This Common Mineral Has Been Used to Treat Acne Since the '40s



Zinc is a power player in the mineral world. It boosts your immune system, aids in brain development and memory retention, and prevents cellular damage in the retina, among so many other benefits. And interestingly, our bodies don't naturally produce it, which is why we need to get it through food and/or supplements. 

Another impressive use for zinc? Acne treatment. Zinc works in tandem with vitamin A and helps convert it into an active form of retinol (a proven remedy for clearing acne lesions), and it also has the ability to inhibit bacteria growth in sebaceous glands. And although more research is needed, studies have found the mineral to significantly decrease papules and cysts when taken orally and when applied topically. Proceed with caution, though: Ingesting too much zinc can cause side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and ironically, a weakened immune response. So to glean a bit more information on how to use it safely and effectively, we spoke with Purvisha Patel, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare

For more acne tips, take a look at our comprehensive guide.