Metal in your skin care? Sounds weird, right? But there are certain metals that have huge benefits on your skin - and zinc is a great example. We all remember zinc from the periodic table (Zn in case you’re struggling to remember its chemical symbol), a silver-grey metal that is a good conductor of electricity. But it’s also a mineral that’s essential for great skin. Confused? Intrigued? I’ll explain...
Why is zinc good for healthy skin?
Zinc is great for improving memory, boosting our immune system and treating diarrhea, but what is it about zinc in particular that is so important for good skin? Well, there are several reasons - and the great thing is that whether consumed in food, capsules or applied topically, we only need a small amount each day for beautiful skin. Let me break it down...
Zinc for younger-looking skin
The first thing to note is that zinc is an essential mineral for the production of collagen and elastin - the proteins that keep our skin looking plump, line-free and youthful. As we age, our skin stops producing as much collagen and elastin, but zinc helps naturally boost production. This is great for minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And anything that can help with that is a winner in my book!
Zinc as an anti-inflammatory agent
Another amazing thing about zinc is its ability to fight inflammation on the skin. Inflammation is important in the role of skin recovery, but too much can lead to free radicals that cause damage. Zinc reduces inflammation, healing tissues and smoothing skin. It’s great for treating rosacea, eczema and melasma, among other skin conditions.
Zinc for reducing acne
Speaking of inflammation, zinc is also great for reducing acne. This is due to the fact that it helps regulate the amount of oil that our skin produces. It also reduces bacteria which can lead to infection and can help naturally repair the skin. There are tons of studies into zinc as an effective treatment for acne, with the majority confirming its amazing impact. Zinc also reduces keratin, which can cause dead skin cells to stick together and cause clogged pores - what a dream!
Zinc for skin healing
Zinc works tirelessly as an antioxidant (though not quite in the same way as vitamin C and vitamin E), and is essential in preventing free radicals in the skin that occur due to smoking, certain types of food and environmental factors, such as pollution, keeping our skin healthy. It is also vital for helping heal skin tissue. So, when we cut ourselves, zinc works to increase enzymes and proteins that fight infection. Not only this, but it also produces new skin cells.
Zinc oxide for sun protection
Not only is zinc amazing on its own, but combined with oxygen it also creates a fabulous chemical compound - zinc oxide - that is white in appearance. Zinc oxide is often used in sun cream due to its ability to reflect the sun, acting as a shield to protect our skin from its harmful UV rays. Due to the fact that zinc oxide is gentle on the skin, it’s a popular choice for those with sensitive skin.
What foods contain zinc?
For a diet that’s rich in zinc, fill your basket with nuts, red meat, whole grains, legumes and eggs. Poultry, seeds, beans, celery and dark chocolate (!) are also staples that contain the mighty mineral, so don’t forget to add them to your shopping list.
So, regardless of what type of music you like, you’ll want to give this heavy metal a go. As part of a great skin care regime and healthy diet, zinc can work wonders, helping protect and perfect skin, as well as reducing the effects of ageing. Yes, please!