Vitamins for Acne: The Best Vitamins for Clear Skin
Did you know that vitamins and minerals as an acne treatment can be a highly effective and affordable way to improve your skin?
Many types of acne can be cured through proper vitamin and mineral intake.
There is research supporting the use of vitamins for acne. As a long-time acne sufferer, I’ve tried more remedies than I’d like to admit, with many being at the long-term cost of my skin.
Thankfully, vitamins for acne can be a great way to improve your skin without many of the side effects associated with over-the-counter medications. Proper nutrition supplementation can go a long way for our health and our skin.
Below is a list of the 11 best vitamins and minerals you need to consider when trying to treat your acne.
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and is vital to our body’s processes. It is arguably the most studied vitamin for acne there is.
In fact, vitamin A is so beneficial that it is found in two of the world’s most potent acne medications: Accutane and Retin-A. At their core, they are highly potent, synthetic versions of vitamin A. They cause rapid cell turnover in the skin, which reduces the occurrence of clogged pores and can even reduce the appearance of acne scars.
However, dietary vitamin A can be beneficial by itself. Not only is it significantly cheaper, it doesn’t come with the long list of side effects that are associated with its synthetic counterparts (when taken responsibly).
- Promotes rapid skin cell turnover which reduces the occurrence of clogged pores
- Reduces inflammation and the improves the appearance of acne
- It is an antioxidant and therefore removes free radicals and toxins that could be correlated to acne in the skin
How can you supplement Vitamin A?
You can get vitamin A with a prescription, multivitamin, or most importantly, through diet. You can also get synthetic vitamin A with a doctor’s prescription. However, proper diet and a multivitamin can assure you have healthy levels of vitamin A in your body. Common foods that are abundant in vitamin A include animal products such as meat, milk, and eggs.
Vitamin B3 is well-known for its topical benefits. Essentially, it is an antioxidant that can protect the skin from oxidative damage. Another benefit found in vitamin B3 studies indicate its anti-inflammatory characteristics reduce the appearance of acne. This evidence has led to many people buying vitamin B3 in powder form and using it as a topical in homemade creams and lotions.
Vitamin B3 in food
- Protects the skin from oxidative damage meaning reduced acne formation from sebum
- Anti-inflammatory characteristics reduce the occurrence and appearance of acne
- Strengthens the skin barrier
How can you supplement vitamin B3?
As mentioned above, topical vitamin B3 is becoming popular among acne sufferers. To increase your vitamin B3 intake through diet, eat plenty of lean meats and healthy fats including turkey, chicken, and peanuts. You can also increase your vitamin B3 orally through a multivitamin.
Healthy meals, rich in vitamins and minerals, can help treat acne.
There has been some promising research regarding vitamin B5 and reduction in acne. One of these publications involves its correlation to insulin. There has been some evidence suggesting the vitamin B5 improves insulin sensitivity. The more sensitive your body is to it, the less it needs. Therefore, a reduction in insulin has been related to a reduction in oil production. For most people, less oil means less acne.
- Increased insulin sensitivity leading to less oil secretion
- Reduces inflammation which improves the appearance of acne
- Reduces size of skin pores
Sources of vitamin B5:
The most common way to supplement vitamin B5 is through diet rich in meat, healthy fats, vegetables, and probiotics. Like most nutrients, vitamin B5 can also be supplemented through a multivitamin.
Although vitamin B6 deficiencies are rare in North America, if you happen to be one of the few with a B6 deficiency, it’s likely you are experiencing severe acne as a side effect. However, even without a deficiency, it has been found to help women with acne during menstrual cycles by helping regulate hormones.
- Can help acne during menstrual cycles for women
- Helps prevent hormonal imbalances
- Can be used alongside Accutane to help prevent severe side effects
Sources of vitamin B6:
Like the other B vitamins, B6 is found in fish, meats, and starchy vegetables. It is also found in most multivitamins.
Curcumin is notorious for reducing inflammation and is also known as an antioxidant. There have been numerous studies done on the effects of inflammation and acne. Like the other vitamins and minerals mentioned, by reducing inflammation and oxidation, there tends to be an improvement in the appearance of acne.
Curcuma for acne prevention
- Reduces the appearance of acne
- Reduces oxidative stress and therefore the occurrence of acne
- Combats free radicals and toxins, leaving your skin healthier
Sources of curcumin:
Curcumin comes from turmeric, which is a herbacious root in southwest India. Therefore, it is most often found in herbs and spices. Curcumin is also in powder form and supplements.
There has been research showing the effects zinc can have on acne. Zinc deficiencies can lead to all sorts of issues including acne and rashes. Although it’s arguable that zinc deficiency isn’t common in the United States, people who have health issues such as Diabetes, Hemodialysis, and Rheumatoid arthritis are at greater risk.
One of zinc’s most unique characteristics is its ability to help block DHT. This simply means it reduces the effects of hormone on the skin by reducing oil.
- It can kill acne causing bacteria
- Reduces inflammation
- Helps break down omega-3 fatty acids
Sources of Zinc:
Zinc can be found in red meat and poultry; however, a large source of zinc can also be found in oysters. Additional foods include beans, nuts, whole grains, and of course multi vitamins.
Selenium is a very powerful antioxidant. During one research study, patients that consumed over 200 mcg of selenium had a gradual decrease in acne lesions. How does this work? Well, selenium helps other antioxidants work, and work well. This simply means in combination with other antioxidants, selenium can be extremely beneficial in reducing inflammation and reducing the appearance of your pimples.
- Anti-inflammatory (reduces the appearance of your acne)
- Protect other antioxidants
- Aid in skin recovery
Sources of Selenium:
The best way to get Selenium is through nuts, particularly Brazil nuts. Other sources include fish and lean meats, as well as a multivitamin.
Many vitamins and minerals can be supplemented in pill form.
Omega 3-Fatty Acids
There has been research on the effects omega 3-fatty acid have on acne. Its main benefit is its ability to reduce inflammation. Omega 3-fatty acid can also help regulate hormones, meaning it may be able to help women with hormonal acne problems.
Fatty acids in your diet
- May reduce hormonal acne in women
- Reduce inflammation
- Help regulate hormones
Sources of omega 3–fatty acids:
Fish oils are the most common source of omega 3-fatty acids. Additional foods include nuts, and seeds.
With less of us spending time outdoors, many of us could potentially be Vitamin D deficient. Yet, we are starting to learn that vitamin D deficiency has been linked to acne in numerous studies.
Interestingly, Vitamin D is more of a hormone than an actual vitamin. Hence why it can play such an important part in acne treatment and prevention. By having proper amounts of vitamin D, your body does a better job regulating hormones, which is a key part in having clear skin.
Go outside and enjoy the sun
- Regulating hormones
- Reducing inflammation
- Protects skin from free radicals and oxidation
Sources of vitamin D:
One of the best ways to add vitamin D is to be in the sun. Being out in the sun (in a responsible matter) is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to supply your body with vitamin D. In addition, diets filled with fish and dairy also supply high amount of vitamin D. It can also be supplemented in a multivitamin.
Vitamin C not only helps strengthen your skin but is known to calm your immune system. This simply means you are less likely to break out when your body experiences bacteria.
Fruit is a good, and well-known source of vitamin C.
Vitamin C in fruits
- Protects the skin from free radicals, preventing acne breakouts
- Protects the skin barrier from breaking out in toxins
- Can help reduces skin pigmentation and acne scars
Sources of vitamin C:
Fruit and vegetables are a great way to get vitamin C in your diet. Great examples include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and kale. Vitamin C is also available in supplement and multivitamin form.
Fruit is a great source of vitamin C.
Although vitamin E has arguably the least correlation with acne, it is still in the list of antioxidants worth mentioning. Research has shown a correlation between acne sufferers and a vitamin E deficiency. Essentially, vitamin E works by reducing your sebum from reacting with oxygen. Oxidation causes your oils to turn into acne.
Keep Vitamin E in your diet
- Prevents the oil on your skin from oxidation (and becoming acne)
- Reduces local inflammation
- Could repair damaged skin cells
Supplementing vitamin E:
Vitamin E can be added to your diet through the consumption of healthy fats including nuts, avocado, oils, and peanut butter. It can also be found in vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. Finally, it can also be obtained from topical ointments, creams, and of course a multivitamin.
Although each of the individual vitamins mentioned above can be beneficial for your skin, nothing beats a healthy, well-balanced diet. By eating the right foods and taking care of your skin, your body receives the proper amount of all vitamins and minerals it needs to combat acne and help you live a healthier life. Therefore, the next time you are shopping for acne medication, try healthier food choices and vitamins supplements instead. You will be doing your skin a favor.
What types of vitamins and minerals have you found that works for you?