Vitamins and minerals are a vital part of our physical health, but how do they affect our skin? Are vitamins for acne a good idea or not?
Vitamins can play a role in your skincare routine, but their primary function should be supplemental rather than the primary means of treatment. When combined with other acne-fighting ingredients, vitamins can help your skin stay clear and be better prepared to avoid future breakouts.
There are a lot of details to consider when it comes to using vitamins for acne and to better your skin, including understanding which vitamins do and do not make a difference. Let's take a closer look at what you need to know to make a decision about which products will work for you.
Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment
Do Vitamins Help Clear Acne?
Vitamins and minerals can be found in both topical acne treatments and supplements meant for oral ingestion, and their efficacy depends on which type of vitamin you're using (and why).
But you'll need to make sure you choose your vitamins wisely, as using aggressive products or too much of the wrong vitamin can set you up for failure rather than success.
If you are dealing with a particularly deep, unpleasant pimple, that can be treated overnight with a steroid injection at the dermatologist.
What Causes Acne, and Can Vitamins Help?
There are three root causes of acne:
Inflammation: When the skin is inflamed, the pores constrict slightly, trapping oil and dead skin cells beneath the surface. This leads to clogged pores that cause blackheads and whiteheads. If acne-causing bacteria get trapped in the pores as well, minor infections can start to form pimples.
Acne-causing bacteria: Bacteria like P. acnes always live on the surface of our skin and don't cause much of a problem on their own, but when there is an overgrowth, they get trapped in our pores due to inflammation and cause minor infections that lead to breakouts.
Excess oil (sebum) production: Oil is good and necessary for skin health at normal levels and without inflammation. However, many things can kick oil production into overdrive—from the body’s inflammatory response triggered by harsh products and other irritants to fluctuating hormones. Not all people with oily skin get acne, but the trouble starts when excess oil gets trapped in a pore with P. acnes.
There is some evidence to suggest that a deficiency in some vitamins, namely vitamins A and E, may play a role in the development or progression of acne.
Though these vitamins may not cause acne, they may contribute to some of the causes listed above. So, it stands to reason that supplementing these vitamins in your routine could help your skin.
Can Vitamins Give You Acne?
Studies show that exposure to excess amounts of some vitamins, like vitamins B12 or B6, can actually lead to more breakouts or skin concerns.
Even if these vitamins don't cause acne themselves, they can exacerbate pre-existing blemishes and make your skin more likely to break out again.
Should I Take Vitamins if I Have Acne?
It's important to distinguish between taking vitamins via oral ingestion and using them in topical skin care products.
Cleansers, serums, moisturizers, etc. that are formulated with vitamins and minerals can help boost the look and feel of your skin, but unless they also use ingredients that can directly target all three of the root causes of acne mentioned above, they won't get rid of your breakouts.
Likewise, taking a vitamin supplementto prevent or treat your acne isn't going to be enough to get rid of your acne.
Instead, a well-formulated supplement should work to complement a pre-existing routine that adequately addresses your skin concerns.
Our Probiotic Complex is formulated with Vitamins A and E, zinc, and other minerals like copper to provide your skin with the extra support it needs to thrive.
What Vitamins Are Good for Acne?
Vitamin A is a well-known superhero when it comes to skincare. If you're interested in trying vitamins for acne, vitamin A is one of the first places you should turn.
Vitamin A can both help lower inflammation and increase skin cell growth to promote healing and rejuvenation. This makes vitamin A great for acne scars and generally smoothing the skin.
Vitimin A derivatives, namely retinol, on the other hand is a somewhat risky topical ingredient. Retinol increases cell turnover and causes photosensitivity, or a heightened sensitivity to the sun's rays. Because photosensitivity can be quite problematic, we recommend sticking with vitamin A, or using azeliac acid to increase cell turnover without the worrisome side effects.
Some research shows that vitamin E can indeed improve the appearance of acne and breakouts, even severe acne, and successfully lower the amount of inflammation on the skin.
Less inflammation means better and faster healing and a lower chance of causing scarring.
Studies reveal that zinc, especially in combination with vitamin A, seems to be very beneficial for breakouts and improving acne.
Oral ingestion of zinc and vitamin A together is a great way to help your skin stay inflammation-free, stable, and able to accept the benefits of your other skincare products.
Note that many of these vitamins can be introduced to your routine via makeup. We've outlined some makeup options for acne that include acne-treating ingredients so that they can help clear up your acne even while covering it up.
One Part of a Bigger Routine
Here at Exposed, we've done the research to ensure that all the ingredients in our products are healthy and effective, meaning that our skincare kits are guaranteed to get rid of your acne.
We use ingredients like vitamin A, vitamin E and zinc in our daily skincare kits.
Our kits arrive to your door monthly, and they include the products needed for a morning routine and evening routine that will use the best that science and nature have to offer to get rid of your acne for good.