Acne Supplements That Work! Which Ones Are The Right Vitamins?
Acne is one of the toughest skin condition for many to get rid of. Not because it is all that hard to treat medically but because most acne therapies focus on treating “what is visible” without treating what is not visible.
What is not visible, you ask?
If you have acne, you are either dealing with hormonal imbalance or nutritional related issue. Any other cause outside these two causes is minor.
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Then there are myriad of some MLM companies selling acne products left and right especially on Facebook :-( solely aiming to make you dependent on their products and remain a customer for life. Buyer beware.
…And then you have drug peddlers in Kenya in every corner. There is no one time you can walk into any pharmacy/chemist and ask for acne medication – you walk out without something. The goal of these chemists is to sell you something – even if it doesn't work :-(
What Kind of Supplements works for Acne?
For you to understand the right kind of supplements to suppress your acne, you must understand what these supplements do and what causes acne.
More like... what causes fire and how to turn off fire :-)
I recently did an article on acne treatment with an emphasis on how acne forms and how to treat acne in Kenya.
In this article, we looked into the commonest intrinsic (internal) cause of acne. Hormonal imbalance, it is.
We found out that Androgen hormone (a male hormone) is the single most common culprit for causing acne and oily skin in both men and women.
TIP: High androgen hormones in women is caused by Estrogen Dominance and can lead to a more serious condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
About Acne Formation:
We found out that when small holes in your skin called pores are clogged, oil, dead skin cells, and hair clump together and gets infected. This is what causes acne.
We further found out that androgen hormones accelerate the growth of sebaceous glands (skin oil producing glands) in size and in oil production capacity. This causes, even more, skin oil to get trapped causing severe acne.
You Must Take The Right Kind of Supplements ;) Which are they?
It would be a losing battle to apply some topical cream on the skin to treat acne of you are not addressing the internal cause of acne. :o
More importantly, you must take the right kind of supplements and nutrients to treat acne, once for all. Taking topical agents alone will only take care of acne temporarily and as soon as you stop taking the acne cream, your acne will be back.
1. Anti-Androgen Supplements:
Supplements and nutrition that balances your androgens, your estrogen and progesterone hormones should be your first line of defense. These supplements address the internal cause of acne – rather than external causes.
Taking the right kind of Acne supplements to balance your hormone is the key. Most importantly, the right combination you need to get rid of acne.
There are several such supplements from natural causes. Details soon
2. Anti-Inflammatory Supplements
What is inflammation?
By definition, Inflammation is a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury, infection, damaged cells or irritants.
Acne, as we learned earlier is caused by trapped in dead skin cells, oil, and cramped hair, leading to a localized infection.
Redness around the acne is a perfect example of inflammation. While inflammation is important in protecting adjacent cells from getting the same damage, it is important to boost your anti-inflammatory effect with the right supplements.
Anti-inflammatory supplements reduce the overreacting immune response attacking your own body in this process.
Which are the right supplements to reduce acne inflammation? Details soon.
3. Antioxidants Supplements
What are antioxidants?
An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells. Antioxidants such as thiols or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) terminate these chain reactions.
Thiols supplements are super potent in processes like liver detox regimens. Thiols have a strong smell resembling garlic or rotten eggs. In supplement world, we will focus on cysteines, coenzymes, and glutathione.
Aha! You might have heard something about vitamin C and Glutathione as anti-aging and for clear – smooth youthful looking skin. Remember that?
These supplements prevent cell damage by infection or immune response. The overall good of taking antioxidants is not only good for skin but also for your overall health.
They also increase energy production inside your cell (in the mitochondria) giving you increased energy.
Side note: Cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeons may put their patients on coenzymes and glutathione supplements to speed up recovery, increase heart pumping power and reverse the damage done by some blood pressure medication called beta blockers.
Side Note: Gynecologists may put their patients on coenzymes and glutathione when treating infertile women trying to conceive. This increases the strength and viability of the egg in both males and females making it more likely to survive.
Side Note: Oncologists may put their cancer patients on coenzymes and glutathione to reduce cell damage and speed up cell repair caused by chemo and radiation therapy used to treat cancer.
Side Note: Dermatologists & plastic surgeons may put their patients Cystines and glutathione to speed up skin repair, lower acne and achieve anti-aging results.
These anti-oxidants should be in everyone’s supplements basket – for ever.
4. The Mighty Omegas for Skin
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are potent anti-inflammatories that can reduce your acne significantly. In fact, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that using fish oil and other sources of omega 3 and omega 6 can reduce acne, even moderate to severe. (2)
Here are the right supplements for Skin
1. DIM with Vitex Supplement
DIM (3,3'-Diindolylmethane) is a natural extract obtained from cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli and cauliflower. DIM
Vitex or Chaste berry fruit extract is a natural herbal supplement that decreases abnormally high levels of androgen hormones. Chaste berry is so effective that it threatens pharmaceutical drugs used for the same effect. Good thing is, this is a natural herb.
Without proper hormonal balance, even with topical creams and other anti-inflammatory drugs, your acne will still come back.
2. Zinc Supplements
Earlier, we discovered that acne flare up and redness is due to local skin inflammation. Zinc supplementation can significantly reduce this inflammation.
While looking at zinc as anti-inflammatory, we cannot ignore the next level of acne protection - the anti-oxidants (1)
3. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) Supplement
This is one of the most important supplements in the world. It has so many good functions in the body that once you understand them, you will never go for a day without it – Yup!
Remember as we found out earlier, these types of supplements are called thiols and they have a “rotten egg smell or garlic”. They do not smell very good ?
NAC increases body levels of glutathione, the next supplement we are going to discuss.
Side note: NAC is the primary ingredient used in kidney and liver detox regimens. NAC protects liver and kidney damage from many toxins including radiations and drugs like acetaminophen (paracetamol or Tylenol).
TIP: You can open NAC capsule and make an NAC mask with honey. Topical NAC cures acne (3)
4. Glutathione Supplement: (L-Glutathione)
Glutathione is another “Thiol” supplement we talked about earlier. This is a popular supplement especially for those seeking to lighten their skin.
Glutathione DOES NOT BLEACH your skin. Glutathione lightens your skin but the moment you stop using high doses of glutathione, your skin goes back to normal (4, 5, 6, 7 ). It only increases skin elasticity and prevents oxidative skin damage by ultraviolet rays (UVB Rays).
As a potent anti-oxidant, glutathione seems to lower acne inflammation and infection caused by blocked skin pores.
TIP: Plain Glutathione is rapidly damaged by stomach acid to nothing, as soon as you take it. You must take either reduced glutathione or liposomal glutathione to get the benefits.
Liposomal glutathione must be refrigerated always to prevent it from getting damaged. You might not find true (undamaged) liposomal glutathione is Kenya.
Reduced glutathione is what you should take to get the true benefits of glutathione. There are no known side effects of taking reduced glutathione.
5. Vitamin C – Liposomal
Vitamin C is one of the most potent anti-oxidants as we discovered earlier. The tricky thing about Vitamin C is that it is easily damaged by heat, light and even stomach acids.
Here is the good part: Vitamin C increases absorption or reduced glutathione.
Follow me closely here:
NAC increases the availability of the absorbed glutathione for use in the body. This is a big one for everyone suffering from acne.
NAC + Liposomal Vitamin C + Reduced glutathione = Less acne, smooth skin and many antioxidant effects.
6. CoQ10 Supplement:
This is a master supplement that has so many good uses in the body that you should consider keeping it close to you.
Of course, if acne is your primary concern, a limited budget or do not care about full anti-oxidation, you should get the above three first, together with hormonal balance.
Just like Glutathione, plain CoQ10 (ubiquinone) is rapidly damaged by stomach acids during digestion. The little that survives the stomach acids are converted to Ubiquinol (absorbable CoQ10).
To increase the availability of CoQ10, you MUST take CoQ10 in form of Ubiquinol (digested through fermentation form) so that the full absorbable form is available to you.
Do not let big words scare you away. Think about this as first milk - colostrum.
Lactoferrin is a multifunction milk protein found in very high concentration is colostrum (first yellow milk after giving birth in mammals). The highest concentration of lactoferrin is found in human colostrum, followed by regular human milk, then cow’s colostrum. Read this article on Wikipedia.
Once you have read the article above, you will see why this could be one of the best supplements in the world. It protects you from all infection from viruses, fungi, anti-cancer, and bacteria – like Acne.
Lactoferrin with Vitamin E (another antioxidant) and Zinc above is a proven combination for treating acne (1)
Which Supplements Should You Prioritize with Acne?
Over 80% of acne in women are caused by androgen hormones. Even in men. Men can skip DIM with Vitex but women should have this – even if none other in the above list. Skip if you are pregnant.
DIM with Vitex
NAC + Liposomal Vitamin C & Reduced Glutathione must go together for maximum effect on reducing acne and overall skin/body health. If on a tight budget, Skip liposomal vitamin C and take Reduced glutathione.
TIP: Complete liver detox is comprised of the three (Liposomal Vitamin C, Reduced Glutathione, NAC and one more herb called Milk Thistle) If you add milk thistle, you will have the full benefits of liver detox.
TIP: Estrogen hormones are metabolized by the liver in the body. Combining DIM / Vitex with liver detox will give you a smooth skin, better stronger hair, and immunity
If you read the article I suggested on Wikipedia and you want to get full benefits of colostrum, I would suggest you add lactoferrin.
More than likely, you will notice many more benefits other than acne.
- Example, proper estrogen balancing and metabolism will help you lose weight and belly fat.
- Proper estrogen metabolism reduces pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) by 80%. DIM with Vitex is the single most helpful remedy for PMS.
- Hormonal balance with DIM & Vitex regulates irregular monthly periods and helps women to ovulate as an added advantage. Women thought to be infertile have conceived babies under this.