Acne Approved: The Most Important Vitamins for Skin

April 19, 2018 5 min read 0 Comments

Acne Approved: The Most Important Vitamins for Skin

by Samantha



Vitamins and minerals are essentialfor the normal functioning of cells, tissues, organs and bodily systems, and without an adequate dietary intake, adeficiency can occur. A deficiency in certain vitamins can then result in skin conditions likeacne and acne-like dermatitis. Thankfully, supplying the body with all the nutrients it needs for healthy skin isn’t difficult to do.

Some of the properties of vitamins which make them useful intreating acne are their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-comedogenic, antibacterial and exfoliating properties. This means that a good intake of thesevitamins for skinmay help combatsome of theroot causes of your acne.


vitamin a

One of the most importantvitamins forskin is vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for the maintenance and repair of skin, hormonal balance, as well as the normal shedding of dead skin cells that can build up in the pore and cause acne. Vitamin A also acts as an anti-inflammatory to calm red and irritated breakouts. A deficiency can causeskinproblems like dry, rough and flaky skin,chronic infections,andevenkeratosis pilaris.

Thankfully, most fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamin A – like carrots and sweet potato! Supplementation is not recommended.


vitamin b complex

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is important for building new cells and fighting infection. It has beenimplicated as one of the root causes of acne, and although this is not likely true,vitamin B5may preventandrelieve acne symptoms. Althoughthe exact mechanism of vitamin B5 in acne treatments are not known, many people swear by Vitamin B5 for clearing their skin.

While deficiency is rare, proper supplementation is consideredsafe to try. Sunflower seeds, avocados, broccoli, and mushrooms are all good sources to increase your dietary intake.

Vitamin B6 isnecessaryfor healthy skin, as it reduces sensitivity to androgens that can result in acne. It also helps to repair skin damage caused by acne.

Although B6 is not as well-researched as othervitamins for skin, some have linked a B6 deficiency to acne breakouts, and others have linked their remission to supplementation.

B6 is considered particularly effective for dealing with premenstrual and teen acne, howevermegadosing can have theopposite effect.

AlthoughVitamin B12 has no direct effect on acne,it is involved in cellular metabolism, fatty acid synthesis, and DNA production,and may have a regulatory role in the immune system and endocrine system.It’s possible thatit may help promote hormonal balance and reduceinflammation that could cause acne.

However,like other B vitamins,high doses of vitamin B12 are reported tocause acne.

While supplementation is generally considered safe, fortified foods are a safer option.


vitamin c

Vitamin C is found in the epidermis (the outer layer of skin), as well as in the inner dermal layer. Vitamin C contains well-studied antioxidant properties that can decrease damage andskin inflammation as well as promote collagen production for healthy repair. Vitamin C works by protecting the skin’s barrier and reducing the risk of damage caused to the skin by free radicals and can even lighten acne scars.

While deficiency is rare, as foods rich in vitamin C are easily made up in a whole foods diet, supplementation is also considered safe.


vitamin d


Vitamin D plays alarge role inthebiology of the skin, and like othervitamins for skin,it is often founddeficient in people with acne.It is a hormone that not only affectstissuesbut has also been shown to affect the overall appearance and health of the skin.It prevents infectionand can also suppress sebum production and the enlargement of sebaceous glands. Vitamin D is alsoanti-inflammatory,antimicrobial, and antioxidative.

Most people can acquire enough vitamin D through safe sun exposure, although supplementation is often needed for those in northern areas.


vitamin e

Not only is vitamin E ananti-aging powerhouse, but it also helps to increase moisture in the skin, improve wound healing and skin texture, and reduceinflammation.Vitamin Eis delivereddirectly to the skin through the sebaceous gland, so our dietary intake is a direct reflection of the vitamin E status of our skin (although it can take about a week toincrease levels with supplementation).Adeficiency of vitamin E in theskin can increaseinflammation, redness, acne, and other skin problems.



Increasing your magnesium intake may have an indirect but measurable effect on your acne if it is caused by stress.

Chlorella isarichsource ofmagnesium, which diminishes stress and aids in the elimination of toxins as well as reducesinflammation – all of which may contribute to acne.



Selenium is important for preserving levels of other antioxidants that are beneficial for the skin. It also helps to prevent inflammation caused by acne.

Low levels of selenium and a selenium-dependent enzyme have been found to belower in acne patients, and have been implicated in inflammatory conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Low dose supplementation may help toimprove acne.




One of the most importantvitamins for skin,zinc is a well-studied, skin-friendly mineral that acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.Zinc also helps to break down substance P,a chemical that causes sebum production when the body is stressed.

Studies have found serum zinc levels to below in people with acne.A review ofpast studies found that zinc decreases oil production in the skin and canprotect against bacterial infection and inflammation.

While 30mg doses may be safe, your body needs relatively little zinc and so increasing dietary intake remains the safest option.


essential fatty acids

If your skin is prone todryness, inflammation, and breakouts, you may be lacking essential fatty acids,which are crucial to themaintenance of theskin'snatural oil barrier. Without an adequateintake, the skin produces a moreirritating form of sebum that can result in acne.

The solutionmay bea balanceof omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.Mostpeople get plenty of omega-6swhile their omega-3 intake islacking.Supplementation is considered safe.


If you want healthy skin, you need to give your skin what it needs - and that means eating the rightvitamins for skin.Our bodies use the nutrientsthatwe supply it with (and those we synthesize) to create a healthy, strong barrier between our insides and the outside world - our biggest organ, the skin.



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