Zinc PCA - Effect and benefits in skincare

The skincare guide for acne prone skin

Skin conditioning / antibacterial agent

Zinc PCA

Are you constantly searching for the right skincare products? If there’s one thing we know very well it’s that it can be really difficult to find the right products for acne prone skin. We’ve found ourselves stood in front of shelves of skincare products frantically reading through the ingredient lists many times. So, we made it our mission to clear it all up for you and demystify skincare once and for all!

Today, we’re going to start by looking at Zinc PCA! If you have oily and/or acne prone skin, this is one of the active ingredients you should look for in your skincare products. Let us explain...

Firstly, what is Zinc?  

Zinc is an essential micronutrient for the proper functioning of multiple processes in the human body.

Zinc is a fundamental part of more than 200 enzymes and proteins and so is essential for maintaining their function and stability. The most important thing to know about zinc is that it’s responsible for a well-functioning immune system. So, a balanced, zinc-rich diet can help you to combat pimple causing bacteria. 


Many enzymes of our skin are also dependent on zinc as a central element. And so, in the field of skincare, zinc is especially known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s great for acne prone skin. Zinc is also a safe ingredient which means it can be applied to different types of skin. 

Benefits of zinc: 

anti-inflammatory agent
healing properties
safe ingredient
can be used on different types of skin

So, what is Zinc PCA?

Zinc-PCA is a trace element but differs from zinc. PCA stands for Pyrrolidone carboxylic acid. Zinc PCA (or “zinc salt”) has been shown to be very effective for treating pimples, breakouts. It can help to reduce redness and sebum secretion and supports the general healing process of the skin [1].

[1] Jarrousse, V .; Castex-Rizzi, N .; Khammari, A .; Charveron, M .; Dreno, B. (2007) Zinc salts inhibit in vitro toll-like receptor 2 surface expression by keratinocytes European Journal of Dermatology 17: 492-496 Nitzan, Yuval Bibi; Cohen, Arnon D. (2006) Zinc in skin pathology and care. Journal of Dermatological Treatment (2006), 17 (4), 205-210.

It is not the element zinc, but the zinc ions that have these powers. This means that zinc is used in skincare in the form of zinc salts, e.g. as zinc PCA. In these compounds, the zinc ions are contained as easily soluble components which means that these are released easily when applied to the skin. 

PCA is an amino acid derivative that also occurs naturally in the skin and is part of the natural moisturizing factor (NMF).

The natural moisturizing factor (NMF) is known for its special substances that are able to bind water. In this case, the salts of PCA are able to bind water in the skin and reduce transepidermal water loss - (if you’re aware of this term already it basically means the loss of water through the epidermis/skin to the surrounding atmosphere due to evaporation - i.e. sweat).

For this reason, PCA is also used for moisturizing, and so is also used in cosmetics for dry skin.

Zinc PCA for acne prone skin?

Research on acne and zinc tends to go hand in hand because zinc has been linked to anti-inflammatory, sebum decreasing and antibacterial properties. Although it’s worth noting that the role of zinc in acne treatments has been seen as controversial in the past. 

Zinc-PCA provides the benefits of PCA in combination with the benefits of zinc. But which skin types can it be used on? Well, all of them really! Its sebum-regulating and antimicrobial properties make Zinc PCA particularly useful for oily skin prone to acne. Combination skin also benefits from the combination of moisture-binding and sebum-reducing properties. And, because both Zinc and PCA occur naturally in our bodies, Zinc PCA is also suitable for sensitive skin! 

Zinc-PCA is an all-rounder. 

Along with its many benefits for acne prone skin, zinc ions are also known for protecting the skin against the degradation of collagen by UV rays, which prevents the skin from aging! It truly is a great all-rounder! 

Other names for Zinc PCA 
Zinc PCA, zinc, zinc sulfates
What effects does Zinc PCA have?
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
What else can Zinc PCA do?
Zinc PCA has a preventive effect on skin aging.
This is because it acts as an antioxidant and counteracts the degradation of collagen by UV radiation.
This, in combination with PCA, adds a moisturizing effect.

Where can I find Zinc PCA? 

At System Akvile, we value science and research. We formulate our products with care and think carefully about each ingredient we use in our formulations. We’ve reformulated our SOS Target, so instead of using the trademarked ingredient Sepicontrol a5, we’ve decided to use Zinc PCA instead. Zinc PCA compliments the formula of our Target. It is a non-drying and non-irritating anti-inflammatory active ingredient which works well with Ictasol and helps to fight annoying blemishes and deep cystic pimples.  

SOS Target

Has anti-inflammatory agents
Has Zinc PCA & Ictasol
Use the Target whenever you need it
Use until the spot disappears

We believe in demystifying skincare

There is no topical skin treatment that acts against all four of the major problems of acne prone skin: attached skin cells (hyperkeratinization), sebum over-production, bacteria and inflammation.

We’re all about keeping it simple with 4 products and 1 routine to help you to choose and to use skincare that actually works with your skin.

adult acne prone skin
Adult acne prone skin
acne prone skin skincare solution
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