How to Choose the Right Supplements for Acne

Millions of people all around the world suffer with acne. Acne manifests itself on the skin as zits, blackheads, whiteheads, and, in severe cases, cysts. Typically seen on the face, but sometimes the chest and back. Adolescents are the most common age group affected, however it may impact anybody. It’s annoying and embarrassing at best, and painful and upsetting at worst.

Creams and medications including benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, antibiotics, and hormone therapies are commonly used to treat acne (1). But there is mounting evidence that what you eat can play a role in developing and eliminating acne (2).

Diet can benefit acne by lowering inflammatory levels, for example. Inflammation is a possible cause of acne; certain foods may reduce inflammation while others promote it. Inflammation may be triggered by diets heavy in sugar, refined carbs, and saturated fats, whereas inflammation can be mitigated by eating foods rich in fibre, antioxidants, and healthy fats (3).

Leafy greens like kale and spinach, berries like blueberries and strawberries, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, and nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, chia, and flax seeds are some of the greatest foods to prevent acne. Due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, the foods on this list can aid in the battle against the infections that contribute to acne. Glucose levels can be controlled with the aid of the fibre included in whole grains (5). This alleviates swelling, which in turn can help clear up acne (2).

However, if you suffer from acne, it’s best to avoid certain meals. Some of these include sugar, which can exacerbate acne by increasing inflammation, leading to rises in blood sugar and insulin resistance. Some people may also find that the hormones included in dairy products, particularly milk, exacerbate their acne (6). Alternatively, plant-based milks like soy, almond, or oat milk are worth looking into. Avoid processed foods at all costs because they are notorious for being loaded with inflammation-inducing ingredients including refined sugars, flours, and fats (3).

The nutrients in your diet are responsible for the acne-fighting benefits it provides. As a result, it stands to reason that dietary supplementation can also play a role in ameliorating acne. These aids consist of:


Anti-inflammatory and potentially effective in reducing acne, zinc is an important element. Zinc is vital for immunity, wound healing, and skin health due to its antioxidant properties. Zinc’s antibacterial qualities make it useful for combating skin germs. Acne sufferers have lower zinc levels than the general population; thus supplementing with zinc could help clear up their skin condition (6, 7).

The production of sebum can be regulated to some extent by zinc. When pores get clogged with sebum, acne becomes more severe (7). Zinc has been used topically for acne for decades (8), and several studies have examined its potential efficacy.

Although zinc supplements have shown promise for certain acne sufferers, they are not a panacea. It’s crucial to see a doctor before beginning any new supplement regimen; zinc pills are no exception. It’s vital to take zinc in the right amounts to avoid negative effects, such nausea and vomiting. Taking them with food is also recommended (6).

Vitamin A/Retinol

Various skin care products include vitamin A, usually in the form of retinol, due to the various benefits it provides for skin. Use this dietary supplement to prevent the buildup of dead skin cells that can block pores and cause acne. Retinol aids in acne prevention by hastening the removal of dead skin cells.

Acne can produce redness and swelling, but retinol’s anti-inflammatory properties can help alleviate such symptoms. One possible cause of acne is an increase in the skin’s sebum production. The greasy sebum production of the skin can be reduced with retinol’s aid. Collagen and elastin production can be stimulated by retinol. This can reduce the appearance of scarring on acne-prone skin (9).

When first starting to utilise retinol, you may experience some skin irritation and sensitivity. Therefore, it is recommended to begin with a low concentration and work up to a higher one if needed. Retinol can make skin more sensitive to the sun, so it’s important to apply sunscreen whenever you go outside in the summertime (10).


Vitamins A, C, and E and selenium are antioxidants that help decrease inflammation and prevent cell damage. Supplementing with these vitamins, commonly found in low quantities in persons with acne, may help avoid acne to some extent. Supplemental vitamin E and selenium for around three months has improved acne’s visual manifestations. The antibacterial characteristics of resveratrol, a molecule found in black grapes, mulberries, and red wine, make it a useful supplement for acne therapy.

The greatest method to safeguard your skin’s health and overall well-being is to eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables containing a wide range of anti-oxidants (6).

Vitamin D

The “sunshine vitamin” moniker is given to vitamin D since it is possible to raise one’s vitamin D levels simply by exposing one’s skin to sunlight. Acne treatment with vitamin D supplements is novel. This is due to the fact that studies have shown a high correlation between vitamin D deficiency and acne. The latest study discusses the relationship between vitamin D, immunity, and skin health. This vitamin reduces swelling and fights germs. Vitamin D is a dietary supplement that has been shown to be effective against acne when a bacterial infection brings on the condition.

Dairy products are a good source of vitamin D. However, some foods are suspected of being acne triggers. If you have this skin issue, receiving your vitamin D from a supplement is recommended (11).

Royal Jelly

Honey bees produce royal jelly to nourish developing bees and their eventual queen. Royal jelly is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and flavonoids, but it is not a nutrition in and of itself. Acne sufferers might benefit from using royal jelly as a supplement because of its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-aging properties. In addition to reducing sebum production and soothing acne-prone skin, it also helps keep the face hydrated. Collagen production is boosted as a result, speeding up cell turnover and repairing acne-ravaged skin (12).

Unfortunately, not all acne supplements are created equal. It has been shown that taking iodine or B vitamin supplements might worsen acne for certain people. Thus, those who suffer from acne should avoid taking supplements or multivitamins that include these nutrients (6).

Finally, when dealing with acne, it’s recommended that you drink enough of water, take nutrients, and wash your face with mild soap and water rather than harsh soap and makeup.


  1. Acne
  2. A low-glycemic diet may lead to fewer pimples
  3. Does sugar cause inflammation in the body?
  4. Anti-Acne Diet
  5. Wholegrains and diabetes
  6. Significance of diet in treated and untreated acne vulgaris
  7. Zinc Therapy in Dermatology: A Review
  8. Over-the-counter Acne Treatments
  9. Can Retinol be Used to Treat Acne?
  10. What Is Retinol Burn and How to Prevent It
  11. Vitamin D for Acne
  12. Bee Products in Dermatology and Skin Care



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