There seems to be much confusion and whatnot on this board with how to take Zinc, which type of Zinc to use, and so on. So I will share what i've read and experienced. Note that I am writing about taking Zinc in supplement form here.
I've been taking Zinc for quite a while, in different forms, and at different times. The most significant point to note is that I saw no effect at all from taking certain types of Zinc at certain times, but have experienced some reasonable success after implementing some reading and research I carried out.
(i) Types of Zinc.
There are many types of Zinc available. The type I take is "ZINC PICOLINATE", because it the most easily absorbed, easy on the stomach in the method you must take it (see below), and enhances absorbtion of other vitamins/minerals.
(ii) Amount of Zinc.
Most studies on Zinc for acne use 30mg. This is fine. Using a large amount is toxic and people have actually injured their intestines trying to fix their acne by taking large amounts of Zinc. 30mg is the way to go because you will be taking Zinc in the long term and this sort of amount is most preferable as apposed to a low amount or a much more than this in this situation. Buying large amounts of Zinc all the time will put a large hole in your wallet as well as your intestines.
(iii) Period of time over which you take Zinc.
It is important to note that you will need to take Zinc for a few months before you get results. It isn't the miracle cure, I haven't got completely clear with Zinc but it has helped. Bearing in mind that many acne/zinc studies have shown results on beginning to show around 3 months, you will need to be patient for some results. Some have shown results in less time, sometimes a few weeks but in the extreme case, you may need to wait for 3 months. Either way, the results won't be over night.
(iv) Zinc and copper depletion.
Taking Zinc in the long term can produce copper depletion.. a bad thing. You ought to use about 2/3mg of copper with your Zinc. Note that you shouldn't take them both at the same time because they inhibit the absorbtion of eachother.
(v) Method of taking Zinc.
Zinc (Zinc Picolinate is preferable) is best taken on an empty stomach. It frequently says on the bottle of your the Zinc vitamins to take it with food. But this isn't the best way, if you actually look at some websites on Zinc you will read that it is best taken on an empty stomach.
The reason they print 'Take With Food' on the bottle is so people don't make themselves feel ill.. BUT the feeling of illness you get when taking Zinc only occurrs when you are using Zinc Gluconate/Sulfate.. Zinc Picolinate is easy on the stomach, so there is no issue here.
Take the Zinc Picolinate on an empty stomach (around 1 hour or so after eating, maybe a bit more) with a glass of water last thing at night before you go to bed.
Another important point to note is that Zinc absorbtion is depleted if you drink Tea or Coffee in the same part of the day you will be taking the Zinc.. i.e don't drink Tea or Coffee in the evenings. You probably won't get the best sleep if you're driking Tea of Coffee in the evenings or before you go to bed anyway. I drink a fair amount of Tea and Coffee but it's not really a big hassle to avoid drinking it in the evenings (much after 7 at night).
And that's about it I think. Hopefully someone will get some use out of this.