People go to great lengths to achieve beautiful, acne-free skin. While purchasing the best topical skincare products can certainly help, vitamins, minerals, and supplements also play an essential role in a well-rounded skin care regimen. When taken correctly, daily supplements can support your topical acne treatment, help heal your skin blemishes, and prevent future breakouts.
What causes acne?
The severity and type of acne are related to a variety of reasons. Your genetics (familial tendency), eating the wrong foods, using improper skincare, too much stress, and even lack of sleep can all contribute to acne. Hormonal changes and fluctuations can also play a significant role in acne flare-ups.
The best way for most people to treat acne would be with topical products that contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. When using the correct, customized products, you should see results in 3-4 months.
While these topical treatments are effective, it's important to remember that great skin starts from within! When paired with your personalized topical treatment regime, a combination of the right diet and the right supplements can help you attain the clear skin of your dreams.
How can vitamins and supplements help with acne?
1. Provide an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing skin redness.
2. Work as antioxidants, counteracting the skin damage caused by environmental toxins.
3. Contain stress-relieving ingredients. Less stress can lead to less acne.
4. Help reduce hormonal acne by improving hormonal imbalances.
5. Help improve the skin's immune system by fighting acne-causing bacteria.
6. Enhance the skin's healing process, resulting in less acne scarring.
7. Help with glucose metabolism, reducing glucose spikes leading to fewer acne breakouts.
8. They work just as effectively for areas that are hard to reach with topical treatments (such as the back).
Couldn't a healthy diet alone achieve these results?
Your body needs a balance of nutrients to keep it functioning correctly, and your skin, the largest organ in your body, is no different. A healthy diet, full of high-quality fish and a wide variety of veggies can help improve skin health. It does this by reducing the inflammation associated with acne and providing hormonal support that helps with the skin repair processes.
Unfortunately, it's not always possible to eat the perfect diet. The right vitamins and supplements can help bridge this gap and make sure you're getting the ideal amount of the nutrients that you need to support healthy skin.
What ingredients should I look for in an acne supplement?
When it comes to acne supplements, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. If you take the wrong supplement for your particular skin or your specific type of acne, the supplement can be ineffective at best and make your acne worse at worst.
When it comes to acne supplementation, it's a good idea to focus on active ingredients:
1. Vitamin A has antioxidant properties. It promotes a healthy immune system and contributes to eye health by playing an essential role in the growth and development of cells. As for skin benefits, Vitamin A is the source for retinol. It's used in the topical treatment of mild acne and orally (isotretinoin, Accutane) for the treatment of more severe and cystic acne. Vitamin A helps in the production of new skin cells and the formation of collagen and can reduce sebum production, supporting your topical anti-acne treatment from within.
2. Vitamin B5 (aka pantothenic acid) is one vitamin that you do not want to be deficient in! If you are, it can cause overactive sebaceous glands, which leads to increased sebum production. The result of this is an increased likelihood of hormonal acne breakouts. More info on pantothenic acid for people with acne.
3. Vitamin B12 helps reduce acne blemishes and inflammation.
4. Vitamin B3 (known as niacinamide) improves skin elasticity, evens skin tone, and fights inflammation. Because of this, B3 is ideally suited to treat the inflammation in pimples and clear up your acne.
5. Milk Thistle contains silymarin, which is both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It also helps your liver process fat more efficiently into healthy fatty acids.
High glycemic food is believed to make acne worse. What helps with glucose metabolism?
Chromium is believed to help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce skin infections, thus lessening the chances of an acne breakout.
Are there any minerals I should look for in an acne supplement?
Zinc is critical to skin, hair, and nail health, but the human body does not make zinc, so it's essential to get it through your diet. Supplementing with zinc is believed to benefit people with acne by reducing the inflammatory response to bacteria, which may decrease the redness and swelling related to acne. It can also help keep pores and oil glands from clogging.
Magnesium is essential for hundreds of biochemical functions. The problem is, studies now show that more than 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient. So, getting this mineral via a supplement is critical. Selenium is a mineral that helps to prevent inflammation related to acne. It also works as an antioxidant and protects other antioxidants such as Vitamin E.
What are the best supplements for teenagers with acne?
Many teenagers would not eat enough vegetables leading to poor skin health and more acne breakouts.
Having enough B vitamins is essential for the healthy development of our body and is vital to teens. This family of vitamins is responsible for energy production in our cells and the proper function of many body organs, including the skin. Vitamin B5, specifically, was found to help with acne. Vitamin B12 improves the production of red blood cells, helps to strengthen the nerve cell function, and Vitamin B6 assists in the breakdown of the liver hormones, mood swings, and sweets cravings.
Vitamin A is another vitamin that is crucial for skin build-up and renewal. It especially important for skin health and is used in oral and topical anti-acne medications. The minerals, zinc, and selenium, in the right amounts, can help prevent acne inflammation in adolescents and adults.
What are the best supplements for adult men with acne?
Over 10% of men over the age of 25 still suffer from acne. The causes of acne in adult men are similar to the causes of adolescent's acne. It all starts with a genetic predisposition to excess secretion of sebum in the skin oil glands. When these oils gland increase in size, they are clogged by dead skin cells leading to overgrowth of acne bacteria in the clogged skin oil glands. The skin's immune system produces skin inflammation and redness resulting in the typical acne pimples.
Improper skin cleansing, poor shaving technique, and other elements like stress and poor diet make adult men acne worse. Overexposure to air pollution humidity heat and other toxins can cause acne breakouts worse and more difficult to control.
The first step in the treatment of acne in adult men should be using the right topical products. These products should include a medicated acne treatment, usually with salicylic acid to clearance dirt and oil from the skin and unclog skin pores and a medicated night cream that can kill the acne bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Same as with adolescents – the diet of many men lacks vegetables. Acne supplements are an excellent addition to the topical skincare routine of adult men with acne. Also, for boosting skin healing and reducing skin inflammation, the right acne supplement can reduce skin redness and inflammation and fight and help unclog skin pores.
What helps to heal skin with acne scars?
Coenzyme Q10 has skin-healing effects, such as lightening spots, preventing skin cell damage, regenerating skin cells, and decreasing blemishes and redness.
What are the best ingredients or supplements for hormonal acne?
We already know that hormones play a significant role in forming acne. It turns out that testosterone and estrogen are particularly at fault. When testosterone levels are increased (or if there's a heightened sensitivity to this hormone), the sebaceous gland can produce oilier sebum, which makes the skin more prone to acne. Changes or imbalances in estrogen levels can also be a contributing factor in acne.
A nutrient known as DIM can help to balance these hormones.
What is DIM?
DIM (or diindolylmethane, but who can say that), is also called the "Hormone Balancer." It's a potent compound found naturally in cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, kale, and cabbages. Acting as an aromatase inhibitor, DIM can help restore estrogen balance and reduce the number of acne breakouts in both men and women. Thanks to its hormone-balancing effects, DIM can be taken by people with adult acne, hormonal acne, and cystic acne. It can also be beneficial to those with acne scars. This stuff is so powerful; users have reported effects within the third week of use. The skin benefits alone are reason enough to take DIM acne-prone skin supplements. But in addition to helping with skin issues, DIM is also believed to help with irregular menstrual cycles, heavy periods, and PMS.
What are the best vitamins or minerals for people with stress acne?
Emotional and psychological stress themselves do not necessarily cause acne outbreaks. The sebaceous glands do contain receptors for stress hormones, so increased stress does result in increased sebum production. BUT, there's another way in which stress affects the skin: it increases the urge to touch and pick the skin, which can cause more acne breakouts and slower healing of the lesions.
It is believed that Vitamin B5 supports the adrenal glands, which helps reduces stress and anxiety levels. Vitamins B9 (also known as folate or folic acid) and B12 are important in balancing out depressive moods. Vitamin B6, together with magnesium, can balance out the anxiety that occurs in conjunction with PMS.
Having enough magnesium is essential for proper nerve and muscle function. We already know that a majority of Americans consume less magnesium than they should. This deficiency is particularly problematic when dealing with stress because magnesium seems to play a significant role in regulating the stress response.
Zinc is another mineral required for overall health and mental well-being. It's found in the highest concentrations in the brain, especially in the hippocampus and plays a vital role in modulating your stress response. Zinc is required to synthesize GABA and balance the activity of this calming neurotransmitter. Along with Vitamin B6, zinc is also a cofactor in the production of serotonin.
Can I take acne supplements when I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
You should not use acne supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It's essential that you consult your healthcare provider and pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter supplements. If you have any preexisting medical conditions or are taking any other medications, you would need to consult first with your primary physician.
I've heard that biotin can cause more acne breakouts. Is that true?
Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, is essential to maintain the skin barrier function of the skin, and thus in a small amount, is beneficial to people with acne.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is the most important vitamin for people with acne. As biotin in large amounts reduces the absorption of vitamin B5 in the gut, it is believed that it can cause more acne breakouts. In conclusion, taking biotin in a small amount, 25 mcg, as provided in MDacne skin-clearing supplements, is beneficial to people with acne while taking hair and nail supplements that usually contain 10000 mcg of biotin can lead to more acne.
I want to start taking an acne supplement, how do I make sure I'm choosing a high-quality one?
When looking for high-quality acne supplements, check the label for these standards:
• A GMP certified plant means that the supplements were produced in compliance with the USA Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) cGMP practices (Current Good Manufacturing Practices).
• Non-GMO: Genetically modified organisms (GMO) have their genetic materials altered by genetic engineering.
• Gluten-free: Gluten is a collective name for proteins found in wheat. Some people may be allergic to gluten. Gluten can act as irritants and cause inflammation in the lining of the gut.
Customized vitamins + minerals for acne-prone
DIM supplements for women with adult and hormonal acne
More info on pantothenic acid for people with acne.