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YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ACNE SUPPLEMENTS
Acne vulgaris, or acne, is a skin issue that almost everyone experiences. It’s characterized by blackheads, inflammation, rashes, whiteheads, and sometimes, even deep lesions. Acne can be classified in three categories, namely mild, moderate, and severe acne. Most of it occurs on the face, but it can definitely occur elsewhere on the body.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, multiple factors can be the cause of breakouts. It can be anything from dirt, bacteria, excess oil production, hormones, diet, food intake, skin damage, and others.
While it may feel hopeless to get rid of pimples, don’t fret for there are a lot of treatments available out there. These treatments can be topical in the form of creams, gels, lotions, and washes. The most common topical treatments are usual prescription treatments that contain tretinoin or antibiotics such as clindamycin.
They can also be oral and come in the form of pills. A doctor can prescribe you antibiotics such as tetracycline to fight bacteria from within. Birth control pills can be prescribed to you as well as these can help regulate the hormones and improve your condition. For more severe cases, a doctor may also prescribe isotretinoin.
Isotretinoin, such as Accutane, is a strong drug that reduces the size of oil glands and regulates skin cell turnover. While it may sound daunting to have to go to a certified dermatologist to cure your acne, don’t worry, as there are also over the counter options available.
Over the counter treatments can help you in a lot of ways, especially if your case isn’t severe and you just want to maintain healthy, good-looking skin. In this article, we’ve ranked the best acne pills that you can take to improve your condition. Most, if not all in this list are over the counter products that cost a little less than seeking a dermatologist.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying you shouldn’t seek a professional that can provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment! We’re just saying that these options may be able to help you without it costing you a whole lot for monthly service. Check them out!
IN A HURRY? THIS IS THE BEST ACNE SUPPLEMENT:
BEST OVERALL: LACTEZIN
Don’t let pimples and breakouts drag your self-esteem down and stop you from doing your thing as acne treatments have become easier to acquire now. One of the best over the counter treatment options to try out is Lactezin.
This medicine is formulated with lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein that can get rid of bacteria and can reduce inflammation. Aside from lactoferrin, Lactezin also contains vitamin E and zinc, two nutrients that can aid in achieving better skin and even a stronger immune system.
For an affordable price, Lactezin claims that it can help clear pimples in as early as 2 weeks.
WHAT SUPPLEMENTS ARE GOOD FOR ACNE?
THE BEST OVERALL
“Don’t let acne get in the way!” is one of Lactezin’s taglines that aims to target people who have been fighting long bouts of pimples…
Puritan’s Pride Zinc for Acne
You’ve probably heard by now that zinc is a highly important nutrient that can boost the immune system. But did you know that zinc…
BEST VITAMIN E
Murad Pure Skin Supplement
Vitamin E is commonly touted as a nutrient that can improve beauty at a cellular level. It can easily be absorbed by the skin, speed up…
BEST VITAMIN B
Eisai Chocola BB Plus
Vitamin B deficiencies have been linked to dry and rough conditions, premature aging, hair loss, and weak nails. Good thing there…
BEST FOR HORMONAL ACNE
Jarrow Formulas DIM + CDG
If you’re suffering from hormonal acne, this is one acne treatment you might want to look into. Hormones play a key role when it comes…
Olly Flawless Complexion Gummy
If pills are difficult for you to swallow, maybe you’d like to chew your medications instead? Gummy vitamins definitely…
BEST FOR SKIN AND HAIR
Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails
Here’s another supplement that comes in the soft and chewy texture we love. The Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, and…
Garden of Life Probiotics
Probiotics are great in improving gut health, but did you know that they may also lend a helping hand when it comes to acne? Research…
BEST VITAMIN A
An effective antioxidant, vitamin A is perhaps one, if not the best, acne treatment around. Commonly known as retinol (or retinoids)…
Zenwise Health Vegan Omega-3
Increasing your omega-3 intake can protect you against inflammation and even promote healthy aging. Research has also found that…
BEST BUDGET VITAMIN E
If you’re looking for a supplement that won’t put a dent in your wallet, then this may be the answer you need. The goal of having clear…
DO ACNE PILLS REALLY WORK?
The phrase “your mileage may vary” when it comes to skincare rings true as everyone’s skin is different. Some products might not work for you, some may work. There are also products that work for you but have no effect on others. The same phrase can be applied to acne pills as your skin and your nutritional needs can be different from others. Whether the acne treatment you’re using is prescribed or bought over-the-counter, it’s still a case of trial and error. Acne pills can work yes, but it largely depends on the person’s skin, body, and nutritional needs.
Pills often need a prescription, especially if they are antibiotics. To get prescription pills, you will have to seek a dermatologist as they can provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. But if your case is only mild to moderate, you may be able to heal your troubles with the use of over the counter supplements.
DO ACNE PILLS HAVE SIDE EFFECTS?
As is the case with most, if not all, medication out there, acne pills have side effects as well. Some of the common side effects can include dizziness, an upset stomach, lightheadedness, dry or flaky skin, irritated skin, weight gain, and increased sensitivity to the sun. The aforementioned effects apply to both oral and topical medications. It’s worth noting that the common side effects are only temporary and will pass over time. However, if the experience persists, it’s best to consult your dermatologist.
There are also severe side effects, however, these are rare. If you’re someone who’s new at taking acne medication, you may not be aware if you’re allergic to an ingredient and may have an allergic reaction. If you experience rash, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue, severe burning or tingling sensation, throat tightness, and shortness of breath, do seek medical help right away.
TOP 11 BEST SUPPLEMENTS FOR ACNE
LET’S GO OVER EACH SUPPLEMENT
BEST OVERALL: LACTEZIN
“Don’t let acne get in the way!” is one of Lactezin’s taglines that aims to target people who have been fighting long bouts of pimples, particularly in adulthood. A clinically-tested over-the-counter drug, Lactezin’s main active ingredient is Lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein that has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps enhance the body’s immune system.
Along with Lactoferrin, other key ingredients of Lactezin are vitamin E and zinc. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps fight free radical skin damage, protects the skin from UV photodamage, and regulates collagen as well to prevent skin dryness. On the other hand, zinc is known to be an essential mineral that not only boosts the immune system but also helps heal and rejuvenate the skin.
Advised to be taken twice a day, Lactezin claims that it can help lessen pimples and give clearer skin in as early as 2 weeks. The best part? It’s also really affordable! As it is an over-the-counter drug, you don’t need a prescription to acquire it.
PROS AND CONS OF LACTEZIN
|✔️ Easy to acquire|
✔️ Has lactoferrin
|✖️ Possible reappearance of pimples if not taken as maintenance|
BEST ZINC: PURITAN’S PRIDE ZINC FOR ACNE
You’ve probably heard by now that zinc is a highly important nutrient that can boost the immune system. But did you know that zinc can also help in fighting pimples? That’s right! This supplement not only makes you stronger but also clears up your skin! This is what Puritan’s Pride Zinc for Acne supplement is all about.
Puritan’s Pride claims that their pills are specially formulated to complement acne treatments. It’s made with zinc gluconate, a highly cost-effective form of zinc that reduces inflammation, boasts potent antimicrobial properties, and helps in preventing pimple breakouts. The brand combines zinc with additional skin-saving vitamins such as vitamins A, C, E, and B6 to promote healthy skin cells and give you the ultimate anti-pimple pill.
PROS AND CONS OF PURITAN’S PRIDE
|✔️ Zinc as key ingredient|
✔️ Also boosts the immune system
✔️ Also contains other vitamins
|✖️ Can be pricey|
BEST VITAMIN E: MURAD PURE SKIN CLARIFYING DIETARY SUPPLEMENT
Vitamin E is commonly touted as a nutrient that can improve beauty at a cellular level. It can easily be absorbed by the skin, speed up the turnover process, and also boost the body’s natural defense against toxins. Murad’s Pure Skin Clarifying Dietary Supplement is an acne pill that does exactly that.
With vitamin E as the main ingredient, Murad aims to reduce breakouts from the inside for clearer, healthier-looking skin. Aside from vitamin E, Murad’s drugs are also formulated with vitamin A that plays a key role in cell specialization, normalizing production of excess skin cells that can clog pores.
It also has yellow dock and burdock that act as internal cleansers and blood purifiers, as well as zinc to reduce skin irritation. Moreover, the Murad Pure Skin supplement is free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and gluten.
PROS AND CONS OF MURAD CLARIFYING DIETARY SUPPLEMENT
|✔️ Formulated with Vitamin E|
✔️ For clearer skin
|✖️ Expensive |
✖️ People with vitamin E sensitivity may experience irritation
BEST VITAMIN B: EISAI CHOCOLA BB PLUS
Vitamin B deficiencies have been linked to dry and rough conditions, premature aging, hair loss, and weak nails. Good thing there are supplements aimed to reduce all of that. One such product is the Eisai Chocola BB plus, a supplement that boasts of activated vitamin B2 which is easily absorbed by the body. Vitamin B2 also boosts cell turnover, improves skin, and mucosal health.
Apart from vitamin B2, Chocola BB Plus is made with a well-balanced mixture of 4 other B-complex vitamins, namely vitamin B6, B1, nicotinamide, and calcium pantothenate. Aside from treating pimples, this product also claims to relieve people of issues such as roughness, canker sores, rashes, dermatitis, eczema, and rosacea. Not only that, but the product also claims that it can relieve a person’s fatigue!
Chocola BB Plus can pretty much target a wide range of issues, from pimples all the way to skin aging and exhaustion. No wonder this product is highly popular in Japan.
PROS AND CONS OF EISAI CHOCOLA BB PLUS
|✔️ Loaded with B vitamins|
✔️ Can target other issues aside from pimples
|✖️ Can be pricey|
BEST FOR HORMONAL ACNE: JARROW FORMULAS DIM + CDG
If you’re suffering from hormonal acne, this is one acne treatment you might want to look into. Hormones play a key role when it comes to acne. Due to the increase of sex hormone levels during puberty, hormonal acne can commonly occur during adolescence. However, it doesn’t really stop there. For most women, hormonal acne can occur even later in life due to fluctuating hormones caused by pregnancy, pre-menopause, and even when using birth control pills.
DIM, short for diindolylmethane, is a phytonutrient that can balance the hormones. It also can prevent excess estrogen formation in both men and women. A DIM supplement such as Jarrow Formulas DIM + CDG can help in treating your acne caused by hormones.
Formulated not only with DIM but also calcium d-glucarate (CDG), this medication supports multiple detoxification of pathways that involve the regulation of hormones, resulting in a decrease of oil production and acne. It may also prevent estrogen cancers and help in mitigating estrogen dominance.
PROS AND CONS OF JARROW FORMULAS DIM + CDG
|✔️ Helps in clearing hormonal acne|
✔️ Helps in regulating estrogen
✔️ Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
|✖️ Can be pricey |
✖️ Reappearance of pimples may occur if not taken as maintenance
BEST GUMMY: OLLY FLAWLESS COMPLEXION GUMMY
If pills are difficult for you to swallow, maybe you’d like to chew your medications instead? Gummy vitamins definitely aren’t just for children, they’re for adults too! One gummy acne treatment that you can take is the Olly Flawless Complexion Gummy.
According to the brand, the Flawless Complexion gummies are perfectly crafted to deliver nutritional actives that work from the inside. It helps in supporting aspects that can promote clear and healthy skin. Flawless Complexion gummies are loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin A and vitamin E for a clear complexion. It also contains minerals, with the main one being zinc, to promote and improve skin health.
Selenium is also added as an ingredient, helping in the process of cell detox. Moreover, botanicals such as spearmint, aronia berry, and dandelion root are also included for detoxification. Unlike other acne drugs out there that taste very medicinal, Flawless Complexion tastes of berries with a hint of mint. You’ll be sure to enjoy its taste and skin-clearing benefits!
PROS AND CONS OF OLLY FLAWLESS COMPLEXION GUMMY
✔️ Berry and mint flavor
✔️ Has antioxidants and minerals
|✖️ Can be pricey|
BEST FOR SKIN AND HAIR: NATURE’S BOUNTY HAIR, SKIN, AND NAILS GUMMIES
Here’s another supplement that comes in the soft and chewy texture we love. The Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, and Nails are gummy supplements that contain a myriad of skin and hair nutrients, including biotin, to keep you looking your best.
Biotin, or Vitamin B7, is a complex vitamin that assists in transforming food into energy. It’s found in many of the foods we eat, such as vegetables, eggs, and meat, but it also comes in supplement form. Research has shown that this vitamin improves skin hydration and smoothness, while also strengthening the fingernails.
There is also some evidence that biotin can help with comedonal acne, such as blackheads and whiteheads. Additionally, if you’re taking retinoids, biotin can reduce inflammation and dryness — though you should always consult with a doctor about supplementing your existing prescription meds.
PROS AND CONS OF NATURE’S BOUNTY HAIR, SKIN, AND NAILS
|✔️ Easier to consume than tablets |
✔️ Keeps both skin and hair healthy
✔️ Contains vitamins and nutrients, including nail-strengthening biotin
|✖️ Doesn't target inflammatory acne|
BEST PROBIOTIC: GARDEN OF LIFE DR. FORMULATED PROBIOTICS FOR WOMEN
Probiotics are great in improving gut health, but did you know that they may also lend a helping hand when it comes to acne? Research suggests that probiotics may help in reducing inflammation and other symptoms of acne. Taking probiotics can greatly improve your digestive health, as well as aid in clearing the skin.
The best probiotic medicine we’ve come across is the Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women. It has about 16 probiotic strains and about 50 billion CFU that ensures your probiotics are well-alive when taken, no refrigeration required. Not only is this treatment good for the skin, but it’s also excellent when it comes to supporting vaginal and digestive health. It’s also dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free.
PROS AND CONS OF GARDEN OF LIFE DR. FORMULATED PROBIOTICS FOR WOMEN
|✔️ Has 16 Probiotic Strains|
✔️ Can also help with gut health
✔️ Free from gluten, dairy, or soy
|✖️ Pricey |
✖️ Pills can be quite large
BEST VITAMIN A: ACNETAME
An effective antioxidant, vitamin A is perhaps one, if not the best, acne treatment around. Commonly known as retinol (or retinoids) It’s a substance that eliminates skin-aging free radicals such as smoke, damaging toxins, and even the sun’s rays. It helps a lot in shedding dead and clogged skin cells, which is why it’s used in a lot of topical medication such as tretinoin. Retinoids can help in lessening the roughness of skin, reducing hyperpigmentation, reducing inflammation, and decreasing acne scarring.
One of the best oral medications with vitamin A is Acnetame. Aside from vitamin A, this over-the-counter treatment contains NAC (sulfur) and vitamin B5 to clear your skin. It can decrease sebum production, reduce pore size, regulate hormonal breakouts, and improve healing time.
While it sounds incredible, it’s also worth noting that oral retinoids can be toxic when built up in the body. It’s always best to consult your dermatologist first before taking retinoids.
PROS AND CONS OF ACNETAME
|✔️ Made with Vitamin A|
✔️ For oily types
|✖️ Not for pregnant women |
✖️ Can be pricey
BEST VEGAN: ZENWISE HEALTH VEGAN OMEGA-3
Increasing your omega-3 intake can protect you against inflammation and even promote healthy aging. Research has also found that taking omega-3 may help in healing people who have moderate to severe acne. Omega-3 can also do wonders for hair and nail health.
While most omega-3 medications are made from fish oil, the Zenwise Health Vegan Omega-3 sources it from marine algae, making it an excellent alternative for vegans. Being vegan, Zenwise’s pills are also ideal for those who dislike the scent of fish oil. This supplement can help support not only your skin but also your heart, immune system, and even promote joint mobility.
PROS AND CONS OF ZENWISE HEALTH VEGAN OMEGA-3
|✔️ Also has heart and immune system benefits|
✔️ Made for vegans
✔️ Anti-inflammatory properties
BEST BUDGET VITAMIN E: MYRA-E
If you’re looking for a supplement that won’t put a dent in your wallet, then this may be the answer you need. The goal of having clear skin can be also solved within, and Myra-E is here to help you achieve all that.
With a price just under PHP 400, Myra-E can help increase the vitamin E in your body and may help protect your skin cells from damage. According to research, vitamin E can help optimize cell and tissue renewal, giving you a youthful appearance. It may even support vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and liver, allowing them to perform organ functions at their best. With Myra-E, you won’t have to break the bank just to achieve your beauty goals.
PROS AND CONS OF MYRA-E
|✔️ Highly affordable|
✔️ Easy to acquire
✔️ Boosts vitamin E in the body
|✖️ People with vitamin E sensitivity may experience irritation|
BEST ACNE PILLS COMPARISON
We hope that these products will be able to support you in clearing up your acne and achieving your skin goals! Always remember that your mileage may vary and what works for you may not work for others, or vice versa. And when in doubt, seek your dermatologist. Stay safe, stay beautiful!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS SALICYLIC ACID?
Salicylic acid is a drug that is used to treat mild to moderate acne. When applied to the skin, it can help in shedding dead cells from the topmost layer, decreasing redness and swelling. It can also help decrease the number of pimples and can speed up healing. Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in face wash for acne-prone skin.
WHICH VITAMIN IS BEST FOR THE SKIN?
There are a lot of vitamins that are great for the skin! Vitamin A helps in speeding up the turnover of cells, which is why it’s a common product in anti-aging creams. B vitamins are also vital for they can strengthen skin, nail, and hair health.
Another is Vitamin D which is also a common ingredient in beauty products. Vitamin D can treat problems such as psoriasis. Moreover, Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in treating issues such as stretch marks, burns, and injuries.
WHAT REALLY CLEARS ADULT ACNE FAST?
There are a lot of ways and products to clear acne in adults fast. According to Mayo Clinic, one of the methods acne in adults can be treated is with the use of topical medications that can be used on the entire face or as a spot treatment.
You can use a combination of benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics. Other combinations can include clindamycin with benzoyl peroxide or erythromycin with benzoyl peroxide. Together, they are more effective than topical antibiotics alone. Azelaic acid is a popular choice as well. It is a naturally occurring acid produced by yeast. Azelaic Acid at 20% is effective in eliminating bacteria.
You can also make use of a chemical peel, such as glycolic acid or retinoic acid. It may help in improving the appearance of your skin when used in combination with medicines.
Lastly, you can also make use of alternative medicine in reducing your spots and breakouts. Tea tree oil is one of the most popular choices. A lot of skincare products that target pimples incorporate tea tree oil in their formula.
Ira Arellano graduated with a degree in Multimedia Arts from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. When she’s not busy writing, Ira uses her remaining free time fawning over groups with too many members, reading three books simultaneously, crying over animated shows and fictional people, and being salty over her lack of gacha luck.