Posted by PatchMD.com on 8/10/2018
Choosing the right supplements for acne can be confusing. With so many vitamins and minerals to select from, it’s hard to know which ones are most effective. To add to the complexity, acne is a very individual condition with a large and varied number of causes.
The good news is, there are effective supplements for acne that can help to reduce breakouts and improve the appearance of your skin. Some nutrients work at a chemical level to support skin renewal, whereas others have an anti-inflammatory effect that calms redness. In this article, we explain exactly how they work and which ones you should look out for when choosing between high-quality supplements for acne.
Supplements for Acne - Vitamin A
Vitamin A is one of the best-known supplements for acne and skin care. It’s an antioxidant that is part of a group of compounds called retinoids. You might be familiar with terms like retinol, retinoic acid, and retinyl palmitate which are all from this group and frequently cited as ‘active ingredients’ in anti-aging creams.
Dermatologists often prescribe vitamin A as a topical treatment for acne. In fact, several of the popular prescription acne medications like Accutane contain a form of vitamin A. These are used to treat the most severe cases of acne, so you can be confident that it’s an effective ingredient!
Vitamin A plays an active role in many different areas of the body, such as supporting the immune system, producing red blood cells, and maintaining clear vision. Perhaps most importantly for acne purposes, it also supports the health of our skin. It regulates the shedding of dead skin cells, which if allowed to build up can be a cause of acne spots. This process ensures that pores don’t clog up or become blocked.
Most good quality supplements for acne will include vitamin A for this reason. Another key benefit is its antioxidant properties, which help to reduce inflammation. This can help to minimize swelling and calm the appearance of red acne breakouts. So, if you suffer from inflammatory acne on the face or other parts of your body, supplementing with vitamin A may help.
Supplements for Acne - Vitamin C
Vitamin C can have dramatic effects on the health and suppleness of your skin, as well as clear acne. Although it’s primarily known as an immune-boosting vitamin, it can also minimize redness and increase collagen production. This helps to improve the overall appearance of your skin by aiding its firmness and flexibility. If you have acne scars, then vitamin C is crucial in aiding their repair and gradual disappearance.
Acne, along with weight loss or gain, pregnancy, and sun damage, can all play havoc with our natural complexion. Cystic acne, in particular, tests the flexibility and resilience of our skin, since the cysts cause pressure and stretching. If the production of collagen decreases and flexibility disappears, then marks are more likely to occur. It’s harder for the skin to adapt to changes caused by cysts, which sometimes leaves visible scarring where it has been ‘stretched’ too quickly. Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen synthesis so that your skin is resilient and heals quickly.
It’s also a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect your cells against damage from free radicals. This can also reduce the redness associated with acne which is caused by inflammation. So, as well as helping your skin repair itself, it can also noticeably improve the appearance. Supplements for acne like vitamin C can boost collagen levels and have antioxidant efforts, so that your skin is able to adapt quickly, minimizing the likelihood of scars and appearing less red.
Supplements for Acne - Vitamin D
Research shows that people with moderate or severe acne are much more likely to be vitamin D deficient. A study by Korean researchers found that 48.8% of people with acne were deficient in vitamin D, compared with just 22.5% of people without acne. This suggested a clear link between acne and vitamin D deficiency, so they decided to test the effects of supplementation.
The researchers conducted a randomized control trial where half the participants received a daily vitamin D supplement and the other half got a placebo. After two months of taking 1000IU of vitamin D daily, the supplementation group saw a dramatic 35% decrease in the number of red spots. Although there was no change in blackheads or whiteheads, this shows promising effects for people with severe acne.
Multiple studies have now established a link between vitamin D deficiency and acne. The Vitamin D Council recommends high doses to treat acne in both adults and teenagers. They suggest that it may take around 2-3 months to begin seeing improvements but can take up to 5-6 months for maximum beneficial effects to take place.
Supplements for Acne - Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another well-known skin care nutrient that can be found in many anti-aging creams. It’s found in highly concentrated amounts in sebum, which appears to transport it from the bloodstream to the surface of the skin. It also has antioxidant properties which neutralize free radicals and prevent them from causing damage.
Research studies have suggested that vitamin E has an anti-inflammatory effect. This may be how it reduces the severity of acne and improves the appearance of skin. Taking supplements for acne like vitamin E can also enhance the effectiveness of prescribed acne medications. One scientific study found that both the efficacy and tolerability of benzoyl peroxide (a topical acne cream) was enhanced by incorporating vitamin E into the formulation.
Oral vitamin E is used in the treatment of burns in addition to vitamin C and zinc (more on zinc later). It is thought that this combination has a greater antioxidant effect on the skin so it benefits from greater free radical protection. This reduces the amount of time that it takes for wounds to heal and may be beneficial for those who want to reduce the appearance of acne scars too.
Supplements for Acne - Vitamin K1 & K2
Did you know that vitamin K comes in two forms? Vitamin K1 and K2 both perform different functions in the body and come from different dietary sources too. However, both types are essential for skin health and the prevention of acne.
If you don’t consume enough of both types of vitamin K, then calcium can get deposited within the elastin fibers of your skin. This can harden and lead to wrinkles, so it’s best to ensure that you’re getting enough of the vitamin no matter what your age.
From an acne perspective, vitamin K also plays a key role. It’s involved in the formation of proteins that help to maintain healthy skin cells. This means that it not only helps to prevent acne in the first place but also supports the treatment of cells damaged by scarring from spots.
Supplements for Acne - Selenium
Selenium is both a mineral and an antioxidant that provides protection for other antioxidants. It works in synergy with them to maximize their effectiveness and plays a role in how the glutathione peroxidase enzyme functions. This influences the inflammation of acne and can prevent it if functioning correctly. The enzyme depends on selenium to function, so if you have a deficiency then your body will have trouble controlling breakouts.
Even a small amount of selenium can help to improve the appearance of acne, especially in combination with vitamin E. Research has also shown that being deficient in selenium can contribute to other inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Supplements for Acne - Zinc
When it comes to supplements for acne, zinc should definitely be high on your list. It enables several key processes that contribute to clearer skin. It supports the metabolism of omega 3 fatty acids which can be found in fish oils. As an antioxidant, it also helps to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. It also helps to break down a chemical called substance P that causes sebum to be produced in stress situations. Lastly, it transports vitamin A around the body which (as we’ve already covered) is one of the essential supplements for acne.
Scientific research studies have shown that people who suffer from acne often have low zinc levels. So, it’s important to avoid deficiency by including it in your supplementation routine. Taking zinc regularly will also help your body to make the most of the vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acids that you consume. Even without its acne-treatment benefits, zinc is a crucial nutrient for everyday life. It plays a role in a huge number of bodily functions, including those of the brain, immune system, reproduction, along with growth and development. So, ensuring you get adequate amounts is important regardless of whether you suffer from acne or not.
Supplements for Acne - Evening Primrose Oil & Chaste Tree Berry
If you suffer from acne that’s related to menstruation, then either Evening Primrose Oil or Chaste tree berries may be the answer. For some people, monthly periods can cause a hormone imbalance that causes frustrating acne breakouts. Evening Primrose Oil (often shortened to EPO) contains the omega-6 type of fatty acid which can help to regulate hormone levels and return your skin to its normal clear state.
Chaste tree berries are associated with relieving acne, along with other conditions that can be affected by hormonal imbalances. For thousands of years, women have been using this berry to treat menstrual problems and gynecological conditions. Although chaste tree berries do not contain any hormones or hormone-like substances, they do have an influence over the pituitary glands and hypothalamus. This is how they play a role in rebalancing the hormones that cause acne and other physical symptoms.
Acting in the same way that birth-control pills do to help to keep your skin clear, both evening primrose oil and chaste tree berries offer a natural supplement alternative. However, it’s important to note that Chaste tree berry is not recommended for women who are pregnant so avoid taking it if this is the case for you.
Supplements for Acne - Summary
So, now you know exactly what to look for when choosing the right supplements for acne. Although the cause can be multifactorial, combining several of these nutrients gives you the best possible chance of addressing the root issue. Paying attention to your diet and ensuring that it’s well-balanced is one way to increase your vitamin and mineral intake. However, most of us have busy lives and don’t always know if we’re consuming the right amount of different nutrients in the correct proportions. This is where supplements for acne really come into their own, as a quick and easy way to nourish your body with everything it needs for overall health.
Supplements for Acne by PatchMD
Instead of buying individual supplements for acne, why not choose one that contains all of the skin care nutrients you need? Our Keep Klear Acne Prevention Patch contains all the best vitamins and minerals for nourishing your skin and reversing troubling spots. For a nutrient-based approach to clearing acne and treating other skin issues, they offer a simple and high-quality solution.
The patch provides 500IU of Vitamin A (109%), 250mg of Vitamin C (417%), 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 (500%), 400 IU of Vitamin E (1333%), 100mcg of Vitamin K and K2 MK-7 (125%), 200mcg of Selenium (200%), and 15mg of Zinc (165%). It also contains our unique PMD Complex which includes Evening Primrose Oil, Type II Collagen, L-Carnitine, N-acetyl Glucosamine, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Glucosamine sulfate, and Chaste Tree Berry. This combination of effective ingredients integrates the benefits of multiple supplements for acne into one handy patch.
The Keep Klear Acne Prevention Patch is available in packs of 30 so that you have a supply to last the entire month. Since your body can’t store many of the vitamins, it’s crucial that you replenish your levels daily. If you are someone who suffers from acne, then Keep Klear patches may help prevent breakouts and maintain clear skin for the long term. Learn more about the Keep Klear Acne Prevention Patch and read the 5* reviews here.
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