Acne affects approximately 9.4% of people, making it the eighth most common disease worldwide. Acne usually begins in adulthood when the oil glands become activated but it can occur at any stage of life, including adulthood. Acne usually appears in areas that have more oil or sebum glands, such as the face, chest, arms, and back. Many factors play a role in the emergence of acne, such as genetics, the surrounding environment, infections, excessive oil secretion in the skin, hormonal imbalance, bacteria, and increased blockage of dead hair follicles. Acne can appear as blackheads or whiteheads, and it is not inflammatory. Inflammatory acne can take the form of pimples, red spots, nodules, and cysts. Cystic acne is a more severe form of acne that leads to enlarged cysts and nodules that appear on the skin. This type of acne tends to be more painful and forms when oil and dead skin cells build up in the pores or hair follicles.
The role of diet and skin health
The old adage “your body reflects what you eat” holds true for acne and skin health. What you eat may have an effect on the health of your skin. Some studies indicate that diet may play a role in developing or preventing acne. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, foods with a low glycemic index may be helpful in promoting plumpness. 2 Eating foods with a high glycemic index may lead to an increase in blood sugar. This fluctuation in blood sugar may affect hormones that stimulate oil production and stimulate the inflammation that can lead to acne. 3 Focusing on unprocessed foods and supplements may play a role in fighting acne and having healthy skin.
6 nutritional supplement for acne relief
The gut microbiome may play a role in our skin health, too. Probiotics can be used to help support the health of the beneficial bacteria in our digestive system and may support a healthy immune system. Several studies indicate that probiotics may be beneficial in treating acne. One study showed that people with acne had lower levels of lactobacilli and bacteria. Normal skin is slightly acidic to prevent disease-causing bacteria. Probiotics may also be helpful in returning the skin to its normal pH.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that forms naturally in some foods. Animal and fish sources are the most commonly used form. Beef liver contains the highest active source of vitamin A. Cod liver oil is also high in Vitamin A. Plant foods contain carotenoids, which can be converted into vitamin A in the body. Carotenoids are pigments that give fruits and vegetables their yellow, red, or orange color, including carrots, yellow and red peppers, yams, and sweet potatoes. Several studies indicate that high-dose vitamin A supplements may be effective in treating acne.
Vitamin E is another fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin E is found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and green, leafy vegetables. The most studied form of vitamin E is alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may also have anti-inflammatory properties. One study indicates that people with acne may also have low levels of both vitamin A and vitamin E. Some studies indicate that taking vitamin E may enhance the benefits of vitamin A and reduce potential side effects while treating acne and other skin conditions.
Zinc is an essential trace element involved in over 100 bodily processes such as DNA production, immune system processes and metabolism. Zinc plays a major role in wound healing and skin health. Zinc is highest in meats, shellfish, seeds and legumes. Research suggests that people with acne may have low levels of zinc. A recent review suggests that topical orally taken zinc supplements might have a positive effect on acne by reducing inflammation and sebum production.
Omega-6 and omega-3 are essential fatty acids. It is important to maintain a healthy ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 to regulate inflammatory pathways. There are two important types of omega-3s : Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Several studies indicate that omega-3 supplements may help reduce inflammation and improve acne.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin B6 is a cofactor involved in many bodily processes such as immune and brain health, processing homocysteine, and breaking down proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Vitamin B6 is essential for healthy skin. It may also be useful in treating common symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). One study suggests that B6 may help reduce premenstrual acne in women.
There may be a reason why adult acne is on the rise: stress. Tension is controlled by the adrenal glands, which are small glands located above the kidneys. They secrete cortisol, the hit-and-run hormone. Chronic stress can cause cortisol to spike, which can indirectly lead to hormone fluctuations that stimulate acne production. One study suggests that cortisol can increase sebum production, worsening acne.
Adaptogenic herbs may also be helpful in regulating the stress response and reducing cortisol production. A 2014 study showed that ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herb, may be helpful in reducing general stress. Many studies on the other Alodaptugenk herbs Ginseng Siberian basil sacred and Alrodiola may also be effective in reducing cortisol and stress response.
A healthy skin care routine
Maintaining a healthy skin care routine can help treat and prevent acne. Several topical cosmetic compounds have been studied for their acne-fighting abilities.
Retinol is a biologically active form of Vitamin A that can be used topically to treat acne and other skin problems such as fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol may help rejuvenate skin by increasing cell proliferation and may be beneficial in treating acne and the scars it causes. Retinol is often combined with other products to provide a comprehensive acne protocol.
Salicylic acid is commonly found in many topical acne products, such as cleansers, toners, and lotions. Salicylic acid is a type of beta-hydroxy acid that is derived from the bark of the willow tree. Exfoliates dead skin as excess oils and residues dissolve from the surface of the skin, and may reduce pore size. One study suggests that topical use of salicylic acid for 12 weeks might reduce the appearance of inflammatory acne lesions.
Glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from sugar cane. It is one of the most common and well-known acids in the skin care sector. Due to its small particle size, glycolic acid can help exfoliate dead skin and reduce excessive keratinization more effectively than other forms of alpha hydroxy acid. It may help unclog pores and clear acne.
Sulfur is a non-metallic element that is mostly found in soil. Sulfur is found widely in many over-the-counter products. It can have a drying effect and may help absorb the excess oil on the surface of the skin. Some studies indicate that sulfur may also have antibacterial properties and may be effective for treating acne. Sulfur is often combined with other active ingredients such as salicylic acid.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, which is a water-soluble vitamin. Niacinamide is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and may prevent water loss from the skin. Several studies indicate that topical niacinamide may be as effective in reducing acne as the primary acne treatments. Niacinamide may reduce the appearance of acne lesions without the irritation or side effects caused by other topical acne treatments.