The Rundown: Zinc

 Could your mineral sunscreen be working harder than you know?

You know that Zinc is an essential trace mineral, right? There are supplements, it’s in some cold and flu tablets, people have deficiencies…

Today we’re going to talk about what it can do for your skin.

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SPF

Zinc oxide is my personal favourite UV filter for sensitive skin. It protects from UVB, UVA1, and UVA2 rays. This means if used correctly, you’re safe from the sun’s burning AND aging effects. A sunscreen with mixed filters including Zinc Oxide is best - to be sure you’re not relying on just the one mechanism. Remember to apply 15 minutes before sun exposure andreapply every 2 hours. Try: BareMinerals Prime Time BB Primer SPF30, $27, or First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Triple Protection Skin Tint SPF30 with Goji, $34, for a more even skintone and bonus sun protection. Both of these products are sold as SPF30 in Australia where we have strict regulations regarding SPF classifications. I would also advise to practice sun smart behaviour by protecting with clothing, sunglasses, hats, and staying indoors when the UV index is strongest. You can find the UV index with your local weather, if you’re interested. In the winter, it may only be 2 or 3 for the day but in the Australian summer it can get to 14 or 15. UV index, put simply, is a measure of the strength of radiation, and can significantly reduce your time in the sun without damage.

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Further protection

Zinc is fundamental to the function of literally thousands of enzymes in your body, with diverse functions ranging from stimulating your natural protection from free radicals (as a vital prosthetic group for superoxide dismutase), to facilitating and regulating your cells’ metabolism (giving them energy), to preventing glycation (which is when a sugar bonds to a DNA or protein, changing and inhibiting its function and generating stress). Try: Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydration Booster, $68, or OSKIA Get Up & Glow Serum, $45, for daytime protection and hydration.

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Acne

What we know about acne is;

It’s related to the p. acnes bacteria, which eats your skin’s oils (sebum), and as it grows, can cause inflammation. If your acne is hormonal, it is related to stimulation of the oil glands by active testosterone, or 5α-DHT. But did you know that zinc directly inhibits the growth of p.acnes? It also actually reduces the activity of testosterone by preventing its conversion into 5α-DHT, thus normalising oil production. Furthermore, zinc contributes to reduced inflammation through several different mechanisms, and assists in normalising wound healing.

Try: BareMinerals Blemish Remedy Anti-Imperfection Serum, $42, for healing, calming, and acne prevention, or Dr Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask, $42, for when you have a um. Situation.

In general, substances we know to be beneficial to the body make for great skincare ingredients!

Have you learned anything today?

xx Hannah

Don’t forget to check out my Instagram at @ms_hannah_e and feel free to send any questions through by DM. All product recommendations are cruelty free and priced in $USD.

Further Reading:

Cervantes et al, The role of zinc in the treatment of acne: a review of the literature.

Hannah EnglishComment