I went through high school without so much as a single blemish and always had porcelain baby skin. After discontinuing birth control, my skin was never the same and I was always getting big, nasty, cystic zits. I started taking zinc and adopted other skincare changes and after about a month, my skin had improved a lot! I stopped getting the cysts, had fewer clogged pores, and even felt less oily. *BUT* as others have mentioned, zinc depletes copper- which I discovered after some research, is important to melanin production in hair. I started noticing not gray, but WHITE baby hairs and some roots growing from my head around my face. I'm only 20! I attribute this to taking too much zinc for a long period of time and not taking an additional copper supplement. I stopped taking it completely, and after a while the skin problems came back, but the white hairs also stopped appearing. Now, I only take zinc 1-3 times a week which is enough to keep my skin clear, but not give me white hair at 20. It takes a while to start working, but it definitely does eventually. I also must agree that taking this on even a semi-empty stomach will make you nauseous for hours.
I'm one of those girls who have hormonal acne. I've tried hormonal (birth control) treatment for years and it used to work for me, but in the last year I coudn't stand the side effects of the pills, so I stopped. (I highly recommend all girls [and boys! and whatever] to read about all the trouble birth control pills can make in your life. Yes, I'm talking about trombosis and AVC risks. So, do researches and find out).
My dermatologist tried to make me like benzoyl peroxide. It's ok, but didn't help that much. Other acids didn't solve the problem too. In fact, I never believed that much in topical treatments. If the problem is hormonal, why make so much effort everyday using 897969 gels, creams and lotions? Please.
So I tried Zinc 30 mg. Thank you, internet. Zinc is great! I have 80% less breakouts than I used to have before. Much less cystic acne. My skin looks so better now.
The next step is clearing the dark spots. It's an external problem, so in this case I believe in topical treatment.
Of course I'm still using a good facial cleanser (La Roche Posay Effaclair) and some topical products, like benzoyl peroxide and nicotinamide. I'm drinking a lot of water, too. Drink water, people.
And don't forget: If you want to try Zinc, you must take Cooper too.
I have finally cured myself of acne. I've had horrible acne since college, mostly due to hormone imbalance and stress. At first I tried all sorts of topical solutions and of course they didn't work. Then tried modifying my diet to include healthier choices, more water, green tea, less sugar, more raw foods etc -none of that worked. Birth control (Yasmin) was really the only thing that worked. But after seeing reports on how some girls died from taking Yasmin, I tried to make several attempts to stop taking Yasmin but always gave up and went crawling back for more Yasmin because my breakups would be worse than ever before.
Last month, I did extensive research on what acne-sufferers are deficient in, and put myself on a new, strict, daily regiment:
(1) 25mg elemental zinc (gluconate) ($5 for 3 months supply)
(2) 3 table spoons of Brewer's yeast (in warm water) ($14 for 1 month supply)
(3) 2 tablets of spirulina ($7 for 3 month supply)
(4) 1 multi-vitamin containing copper ($11 for 3 month supply)
I overlapped my last packet of Yasmin with the above. It's been 1 month since I've stopped taking Yasmin and 2 months of taking my new regiment (1 month of taking it without Yasmin) and Ive only had 3 pimples, and they were very small and lasted 2 days tops -definitely not the large, deep, scarring. cystic pimples that lasted 2 weeks like I usually got before.
Only problem with zinc is that, although the tablet is tasteless, somehow just putting it on my tongue makes me gag. Also must be taken with a meal or else it feels "heavy" in the stomach and kinda nauseous.
Finally, I really can't comment on how effective zinc is by itself, since I've only tried it in combination with Brewer's yeast, spirulina, and a daily multi-vitamin. Do a quick Google search on these ingredients and like me, you;ll find they have a lot of benefits to acne sufferers. Good luck.
[Update] I've been doing this for 3-4 months now and my skin is doing very well. I've noticed a few patches of dry skin which makes sense considering zinc is supposed to decrease oil production. Skin still breaks out with the occasional small pimple but they are manageable and I'm still very happy with my results/progress.
[Update 07-May-2013] People keep messaging me for an update so here's another. I'm starting to lose track of when I started my regiment -I think it's been 5 months now. Due to budget restraints, I've stopped taking the multi-vitamin and the spirulina. But I'm still taking the Brewer's yeast and zinc in same amounts. If my skin flares up, I'll bite the cost and buy more multi-vitamins and spirulina, but so far, I haven't seen any negative effect from this change. My skin is still pretty clear. I've had 1-2 small pimples the past month but they healed on their own within a few days and were small enough that just a little tinted moisterizer was enough to cover them up. Those pimples were on my chin which I know means its hormonal -and they occurred right before my period. BTW, I dont, nor have I recently ever, used any topical acne treatment. More updates later.
[Update 27-Feb-2014] I thought I'd give one last update. Almost one year of taking Brewer's yeast and zinc tablets and my skin is pretty clear. I have absolutely no acne whatsoever on my cheeks, forehead, and nose. I have some breakouts on my chin because I had a slip in my regiment (I moved to a new city and couldn't find a store that supplied Brewer's yeast -so I was without it for a couple weeks until my online shipment arrived) but I'm back on track and havent broken out since. I also brokeout when I traveled for a week on vacation and couldn't fit my giant tub of Brewer's yeast+zinc in my luggage. These slips in my Brewer's yeast+zinc regiment are my evidence that Brewers yeast+zinc are my cure for acne. I hope someone has the same luck with this that I did. Cheers.
I've been taking for a week now, bare in mind I wouldn't say I have acne id say I have spots its not that bad but considering until a year or so ago my skin was amazing its been difficult for me to adjust. Anyway I have got some zinc and the first 3 days I was clearing up it was good. But last 3-4 days I have had about 5-6 new spots!! Now I don't know if this is because of the zinc or not but ill accept it at the moment and I'll give it more time but so far I'm not sure. One thing I will say is it has increase speed of hair growth on body and face. I can't grow a bear at the moment I'm only 19 but i hope this helps it grow fast lol cause I want to cover these red marks :( so yes at the moment I'm not sure I'll give it another 3 weeks or so and see what happens.
**UPDATE May 1st 2013
upped my zinc intake to 100-150mg (temporarily) and skin improved DRAMATICALLY. it has been 8 weeks since i've taken zinc and skin has improved immensely. just hyperpigmentation marks that will eventually fade but no crazy breakouts or cystic pimples. tone and texture of skin also looking good (i think, also thanks to the peter thomas roth gentle complexion corrector pads). i highly recommend zinc to everyone-be patient and your patience will pay off.
I got off birth control recently (Yasmin.. horrible stuff) and it screwed me up hormonally, leaving me with horrible acne breakouts. I never had any problems with acne, not even in high school (in fact my skin was perfect prior to this) so this is new to me. at first i tried benzac10, finacea, toner for acne prone skin, everything but nothing worked. instead it seemed to get worse, resulting in skin pigmentation. and this all happened within the course of 3 weeks!!!
i researched online and found that i might have acne due to hormonal imbalances and that some people found evening primrose to be helpful. So, last week on friday, i asked my naturopath who worked at the same chemist as i do about evening primrose. She actually recommended me to take a zinc test - if you live in Australia, Ethical Nutrients do a good zinc test - to see if my hormones are the cause of my sudden acne and not something else (she didn't believe evening primrose to do the trick). lo and behold, i had hormone imbalance as the zinc test showed. she got me on a daily dose of zinc, a vitamin B5 B6 (a naturopath/practitioner only range called Metagenics) and told me to test it again in about a month. She also said the vitamin B will work with the zinc to accelerate healing.
it's already been one week since i started taking and i noticed my acne, instead of going cystic and ugly, are quite calm. i stopped breaking out daily (so far i only had 3 new pimples since started taking zinc, but nothing cystic) and my other acne seems to be healing relatively well compared to the previous weeks.
The general tone and texture of my skin seems better too. i also tested my zinc levels today (it's my seventh day on zinc) and according to the chart i am improving slightly. i will test again in about 3 weeks since it takes a while for this supplement to kick in. apparently zinc is also good to heal skin pigmentation.
it's still too early to say, but so far i am quite happy with zinc as far as regulating my hormones. i dont feel that depressed as when i was on the birth control. i feel optimistic that zinc will help my skin in the long run.
please note that i also changed my diet - eating cleaner, salmon 3 times a week, fruit and my doctor prescribed me with docycycline (antibiotics for acne) 2 days after starting on zinc so perhaps that also helped.BUT from my research, i found more positive reviews for zinc that i have for docycyline. After trial and error, i found natural and complementary therapy is heaps better than prescribed medicine as it heals your body naturally with little to no side effects (when monitored by a professional).
so everybody with hormonal acne - i urge you to give zinc a try. but it's not a miracle worker so you have to be patient. and use a zinc test you can buy easily from a pharmacy as that may help u regulate your zinc (too much of it can be toxic). i also bought a copper supplement in case i overdose on zinc. once my hormones regulate i will change my zinc dosage to maintainance level.
What I take now, once a day for my skin:
Ethical Nutrients zinc Fix with 61 mg zinc (22.5mg) elemental zinc, raspberry flavour
Bioceuticals Zinc drops 7.5mg as a 'hit' 1-3 times a day
Vitamin B5B6 from Metagenics
Going to start on a copper supplement
Salmon at least 3 times a week
cut down on sugar
Skin cleansing routine:
stripped everything down to just Cetaphil wash, Cetaphil moisturizer during the day (toner was drying up my already sensitive skin from the topical creams and gels) and rosehip oil at night
I did a ton of research on zinc before I gave it a shot and I wish I took this path 2 years ago. I am currently taking 30mg of zinc because my body is so small and don't want to harm it. At the beginning I was disappointed, but stuck with it because of all the good reviews. I am grateful I stuck with the zinc. It may cause you to break out at first, but that shows it is doing it's job. Zinc helps with the immune system and gets rid of toxins in your body. The toxins come through your skin resulting in pimples. This breakout depends on how much zinc you are taking and how much toxins are in your body. This is why is important to eat healthy. Zinc also helps reduce the amount of oil your body produces. I definitely recommend this, but give it time(:
I wanted to give this a try after my last break-out. First off, my skin has been less oily. Which is a big positive. I haven't had any break-outs since my last one (I tend to suffer from cystic acne every few months) and this helped heal those two spots. I truly believe this can work and does work, because my skin has been better since I started taking this.
The only downside is I do get nauseous if I don't eat after or before. I take one 50mg a day. I find the pill hard to swallow too, because they desolve super easily. But all in all, it's worth it.
Initially I was taking a 25mg pill but after 3 days I suffered all the adverse sickness reactions people have warned about despite taking with a meal like everyone has pointed out so I stopped immediately. I must add that I also take a Skin Hair & Nails vit in the mornings which also contains 15mg Zinc so I was getting a total of 40mg daily.
Clearly this was too much for my system to handle, everyone is different so the 50 mg maximum threshold isn't universal. Do your own trial & research to be safe.
I've since swapped it for a lower dosage of 15mg zinc so am now getting a daily intake of 30mg. My system appears to be fine with this so far. Now I must await results and will be back to update. I'm taking this in the hopes that it will curb all breakouts especially the dreaded hormonal induced kind each month.
Honestly, who knew?
I went off birth control in January of this year, things were fine until two months later when my jawline began breaking out in horrible acne and I began to get tiny bumps all over my forehead. Now I've never had perfect skin (this is partly my skin-picking fault) but this was something I've NEVER had before in my life. I'm 23, never suffered from jawline acne (those horrible kind under the skin). So after my confidence kept taking huge hits and my period refused to regulate (this is how I knew my acne was HORMONAL) I decided to give zinc a try... that brings me to my question
Who knew this stuff was so amazing!?!?!
I have been taking OptiZinc brand (purchased from Amazon) for over 2 months now and my jawline hormonal acne has completely gone away (or like 95%). I just take one a day. Its actually eradicated my acid reflux I experience after having an alcoholic beverage too. Bonus!!
I can't recommend this stuff enough to women who think their acne is caused by hormonal imbalances. Give it at least one month, okay? I noticed dramatic results within 2 weeks.
Again, I use the OptiZinc brand because it contains copper, which taking zinc will deplete. I only take one pill a day @ 30mgs of zinc monomethionine and 300mg of copper sebacate.
Good luck everyone!
I am 22 years old and have been suffering acnes for 10 years. I had all kinds of pimples (white, black head, small, big and my skin was extremely oily and sensitive). In 2009, I started my first accutane treatment and cleared about 90% of my acnes. Addition to the side effects, after 2 years, my skin started breaking out (at modest level, before I had severe acnes). I planned to go for the second accutane about 2 months ago. Fortunately, I came across Zinc while searching around for more acnes therapies. At that time I was taking vitamin A on daily basis but had no luck. I tried Zinc and guess what? It was amazing. After 1 month, my skin was almost clear (except for some period acne which is inevitable). And of course there was no side effect. Now I am trying to cool down my redness and erase my post acnes dark spots. Hopefully, Zinc will work on those who are reading my review as well as I did on my skin