Conquering acne isn’t just a matter of using products on your skin. You must also combat acne from the inside out, and certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs are an important part of the battle.
Crucial acne-fighting vitamins include:
. Vitamin A — While vitamin A can help get rid of acne, it requires judicious use. That’s because it’s fat soluble and can build up in the body, resulting in toxicity. Signs of vitamin A toxicity include nausea, headache, and dehydrated skin. Never take more than 10,000 international units of vitamin A daily. Your doctor can recommend the right amount to help clear your skin.
. Vitamin C — Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a well-known immunity booster. It also helps the body heal wounds, so it helps acne-prone skin heal more quickly.
. Vitamin E — This powerful antioxidant also has anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E helps prevent damage to cell membranes. Studies show that people suffering from severe acne are often deficient in vitamin E.
Minerals to Getting Rid of Acne
The right minerals are just as important in fighting acne as vitamins. Consider taking these mineral supplements to improve your skin:
. Magnesium — This mineral helps in hormone regulation, and fluctuating hormone levels are significant acne triggers. Magnesium also helps in reducing inflammation, which benefits acne sufferers.
. Zinc — People suffering from acne usually have low zinc levels. This mineral helps destroy bacteria that causes acne and reduces the body’s inflammatory response, such as redness and swelling, when a pimple does form. Always take zinc tablets with a meal, as it can cause queasiness on an empty stomach.
. Sulfur — Sulfur is an element found in the body in tiny quantities. The dietary supplement methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM, is often marketed for arthritis relief, but it’s also quite beneficial for the skin. The same anti-inflammatory properties that combat arthritis also reduce the inflammatory response of acne, and MSM helps destroy Propionibacterium acnes, the gram-positive bacteria associated with acne.
Herbs for Acne Relief
Various herbs can help limit or eradicate acne. These include:
. Milk thistle — This herb, often considered a weed, aids in cleansing the liver and ridding the body of toxins. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory.
. Green tea — A few cups of green tea daily offers numerous health benefits, and clearer skin is among them. Green tea contains antioxidants and also boosts the immune system. It may reduce sebum, the oily matter produced by the sebaceous glands, and lessen the likelihood of developing pimples.
. Dong Quai — Women suffering from acne might consider using this ancient Chinese herb, long used to treat “female complaints.” Dong Quai has anti-inflammatory properties and aids liver function. Instead of toxins being released through the skin, dong Quai allows them to pass through the feces. It stimulates skin healing. However, don’t use dong Quai if you are pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive.
Before embarking on a natural-cure regimen for your acne, consult your doctor. The doctor will recommend the right dosages of any vitamins, minerals or herbs to take for acne control. The physician may have additional recommendations for your acne treatment, including changes in diet and lifestyle.
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