If you're like me, you grew up in the Pinterest skincare advice era (very dangerous). But you probably remember all of the pins claiming that biotin is the skin, hair, and nail cure-all. Don't get me wrong, biotin is great, but if you have acne is best to avoid vitamins that contain B12 and Biotin.
If you have a deficiency or your doctor recommends that you take these supplements, please consult with your medical professional.
Studies have shown that certain nutrients and supplements can improve your skin's health and complexion. Before we dive into the supplements that are great for acne, it's important to note that what we put into our bodies gets absorbed and released into our bloodstream. So whether we're consuming supporting or harmful nutrients, it's interacting with our cells that can either help or damage our skin.
What supplements help fight acne?
Zinc is a nutrient that fights infection and protects our immune system with the added benefit of its anti-inflammatory properties. Zinc has higher effectiveness when taken orally versus applied topically. The zinc's anti-inflammatory effects help alleviate skin irritation, acne, and redness.
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid (EFA) naturally found in our skin cell membrane. To have healthy cells that work properly, meaning they are replicating and sloughing off efficiently and not clogging your pores, you need healthy amounts of EFA in your body. Omega 3 also has anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows the link between increased intake of Omega 3 and can improve acne scarring because of its ability to keep skin cells functioning optimally.
Probiotics are very popular with the latest research in gut health. Our gut health is linked to almost every system in our body. One system that our gut regulates is our hormones. Hormone irregularities are directly linked to acne flare-ups, so if you improve your gut health, you balance your hormones, which improves your acne. It's also important to note that poor gut health leads to inflammation in the body which can trigger acne (remember, acne is an inflammatory condition). Feeding your gut healthy bacteria like probiotics can help your body regulate hormones and combat inflammation and acne breakouts.
There's no denying that there are a lot of supplements on the market claiming to heal your acne. It can get confusing with all of that information, but studies show certain vitamins can make your acne worse.
So here are some supplements to avoid if you are prone to acne:
Vitamin B12 is found in almost every multivitamin. Although vitamin B12 has a lot of health benefits, it has been shown to aggravate acne. B12 has been shown to alter the skin's microbiome (the healthy bacteria living on the skin's surface). When the skin lacks the microbiome, acne-causing bacteria can thrive. This bacteria can encourage inflammation, making breakouts worse.
Biotin is one of the most popular supplements in the health and beauty industry, most commonly taken to strengthen hair and nails. Taking biotin increases the amount of protein your skin produces. This is why it makes your hair and nails grow because they're made of keratin. The excess keratin builds up, clogs the pores, and mixes with your natural oil to create the sticky plug (the beginning of acne). Because of this sticky combo, biotin often causes cystic acne because the plug gets clogged further into the pore, and the dead skin cells grow faster around it. If you've ever had a cystic pimple, you know that they are deep underneath the skin and are hard to see; cystic acne can even be painful.
The truth is some supplements don't mix well with acne, and on the other hand, some supplements are a great nutritional source for our skin and acne. It's important to know that what we eat can improve our skin too. Skin is the largest organ in the body, so what we consume will impact the way our skin looks.
If you have any questions about these supplements, I am just an email away 💌
Autumn the Acne Coach