One common method for getting rid of acne is supplementing with vitamins, either via supplements or lotions that have been fortified with their vitamins. This article provides a guide to the different vitamins that combat acne plus the different ways to acquire these vitamins.
Top Acne Vitamins
There are several vitamins that have been associated with fighting off acne:
Vitamin A – Vitamin A has been so effective at getting rid of acne that a whole class of compounds known as retinoids have been derived and tested to treat acne. While these work, the best retinoids are only available via prescription.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and may reduce inflammation that leads to acne. Vitamin C is easily earned in the diet as it is found in large amounts in most fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin D – Vitamin D is necessary for skin health, particularly preventing dry skin and immune-related breakouts like psoriasis. Vitamin D may help reduce side effects of common OTC acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide.
Vitamin E – Another strong anti-inflammatory, vitamin E may help reduce inflammation that leads to acne.
Dangers of Over-supplementation
Vitamins in large amounts may cause toxicity, so do not go beyond the recommended daily allowance if you want to avoid unpleasant side effects. Nearly all vitamin overdoses occur from those taking supplements. These supplements often include very high doses of vitamins, well beyond the recommended daily allowance for these vitamins.
This is particularly important with the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are stored by the body, typically by the liver, and are slowly released into the bloodstream over time. The problem is when the liver’s stores get full, these vitamins spill out into the blood stream in high concentrations and cause toxicity.
The reason fat soluble vitamin supplements can be so dangerous is that it may take months for the liver’s stores to completely fill, so you may get sick months after starting a supplement and be unable to identify it as the root cause of your problems.
The easiest way to avoid these side effects is to simply get your vitamins through natural means. Vitamin A is commonly found in carrots as well as many other fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E is commonly found in nuts, seeds, and nut butters (like peanut butter). Since you need these foods anyway to provide healthy fats for your skin, this is a great way to knock out both of these requirements.
Vitamin D and K are earned through other methods. Vitamin D is generated by sun exposure to the skin. Just 10-15 minutes a day of direct sunlight is all you need to stimulate healthy vitamin D production. Our body will build up vitamin D reserves over the summer when there is a lot of sunlight and then slowly spend these reserves over the winter. Vitamin K is produced naturally by bacteria in your intestines as the bacteria feed off of fiber. A diet with plenty of vegetation will provide you with all the vitamin K you need.