Almost everyone who has ever had a skin condition or problem will have likely heard of zinc. Used to treat skin conditions for centuries, this trace element – called so because we require so little of it – is found in every cell in your body.
Zinc is widely used topically in the treatment of a range of dermatological conditions across acne, eczema and nappy rash, and often the primary ingredient in dandruff treatment and prevention – but does the evidence stack up?
A recent article “Zinc in skin pathology and care” published in the Journal Of Dermatological Treatment concluded;
“It seems that with the exception of systemic deficiency states, there is very little evidence to convincingly demonstrate the efficacy of zinc as a first‐line treatment for any dermatological conditions.”
In other words, unless your skin condition is caused be a lack of zinc, there is no conclusive evidence that it is an effective therapy. “Zinc Therapy in Dermatology: A Review” reached a similar conclusion, while noting that a number of skin conditions did improved with topical zinc treatment, but required more extensive studies, concluding that zinc “best be used as an adjuvant to established treatment modalities.”
Translation – there is isn’t conclusive evidence that it works, but it’s generally safe and can be used alongside other treatments.
What is accepted science is clear: Zinc is an essential micronutrient required for the normal function of skin, as well as being involved in regulating immune function, wound repair, thyroid function and number of essential reactions and functions within the body.
A balanced, nutrient-rich diet will allow skin to function optimally, and I recommend incorporating zinc into your diet from plant-based sources. Ascension Kitchen has put together some key sources of dietary zinc for you to consider:
Do you boost your diet with zinc-rich sources, or do you supplement with capsule, pill or powder-form cruelty-free zinc? Let us know in the comments below!
Author: Ben Saravia – www.bensaravia.com
Ben is a vegan chef & nutrition expert, with a career in the fitness industry spanning over 10 years.
With a degree in biotechnology, a Certificate 4 in Personal Training and qualifications in Training & Education, Ben approaches his clients with an in-depth scientific insight and understanding of body transformation through food and targeted exercise.
Ben is also the co-founder of Vegan Skin Care, a website dedicated to unbiased, research-based and relevant information on skin health for all.