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Healthy Skin Newsletter, Issue #006 -- Zinc for Healthy Skin
September 22, 2006

Issue No. 6 October 2006

Healthy Skin Newsletter – Information on skin problems and skin care.

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Issue No. 6, October 2006


  • What’s New at
  • Feature Article – Zinc for Healthy Skin
  • In the News
  • Skin Care Tip of the Month
  • Question of the Month
  • Product of the Month


Several new pages have been added under the insect bites or stings tab. Please visit to access these pages.

A water and skin page has been added as well. You can visit this page at the following link: .

Also, a healthy skin blog page has been added and a contact page. The blog page outlines recent changes to the website. Please visit the healthy skin home page at to visit these pages.

New submissions from readers with dermatographism have been posted at

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FEATURE ARTICLE - Zinc for Healthy Skin

An important benefit of zinc is the role this mineral plays in proper skin care. Although not commonly spoken about or advertised, zinc is indeed an essential mineral.

Benefit of Zinc for Healthy Skin

Zinc is one element that is essential for healthy skin. In addition, to wound healing, zinc acts as an astringent and may help in the treatment of acne among other benefits.

Wound Healing

One useful benefit of zinc is in the area of wound healing. Oral zinc supplements help heal bed sores, skin ulcers, cold sores, canker sores, surgical incisions, burns, and a variety of other skin irritations. Topical treatments are also used for wound healing.

Zinc is a mineral that the body requires for the synthesis of collagen, which is a requirement for the healing of skin wounds. Zinc is also a component in the proper functioning of enzymes that are required by the body to repair skin wounds.

Mild Astringent

The benefit of zinc as a mild astringent is well noted. An astringent is a chemical substance that shrinks, constricts, or tightens body tissues.

Zinc oxide has this mild astringent property. It acts as a skin-drying agent and can act as a skin anti-inflammatory. Zinc oxide also helps sooth the skin from itching, rashes, and moist skin conditions such as diaper rash.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis is a chronic disease of the skin. It is characterized by the presence of very itchy hives on the skin and a burning or stinging sensation on the skin. In addition, blister-like patches of skin may be present on the elbows, knees, and buttocks. There is some evidence that improper absorption of zinc may contribute to this skin care problem.


Another often stated benefit of zinc is in the treatment and prevention of acne. Zinc in the form of zinc gluconate or zinc sulfate is thought to help heal acne blemishes, reduce inflammation caused by acne, and reduce androgenic hormonal effects on skin that contribute to acne breakouts or in other words help regulate the skin’s oil gland activity.

Recently, the benefit of zinc in treating acne has been questioned. Zinc oxide, zinc stearate, and zinc sulfide apparently have no established effectiveness in acne treatment as stated by an advisory panel of the United States Food and Drug Administration.


A benefit of zinc is in the treatment of dandruff. Zinc pyrithione is often found in dandruff shampoos and is effective in helping to relieve this skin problem. A zinc supplement (under the advice of a physician) may also play a role in treating and preventing dandruff.


Another benefit of zinc is that it is a natural insect repellent and a natural sunscreen (zinc oxide effectively blocks the sun’s ultraviolet rays). It helps in the treatment of poison ivy, blisters, and gum disease. Zinc also plays a role in stimulating the transport of vitamin A from the liver to the skin.

Some preliminary studies have shown that zinc sulfate can be an effective treatment for contact dermatitis. More studies are underway to confirm the actual benefit of zinc for this skin care problem.

Foods That Provide Zinc

In order to take advantage of the benefit of zinc for the skin and overall good health, it is a good idea to know which foods are good sources of this mineral.

Zinc can actually be found in a wide variety of food sources. The number one source of zinc is oysters. Six medium oysters should satisfy the daily requirement for zinc intake for adults. However, there are other good sources of zinc as well:

Red Meat

One hundred grams of various cuts of beef can provide from 25 to 60 percent of the daily requirement for adults. For example, 100 grams of lean beef shank is high in zinc and provides 60 percent of the daily requirement, whereas a lean eye of round cut provides 25 percent.


One chicken leg will provide about 20 percent of the daily requirement. On the other hand, half a chicken breast will provide 6 percent.


Pork is also a good source of zinc. Lean pork shoulder and lean pork tenderloin (100 grams) will provide 30 and 15 percent of the recommended daily requirement for adults respectively.

Fortified Breakfast Cereals

Depending on the amount of fortification, breakfast cereals can provide anywhere from 25 to 100 percent of the daily zinc requirement. Carefully read the ingredients and nutritional information of the cereal to determine how much zinc is present.

Dairy Products

The benefit of zinc can also be obtained from dairy products.

  • 250 ml of yogurt = 15 percent of daily requirement
  • 30 grams of Swiss cheese = 8 percent of the daily zinc requirement
  • 30 grams of cheddar or mozzarella cheese = 6 percent towards the zinc requirement for the day
  • 250 ml of milk = 6 percent of the daily requirement


Beans, lentils, chickpeas, or peas provide from 6 to 10 percent of the zinc requirement for the day if 125 ml or half a cup is consumed.


Other sources of zinc include nuts, seeds such as pumpkin seeds, whole grains, whole wheat flour, rye flour, oat flour, certain types of seafood, eggs, and brewer’s yeast.

Despite the various sources of zinc available in foods, individuals are often zinc deficient and are not able to reap the benefit of zinc for their skin and body. There are several reasons for this. First, zinc absorption is higher when the source is from animal proteins as opposed to plant proteins. Therefore, many vegetarians often are zinc deficient. Vegetarians need to play close attention to what they eat in order to satisfy the zinc requirement in their diets.

Another reason for zinc deficiency is that much of the zinc available in diets is not absorbed. Up to 80 percent of the zinc ingested with food is not absorbed by the body. This is partly due to phytates, which are found in whole grain breads, cereals, legumes, and a variety of other products. Phytates combine with the zinc and inhibit zinc absorption. Alcohol can also reduce zinc absorption by the body. Therefore, individuals often do not receive the benefit of zinc that they believe they are getting.

In addition to poor zinc intake and absorption, a zinc deficiency occurs because of the various ways that the body eliminates zinc. Zinc can be lost in urine, faeces and especially when chronic diarrhea is involved (Crohn’s disease, etc.), sweat, semen, and menstruation.

A person who is zinc deficient and not experiencing the benefit of zinc for skin and health will usually experience some common symptoms. These signs include growth retardation, hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation, impotence, loss of appetite and weight loss, poor wound healing, and less sensitive taste and smell senses. Consult with a physician to determine whether these symptoms are due to a zinc deficiency or some other health problem.

Zinc supplements can also be taken to obtain the benefit of zinc for the body. However, consult with a physician before taking supplements to ensure that too much zinc is not being ingested. Excess zinc in the body is toxic and there will be no benefit of zinc for the body in this situation. Too much zinc will interfere with the metabolism of iron and copper, two minerals that the body requires. Signs of a zinc overdose include nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, and possibly hallucinations.


Fujifilm, one of the largest manufacturers of professional and consumer magnetic tape and optical media products, and the largest producer of sensitized photographic film products in the world, has just announced that it is entering the skin care cosmetics business. The skin care line is named the “F Square i” series and comprises of three functional skin care cosmetics. Fuji is using their knowledge and research (obtained in the photographic field) of free radicals and compounds related to collagen to produce skin care products. Products are expected to go on sale on September 28, 2006 only in Japan for the time being.


Acne breakouts can be a sign that the body's immune system is not functioning properly. Although suger directly does not cause acne, eating a lot of refined suger and drinking a lot of alcohol can dampen the immune system and make the skin vulnerable to problems.

Cut down on alcohol and refined sugar and this could reduce your acne breakouts.


What can be done to make the pores in the T-zone of the face look smaller?

It is not possible to shrink the actual size of the pores. However, with a consistent cleaning routine that involves gentle twice a week exfoliation and monthly facials, the pores can be made to appear smaller. Avoid over cleansing in order to prevent stripping too much natural oil from your skin.

Good quality facials will extract trapped debris that is causing the pores to expand and look bigger than they actually are.


Skindulgence Spa Collection

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- Infused with nature's’ healing therapies, essential oils and botanicals

- Exfoliate, stimulate and nourish your fingers and toes with an effective exfoliator for dry skin on the hands (Spa for Hands) & a specialized exfoliation product for the feet (Spa for Feet)

- Deeply hydrate and repair your skin with Spa Silk dry skin lotion

Generally, exfoliator and dry skin lotion products need to be purchased separately. However, the Skindulgence Spa Collection has everything you need for simple and effective dry skin care all in one package. In a luxurious moment you can have smoother, softer and younger looking skin.

For more information about this product, please visit .

Comments? Feedback? Ideas for future Feature Articles or Questions of the Month? would love to hear from you. Simply reply to this e-zine and tell us what you think!

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