Acne is a dreaded skin condition that affects teenagers and adults alike. This inflammatory skin condition occurs when the skin pores get clogged with sebum. Most dermatologists prescribe antibiotics or medicines like salicylic acid, retinol or benzoyl peroxide for acne. Prescription medicines like Accutane® and others are known to give rise to several side effects and most do not treat the root cause of acne. If you are looking for complimentary or alternative acne cures, then these best vitamins for acne can help give you the clear skin you have been dreaming of.
Zinc is one of the most important minerals for healthy, glowing skin. People deficient in zinc are often known to suffer from inflammatory skin conditions like acne. Topical skin creams containing zinc are even used for treating many skin conditions including eczema, heat rashes, diaper rash in babies etc. Apart from being important on its own, zinc also works with vitamin A to cure acne lesions and heal scars. Zinc is especially necessary for wound healing. There is also some research that is stating that zinc may be anti-adrogenetic, meaning it can inhibit hormones causing the acne flare-ups. This helps zinc inhibit the activity of P.acnes bacteria that causes acne in clogged skin pores.
Dosage: A daily dose of 30 mg of Zinc is recommended to fight acne. You can also eat zinc rich foods like seafood, nuts, seeds, fortified cereals etc.Zinc lowers the copper levels in the body-so take a supplement containing copper as well.
2. Antioxidant vitamins
These are the best vitamins for acne and include vitamins A, C and E. Vitamins C and E along with selenium regulate vitamin A and also normalize the enzyme called Glutathione peroxidase which inhibits formation of toxic fatty acids in the sebum.
Dosage: Eat antioxidant rich foods-mainly fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Try and eat a wide range of colorful fruits and veggies; the more colorful-the better. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits and berries. Eat nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts as well as dark, leafy green vegetables, shell fish and sea food etc for vitamin E. Consume eggs and lean meat. Take a supplement by consulting your doctor.
Selenium deserves a special mention in the list of best vitamins for acne prone skin. As mentioned above, Glutathione perioxidase is an antioxidant enzyme which includes selenium as a part of its makeup. Patients having acne prone skin are found to be deficient in selenium.Simply taking 200 mcg of selenium daily improved the levels of Glutathione perioxidase in 6-8 weeks.
Dosage: Supplement with 200 mcg of selenium daily to reduce acne pustules. Eat foods rich in selenium including eggs, liver, tuna etc.
4. B vitamins
B vitamins are the best vitamins for hormonal acne. B-vitamins or B complex is the broad term used to represent the family of vitamins including Vitamin B1, B2, B5, B6, B 12 etc-to name a few. Each of these contributes in a variety of ways to fight acne. For example, vitamin B1 or thiamine helps rid the body of toxins and free radicals giving you blemish free skin. It enhances circulation and aids digestion. Vitamin B2 maintains healthy skin and heals and repairs the skin-an important factor for curing acne. It also works with vitamin A to promote healthy digestion. Niacinamide or vitamin B3 improves circulation and prevents acne from forming. Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid reduces sebum production. Vitamin B12 or cobalamine works with all the other vitamins to help you maintain a clear, glowing complexion. Avoid taking too much vitamin B12 as it could contribute to your acne.
Dosage: Try and get your B vitamins from food like fortified cereals, whole grains, lean meat, nuts, beans, seeds, vegetables, fruits and mushrooms. Talk to your doctor about the right amount to supplement with.
Chromium improves glucose tolerance; the relationship between acne and sugar metabolism is quite well known. So patients suffering from acne must stay away from concentrated carbohydrates and supplement with chromium.
Dosage: Take no more than 1000 mcg of chromium. Talk to your doctor about supplementation since higher dosages can actually negatively impact insulin sensitivity. The best foods containing Chromium are Brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, broccoli, raw onions, green beans, potatoes, black pepper, grape juice, romaine lettuce, ham etc.
To conclude, the best vitamins for acne prone skin include zinc, chromium, vitamins C and E, beta carotene, selenium, Vitamins B5 and B6. Also, you can take herbal supplements like Burdock, licorice root, garlic pills, GLA (gamma linolenic acid found in Borage oil and evening Primrose oil) as well as Dandelion root. We are sure these herbs and vitamins for acne will strengthen your immunity to enable your body to fight the acne lesions.