Before I saw a homeopath I was an acne sufferer from my early teens to my early twenties, I know how horrible it can be when you’ve got a face full of zits and you can hardly bear to look at yourself in the mirror. Acne often hits us around puberty when hormones are all over the place and we are at our most vulnerable. But for some unlucky few it can suddenly appear later in life or after stopping the contraceptive pill.
Persistent acne is commonly caused by excess keratin and sebum, related to excess androgens (male hormones) or insufficient oestrogen. Often acne is worse after stopping the pill which makes many women go straight back on it again.
The pill and other forms of hormonal birth control encourage the body to retain copper and this can hinder the absorption of Zinc. Zinc is a key nutrient for healthy hormones and skin and research shows that acne sufferers are often deficient in this essential mineral and that supplementing can reduce acne by up to 50%.
- It helps heal and rejuvenate skin. When you cut yourself, Zinc goes to work. First, the amount of the mineral in the skin surrounding the cut increases as enzymes and proteins ramp up to protect against infection, control inflammation and produce new cells and transport them to close up the broken skin. But even healthy, intact skin relies on Zinc for new cell production and the function of cell membranes.
- It blocks excess androgens. Androgens are sometimes described as ‘male hormones’, we all need some but too much can lead to acne, facial hair and even hair loss. Zinc helps regulates testosterone production.
- It helps clears the skin. Test tube studies show Zinc can kill acne-causing bacteria. Furthermore, the bacteria won’t develop resistance to Zinc like it might to an anti-biotic.
- Heals hormones and regulates cycles. Zinc nourishes ovarian follicles (eggs) which in turn promotes ovulation. Regular ovulation is the only way to achieve both regular menstrual cycles and a good supply of estrogen and progesterone. Balanced hormones equal better skin.
- Zinc is anti-inflammatory. It’s great for reducing period pain as well as reducing acne.
The best way to get Zinc is through your diet (preferably from organic sources) and it needs to be eaten regularly as is not stored in the body. Foods that are rich in Zinc:
Vegetarian sources: Spinach, kidney beans, Flaxseed, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, Garlic, Peanuts, Dark Chocolate (hoorah!), Chickpeas, Brown Rice, Peas, Cashews, Mushrooms, Egg yolk and Parsley.
Meat & Shellfish: Beef, Crab, Lobster, Lamb, Pork, Salmon, Turkey, Oysters, Prawns.
If you wish to supplement then I recommend Zinc Piccolinate or Citrate. I like Higher Nature’s Zinc supplement. Contact me if you would like a discount code to get 10% off.
If you are an acne sufferer and would like to try homeopathy then please get in touch or comment on this blog post. I offer all prospective new clients a free, no obligation 15 minute consultation to see how homeopathy might be able to help you. Please contact me via the form below to enquire.
Until next time, have a happy and healthy week!