The Top 9 Supplements for Acne
These supplements for acne can help clear your skin. How? Because sometimes clearing skin requires a holistic, multi-pronged, heavier-dose approach…
A major bonus with using supplements for acne is that if you do benefit from them, it is usually because your body needs them (duh)…
Example: Vitamin D and Vitamin B can make a big difference to energy and mood. Your doctor might recommend them for this reason, and you might find your skin clears up too.
First: Why is “Therapeutic Dose” Important?
Can’t we just get all the vitamins and minerals we need from a balanced diet? (You will hear this a lot from those who are opposed to taking supplements).
While it’s true a “balanced” diet is important, the truth is 1) who even knows what a perfectly balanced diet is… and 2) who can stick to it?!
What is really important is therapeutic dose:
Definition of therapeutic dose from The Medical Dictionary: “the quantity of any substance required to effect the cure of a disease or to correct the manifestations of a deficiency of a particular factor in the diet“
In other words, yes you can get Vitamin C from eating an orange. But it’s hard to get enough to effect a deficiency. And anyway, taking a pill is a lot easier than eating 5 oranges right??
The vitamins and minerals on this page have the power to help heal tissue, improve overall health and rebalance hormone levels in your body. In other words, to help get rid of acne and improve your skin.
Remember: it may take at least 3 weeks to notice results, and up to 12 weeks to be really sure – that is the usual timeline in clinical studies on the effects of supplements.
*Important – please consult your doctor before taking any supplements or vitamins. This page is for information only.
The Best Supplements for Acne:
1. Zinc Supplements
Zinc is perhaps one of the most important supplements for acne.
And this is almost an ancient secret! A scientific study conducted in 1977 showed a significant reduction in acne vulgaris in patients taking a zinc supplement versus a placebo at the end of 12 weeks…
Most times the oldest remedies are the best – a lot of “new” cures that sound good just play towards trends (e.g. Goji berries, alkaline water, snail slime…), but don’t much at all.
Applying zinc topically is also great at reducing breakouts and inflamed skin, but taking it orally as a supplement may be even more beneficial.
Recommended: Nature’s Bounty Zinc Supplement 50mg
2. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D is important in controlling inflammation in the body, and in cell maintenance and growth – a lack of this Vitamin can cause thin skin and weakened cells (source)
- There is some advice out there about sun baking to ‘dry out’ acne. While this does work temporarily by literally drying out the skin’s oil…. in the long run it is damaging and will simply cause an increase in oil production.
So if you need to up your dose of Vitamin D, do so via a good quality pill like: NatureWise Vitamin D3
3. Vitamin B Complex
Okay, this is one supplement that is so important for so many reasons!
If you’ve ever been really stressed or low in energy and started to take a Vitamin B Complex supplement, you may have experienced the difference.
Vitamin B6, B12 and Folate/Folic Acid are part of the coveted B Group. The ability for these vitamins to reduce stress and fatigue have even been studied (with promising results).
Why is this important for skin?
Because your skin is part of your overall system – you may be familiar with stress acne, your skin breaks out or becomes more oily and irritated during times of stress, fatigue, or emotional turmoil.
It’s important to take B Vitamins as a “group” (the complex supplements), as they all work better together. Great team work.
Recommended: NatureMade Super B-Complex
4. Fish Oil (Omega 3)
Are Omega 3 supplements good for acne? This is one that is usually recommended to take for skin and overall health. Here’s why:
- Lubricates and strengthens skin from the inside (also good for dry eyes, hair and nails)
- Supports all systems of the body and may be particularly important for mental health – and anything that helps control stress in turn helps your skin
- Balances hormones so is great for hormonal acne
Recommended: NatureMade Full Strength Mini Omega 3 (fish oil tablets are usually so big, these ones are a great size!)
There is a link between the brain, gut and skin. To cut a really long story short – emotional factors like anxiety and depression can deplete the microflora in the gut, which in turn causes local and systemic inflammation (see more here).
Local inflammation = gas, bloating, IBS
Systemic inflammation = that can include the skin. AKA acne.
So: by replenishing the good bacteria in your gut, you can help your skin (and your mood!)
Recommended: Culturelle Daily Probiotic
6. Vitamin C
Once again, you can get it from that daily orange… but getting enough Vitamin C to be effective can be difficult. Especially because the body doesn’t actually make it.
Here’s why Vitamin C is good for skin and acne:
- A powerful antioxidant, it helps the body fight free radicals and strengthens the immune system
- It also supports collagen renewal – the fiber which is the framework of your skin. Anything that supports the strength of your skin will help in keeping it clear and supple
TAKE: 500mg – 1000mg daily (I like to take my Vitamin C supplement as a drink in the morning, especially when the immune system feels like it needs a boost)
7. L-Lysine Supplements
This supplement is recommended for preventing and speeding up healing of coldsores – the herpes simplex virus. From personal experience, it can work really well!
If you get coldsores you will be familiar with that initial dreaded “tingle” on your lip which can signal the start of one. Taking a consistent dose of L-Lysine can help (I usually double the dose when I get that feeling – it really helps!).
- L-Lysine is an essential amino acid (our bodies can’t produce it). It plays a role in tissue repair and collagen formation.
What about for acne?
It may also help prevent acne and pimple breakouts for the same reasons. Or at least make them less severe. Especially in the case of cystic acne – you could try doubling the dose when you feel a deep cyst brewing beneath the surface of your skin.
Recommended: NOW L-Lysine Tablets
- This Chinese herb is anti inflammatory and may help to lower blood sugar levels by slowing carbohydrate absorption – this keeps hormones balanced
- Stabilizing and balancing hormones can make all the difference to an acne skin condition
- Ginseng can also help with food cravings – huge spikes and falls in your blood sugar contributes to the need for more sugar and refined carbs, and it becomes a vicious cycle. These are the very foods you don’t want to be eating for clear skin!
- It’s also used widely for increasing energy and stress reduction and prevention
TAKE: You can take this in a tea form, capsule form or powder. Capsule is likely much easier unless you enjoy drinking lots of herbal-tasting tea!
Recommended: NOW American Ginseng 500mg
9. Biotin – B for Beauty
Ah Biotin, the “beauty vitamin”. This is more lauded for hair growth – some claim it helps your hair to grow faster and thicker (this includes eyelashes and eyebrows!)
It’s also great to help strengthen nails – and be warned it really can make them grow faster!
For your skin it can help with the normal growth processes, and can help with a giving you a natural glow. Hence it’s nickname as the beauty vitamin!
This is another supplement worth taking even if you don’t have an acne problem – the glowing skin, strong nails, and thicker hair are worth it 🙂
Recommended: Natrol Biotin Maximum Strength
The internal condition of your body is one factor when it comes to your skin. Taking vitamins and supplements for acne is a relatively simple yet powerful way to help improve your skin in the long run.
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