Zinc: An Essential Vitamin for Our Skin

This mineral is extremely important for skin health as well as for the rest of the body. Zinc is an important trace mineral that people need to stay healthy. Of the trace minerals, this element is second only to iron in its concentration in the body.

Many of the body’s enzymes rely on it to function correctly. Skin cells, in particular, rely on zinc for its array of different properties -- so much that many skin related issues are said to have a possible link to a zinc deficiency. It is also often used to help treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and aging skin, not only because it has healing properties but also because it’s full of anti-inflammatory properties too.

Zinc is also such a versatile mineral that it is often used to help with numerous conditions including male infertility, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, high blood pressure, the common cold, arthritis, osteoporosis and many more.

The healing and protective properties in this mineral offer beauty rewards you may have never expected:

Though not technically an antioxidant (like vitamins C and E), zinc is a key part of your skin’s dietary defense squad. The mineral lessens the formation of damaging free radicals and protects skin's lipids (fats) and fibroblasts (the cells that make collagen, your skin’s support structure) when skin is exposed to UV light, pollution and other skin-agers.

Drive Away Zits
Pimples develop when a buildup of oil, bacteria and skin cells block pores, causing the skin around the pore to turn red, swollen and tender. Zinc -- which boosts immune function -- may help control that inflammatory response. In a Swedish dermatological study, doctors found that the severity of acne lesions decreased from 100 percent to 15 percent in patients receiving 12 weeks of treatment with zinc sulfate (taken orally).

Heal Rashes and Other Sores
Zinc oxide is a common ingredient in hemorrhoid treatments and diaper rash creams. It helps heal skin in many of the same ways dietary zinc does: reduces inflammation, regulates immunity and may stimulate the production of new cells. It’s also an anti-microbial, which can soothe and treat skin quickly. So next time you shop for topical treatments to help a rash or sore, scan the ingredient list for zinc oxide.

Clear Up Dandruff and Relieve an Itchy Scalp
Dandruff occurs when a common fungus that lives on the scalp grows out of control. The resulting irritation and inflammation causes skin cells to flake off and the scalp to become irritated and itchy. Zinc pyrithione not only helps control the growing bacteria, but also reduces the amount of oil that it feeds on, while its anti-inflammatory properties calm irritation and relieve itchiness.

Help Heal Cuts and Wounds
Zinc deficiency slows the healing of cuts and infections. Getting enough from the foods we eat or taking a zinc supplement is essential to protect our skin. However, topical use of zinc appears to be better at treating skin wounds than oral therapy.

The Safest Sunblock
Zinc oxide is an effective way to protect your skin from the sun and prevent skin cancer because it acts as a reflective shield, creating a physical barrier between your skin and the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Prevent and Treat Stretch Mark
Zinc is linked with the body’s ability to heal wounds, produce collagen and keep skin healthy. Those who consume sufficient amounts of zinc are said to recover from stretch marks quicker and more effectively than those who are deficient in this mineral. Pregnant women, in particular, have a tendency to suffer from low levels of zinc because a large percentage of their own nutrients are being used by the fetus.

photo: vitaminsestore.com

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