One mineral that's vital for healthy immune function and wound healing is zinc. Some small studies show that people with acne have low zinc levels and supplementing with zinc improves acne
symptoms. The anti-acne benefits of zinc may be related to its ability to ease the skin inflammation that people with acne experience. It may also help skin repair after a breakout.
Other vitamins that may be beneficial for people with acne are vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins have natural antioxidant activity that helps protect tissues against damage and reduce inflammation. Oxidative damage seems to be a contributing factor with acne and people who experience breakouts may not have adequate antioxidant reserves to keep it in check. Supplementing with antioxidant vitamins may be helpful to reduce inflammation and tissue damage associated with acne.
Another powerful antioxidant that helps to ease inflammation is selenium. Although we only need this mineral in trace amounts, it plays an important role in immune health and reducing inflammation. Some small studies show people with acne have lower blood levels of selenium. Selenium is found in the soil and some areas of the world have selenium-deficient soil. This means not everyone gets adequate amounts of selenium through diet alone. Selenium also works in synergy with other antioxidants, particularly vitamin E.
Some small studies show supplementing with antioxidants may be helpful for acne symptoms. Healthy skin starts with a healthy diet, one that contains antioxidant vitamins and minerals, but some people with acne may not be getting enough of these vital components through diet alone.
Another "trace mineral," your body needs in small amounts is chromium. Some preliminary research suggests chromium may be helpful for people with acne as well.
Some plants and herbs have anti-inflammatory activity, an example being licorice root. Licorice root has been used topically for some skin conditions including eczema. There's some thought that it may be beneficial for acne too due to its ability to ease inflammation, although more research is needed into this for the treatment of eczema and acne.
There's a growing interest in the role diet and supplements play in skin health and in acne. What goes into your mouth may be equally important as what you put on your face when it comes to helping your skin heal from acne - but be sure to talk to your qualified healthcare professional before taking supplements.
back to top »