Acne is not like measles, a disease that you will only suffer one major time in life. It is recurrent. Babies can develop the condition immediately after or even before birth. Adults as old as fifty can develop the condition, as can – and usually will – teenagers.
Such body conditions can be best managed through long term prevention measures rather than one-time medications. And what’s better to induce long-term health benefits than foods?
Particularly, vitamins can help you deal with acne and in fact improve skin health. Vitamins can be sourced from foods. However, higher concentrations such as needed to get rid of acne require the use of supplements.
In this article, we will discuss the best vitamins to consider for acne treatment and prevention.
Vitamin A for acne
Vitamin A for acne works by regulating the volume of sebum that gets produced and also by reducing acne inflammation. It also helps flush body toxins known as free radicals from the body. These compounds destroy collagen.
In the body, Vitamin A promotes maturation of skin cells known as epithelial cells. These cells are needed to replace dead skin cells that are constantly removed from the body.
In its deficiency, the vitamin can be taken in supplements. It is also available in foods such as carrots and vegetables.
Note that the vitamin A in foods is not similar to the one contained in retinoids. In retinoids, it is modified into more potent forms.
Vitamin E for acne
Vitamin E is a collective term for 8 active compounds. It is most involved in the process by which fat cells are broken down to produce body energy. The vitamin also aids in formation of new tissue to form scabs and new tissue after damage. This greatly improves on the type of acne scars that will form.
Vitamin for acne works by reducing the amount of fats in the body. It also aids in the flushing out of free radicals as an antioxidant.
Sources of the vitamin include vegetables, sunflower oil and wheat germ. Supplements offer for a quick and concentrated source.
Vitamin D for acne
15 minutes of exposure to direct morning sun can guarantee you enough vitamin D your body needs for several days. In the body, the vitamin undergoes several conversions in the liver and kidneys.
Vitamin D for acne works in three main ways;
- The vitamin inhibits over-growth of sebum producing glands. Over maturation of these glands leads to production of excess sebum, which is almost synonymous to acne.
- The vitamin is also an anti-inflammatory. This means that it can reduce the size of acne pimples and in fact protect from cystic acne which is known to cause acne scars.
- Vitamin D is a potent immune booster. It has been shown to fight bacterial infections. Since bacteria are a major cause of acne, the vitamin may thus succeed in improving the condition.
Eggs and fish oils contain a lot of vitamin D3. Mushrooms on the other hand are good sources of vitamin D2. In its deficiency, weak bones and muscles will develop. You will also fall sick easily.
Vitamin C for acne
This is a very important vitamin, not only for the skin but also to the body in general. One of the most unique features about it is that it can be used and re-used in a continuous cycle.
Vitamin C or acne benefits usually come from its ability to provide anti-oxidation benefits. This keeps the skin from wrinkling from harmful toxins.
The vitamin is also involved in the production of collagen. This is the tissue that becomes damaged when acne pimples rupture. It is needed to form new, healthy skin during the recovery process.
Unlike prescription medications, vitamin C for acne will not cause scars after recovery. It will also not bring side effects that result from even the best antibiotic for acne.
Citrus fruits are the largest sources of the vitamin. Vegetables, milk and liver are other considerable sources. In its deficiency, it can be sourced from supplements.
Vitamin B for acne
In general, vitamin B is perhaps the one with most anti-acne properties and benefits. This is perhaps because there are a number of vitamin Bs. Below are notable vitamin B for acne benefits:
- B5 – it produces a shrinking effect to follicles. This is in turn pushes sebum towards the surface of the skin, discouraging clogging. The vitamin also increases the rate at which fats are metabolized. This means that fewer fats will be available for sebum production. Other than supplements, legumes and whole grains are good sources.
- B6 – B6 are the best vitamins hormonal acne remedies. There are 6 identifiable compounds that fall into the category of B6 vitamins. B6 aids in the regulation of hormones levels and secretion. Since a lot of androgenic hormones in the body are known to cause acne, this B6 effect can help control hormonal acne. However, a lot of B6 especially in supplements will actually encourage acne.
- B7 – there are no many records that indicate the effectiveness of B7 for acne treatment. However, lack of it produces symptoms which include acne formation. The problem is that too much of it such as in supplements will actually cause acne. Corn, beef liver and egg yolks are good sources.
- B12 – B12 has not been associated with major anti-acne benefits. However, the vitamin is involved in breaking down of fats in the cells. It also involved in cell division. A lot of it should be avoided especially from supplements. There have been different reports from different research studies. Most however suggest that too much of it will worsen acne.
Other minerals to use with vitamins for acne
- Zinc – zinc is used as carrier agent for some vitamins and also helps in fatty acids metabolism. It has also been shown to play important roles in immune boosting. In fact, acne is sometimes treated directly with zinc supplements.
- Omega fatty acids – other than boosting the immune system, these fatty acids take part in promoting skin health. They also provide the raw materials needed for the production of new cells among other benefits. Fish oils are the richest sources next to supplements. Fish oils are one of the best natural treatments for baby acne on the face.
- Selenium – if you are to take vitamin supplements such as for vitamin C, you may as well want to take selenium. Together, these two compounds can be used to treat acne in a matter of weeks. Selenium reduces inflammation while vitamin C creates more collagen needed to heal the acne.
Other than vitamins and minerals, acne can also be prevented by learning its causes. More specifically, engage in skin care practices such as bathing with mild anti-acne soap. Keep up with aerobic exercises, which help liquefy the sebum in your follicles.
Best vitamins for acne; what vitamins are good for acne
Deficiencies in particular vitamins always create associated symptoms. You can start from there to know which exact vitamins to take for acne.
Generally, the best vitamins for acne are the ones we have discussed above. But that is almost like saying that all vitamins are good for acne. While there is some truth in that, some circumstances require that specific vitamin supplements be used.
You can start with a combination of vitamin C, selenium and zinc. Omega fatty acids will also add on the benefits. If no improvement is seen, you can try the other vitamins good for acne that we have discussed here.
Vitamins are perhaps the best way you can prevent and get rid of acne without risking side effects such as scarring, skin irritation and such. They will also come with additional benefits.
All the same, other treatment options are necessary where severe acne is involved. For example, even a combination of all the vitamins and minerals that we have discussed will not be effective against cystic acne. In such case, medical treatment must be sought.
You can always consider other natural remedies to use with vitamins for acne. Such include apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil. Tea tree oil for acne for example is a good place to start. If acne proves unresponsive to these treatments, check with your doctor.