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Acne Supplements: Do They Work and Best Supplements to Buy
Breakouts are a tough pill to swallow.
Sometimes we think they’re done for good, then wham, a fresh batch of bumps appear on our faces. Whether they’re hormonal, bacterial, or a reaction to an allergen, having chronic acne can be terrible not only for our skin but our stress levels, too. These little zits can make us desperate to try anything beauty gurus shove at us.
And there have been many. Some fixes have been touted by beauty experts as the “ultimate” solution to end acne once and for all, and many of us have been content with trying them all out. Topical creams, diets, you name it.
But we’re here to talk about a more natural solution that’s been gaining popularity: acne supplements. Contrary to the oral antibiotics you might find at your local dermatologist’s counter, (hello, accutane!), these supplements are promoted as organic alternatives that include vitamins and minerals like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and plenty more. If you’re on the search for just that, then we’ve got a guide for you.
Do acne pills really work?
Okay, you might be a little skeptical, and rightfully so. After all, most supplements can get away without any proper approval from regulating bodies. It’s safe to say that not many supplements are FDA-approved nor backed by science, and they usually have little more than anecdotal evidence in the way of support. So what makes acne pills a good cure for severe acne? Is there any truth to this claim, or is it yet another case of placebo-like evidence?
We know that diet and breakouts are somewhat linked. According to ZitSticka co-founder Daniel Kaplan who spoke to lifestyle magazine Byrdie, certain foods can be attributed to acne breakouts, but it’s not exactly a clear-cut picture.
“Everyone has a friend with a trash diet whose skin is clear no matter what. But many others will assert that eating excessive amounts of sugar, white carbohydrates and/or dairy can bring about a rise in breakouts—myself included,” he explained. Foods that cause a spike in blood sugar levels, such as white bread, cookies, and fries, can also be attributed to frequency in breakouts.
But are there foods that actively make one’s skin better? There are few studies that conclusively point out food with positive effects on relieving breakouts and treating rather pesky bumps on the skin. But supplements aren’t meant to replace a healthy diet, so even if you’re eating super clean, there are just certain nutrients your body needs that are hard to find in meals we consume.
According to Walter Faulstroh, HUM Nutrition CEO and Co-Founder, “certain nutrients are hard to come by in high amounts — probiotics, digestive enzymes, adaptogens, and healthy fats just to name a few. And that’s where supplementation can really make the difference.”
So there you have it. A healthy diet, along with the help of supplements, are possibly two of the best ways to fight acne, regulate hormones, achieve clear skin, and fend off all the other nasty side effects that come with raging breakouts. Plus, you’re helping your internal bodily systems out, too. Sounds like a great deal to me.
What supplements are good for acne?
Acne is complicated. Its causes can be quite hard to pin down, especially when we’re unaware of the different kinds. Cystic acne, or hormonal acne, is the kind that can be linked to stress levels, one’s period, or even the consumption of dairy. On the other hand, acne vulgaris is associated with bacteria and inflammation, thus requiring anti-inflammatory treatments rather than a change in lifestyle. That said, a good diet matched with supplements is beneficial for overall skin health.
A supplement is, like the name implies, merely a nutritional aid to help give the human body much-needed minerals and vitamins that can’t easily be found in the food we consume. A supplement isn’t meant to replace prescribed medicine. But as for helping regulate our body’s inner makeup to avoid breakouts, they’re pretty cool. Most of them work by fighting free radicals, promoting the growth of healthy skin cells, and protecting the skin against bacteria known to cause acne. If you’re on the search for healthier alternatives to your pimple problem, try out these supplements below!
The Best Supplements for Acne & Problem Skin
Men and women alike can suffer from severe acne or problem skin and thus require different acne treatments to help reduce flare-ups, breakouts, inflammation, and more. On the search for the best supplement to add to your routine? Let’s take a look at some of the best products and supplements for acne-prone skin. Try them out and see!
With Beta Carotene/Vitamin A: Puritan’s Pride Beta Carotene Supplement
If you suffer from cystic acne, you’ll know they’re a huge pain, quite literally! These pimples caused by hormones can come out of nowhere, and because they can’t be popped like your usual zit, the fix isn’t quite as quick as a spot treatment cream. That’s where natural supplements come in, one of them being beta carotene.
Beta carotene turns into Vitamin A when processed by the body’s internal filters. It stimulates fibroblasts, which produce collagen as well as the tissues that keep our skin tight and plump-looking. As for overall skin health, you can’t really go wrong with this vitamin, either. It also helps fight against free radicals and can help reduce the appearance of blemishes and acne scars.
With Lactoferrin: Lactezin Lactoferrin + Vitamin E + Zinc Capsule Supplement
Research has shown that taking lactoferrin twice daily has significantly reduced acne lesions in people with moderate acne vulgaris. Taken with other vitamins, this compound can significantly help in relieving inflammation due to acne, thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The same study also showed a significant reduction in comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), so if you’re plagued by these tiny little papules that clog your skin pores, it’s best to go with a lactoferrin supplement.
With Vitamin D: Fern D by iFern
This vitamin has similar effects to Vitamin A, in that it blocks out acne bacteria thereby reducing the appearance of pimples and zits on the surface of our skin. Another study saw that people with a vitamin D deficiency were more likely to develop problem skin, including acne and pimples, than those who had healthy amounts of the said nutrient. Thus, the compound has been claimed to be effective in fighting the bacteria in the body that is said to be the main cause of inflammatory acne.
With Zinc: Herbs of the Earth ZINC + Supplement
When it comes to acne treatment, you’ve probably seen zinc supplements praised as one of the best alternative solutions. This is because zinc helps with the turnover of dead skin cells, so plenty believe that the mineral is vital in keeping skin pores free from buildup and clogging.
An all-around superstar when it comes to skin health, this compound can also work as an antioxidant by defending the body against free radicals. Its benefits go way beyond acne, too, guarding the skin’s fibroblasts and lipids, the cells that produce collagen to keep our skin looking youthful and plump 24/7.
However, it’s highly advised not to overdo it when it comes to zinc. Some research has shown that ingesting too much can block out your body’s ability to absorb other nutrients. It’s recommended to try a zinc supplement for 90 days, then take a break for another 90.
With Omega-3: KIRKLAND Signature™ Fish Oil Supplement
A diet strong in fish oil has been successfully linked to reduce inflammation on the skin. Since a few studies point to inflammation as one of the leading causes of acne, supplementing your daily meals with Omega 3 and other fatty acids can lead to clear skin and fewer trips to the dermatologist.
And fish oil is one of the most popular skin supplements on the market, gaining praise from experts and regular consumers alike. Many people report a positive experience with this compound, saying it has helped reduce breakouts as well as kept their skin appearing nourished and youthful. Although more studies are needed to back up this claim, fatty acids are overall great for your body’s health, so there’s no harm in trying them out.
With EPO: Puritan's Pride Evening Primrose Oil
Use this if you’re prone to pimples, zits, and blackheads. Evening primrose extract is known to have positive effects on these kinds of breakouts rather than those caused by hormonal changes. Apart from this, you can use evening primrose as an add-on if you’re taking overly-drying acne medication, as the extract has hydrating effects on the skin.
Our skin is just as varied as our genetic makeup, and because acne itself is so complicated (we’ve even dedicated a whole skincare routine for acne here), it can be one of the most challenging skin problems to treat.
We hope this guide has shed light on the different ways you can treat acne. While there’s no magic bullet for this severe problem, it can’t hurt to try out a few organic solutions! As long as you understand when and how they should be taken, your body will thank you in the long run.
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What really clears acne fast?
To understand what can treat your form of acne, you’ll have to look deeper into what causes your skin to break out in the first place. Is it overconsumption of dairy? Stress hormones? A bad product with tons of alcohol on it? Once you’ve figured out the culprit to your skin condition, then you’ll be able to address the problem.
If it’s a simple case of sebum overproduction, look into the products you’re using for any comedogenic ingredients. Try to switch out heavy cleansers, for example, for a milder facial wash geared towards oily skin types.
Hormonal acne, like we mentioned above, is often linked to diet (aside from periods in women). If you’re a victim of these painful cysts, try switching to a dairy-free diet. Many Filipinas with cystic acne swear by going dairy-free!
If you have bacterial acne that’s more difficult to treat, we suggest going to a doctor immediately for prescribed medication. A dermatologist will be able to give you the best products without all the second-guessing that comes with doing your own research. For tips on how to find the right dermatologist for you, read our full guide!
Now, there are countless other topical aids that are claimed to be beneficial in reducing acne. Among these include:
- Tea Tree Oil. A known antimicrobial, tea tree oil can often be found in skin care products for acne-prone skin.
- Vitamin C. This is one of the vitamins that works best in topical form. Vitamin C can come in serums or as part of other skin care products.
Which vitamin A supplement is best for acne?
There are innumerable vitamins with a host of health benefits to our body, and it’s a good thing they have a positive effect on our skin, too. While these vitamins can be found in small amounts in certain foods, it’s important that we take them in capsule form to ensure our body has the amount it requires to function optimally.
But just because vitamins are great for our body and overall well-being doesn’t mean we should just take them willy-nilly. Vitamin A is an example, as it’s usually recommended in its topical form rather than in a supplement. If you prefer to take it orally, consult with a health expert first. That said, we highly recommend the Puritan’s Pride Beta Carotene supplement, available on Lazada.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.