zinc pillIt’s so easy to forget to take a vitamin. I try to take one 30mg zinc pill per day to keep inflammation down in my body and help with my acne-prone skin. While I am completely clear from The Acne.org Regimen, I still like the idea of using zinc to help calm everything down from the inside out. Multiple studies point toward a 40% reduction in acne symptoms from regular zinc supplementation. In my own completely subjective and anecdotal case, my skin is calmer when I remember to take the zinc pill on a regular basis.

However, zinc is the only pill I’ve been taking lately because I’ve been getting my omega-3s from wild fish and sushi, and remembering to take just one vitamin can be hard. I looked around online for tips on how to remember to take a pill each day, and to be honest they all sound a little over the top. Tape it to your toothbrush? Seriously?! The one simple suggestion that I did like was to just make it a habit and pick a time of day to always do it. I think I’ll choose with breakfast and see if I can get more regular with it.

You can buy zinc at any Walgreens or CVS or from countless vendors online. Just make sure to get zinc gluconate. From what we can tell, this is the best form. 30mg should be a good dose because we get zinc from food as well and you don’t want to get too crazy with it.

Also, as I’ve mentioned before, a fun way to forgo the pill and still get a ton of zinc is to eat oysters. Oysters have far more zinc than any other food. Eating just 3 raw oysters gives you around the same 30mg that you’d get from a pill.

For those of you who have tried The ZIIT Method, you know it works as long as you catch the zit early in its lifecycle. But why does it work? Is it the Zinc, Ibuprofen, Ice, or Treatment that is doing the most?

In order of ability to stop a zit in its tracks I would rank them like this:

1. [Tied for first place] Ice and Treatment (2.5% benzoyl peroxide followed by 10% glycolic acid)
2. Ibuprofen (or other NSAID)
3. Zinc

We know that early application of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and 10% glycolic acid will usually stop a pimple from forming. However, ice is often overlooked for its anti-inflammatory prowess. Try and and you’ll see. Next time you feel a zit forming, even if it seems like it’s going to be a big painful one, try The ZIIT Method, and don’t forget the ice component.

A tip for how to apply ice:

Put a piece of ice in a ziploc bag:ice_ziit

Get yourself an eye patch from your local drugstore. They are cheap. I got this one for about $2.49.photo-74

Then hold it on the pimple for 5 minutes. photo-73

Do this twice a day along with the rest of The ZIIT Method and you will be surprised how much power you have over a menacing zit–as long as you catch it early.

I did some research on zinc. When taken internally it acts as an anti-inflammatory which can help with acne symptoms. Just be sure not to take it on an empty stomach and not to take more than 100mg a day–50mg is what is normally recommended in what I’m reading.