You know how people say you are what you eat? I’ve read some interesting books and articles about the connection between diet and acne. Many (maybe most) dermatologists disagree, but I think there’s compelling evidence that my diet has at least something to do with how clear my skin looks.
My skin has never been bad enough to consider serious treatments like Accutane, but it’s never been clear either. So I’ve used over the counter and prescription treatments for the last ten years.
Even when I’m using a highly concentrated retinoid every night (when my skin is at its best), my skin still looks a little irritated most of the time. And I generally have a few spots that are either emerging or healing.
So the state my skin is typically in has led me to believe that something more complicated is going on: either a hormonal imbalance or delayed food allergy.
I’ll write a more comprehensive post on the food/acne connection soon, but for now I’ll tell you that I would need to make some pretty serious changes to my diet to clear my skin up. I’m getting there, but I’m not ready to cut out all of my favorite foods just yet.
Until I do make some dietary changes, I’ve started taking supplements in the meantime. Here’s what I use right now:
*note: talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements. Some are not safe during pregnancy or with certain medications.
- Zinc citrate: one with breakfast and one with dinner (each capsule contains: 30mg zinc citrate; 4 mg vitamin c)
- Vitamin A: one in the morning (each capsule contains 10,000 iu vitamin a)
- Evening primrose oil: one with breakfast, lunch, and dinner (each softgel contains 1,300 mg evening primrose oil; 124 mg Gamma-linoleic acid)
- Vitamin E: one in the morning (each softgel contains 400 iu vitamin e)
If you’re wondering why I take these particular vitamins, it’s because Mark Hyman (whose book I’ll tell you about below) says they’re good for skin:
A three-month course of these vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats typically provides the best outcomes. Shorter-term courses of supplements may not prove as effective for supporting your skin…Beautiful, healthy skin is something we all desire, and comes from the inside out, as well as the outside in. With a few adjustments in your diet and the right supplementation it is achievable. Use this kit to support healthy skin and get that “glow” you’ve wanted for so long.
You can buy a three month supply of the four products here or order everything from Amazon below (which will probably save you some money).
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If you’re interested in the acne/diet connection, you might want to read:
The UltraSimple Diet by Mark Hyman—this book isn’t specific to acne. Its diet aims to reduce inflammation in general, which the author believes is to blame for all sorts of serious issues from heart disease to obesity to (you guessed it!) acne. If you’re interested in the mechanisms behind inflammation, this is a really interesting read that offers straightforward, practical solutions.
The Clear Skin Diet—in addition to a comprehensive diet, this book offers lots of information about acne studies and the differences between Western and traditional Japanese diets.
Vitamin A for Acne—this post on Beauty Editor first got me thinking about all of this acne and diet stuff.