Okay, so I've suffered from acne for a good 9-10 years now. I am a 20-year-old female and I live in a humid, tropical country. I mostly get consistent, moderate acne and maybe one or two minor cysts before my period. The worst part about my acne is how consistent it is: no sooner do I get rid of one pimple does another one appear, either in the same or different part of my face. When I started getting treatment, at the age of 15, my acne looked like this:
- Thousands of large clogged pores on my forehead and nose, and a couple of inflamed pimples every month
- Consistent moderate inflamed pimples / one-two minor cysts on cheeks
And here is my treatment story, in chronological order:
1) Initially, I was put on doxycycline, tretinoin and BP for a few months. This worked very well and I was clear but the moment I went off the Doxy, the acne came back with a vengeance. In my teenage folly, I also slathered on way too much of the tretinoin and BP and that dried out my skin, making my skin flaky and gross on top of acne-prone.
2) Tretinoin and BP for 4-5 years and non-comedogenic makeup. This did not make my acne any worse, but certainly didn't make it any better. In any case I was going through my hormonal teenage years and because the derm said this was hormonal acne, we opted to wait it out instead of starting on birth control, and I did not want to do Accutane because of the possible side effects.
3) Another course of Doxy at the age of 19 (last year), along with the tretinoin and BP. Again, this was great in the short term, did zilch in the long run.
4) After I finished the doxy and was back on tretinoin and BP, I began wondering why exactly my skin had yet to clear up. I was still suffering hormonal outbreaks at an age where most other girls had gotten over the hyper-hormonal swings of the teenage years. So for the past year or so I began experimenting with other treatments in an effort to find and treat the root cause of my skin problems.
5) Firstly, I added a non-comedogenic mosturizer. This definitely helped a lot in improving the texture of my skin but did nothing for the acne. that meant that my acne was not just caused by dry skin clogging my pores.
6) Secondly, I visited a better dermatologist that basically told me to stop slathering on the tretinoin and BP, and to use very little of the tretinoin every other night, and I started using a well-formulated sunscreen with no irritating ingredients. Again, this did a lot for the texture and overall health of my skin but not much for the acne itself.
Now, I happened to read on the internet that vegetarians tend to be deficient in zinc, and that zinc deficiency may cause acne. And I am vegetarian so I figured I'd order some supplements off the internet and see what happens. I've been taking 30mg zinc (Now Foods - L-Optizinc) for 3 days and these are the first three days I can remmber in a LONG TIME that I have NOT had ANY new pimples. This is an incredible milestone for me. This has not happened to me for a decade. My skin also looks a lot healthier and a lot less inflamed. Could this be my magic bullet? I realize it has only been 3 days (hence 3 lippies not 5 because I'm not sure about long term) but I'm having a good feeling about this, especially because my period is due in a few days and this time of the year is usually when the nasty cysts hit. I'm going to continue the 30mg Optizinc for 2-3 months to confirm that it is indeed the zinc that is helping, and that this is not just the placebo effect. After that, I plan to cut down to 15mg of Zinc Picolinate (can't get Optizinc in 15mg forms for whatever reason) and hopefully use that as a maintenance dose . I am so glad this seems to be working and I hope my review was helpful to you. I will edit my review as the days go by so we'll see what happens.
1) Day 4: 2-3 very small, inflamed pimples. Much, much smaller than normal. Took 60mg instead of 30mg to see if that'll help. Stomach feels a little funky so hope that works out!
19 Oct 2014: I have been taking this for about a month now. It has NOT been helping! Read my log on my Notepad for the full story. Long story short, swapping this out for 15mg Zinc Picolinate. Will update to see if that works.
I am 41 with acne prone skin. I have had breakouts since I was a teenager. I have visited dermatologists, and tried just about every topical product available.
I researched natural ways to prevent acne/breakouts and zinc quickly rose to the top of my list of supplements to try. I can honestly say, after using zinc for about 2 weeks, my skin is clearer than it has been in years.
Every evening I take 30 mg of zinc picolinate. I don't take more than the recommended dosage as some suggest. The brand that I bought is a generic store brand, and it is in the form of a capsule that contains a gelatin capsule, cellulose, and magnesium stearate.
I plan to continue using this supplement. It is working for me, and if you have suffered with breakouts, I highly recommend giving this product a try!
It's actually disgusting that none of the dermatologists I've ever had in my life ever recommended me zinc. I've tried basically everything there is to try for my hormonal acne (big inflamed cysts around the mouth and jawline, tiny whiteheads all over my forehead and hairline, that get dramatically worse when I'm PMSing and on my period). You name it, I've gone through a month-long stint of it--Proactiv, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena Acne Stress Control, LaRoche Posay, Murad, on to prescription topicals like Tretinoin, Clindamycin, and, most recently, Differin gel.
Some specific background: My hormonal acne wasn't even that bad (maybe just mild, one or two smallish pimples a week) until I fucked up and had to take Plan B for the first time in my life. A few days later my acne EXPLODED across my entire face, deep cysts that refused to budge, every day more pimples that I could tell were in the process of becoming cysts, purple scarring, just horrible. I've always had horrendous PMS and really heavy periods with really bad cramps, but this time around, when my period came (which, sidenote: thank god) it was so heavy I bled through a pad an hour and my cramps were so bad no amount of painkillers could help me. I knew that the Plan B had done something terrible to my whole body--not just my face, and did some research.
I came to the conclusion that I've most likely always had an estrogen dominance, that was just reaaaaally amped up when I took the Plan B. And you guys, you really need to look into this if you think your acne is hormonal. If your acne usually erupts like a bunch of volcanoes on your period, if you have really bad PMS symptoms (extreme mood swings, bloating, insomnia, excessive hunger, painfully sore boobs), or if your periods are really heavy with tons of cramping, it's HIGHLY possible that your acne is caused by an estrogen dominance. Look it up if you don't believe me, there are tons of studies on this.
And, basically, if I condense all the stuff I read in the studies--estrogen dominance results from deficiencies in certain types of vitamins and minerals, and (obviously) too much estrogen, especially if you're taking any sort of contraceptive pill. One of the main things you can do to fix this is to take zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B supplements--three of the major minerals in your body that work to inhibit estrogen.
Anyway! My (really shitty, I now realize) dermatologist wasn't even listening to me when I told her my acne was DEFINITELY caused by the Plan B and was therefore hormonal--and just prescribed me Differin, saying, "all acne is essentially the same." NOPE. That was the last straw. Differin only irritated my skin, made it redder, flakier, and increased breakouts from the irritation, all while my hormonal breakouts continued to erupt across my face.
So, I did the research I told you about, and ordered zinc and vitamin B supplements online. Within TWO HOURS of taking these two supplements, the inflammation of my acne was greatly reduced, my cysts were smaller and softer, and a lot of my tiny white bumps seem to have magically disappeared. A bonus is that my skin has also gotten considerably less oily. It was SO OILY it was practically dripping by noon, but now it's almost at a normal-person level. I've been using these in conjunction with magnesium (which apparently goes well with the other two) for the past week, and I've already seen a dramatic clearing of my volcanic Plan B acne. I also am generally less irritable, sleep better, and, even though it's a week before my period, haven't experienced ANY PMS symptoms, which is a miracle. I'm excited for when my period comes, because I'm anticipating it'll be lighter, and my cramps will be manageable.
Really people, do your own research (of course!) but please try this if you fit the characteristics I described above. I heard this is also a good treatment for people who have just come off of birth control. Topicals and retinoids, I think, can do wonders for acne caused by bacteria, but it does nothing for hormonal acne--I wish my dermatologist had listened to me when I asked about that. I never really believed in holistic treatments before this, but wow, do I believe in them now. I thought Plan B had ruined my face forever, and am so glad I found this information online.
Hope this helps someone!
I've been taking zinc off and on for over eleven years and it's one of the most effective things I've found for fighting acne. It doesn't completely stop some of my hormonal acne but it does work for the rest. One warning about zinc is that taking too much of it can cause an imbalance of vitamins and minerals in the body, one of them being copper levels. Two months on and a month off is best.
As anyone can see from all these reviews, zinc works for acne. I have been to my regular dermatologist under my insurance and I have been to two fancy expensive dermatologists in Beverly Hills that I payed out of pocket for and not one of them told me about zinc. I have had chemical peels and everything except for accutane. I went in to beg my regular derm to do something else and he just sent me home with a higher dosage of topical creams. Ridiculous. They have to know about zinc but they wanted to prescribe and make money. I found out about zinc from my stepdad's hockey teammate. This guy is in his late 50's and he told me he knew the cure to acne and that zinc is what he took when he was my age (I'm 20) when he had acne. So apparently taking zinc for acne has been around for a long time.
I had cystic acne that was painful and itchy. Now I might only get a couple small pimples before my period. My scars are finally healing. I have been on zinc for a few months but I noticed major improvement within the first week. I take 30mg a day.
Zinc changed my life. I didn't even want to go out to look for a job because I was so embarrassed about my acne. Now I don't have to wear foundation every day. Anyone who has acne needs to try zinc. Don't fuss with all these topical creams and antibiotics.
I am 33 yrs old and I have very bad cystic acne. It was treated with tetracycline and Accutane when I was a teenager and I had stellar results. To see my acne return at this age is beyond frustrating. However, I refuse to go back on Accutane based on how dangerous of a drug it is. I was so fed up that I did go on Minocycline just to give my skin a break from the painful cystic bumps and eventual deep scarring. I literally cry because it hurts so bad. I recently have been trying to follow a vegan diet, which, from lots of research, is a diet that leaches zinc from your body. As well, I blame hormones for my breakouts, despite being on birth control continuously and never taking the placebo pills so that I skip having my period (all under my Dr.'s supervision, of course). Anyway, I found this excellent article that has explained exactly what I believe I am going through with Zinc deficiency and I am very hopeful that with consistent usage, it will cure my acne once and for all. At the recommendation of my MD I am also taking Vit. A, B and E and Brewer's yeast, spirulina and Zinc monomethionine with copper at 30 mg/day. I am starting this regime just this week but this article has pointed out very important information about taking Zinc with antibiotics and the proper timing of when to take these meds. I hope this article is helpful to some looking for answers. I didn't realize so many people have a Zinc Deficiency so maybe others will find this encouraging. I will update when I see how this all turns out for me in a few months. Here is the article in the meantime...
I've always had acne. But zinc changed my life, maybe not only zinc but because I changed my routine in face washing. I changed to carrot soap and use the reparing treatment lotion from proactiv, Ialong with my makeup which is now the revlon colorstay foundation in buff and olive oil from filippo that I use as a makeup remover.and most importantly I started using this supplement. And I'm a 100% clear now thank you God. I dose myself with 6 zinc tabs a day 2 each meal from breakfast to dinner. I no longer breakout and I never get oily skin now. It has only been a week but is do notice a big difference on my skin since it has started getting whiter and less red and the spots seem to miraculously disappear. All I can say is that we always learn from trying, I've tried so much of facials tuff just to remove my acne but did te ealize the simple ones would be the most effective of all. Carrot soap has vit a which helps renew skin and helps as well in anti aging, olive oil helps repair and retain moisture in skin, revlon colorstay doesn't clog pores when I remove it with olive oil, and zinc has the super antioxidant our bodies all need. I'm so thankful to God.really, the greTest thing is that I was able to stop using the pore clogging bb cream I always buy from Japan which has always worsened the condition of my skin thNk God so much for this.
How come zinc isnt working for me:( I took zinc citrate at first for 2 weeks but then I read in sone reviews that zinc picolinate is much more effective so I switched. been almost 4 weeks now, still I cant see a difference. I still get the usual acne that I get when I have my period. I would reeeaaally want this to work for me. can somebody pls tell me why its not working?!:(
Zinc is an important mineral and I take 15 mg a day, which is the recommended daily allowance for adult females.
I am concerned to see people here (who are not medical professionals) advocating taking 100 mg, or even 150 mg!, per day --- the United States government's daily maximum "upper intake level" for zinc is 40 mg, and the United Kingdom government's "safe upper level" is 25 mg.
Although vitamins, minerals, herbs, and some hormones (such as melatonin) are available in the US over-the-counter without a prescription, that does not mean that they are safe taken in any amount whatsoever.
Many of these substances can have serious health consequences, either when the person has a deficiency (not enough) or a surplus (too much) of them.
It may be hard to identify when a substance is building up to toxic levels in your body, because the side effects may not be what you expect, or they may be doing damage on the inside that isn't immediately clear to you.
Also, many vitamins and minerals need to be taken in a balance with each other -- taking too much of one while not taking any of another, or taking 50 times the recommended daily intake of one while only taking 2 times the recommended daily intake of another CAN be really detrimental to your health, over time.
In the example of zinc, it should be taken along with copper. That doesn't mean that if you take a low-dose multi-vitamin that has a small amount of copper in it (usually they will have 1 mg of copper), that you can then go and take 150 mg of zinc in a standalone supplement and be okay for the copper:zinc ratio! The daily one-a-day multi-vitamin will already have the correct zinc and copper ratio in it, so you can't add 10 times the zinc to your daily intake by popping extra zinc pills and rely on the little 1 mg of copper in the one-a-day to balance that amount of zinc out.
The ratio of zinc to copper should be anywhere from 8:1 to 15:1. That means, from 8 mg of zinc to 1 mg of copper, to 15 mg of zinc to 1 mg of copper - somewhere in those boundaries. Therefore, if you take 30 mg of zinc, take at least 2 mg of copper.
If you take a daily one-a-day multi-vitamin/mineral which probably already has 15 mg of zinc in it and 1 mg of copper, then you also take a standalone zinc supplement of another 15 mg - or even of 30 mg or 50 mg or whatever - then you will need to take a standalone copper supplement that will bring the total zinc:copper ratio into balance again.
And recall that the US recommended *maximum* daily level of zinc is 40 mg, and the UK's is 25 mg. The health department scientists of the national governments do not publish their recommended upper intake maximum levels without doing research and taking many factors into consideration. Yes, sometimes their ideas are pretty conservative, and sometimes there are good medical reasons to go above the recommended upper intake levels, especially of course when one is being treated by a medical professional who knows what she/he is doing, but if you haven't researched the area yourself and know the potential pros and cons, it is folly to dose yourself with a *huge* amount of anything, just because you can buy it on a store shelf without anyone stopping you, because it seems to be harmless in small amounts, and because some of the side effects of taking a toxic amount of it might be what you are looking for (like less skin oil, less acne) -- while some of the detrimental side effects may be doing untold damage to other parts of your body, and you may not even know it.
A few years ago I saw one resource on the internet that said that taking 50 mg of zinc would help painful menstrual cycles, but I checked around and found that there wasn't anything else to back that up. Just as one example, Dr. Ray Sahelian, a proponent of supplements (far more than most American mainstream M.D. doctors are) says on his site that he doesn't know of any research supporting that claim about zinc helping difficult menstrual periods, and he does not recommend a high dose of zinc (not over the RDA of 15 mg a day).
Supplements can have really strong, wonderful effects on the health, and many that I've researched on my own and bought over-the-counter have improved my health (including herbs and hormones). They can also throw you for a big loop, and cause all kinds of unwanted side effects, deficiencies, etc. These things can really be as powerful as prescription drugs, especially in high doses.
If you want to research vitamins and minerals and find the latest evidence, by all means, please look them up widely on the internet, making sure that the sources that you consult are legitimate and relatively trustworthy, and you might try the US government's pubmed.com website which lists research articles and studies from around the world.
I thought this could be it when I read all the glowing reviews on here to fix acne. I've been off bc for almost a year now and I feel like a teenager again. It's depressing, and I didn't go on bc for my skin, but it did make it better. I've been taking zinc for 3 months now and my acne went down maybe 20%. It's better than nothing, but it's not my cure. I started off using the food-based New Chapter 15mg - which didn't do anything - then switched to food-based Garden of LIfe 30mg a day. That's when I noticed a slight change. I haven't tried synthetic versions and I don't plan to, since the reason I went off bc was to have a clean lifestyle. I could up my intake of zinc, but the recommended daily value is 15mg (according to The Immune System Cure) so I won't.