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Will Vitamin A Help Acne

The 7 Best Vitamins And Supplements To Take For Stubborn Acne

Vitamin A for Acne – Taking Vitamin A Supplements for Acne – Natural Acne Treatment
  • Causes of stubborn breakouts vary from person to person.
  • While clogged pores and hormones can lead to acne, experts agree that lacking certain nutrients may also play a role.
  • Here are the vitamins and supplements that support healthy skin and stop stubborn breakouts.

While there’s no single cause for acne, experts agree that lacking certain nutrients may play a role. These are the vitamins, minerals, and herbs that support healthy skin and may help stop those embarrassing breakouts.

Vitamin A For Acne: Best Types How It Works And More

  • Vitamin A is an important nutrient found in a variety of foods
  • This vitamin can be applied topically in the form of retinol or taken as oral supplements
  • Both oral and topical formulations are available in prescription strength
  • Short-term prescription oral use or long-term topical use are the safest ways to use vitamin A for acne

Vitamin A is found naturally in certain foods and plays a key role in maintaining vision, protecting cells from damage and supporting a healthy immune system. Vitamin A for acne could be an effective treatment as it has been shown to combat free radicals and inflammation, two factors associated with this skin condition.

While this vitamin could potentially help treat acne and prevent future breakouts, success will depend largely on the source and how its used.


Regulator Of Hormonal Balance And Immune Function

Vitamin A can also promote skin health by regulating the immune system and, therefore, reducing the effect of hormones and inflammatory responses on the skin.

The effect of this vitamin on the immune system is largely responsible for the anti-acne properties of its analog, isotretinoin.

Therefore, like the synthetic analog, vitamin A can reduce the effect of male sex hormones on the sebaceous glands. Androgens such as testosterone and its metabolites cause the enlargement of the sebaceous gland and the excessive secretion of sebum.

Since sebum is nutrient for bacteria, androgens indirectly set the stage for the colonization of the skin by acne-causing bacteria.

Therefore, vitamin A can improve hormonal balance by reducing the synthesis of androgens. This produces desirable effects on the skin including reducing the size and secretion of the sebaceous gland and the reducing bacterial population on the skin and in the pores.

Vitamin A can also reduce inflammatory response to acne damage on the skin. It achieves this by inhibiting the proinflammatory effects of immune cells. By this mechanism, vitamin A can help prevent and reduce inflammatory acne lesions.

Vitamin A is also an antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it removes harmful free radicals and other toxins on the skin.

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What Does Dim Do

Extensive research shows that DIM can have a balancing effect on hormones and helps restore estrogen balance. It is believed that DIM may help balance hormones by blocking the effects of excess testosterone, an androgen hormone responsible for producing excess acne-causing sebum in the skin. DIM is believed to help with estrogen balance by increasing beneficial 2-hydroxy estrogens and reducing the unwanted 16-hydroxy variety.

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How To Use Vitamin A For Acne

Top 5 Vitamins For Acne

Why Vitamin A Help Treat Acne?

The active form of vitamin A, retinoids, can combat your acne in few ways.

  • Retinoids can prevent dead skin cells clogging pores
  • Retinoids can decrease the oil the skin may produces
  • Retinoids can suppress the formation of androgen which is a major cause of acne

How to Use It for Acne

In most cases you can take vitamin A capsules or foods rich in vitamin A to help treat your skin. You will need to be careful to avoid taking too much vitamin A per day as this can lead to an overdose. Overdosing on this vitamin can cause physiological risks including hepatic damage or acute neural damage. You may experience headaches or nausea if you have consumed too much vitamin A. Excess amounts of this vitamin cannot be expelled through the urine like other vitamins, so it can start causing trouble. If you plan to start taking vitamin A supplements, work with your doctor to determine the healthiest amount of vitamin A to consume.

Read Also: What Prenatal Vitamins Are Best When Trying To Conceive

How Vitamin A Works To Treat Acne

Vitamin A is an antioxidant and can neutralize free radicals to prevent cell damage and slow cell aging. This same process can reduce the speed at which cells slough off, helping to keep cells clear of debris and potentially preventing acne from forming.

It is available as an over-the-counter topical or oral supplement, and in prescription-strength formulas to treat severe acne.

Topical vitamin A, called retinoids or retinols, is known to be most effective in treating severe acne, notably the papules and pustules that result from this condition. Retinol works to combat acne in several ways. It can help to:

  • Reduce hyperpigmentation, dark spots associate with healed acne lesions
  • Fight inflammation and reduce redness
  • Encourage cell turnover and skin healing
  • Regulate sebum production
  • Shield the skin from environmental irritants such as pollution

Retinol is routinely paired with antibiotic medication as a combination treatment for acne. In fact, this particular combination is considered a mainstay of acne therapy. Research supports this method of treatment and science agrees that the different benefits and complementary mechanisms of action work in tandem to effectively prevent and treat acne.

Retinol prevents acne formation by preventing pores from blocking antibiotics kill the bacteria that causes acne.

Turmeric Or Curcumin For Acne

The golden spice turmeric is another natural treatment for acne it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent, decreasing inflamed and irritated skin. Along with reducing inflammation, it has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and has significantly improved several skin disorders including acne.

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Vitamin A For Acne Conclusion

Theres no doubt about it vitamin A really is a fantastic ingredient for treating acne, as well as for general health. While that may be the case, dont neglect other acne treatments either. Results are always faster and better when multiple ingredients are combined, making vitamin A just one aspect of a comprehensive acne treatment program.


Why Is Vitamin A Important For The Skin

Which vitamins help in acne & acne scars? – Dr. Sudheendra Udbalker

Now that weve covered the ins and outs of Vitamin A, lets get to the good stuff. Just how does this vitamin lead to clear skin?

Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps combat free radicals. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which can change the environment of your sebaceous glands , which can make it easier for P. acnes bacteria to collect and form blemishes.

Genetics, stress, medications, and certain types of food can all be causes of oily skin. Vitamin A helps acne by reducing the amount of sebum your skin produces, meaning it can be a wonderful option for anyone who deals with oily and combination skinboth skin types that are prone to acne breakouts.

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How Much Vitamin D Is Necessary To Protect Against Cancer And Other Diseases

The overall consensus is that 1000 units needed to have a protective effect. Dermatologists will not have to worry excessively in a patient with adequate vitamin D supplementation. However, one needs to be aware that strict sun avoidance measures can lead to a serious health risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D supplementation will increasingly feature in scientific publications about dermatological conditions. Before that, we should have an adequate understanding of how vitamin D works in our and throughout the whole body.

Disclaimer: This series on Dermatology Lectures offers the authors personal perspective on scientific literature and should not be regarded as medical advice.


  • Lee WJ, Kim MJ, Ryu HS, et al. Effect of Vitamin D on the Expression of Inflammatory Biomarkers in Cultured Sebocytes Treated with Propionibacterium acnes or Ultraviolet B Irradiation. Ann Dermatol. 2016 28:665-669. doi:10.5021/ad.2016.28.5.665
  • Lim SK, Ha JM, Lee YH, Lee Y, Seo YJ, Kim CD, Lee JH, Im M. Comparison of Vitamin D Levels in Patients with and without Acne: A Case-Control Study Combined with a Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS One. 2016 Aug 25 11:e0161162. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161162. PMID: 27560161 PMCID: PMC4999291.
  • Wang M, Zhou Y, Yan Y. Vitamin D status and efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in acne patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Dec 20:3802-3807. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14057. Epub 2021 Apr 15. PMID: 33690970.
  • How Does Vitamin D Affect Sebum Productionthere Are Many Other Studies Which Link Vitamin D And Acne

    Other studies also report Vitamin Ds ability to block the growth of sebocytes, responsible for oil gland activity in acne patients. Vitamin D decreases the production of inflammatory markers from these oil gland producing cells. This reduces inflammatory acne. Many previous studies corroborate that vitamin D reduced activity of oil glands. The mechanism by which this occurs is confirmed by this study. When sebocytes are incubated with vitamin D, vitamin D actually inhibits inflammation. This is important because inflammation is the main pathway in acne, which is mostly genetically determined. Vitamin D deficiency however looks like it affects the development of acne. On the basis of these findings, the authors recommend the use of vitamin D for inflammatory acne.

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    One: Understand That Hormonal Acne Is An Inside Job

    The root causes of acne start deep within your body. They dont start at the level of the skin. That means that any changes you make to your skin care routine will only help so much and, if you do nothing else, the root causes of your acne will smolder on. So your first step in easing hormonal acne is shifting your mindset. You can only truly address hormonal acne by understanding it for what it is a condition with internal root causes and then using food, supplement, and lifestyle strategies to address those root causes.

    Also Check: How To Treat Hormonal Acne Around Mouth And Chin

    Stress Can Increase Breakouts

    Does Vitamin A Help With Acne?

    If youre experiencing a time of high stress, whether its physical or emotional, your body might produce an excess amount of cortisol.According to WebMD, cortisol is your bodys primary stress hormone. It works in tandem with your brain to control your motivations, fears, and moods.

    If your body is producing too much cortisol to help combat the stress its feeling, it could result in your other hormones being shifted out of balance. Hormones like progesterone and estrogen have an effect on hormonal acne if theyre not managed. For additional information read Healing Estrogen Dominance: Symptoms and Treatment Option.

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    Vitamins For Acne: Do They Work 7 Best Ones And Alternatives

    January 4, 2020 By Haley Walden

    • Vitamins for acne can help to fight inflammation and acne-causing bacteria to treat and prevent breakouts.
    • Some vitamins such as vitamins A, C, D and E can be beneficial for treating acne and acne scars in some people.
    • Vitamins may be used orally and topically to treat the symptoms of acne.
    • Alternative supplements such as zinc, selenium and EPA can also help to target inflammation, reduce the symptoms of acne and prevent future breakouts.

    Certain vitamins may be used to treat acne, a common skin condition that affects millions of people every year. Available acne treatments include over-the-counter cleansers, topical moisturizers, gels, prescription medications, minerals and vitamin supplements.


    Ingredients In Flo Vitamins Summary

    The four ingredients in Flo Gummies are Vitamin B6, Chasteberry, Lemon Balm, and Dong Quai.

    Some of these herbs lack strong support to effectively reduce PMS symptoms. Just because a single study showed the ingredient to be beneficial, its not certain that itll actually help you and further research is needed.

    Other ingredients may have too low of a dose in the Flo gummy to be effective. This means that even though this ingredient is present, theres not enough of it for your body to absorb to have an impact on your PMS symptoms.

    We like the idea of this PMS gummy but when we look closely at the research, were not certain if this will fight off your symptoms.

    If you plan on taking a supplement every day anyway, you might as well take a multivitamin thats actually effective to gain more whole-body health benefits.

    > Check out our Best Multivitamin for Women<

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    Milk Thistle For Acne

    Milk thistle is an herb derived from the plant named milk thistle plant or Silybum marianum. Milk thistle herb or supplement is known to have excellent skin-renewing properties. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Milk thistle works hand-in-hand with the liver to break down excess hormones, such as estrogen, helping with hormonal balance. One study has shown that people who took milk thistle supplements experienced a significant decrease in acne breakouts.

    The Best Retinoid Products For Acne

    How to Use Vitamin A to Treat Acne

    Retinoids are generally considered the best vitamin A products for treating acne, but which retinoids are best for your specific skin needs?

    For Sensitive Skin and Blackheads/Whiteheads: Adapalene is a synthetic form of vitamin A that produces fewer side effects than other retinoids, making it the best option for those with sensitive skin. It is gentler, which means its also a bit weaker, so it isnt the best choice for severe or cystic acne. But if you have mild to moderate acne, studies show it can make a significant difference. Its commonly sold over-the-counter as Differin or ProactivMD.

    For Resistant Skin and Moderate to Severe Acne: If your skin is a bit tougher and your acne more than just mild, then you might want to look into getting a prescription for tretinoin or tazarotene. Tazarotene a good option for those who typically experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after acne heals5 and is commonly sold under the brand name Tazorac. Tretinoin, commonly known by brand-name Retin-A, significantly improves moderate to severe acne, though its effects on post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are less significant than that of tazarotene.

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    Does Vitamin D Actually Help Acne

    Vitamin D might help you zap your zits if the acne was caused by bacteria. Vitamin D has antimicrobial properties that might calm symptoms. A 2016 study found that vitamin D supplements resulted in clearer skin after 8 weeks.

    Also, keeping your D levels on fleek might help with acne inflammation. The hormone has anti-inflammatory properties that could reduce redness and swelling.

    But again, more research is needed to prove this 10/10. We also need more studies to show if a topical vitamin D cream or an ingestible supplement works better to ease acne.

    The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D is 15 micrograms a day for adults. But, the upper limit for supplementation is 100 micrograms . Heres how to hit your daily dose.


    Sitting in the sun wont fix your acne alone, but it can increase your vitamin D levels. Just keep in mind prolonged sun exposure increases your risk of sunburn, skin cancer, and premature signs of aging. So dont forget to slather on the sunscreen even on cloudy days!



    If you have a hard time absorbing vitamin D through food, your doc might suggest a vitamin D supplement.

    Just keep in mind the U.S. Food & Drug Administration doesnt monitor supplements as closely as prescription meds. So be sure to do your research or stick to quality stuff recommended by your doctor.

    What Can You Do Yourself To Help

    There are also measures you can take yourself to help ease spots:

    Clean up your diet – Research has found that high-dairy, high-glycaemic index diets may be linked to acne. Try basing your diet on complex carbs like whole grains, fruit and vegetables, and reduce your dairy intake รข try alternatives such as calcium-enriched soya milk.

    Try tea tree – Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic qualities and has been shown to help improve spots.

    Take skin-supporting supplements – One study showed people with acne might have low levels of zinc. Increase levels in your diet by eating more zinc-rich foods, such as seafood, meat and quinoa, or take a supplement.

    Use gentle skin products – A common mistake is to treat skin too harshly, over-cleansing it. This can actually make acne worse. Instead, wash skin no more than twice a day and choose mild cleansing products. Also pick non-comedogenic makeup, which is less likely to block pores.

    Cut stress – Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, or simply taking time out to read or go for a walk can be effective

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    Its A Powerful Antioxidant

    Recent research shows that free radicals, which are molecules in the skin that have been damaged by UV rays and pollution, are a huge acne trigger . This is down to the way in which they cause cell damage and inflammation, meaning that even the smallest pore blockage has the potential to turn into an angry zit.

    The only way to repair the free radicals in your body is with the use of antioxidants. There are so many antioxidant ingredients out there, giving you plenty of choice, but vitamin A should definitely be on your list. It has a powerful antioxidant effect, which not only helps in the treatment of acne, but can also slow down skin aging, meaning fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Keep in mind that antioxidants work even better when combined, so consider adding a variety to your skincare routine.

    Related: See our full list of the best acne treatments we recommend.


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