Zinc

 Zinc

4.4

49 reviews

93% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$

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Zinc

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on 5/20/2014 10:45:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

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!


45 of 47 people found this helpful.



Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

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.

45 of 46 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

The reason for this review is that I want to make sure people are doing their research when it comes to zinc dosing for acne. It's true that overdosing on zinc is detrimental, but you would need to be taking more than 100mg of ELEMENTAL Zinc per day for it to be a health risk.

There is a huge difference between the milligrams of 'zinc' in a supplement and the milligrams of 'elemental zinc' in that supplement. Zinc gluconate, for example, has 14% elemental zinc per weight of zinc gluconate. In other words, a 50mg tablet of Zinc gluconate contains only 7 mg of elemental zinc. The minimum recommended dose for effective acne treatment is 30mg of elemental zinc per day, therefore 200 mg of Zinc gluconate would be well within the safe dosage of elemental zinc - and should be effective for acne treatment.

Every type of zinc supplement has a different percentage of elemental zinc so pleeeease do your research - and don't just start taking 200 mg of zinc gluconate because I said so. Look for scientific sources and studies to back this up and/or ask your doctor. Start by looking up Zinc Dosing on WebMD.com - it specifically addresses Zinc for acne.

I hope this helps!

37 of 38 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Well, I can say that my acne has disappeared completely since I started taking zinc (50mg/day) two weeks ago. I have suffered from hormonal acne for about 10 years (since I was 13). I know that it is hormonal acne because when I was only birth control pills for two years, my skin was very clear and I wasn't even diligent with my skin care routine and still had beautiful skin. I switched to an IUD for many reasons, but the lack of hormones meant my acne came back full force (the only downside to quitting HBC). I have been struggling for a year now to regain control. I have tried BP gel, which did work for a long while, but over time I had to use more and more to keep the results. My skin was drying out and becoming more sensitive to the sun. Plus, I was not happy with the idea that BP causes premature aging. I then tried Apple Cider Vinegar, applied topically. It worked pretty well. I was still getting pimples, but not as often, and they weren't as large. Unfortunately, my boyfriend put his foot down. He said after many weeks that he couldn't stand the smell anymore and that he could smell it on me all day. With some reluctance, I quit, fearing that my acne would come back.

Flash forward to now. I decided to give Zinc supplements a try. I have been on 50mg daily. They have changed my life. My skin is completely clear, and my boyfriend has mentioned several times how radiant it looks. Red marks from recent breakouts are fading very quickly (as Zinc helps wounds heal) and I also feel great about the increased immune function which will hopefully prevent me from getting suck during flu season.

I just bought 30mg supplements, and after two more weeks of being on the 50mg, I will move down to 30mg and hope that the results stick. If that works, I will continue to move down, to possibly only 15-20mg a day. I'll give an updates as I switch doses. The less Zinc I can take daily, the better.

A FEW WORDS ON TAKING ZINC...
1. It will make you a bit queasy if you take it on an empty stomach. Make sure you take it right after a meal to prevent that. I also like to take it with Kefir, not water. I don't know why but that helps prevent me from feeling sick. Probably because Kefir is thick and fills you up, and also helps along digestion.
2. DO NOT TAKE OVER 50mg/day. Remember to factor in any Zinc you are getting from a multi-vitamin or other supplements you may be taking. Too much zinc can be toxic. It's recommended that after the initial higher doses of 50mg, you move to a lower dose over time.
3. Copper, another essential mineral for you body, competes with Zinc. Please take a copper supplement SEPARATELY (approx 12 hours later) of 2mg. This means if you take your Zinc supplement with breakfast, take your Copper supplement with dinner, or vice versa.

As with all supplemental regimens, please check with your doctor before starting. I hope this information helps, and I hope that Zinc works for you. Good luck!

32 of 35 people found this helpful.


on 3/24/2013 1:19:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

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.

20 of 21 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

This has been a godsend for me. I've always had troubling cystic acne on my chin. I've never been too keen on taking BCP because of side effects and whatnot. So, I just decided to deal with my hormonal chin acne. But it was more than just a breakout around my time of the month. It was all the time! When one cystic-huge-mother would go away, another would come up. They were all on my chin and lower cheek/jawline. I tried changing my diet, since cystic acne is usually an internal problem, but that didn't work either.


Then one day on the skin care board, I saw someone mention zinc for chin acne. I did a lot of research on other boards and acne.org reviews on zinc, and it seemed to work for most people. I thought hey, why not? I swiped up a bottle of Zinc Gluconate 50mg for under $5, and started taking one daily. I was worried about my multivitamin containing 15mg of zinc as well, but when I run out of this bottle I'm going to go out and find a 30mg supplement so I don't have to worry about overdosing. My multi also has copper, which I think is sufficient enough for me to not have low levels. Definitely take your multi at a different time of day than the zinc. The copper and other minerals in it can compete for absorption. I've also *heard* that it's better to take the zinc an hour before you eat or 2 hours after (for better absorption as well). I try to take mine a few hours after dinner. It doesn't really bother my stomach...and I have a weak one. I remember once or twice I felt like I might puke but never did, and the feeling went away in less than 5 minutes.


I am NOT joking when I say I saw immediate results. I didn't get another cystic pimple after I started taking these for at least 3 weeks. This is huge for me, considering I usually would get 2-3 new cystics a week! Then my time of the month came, I had a small breakout (1 cystic), and then continued to look great after that. Any other small pimples I get (probably from products) heal very quickly. My skin also seems less oily. It's amazing.


I've been taking them now almost 3 months. I haven't gotten any new cystic pimples since the last one I mentioned (even during my cycle). I've also incorporated 4000IU of vitamin D3 per day for my acne as well. This has helped a lot, too. I highly recommend this (and D3) to anyone that suffers from the type of cystic chin/jawline acne that I used to have.

(update 2/3/13) I still take 30mg of zinc every single day. Please don't let people worry you into thinking you can easily get zinc poisoning. Just make sure you take a multivitamin containing copper too—at different parts of the day.

20 of 21 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I have been taking 50mg of chelated zinc for nearly a month now and I am honestly shocked at the difference this has made in my skin. I have (sorry - I should say HAD) the most stubborn acne ever. I've been suffering from acne since my late teens and I am now 35. My acne is cystic and appears in my chin and upper lip area with frustrating regularity - it was not uncommon for me to break out weekly. I have tried lots of things for my acne over the years but recently I have been more interested in natural therapies. I've tried several supplements including Vitex and Saw Palmetto and whilst some have had excellent health benefits, they have not cleared my acne. I am not sure why it has taken me so long to try zinc. I think I must have tried it once as part of a multi-vitamin and not seen results... I now realise the dose would have been too low in a multi.



I am taking Blackmores Bio Zinc which is a premium Australian vitamin brand. I am taking 2 tablets per day to get 50mg of zinc. It is important to take your zinc with a meal (preferably your largest meal of the day) and choose chelated zinc - these strategies should hopefully avoid any stomach ache which is a common side effect. I consider myself to have a delicate stomach and as long as I take my zinc after dinner, I have no problems at all. I saw results with my acne within 2 weeks and have also noticed a slight decrease in sebum production. I am thrilled!



There is concern over copper deficiency when taking extra zinc. This is because zinc interferes with copper absorption. I asked a naturopath at Blackmores' website about this issue and she advised me that people should take an additional copper supplement when exceeding more than 50mg of zinc per day. Alternatively, natural sources of copper include shell fish, liver and kidneys, whole grains and, reportedly dark chocolate (yay!). (See: http://www.abc.net.au/health/minutes/stories/2007/06/20/1955070.htm )



For reference, here are the active ingredients per tablet in Blackmores Bio Zinc:
Zinc amino acid chelate (equiv. to Zinc 25 mg)-----------------125 mg
Magnesium phosphate (equiv. to Magnesium 25 mg)-----------------122 mg
Manganese amino acid chelate (equiv. to Manganese 2 mg)-----------------20 mg
Vitamin A (Retinyl acetate 860 µg)-----------------2500 IU
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine hydrochloride)-----------------50 mg

continued >>

17 of 18 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I was going through some old stuff this morning and throwing out all these old supplements (apparently, over the years I have collected TONS) and came across a couple old bottles of Zinc and Optizinc. I used to suffer from chronic cystic/nodular acne. Anyone whose ever suffered chronically from this kind of acne will inevitably go on the internet in search of help and eventually, they will discover that zinc is like, THE supplement to take.

Unfortunately, zinc would always work for the first few days I took it and then BAM, it always seemed as if it slowly worsened my acne! But what the hell?! It seemed to me that everybody in internetland was always raving about how great zinc was as a "cure" for acne--there are even scientific studies to back it up, right? Surely it was just in my head that it was making my acne worse...but I tried to take zinc several times over the years with the same horrible results every time.

I have since learned that THE PROBLEM WITH TAKING SOME ZINC SUPPLEMENTS can be that a lot of zinc supplements come with a mega dose of B vitamins (B6) and no joke, taking too much B vitamins CAN GIVE YOU ACNE. If you're gonna take one, just make sure you get your zinc supplement without all that evil b vitamin (also FYI don't take a zinc supplement if you're on antibiotics bc it can interfere with absorption!). While you're at it, check your daily multivitamin to see if it has mega doses of B vitamins....i used to take a daily vitamin that had like 500-1000% of various b vitamins and within DAYS of when I finally stopped taking it my skin got considerably better.

Anyways, I'm not sure if b-vitamins have this effect on everyone but they sure as hell do on me and i only wrote this review cause I really wish someone had told me! I do know that UCLA did a recent study that confirmed it with B12, at least, but I know from experience that B6 does it to me too.

15 of 16 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

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.

14 of 16 people found this helpful.


on 11/19/2012 12:04:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

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!

12 of 13 people found this helpful.


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