Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that can lead to irritating and sometimes painful symptoms. Severe cases can even lead to scarring. One of the best ways to treat and prevent acne is a nutritious diet that provides all of the vitamins and minerals the body needs. Vitamins play an essential role in skin health and the way the body fights conditions like acne. In fact, acne is often associated with vitamin deficiency. Here are the 17 best supplements for acne:
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage that can accelerate skin aging and contribute to acne and other skin conditions. Vitamin A stimulates cell growth and helps protect the skin from excess dryness, assisting with moisture retention. Vitamin A deficiencies increase the risk of poor skin health and the development of acne.
Retinoids are chemical compounds similar to vitamin A. They have anti-inflammatory properties, which appear to greatly effect acne. Retinoid supplements and creams are often prescribed by dermatologists to treat acne, purportedly with great results.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from damage associated with free radical activity. It helps regenerate skin cells and is also an effective immune booster, which may help explain its role in skin health and effective acne relief.
Vitamin D plays an intricate role in skin health. Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to acne and other skin conditions. While most vitamin D is obtained naturally from sun exposure, vitamin D supplements can be helpful, particularly in regions where sunlight is limited, during long, dark winters or to people who are not able to have adequate time outside.
Vitamin E plays an essential role in the overall health of the skin. It is a potent antioxidant that not only protects the skin from foreign toxins, but is believed to help repair skin tissue as well. Maintaining proper vitamin E levels through supplementation can lower the risk of developing acne and contribute to its effective treatment.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B Complex is a group of eight B vitamins, many of which contribute to skin health and may help prevent and treat acne. Vitamin B2 is an effective stress reliever. Research shows that stress can actually trigger acne breakouts and make it worse. Vitamin B2 also improves circulation, which is extremely beneficial to the skin. Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to inflammation of the skin, which means that maintaining good vitamin B6 levels is essential to preventing acne. Niacinamide, which is closely related to vitamin B3, has demonstrated the ability to improve symptoms of acne in several studies. Other B vitamins, including B1, B5 and B6, contribute to good skin health and may help prevent acne by improving circulation, lowering stress and boosting the immune system.
Zinc is an antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from free radical damage, UV radiation and other skin toxins. Zinc supports the immune system, which may play an important role in preventing and treating acne. Studies have found that it can stimulate wound healing and may help prevent acne scarring. Some dermatologists recommend 30mg of zinc per day for acne.
Chromium is a mineral sometimes used to treat skin infections. It helps to repair damaged skin and may reduce acne scarring. Studies have found that taking as little as 150 micrograms of chromium per day could help to fight acne.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids like omega-3 play an important role in skin health and may help prevent and even treat acne. EFA supplements are important because it is very difficult for some people to obtain the proper amounts without supplementation.
Lecithin helps the body absorb essential fatty acids, which are vital to maintaining good skin health and preventing acne. Soybeans are the best source of lecithin and the best forms of lecithin supplements are derived primarily from soy.
Magnesium may play a role in acne treatment and prevention because it helps balance hormone production. Erratic hormone production can contribute to acne. Magnesium may also help to reduce stress, which can also trigger acne breakouts.
Selenium is another potent antioxidant believed to play a role in skin health. While its specific effects on acne are not known, used in combination with vitamin E and vitamin A it may be effective, particularly for people with selenium deficiency. Too much selenium can be dangerous. Consult a doctor before adding selenium supplements to your acne regimen.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Alpha hydroxyl acids are found naturally in citrus fruits. Applied topically, they can help to unclog pores and discard dead skin cells. They have demonstrated the ability to improve the symptoms of acne and may even help to reduce acne scarring.
Azelaic acid occurs naturally in whole grain cereals and animal products. It has potent antibacterial properties and is believed to effectively treat acne. Studies show that creams with 20% azelaic acid treat acne as well or better than many conventional treatments, like benzoyl peroxide or oral tetracycline.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a popular skin supplement that purportedly works great for acne relief. Studies show that it is just as effective as other acne drugs and may be safer for the skin. However, tea tree oil may worsen the symptoms of acne rosacea and has been known to cause contact dermatitis.
Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract may help treat acne. It is believed to protect collagen and reduce inflammation. It can also enhance skin cell growth and repair.
Turmeric is a popular and purportedly powerful herbal acne supplement. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties and is also an antioxidant.