If you’ve ever dealt with acne, you're probably familiar with certain skincare ingredients that are recommended for treating breakouts like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and retinol. Each of these ingredients serve their own purposes—from killing off pimple-causing bacteria on your skin to increasing cell turnover, so finding the right product will come down to figuring out what’s causing your acne in the first place.
As Dr. Howard Sobel previously told us, “Acne occurs when the hair follicles become clogged by excess sebum (oil), bacteria or dead skin cells, which causes inflammation in the skin.” This can result from an increase in sebum production, from bacteria, or, for many women, a change in hormones, to name a few of the more common reasons.
And just as the causes behind breakouts are varied, treating acne often requires a multi-pronged (and multi-ingredient) approach—which is why we’re always on the lookout for new or lesser-known options. Enter: zinc. While zinc has been used to treat various skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea for years, it’s not as ubiquitous as some of the aforementioned ingredients in the acne world, so we had to do some probing. Is using zinc for acne the breakout-fighting solution we may have been missing from our routines? Read on to find out.