Acne is a reality for billions of people around the world. Often, it's not a condition that you get to leave behind in your teens. People of all ages have to deal with breakouts.
So the question is…
Is there anything that can help?
Many people have to live with acne way beyond adolescence. Young adults often have recurring outbreaks. Even if you thought you left acne behind you, men and women thirty and older can also have acne. Acne scarring is another serious concern for a lot of people. Fortunately, there are ways you can:
- Prevent Acne
- Relive symptoms
- Reduce severity of an outbreak
- Help prevent further breakouts
- Heal and lessen the appearance of scarring
While there are many widely used remedies, one of the best solutions is to fight acne from within the body. Let's take a closer look at vitamins for acne.
Which Vitamins are Good for Acne?
Vitamins alone might not always be the one-all, cure-all for acne, but they are one of the most important aspects of your regimen. Your skin will also benefit from minerals and certain herbs. Acne is a skin condition. Vitamins, minerals and some proteins are the building blocks of skin. Vitamins play a quintessential role to maintain healthy skin. The recommended vitamins for acne are vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin D and vitamin E. You may also benefit from zinc and selenium. Some vitamins may make you more sensitive to the sun, so remember to apply SPF before you head out for the day. Use a moisturizer with built-in SPF 30 or higher for maximum protection.
Protects the skin from ultraviolet rays of the sun. The harmful rays can worsen acne. Exposure to sunlight can exacerbate severe acne. Vitamin A is also anti-inflammatory and it can cure infections in the skin. Acne is a skin condition, but it is also an inflammation. Bacteria buildup along with excess oil or sebum produced by the sebaceous glands clog the pores in your skin. Dust, dirt and dead skin cells also can clog your pores due course of time. Vitamin A can reduce inflammation, remedy infection and protect the skin from ultraviolet rays. Dermatologists have found that topical vitamin A is more beneficial than oral doses.
Also known as ascorbic acid, is the most important of essential nutrients for your skin. It facilitates collagen synthesis, which is the process of collagen production. The protein known as collagen is in our skin, bones, muscles, digestive system and blood vessels. Collagen is what makes our skin elastic. One reason why ageing people have wrinkles is the loss of elasticity caused by a decline in collagen production. Vitamin C is also anti-inflammatory and is effective at helping many skin diseases, including acne. You can apply vitamin C directly. The vitamin will increase collagen production, reduce production of melanin and fight free radicals. Vitamin C can also help heal acne scars.
Effective for acne due to their role in activation of enzymes that regulate various bodily functions. Vitamin B can reduce flakiness or dryness caused by acne. B vitamins such as B2 or riboflavin, B3 or niacin and B6 or pyridoxine can help restore moisture to the skin, reduce the severity of acne outbreak, reduce pain due to inflammation, and speed up the natural healing of scars. These vitamins can be taken as supplements.
Works wonders as an antioxidant. This vitamin plays an important role in preventing acne from spreading to other parts of the face. Oxidation of oil or sebum on the skin spreads the bacteria around the face. This is one of the reasons why people with naturally oily skin are more vulnerable to severe breakouts. The fat soluble vitamin E can counter this oxidation. It prevents the bacteria from being spread around the face and also facilitates the functions of vitamin A. Most vitamins work in tandem, just like different amino acids. Ensure you're getting your daily dose of vitamin E in the form of:
- Sunflower seeds
You may also use supplements orally or open a capsule of vitamin E and spread the contents on acne and scars. There are also many skincare products containing vitamin, such as serums.
A great source of anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin D is often used to reduce acne. Ever notice your skin problems clearing up in the summer? This may be due to additional exposure to the sun, which triggers your skin to ramp up vitamin D production. However, you still need to be protected from the harmful rays. Interestingly enough, the dangers are from the same ultraviolet rays that we benefit from. So head outside, but remember to apply sunscreen first.
A highly effective anti-inflammatory mineral. You should increase zinc intake in your diet if you have acne. You can also choose zinc supplements. There are many lotions containing zinc that you can apply on acne. However, there can be too much of a good thing. Excessive intake or use of zinc can be toxic. There are different recommended levels for men and women, with additional precautions for those who are pregnant or lactating. Check with your doctor if you're unsure. Selenium also has the ability to prevent and manage acne. You can increase your selenium intake by consuming sardines, tuna, grass fed beef and halibut.
Probiotics for Helping Prevent Acne
Bacteria are one of the main causes of acne. Excess bacteria in your skin and hiding in clogged pores can aggravate acne. While some acne is due to hormonal imbalances, surface bacteria is also a common culprit. However, there is a type of bacteria that can actually reduce acne and may even cure it. These are good bacteria known as probiotics. There are many health benefits of probiotics and one of them is relief from pain caused by blemishes and cysts during an acne breakout. You can get probiotics in yogurts. There are supplements available.. You may also use skincare products containing probiotics.
The human body has good and bad bacteria. They are present in the gastrointestinal tract. They are also present in our skin. The good bacteria must outnumber the bad bacteria in our skin and the intestines. Increasing the count of good bacteria in the skin will neutralize the harmful bad bacteria, reduce inflammation and also help cure acne. Probiotics also strengthen the immune system, which is necessary for relief from any kind of inflammation.
Acne is an inflammation so you should strengthen your immunity with probiotics.
You can increase your daily intake of probiotics by eating yogurts, miso soup, sauerkraut and kombucha. Pairing probiotics with prebiotics can yield great results. You can get the latter in onions, garlic and bananas. Introducing more probiotics into your diet usually yields the best results.
Not a fan of these foods? Look into supplements instead. You can also use probiotics topically. The healing process is expedited when your immune system gets a boost due to the available probiotics.
You may want to consider probiotic skincare products. Protecting your skin on the surface is also necessary. If you are buying skincare products or creams for acne containing probiotics, make sure you look for natural options. Avoid those containing excess chemicals or synthetic ingredients that may irritate your skin. To ensure your pores stay clear, look for non comedogenic on the label. This means the product has been formulated specifically to avoid clogging pores.
Which Vitamins Are Good for Acne Scars?
Use A, C, D, E and B vitamins to heal acne scars. Also use zinc and selenium but moderately. Magnesium is useful in healing acne scars. It is anti-inflammatory and increases the level of glutathione. Magnesium can also contain cortisol or stress hormone. The mineral can help clear up and clean your skin, effectively expediting the healing process. Those who have severe acne scars should include omega 3 fatty acids along with vitamins. You can use fish oil supplements. You can consume more seafood, especially mackerel and salmon, to increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids.
Acne scars will be more severe if breakouts are long lasting and there are recurring episodes. Your response to breakouts can also affect how they heal. We know it's hard but try your best to avoid:
- Excessively touching your face/breakout area
- Scratching or picking
- Not washing daily
- Sleeping in makeup or other pore-clogging habits
- Using tools or purposefully opening blemishes
This last one is especially important! While you want it out of your skin ASAP, this is honestly best left to a licensed dermatologist or esthetician. You may make your acne worse, cause a deeper infection, and even create life-long scars.
We're all familiar with “popping” a pimple.
But one thing you may not know is…
It's possible to accidentally “pop” it into your skin. The ruptured pustule will now spread bacteria deeper beneath the surface and can lead to longer lasting acne and eventual scarring.
How Rose Water and Witch Hazel can Help Clear Up your Skin
Witch hazel is an extract from fresh or dried leaves, roots and bark of a plant known as Hamamelis virginiana. The perennial shrub is a native of North America. It is used for skincare in folk medicine. Rose water is extracted from the hips and flowers of some of the species in the genus Rosa. Witch hazel and rose water can help clear up your skin.
Witch hazel is rich in volatile oils and resins. It also contains phytochemicals such as:
Phytochemicals are powerful antioxidants. They fight free radicals. The tannins can constrict or tighten blood vessels. They can make your skin tone more even. Rose water has phytochemicals such as tannins and vitamins E & C. It is also an antiseptic. It is widely used as a skin toning agent. Both witch hazel and rose water can heal irritated and inflamed skin. They can also cure redness.
To prevent sensitive skin from further drying out, look for natural witch hazel that doesn't contain alcohol. Some witch hazel blends have rose water added, such as Thayer's Witch Hazel.
Do you use vitamins for acne or have any other tried and true methods? Share your skin care pro-tips down below!