Figuring out the best solution for your acne problem is a cumbersome task. Where some treatments may work, inevitably some don’t. Interestingly, the reason this might be happening is that your body lacks essential nutrients to heal your acne efficiently. Important vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, and magnesium can speed up the healing process. They do this due to them helping the skin cells to carry out the repair mechanisms better.
Therefore professionals do recommend combining taking vitamins and supplements for acne-prone skin with topical treatments to heal your acne better.
What Causes Acne?
Acne can trouble anybody at any age, however, it can affect teenagers and young adults especially. Acne is a skin concern that affects millions of people around the world. The severity of the skin problem ranges from mild acne and blackheads to severe acne that can painful. Depending on the causes and also your age, the severity of the acne varies.
Pimples develop when the pores in the skin are blocked. However, this blockage can be brought about due to multiple reasons. It can occur when excess oil is produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands, which fills up the pore. Furthermore, dead skin cells present on the skin’s surface sticks to this oil and clogs the pore. And finally, other debris on the skin, dirt, and pollution further clog the pore.
Suggested Article: Clogged Pores: How to Prevent and Minimise Congested Pores for Smooth Skin.
Essentially, the bumps that form on the skin develop into full-blown acne when the blocked pored becomes infected. Unfortunately, bacteria thrive in this environment and cause further inflammation and pus formation.
While these treatments do work in most cases, they do not address the internal issues in the body. So, taking supplements for acne that include important vitamins and minerals can help to keep them at bay for longer.
Keep reading to know more about the best supplements for acne.
How to Determine What Type of Acne You Have?
Acne breakouts can be a random blackhead you spot once every few months, or it can also be the pus-filled pimples that are adamantly resting on your face and not budging.
There are many types of acne. The differentiation is based on their severity and the presence of inflammation. So, determining the type of acne you have will help you to pick the right treatment for it. Furthermore, this will also help when you are choosing the vitamins for acne.
Here are the different types of acne.
These are also known as comedones and indicate a plugged pore.
Seen as a blocked pore that has a thin layer of skin on top. It is usually infected and contains a white fluid (pus usually). Interestingly it is the presence of the white fluid that gives the appearance of ‘a white head’ on the pimple.
In the absence of the skin layer on the whitehead, the blocked pore is open to the atmosphere. Thus, oxygen present around us causes the oxidization of the contents of the pore. Additionally, they can develop a brown to black colour.
Suggested Article: Blackheads: Natural Ways to Remove Them Once and For All.
When comedones progress to later stages and the infection increases, they form inflammatory acne.
This is the next stage of whiteheads. Eventually, the infected pimple develops inflammation and becomes pink or red in many cases. It is also sensitive and tender to touch.
Pimples that contain pus (white or yellow) and have associated swelling are called pustules. Furthermore, they usually have a red ring around the white centre – a characteristic identification sign. They too are tender to touch and are usually painful.
Nodules are found with severe acne, it can last for a long time on the skin. Additionally, they may be large, swollen and filled with pus. Along with this, they can be very painful and leave behind deep pits on the skin. Frustratingly, treating them can prove to be difficult as they spread easily and quickly.
Filled with pus, this type of acne can resemble boils. This is due to the infection having progressed and the pimple is becoming lodged deep in the skin. Due to this, they may need removing surgically by dermatologists.
Treatment is the most difficult for this type of acne, where vitamins for cystic acne need to be combined with rigorous procedures to heal them.
Additional: Acne conglobata and acne fulminans are other types of severe acne. The nodules in these types can be severely infected and painful.
Suggested Article: Prevent Smog and Pollution from Affecting Your Skin.
What are Vitamins and Minerals?
Vitamins and minerals are necessary for optimal growth and development of the body. This is mainly due to their ability to partake in essential physiological processes in the body.
Chemically, vitamins are organic compounds and minerals are inorganic in nature. Minerals are absorbed by plants and ingested by animals from the soil and water around them, however, lack of these essential nutrients can result in commonplace skin problems such as acne through to serious diseases like anaemia and night blindness.
They are primarily of two types – water-soluble and fat-soluble.
The water-soluble vitamins include B vitamins (B1 or thiamine, B2 or riboflavin, B3 or niacin, B6, B7 or pantothenic acid, B9 or folic acid, and B12 or cyanocobalamin) and vitamin C.
Importantly, the body needs a constant supply of these vitamins as they cannot be stored in the body. If unused, the water-soluble vitamins are eliminated from the body.
Oppositely, Vitamins A, D, E, and K fall under the fat-soluble category. The body can store these but replenishing these reserves is just as important.
Minerals are categorised into two types based on the amount required by the body.
Macrominerals are required in large quantities. They include calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and sulphur.
Trace minerals are required in smaller amounts and include iron, manganese, iodine, zinc, fluoride, selenium, cobalt, and copper.
Our diet should be a primary source of these vitamins and minerals. However, it can be difficult to get these nutrients in all the required quantities through the diet because of our unhealthy eating habits. Supplements become a feasible option here, even in the case where you take vitamins for acne or just minerals for acne.
What Are the Best Vitamins and Minerals for Each Acne Problem?
Using dermatologist prescribed medication for acne may be required in severe cases.
For mild acne, supplying the body with the missing vitamins and minerals works well too. In fact, you can also take these supplements for acne-prone skin concerning inflammatory and severe acne. Furthermore, they can support any prescribed medications. This combination can work towards solving your acne problem faster than before.
Here are the best minerals and vitamins to take care of acne.
Vitamin A and Acne
- This vitamin performs crucial functions in the body.
- It is essential to maintain a healthy vision and healthy skin.
- It participates in red blood cells synthesis and also boosts immune function.
- For acne-prone skin, such people lack the required amounts of vitamin A in their bodies.
- Vitamin A is often prescribed to be used topically for acne treatment and is present as retinol or retinoid in topical serums.
- Dermatologists prescribe consuming vitamin A in some cases of severe acne as it is one of the most important vitamins for pimples.
Suggested Article: How to Use Retinol on Sensitive Skin
Vitamin C and Acne
Vitamin C not only improves the immune response in the body but also promotes collagen production. This collagen is important to support the skin structure. Furthermore, it is also important for healing processes that occur in the skin. With age, collagen levels decrease in the skin and acne can easily leave behind permanent scars.
Additionally, a serum that contains vitamin C helps to improve skin health and treat many skin problems like acne. So, professionals often recommend this to treat cystic acne.
Suggested Article: Our Best Facial Oil Serums’ For Every Skin Type.
Zinc and Acne
- Zinc is important in the body for immune, reproductive, and brain function. It also boosts the metabolism of other supplements that you take.
- Like vitamin A, it is a popular supplement for acne. Additionally, professionals often prescribe Vitamin A, topically, for acne treatment.
- This mineral is essential in key processes that the skin cells carry out. Unsurprisingly, as this is prescribed often it is seen that zinc deficiency is seen in many people who suffer from acne.
Selenium and Acne
This mineral is rather popular in the cosmetic industry as it protects the skin against damage from the sun and is also anti-carcinogenic in nature. Additionally, it can treat serious diseases related to the heart and skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
The discovery of this for acne treatment was only recently noted. This was due to the findings of low levels of selenium associating with the increase of inflammation within a severe type of acne.
Magnesium and Acne
The body uses magnesium to fight off stress. Hence, this makes magnesium a great supplement for healing stress acne. Furthermore, magnesium also promotes healthy sleep and reduces the levels of stress hormone (cortisol) in the body.
Suggested Article: 11 Sleeping Habits That Can Reduce Breakouts While You Sleep
Vitamin E and Acne
Vitamin E has the ability to keep the skin both moisturized and hydrated. However, you might think that it will make your skin even oilier and cause more acne. But, this is far from the truth. Vitamin E is useful as a topical oil along with a supplement for acne.
Interestingly, healthy individuals have higher levels of vitamin E when compared to acne-affected skin.
B Vitamins and Acne
The vitamin B complex plays a part in many physiological functions including enzyme function and hormonal balance.
Vitamin D and Acne
Vitamin D supports both bone and skin health. Interestingly, studies have proven that there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and acne occurrence. A supplement to supply the missing quantity of this vitamin for pimples is ideal.
How Does Each Vitamin and Mineral Help to Improve Acne?
Now that we have outlined the best supplements for acne, let us look at each of these vitamins and minerals that reportedly help to resolve the problem.
Vitamin A and its derivatives work really well to improve acne. Medically, they bring the sebum production under control, which in turn also promotes the shedding of dead skin cells and reduces the chances of pore-clogging and acne formation.
Vitamin A reduces acne associated inflammation as well.
This vitamin is synonymous with the term vitamin and acne scars. It is typically found in topical creams that state they will help in the removal of scar tissue.
Vitamin C is also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant in nature, thus it further detoxifies the skin and reduces swelling seen with pimples.
The hydration provided by vitamin E can bring back the balance for natural oil production by the skin. Furthermore, it also helps to protect the skin from photodamage.
Photodamage from sun-aggravated-acne and vitamin E can counteract it with its antioxidant activity.
Inflammatory acne is a classic example of the association between zinc and acne.
Stress causes this type of pimple and taking zinc can help reduce stress levels. Furthermore, it is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mineral. It further helps in the transport of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, which heal acne.
An important reason to take zinc tablets for acne is its ability to inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
This mineral reduces inflammation and redness seen with acne. Additionally, it also fights infection and protects the skin from UV damage.
Magnesium helps to reduce stress acne. Furthermore, the intake of this also restores hormonal balance.
This is one of those vitamins to take for acne that has antimicrobial properties. Additionally, it is also anti-inflammatory in nature.
This multivitamin for acne works towards reducing skin dryness seen with acne.
Note: Vitamin B5 is a popular B vitamin for acne treatment.
How to Ensure You Take Them Safely
The vitamins and minerals we have shared in the above sections positively help with acne treatment. But using them or ingesting them appropriately is very important.
Only Take the Recommended Dosage
Taking more than the required amount causes an overdose and, with it, various side effects.
Preformed vitamin A and beta-carotene are two forms of commercially available vitamin A for acne. The recommended dosage for this vitamin for acne is around 750mcg per day. In addition, a higher intake can build up vitamin A inside the body and cause toxicity. For this reason, women who are planning to become pregnant or are pregnant should not take vitamin A. This is due to the risk of it causing foetal malformation and even miscarriage.
The dosage for zinc, the other popular supplement for acne-prone skin, is 30-50mg per day. Thankfully, many brands sell zinc tablets for acne so you should have plenty of choices.
Tip: Specialists recommend taking a copper supplement along with zinc to avoid copper deficiency.
The recommended dosage for vitamin D depends on the level of deficiency you have. When taking multivitamins for acne, make sure that your total vitamin D does not cross 100mcg per day.
For vitamin E, the ideal dosage is around 200-300mg per day. Vitamin E capsules are not just a good vitamin for pimples but also for overall skin health.
You can take up to 2gms of vitamin C every day.
Note: Vitamin A and C make a potent treatment as vitamins for cystic acne.
The dosages mentioned are based on popular recommendations by skin experts and dermatologists. But, a professional should alter each dosage to suit your skin’s requirement. The dosage that suits your body, compared to others, may be different. For this reason, always consult a professional before taking multivitamins, or even minerals, for acne.
Caution: Pregnant women should always consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
To learn more about skin care and supplements, click here to read our article on How to Take Beauty Supplements Safely.