there, legumes like chickpeas and lentils are a great option.
Keep in mind, the body needs proteins rich in amino acids to absorb zinc effectively. That means fish, mushrooms and quinoa. Get cooking, lovely!
Zinc Supplement for the Skin
If you’re looking for an extra zinc boost (hey, we don’t blame you - it’s hard not to love it) skin supplements are a great option. Find a supplement packed with zinc to calm and heal the skin.
If you ever need any extra convincing to join the zinc fan club, chat to one of our Skin Experts and they’ll answer any questions you may have.