Skin Care and Treatments of Melbourne Dermatology - Zinc: An Important Antioxidant for Skin

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Zinc: An Important Antioxidant for Skin

Zinc: An Important Antioxidant for Skin

Antioxidants play a critical role in keeping skin healthy and abundant evidence demonstrates the antioxidant role of zinc.


The antioxidant benefits of vitamin C and E for skin are well established, but the importance of the trace mineral zinc has been overlooked.

The essentiality of zinc for humans was recognized in the early 1960s, however zinc deficiency is the fifth leading risk factor for disease in the developing world.

The causes of zinc deficiency include malnutrition, alcoholism, malabsorption, extensive burns, chronic debilitating disorders, chronic renal disease, certain diuretics, the use of chelating agents such as penicillamine for Wilson's disease, and genetic disorders such as acrodermatitis enteropathica and sickle cell disease.

Soil losses and losses due to food processing are two of the main factors in zinc depletion in foods.

The requirement of zinc is increased in pregnancy.

Zinc: An Important Antioxidant for Skin

Zinc protects against UV radiation, enhances wound healing, contributes to immune and neuropsychiatric functions, and decreases the relative risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Zinc is used commonly to enhance wound healing.

Taken before and after surgery, zinc has been shown in numerous studies to speed recovery time and reduce the incidence of postoperative complications, such as wound infections.

This wound-healing effect is a likely result of zinc's function in DNA synthesis.

Cataracts also seem to be associated with zinc deficiency and have been helped by treatment.

All body tissues contain zinc. In skin, it is five to six times more concentrated in the epidermis than the dermis.

It is an essential element of more than 200 metalloenzymes, including the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase, and affects their conformity, stability, and activity.

Topical zinc, in the form of divalent zinc ions, has been reported to provide antioxidant photoprotection for skin.

Two antioxidant mechanisms have been proposed for zinc:

No matter how they work, topical zinc ions may provide an important and helpful antioxidant defense for skin.

Forms of zinc found in skin care products include zinc carbonate, zinc chloride, zinc gluconate, zinc PCA, zinc sulphate and zinc oxide (the latter not absorbed).

Relatively few products contain high concentrations of absorbable zinc — examples include all Obagi Elastiderm skin care products, Obagi Professional C Serum 20% concentration only, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Legere Moisturizer, La Roche-Posay Effaclar (all products), IS Clinical C & E Serum Advance+, IS Clinical C Eye Advance+, IS Clinical C-15 Serum Advance+, IS Clinical Poly-Vitamin Serum and IS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum.

Unfortunately, zinc is no longer a part of the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic formula.

Related Skin Care Information, Products and Expert Discussions

Dr. Albert Laporte

Obagi Professional C Ingredients

Cosmetic Dermatology Newsletter Summer 2007

D-Tocopheryl Glucoside

VitaMedica Broad Spectrum Antioxidant Further Information


Skin Care: April 2007 :

UVA: The Trojan Horse of Premature Ageing of the Skin : Effects of UVA Exposure : Flaws in The Current Evaluation of SPF (Sun Protection Factor) : True Broad Spectrum Sunscreen in Action: Protection of Skin Cell Nuclei and Keratinocytes : Different Sunscreens provide Different Skin Protection : Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 30 vs. Skinceuticals Daily Sun Defense SPF 20 : Mature Skin Analysis: Firmness and Elasticity of Healthy vs. Unhealthy Mature Skin : Photoprotection by Topical Trifolium Pratense — Red Clover : Zinc: An Important Antioxidant for Skin : Sunscreen around the Eyes : Photobiologic Basics of Anti-Aging/Skin-Rejuvenating Phototherapy : Anti-Aging Phototherapy by LEDs : Open Pores — Quick Fix Treatment and Lasting Prevention : Darphin Hydraskin: Imperata Cylindrica : Propensity for Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid) to Stimulate Acne : Evening Use of Gernetic Adipo/Gasta : Unsafe Flattery: Counterfeit Jan Marini Age Intervention Eyelash : Revised Ingredients: Jan Marini Age Intervention Eyelash : Jan Marini Age Intervention Cream and Serum Ingredient Comparison :


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