There is nothing more disappointing than waking up with monster like pimples on your face. On top of that – these pimples always seem to show up on the day of an important event or a dinner date. It’s very tough to put your best forward when your self-esteem seems to go down with those pesky breakouts.
You might probably have taken a very good care of your skin and tried a ton of beauty products but nothing seems to be working… And finally…you are back to the starting point…
Hmm… Now you might be thinking, maybe there is something wrong with the treatment method you are trying… Are you? Then here’s why…
Because the problem is not on the surface level. Actually, it’s much deeper than you think.
Dermatologists say – approximately almost 3 quarters of people at the age of between 11 – 30 years old will experience acne at some point in their life.
Acne Sucks But…Why The Hell Do We Get Acne…?
Excess sebum, dead skin cells (hyperkeratinization) and bacteria are the major etiologic factors for acne. Confused? Let me explain in detail.
Our sebaceous glands usually produce an oil like substance medically termed as sebum. This sebum ensures our skin is properly moisturized and healthy. Sebum travels through the hair follicles and comes out onto the skin surface. The dead skin cells shed by hair follicles carry them to skin surface. When our body produces more sebum and dead skin cells they stick together and clog the pores. This creates a hospitable environment for bacteria to thrive which leads to inflammation.
Now the next question is: Why does our body produce excess sebum?
Hmmm… So, let’s have a check on the facts that are the main culprits of excess sebum production…
1. Hormone levels are to be blamed
Actually, sex hormones (mainly androgens) control the production of sebum. Testosterone is the main active androgen. When there is a rise in androgen levels, they stimulate the oil glands to grow and produce more sebum. Acne is more prevalent in teenagers due to puberty because of hormonal changes especially rise in testosterone. However, it can also occur at any age due to hormonal changes.
2. Vitamin deficiency can drive the force
Vitamins help to regulate the production of sebum. But when your body lacks vitamin A, D and C, the sebaceous gland become more prone to generate excess sebum. The normal secretion of sebaceous glands become disturbed with vitamin deficiency.
3. Gut Health
An unhealthy gut contributes to toxic overload, hormonal imbalance and stress. This can directly show an effect in sebaceous glands leading to excess sebum production. The health of the gut mainly depends on the gut flora (good and bad bacteria). When bad bacteria outruns the good bacteria, then the problem arises. So, in order to maintain the gut flora and health, we recommend taking probiotic regularly.
In all the above causes, excess sebum is the main culprit behind the breakouts and acne severity.
Wondering what can be the solution to deal with this culprit..?
Here is a simple acne care routine approved by dermatologist. This has shown successful results in 95% of the cases unless you have any other severe health issues causing acne.
Let’s have a quick look at the simple routine…
- Taking Enough Nutrition
- Improving Gut Health
- Maintaining Proper Hygiene
- Foods to eat and avoid for treating acne
Let’s have a quick look on these factors in detail…
1. Nutritional Supplements:
Our body needs few vitamins and minerals to regulate the sebum production. Deficiency of them can increase the secretion. Even though nutrition can also be achieved through natural food sources, with the usage of fertilizers, GMO seeds and other farming techniques, nutrition in the food has drastically decreased. This why we recommend taking supplements to cover up the nutritional deficiencies in our body.For acne, we mainly need Zinc + Vitamin D3 + Vitamin C + Vitamin A.
As per a research, people with acne problems are diagnosed with zinc deficiency. On an average, an individual with acne has 24% lower zinc levels than people with clear skin. Zinc supplements can reduce the acne by almost 50%.
How Does Zinc Help to Treat Acne?
- It reduces the inflammation which means out body doesn’t strongly react to bacteria and blocked pores.
- Though it is not as effective as antibiotics but still it is effective in killing the bacteria.
- It improves vitamin A and E absorption which helps in maintaining healthy skin.
- It reduces keratin which is one of the main reasons for clogged pores.
- It blocks DTH which is a potent testosterone form leading to acne and oily skin.
- Supports healthy ovulation which results in better hormonal balance.
- Acts as antioxidant which acts as barrier against acne and aging.
What to Check While Choosing Zinc Supplements:
Even in supplement form, zinc is available in many forms and some of them contain higher bioavailability than others. As per various studies, zinc picolinate and zinc methionine contain better bioavailability than others. So, you check for any of their presence while choosing the supplement.
What is the Proper Dosage of Zinc for Acne?
The optimal dosage of zinc is still yet to be recognized. As per many studies, 30mg/day of elemental zinc has shown positive results. Taking too much zinc is not recommend as our body cannot flush out the excess and becomes toxic. So, the safe dosage 30mg per day provides enough room for any zinc which is already present in the diet.
Most of us get confused when the supplements state the mg of zinc present in it. For example, zinc picolinate supplement can state 50mg of zinc picolinate in it. But it actually contains only 10mg of elemental actual zinc bounded in it. This is called chelated form. Make sure to check the chelate amount and elemental amount before taking the supplement. Here’s what we recommend…
*Never take zinc on empty stomach. Take it only after meals.
As per a study published in experimental dermatology, vitamin D3 can prevent and reduce acne symptoms. Vitamin D is helpful to slash acne by 35%. Acne sufferers can diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency than other with clear skin.
How Does Vitamin D3 help to Treat Acne?
- It suppresses cell proliferation in the sebaceous gland. This means, it prevents the enlargement of sebaceous glands caused by hormonal changes. Gland enlargement is one of the main reasons for the excess sebum.
- It regulates the release and action of immune cells related to inflammatory response. This states it contains anti-inflammatory properties.
- It contains anti-microbial properties.
What is the Right Dosage of Vitamin D for Acne?
As per nutritionists, daily dosage of vitamin D3 is 5000IU per day. Few natural sources of vitamin D3 are sun, egg yolk, beef, liver and fortified foods. However, if you want to opt for vitamin D supplements, make sure to opt for D3 rather than D2. D2 is not natural sun-derived vitamin D. If you cannot find vitamin D3 5000IU capsules, then get lower dosage and stack them. For example, if you get 1000IU then take 5 capsules per day. Here’s what we recommend…
Vitamin C has been the popular supplement in treating acne. In a study conduction on 60 people, the persons taking vitamin C supplements have shown positive improvement in preventing acne than other who didn’t. It is known to be both antioxidant and collagen synthesizer which are helpful for treating acne.
How Does Vitamin C help to Treat Acne?
- Being an antioxidant, vitamin C removes harmful free radicals and reduces them into harmless compounds. Free radicals can harm the sebaceous glands and increase the sebum production.
- Protects skin against the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.
- Reduces inflammation of acne lesions
- It contributes to the production of collagen. When the collagen is not produced in right amounts, the integrity of skin affects and makes it more susceptible for acne breakouts.
What is the Right Dosage of Vitamin C for Acne?
The proper dosage of vitamin C is 1000mg per day. Even if you take larger dosage, it will not cause any harm because it is water soluble and excess will be flushed out of the body. Natural sources of vitamin C include oranges, bell peppers, strawberries, grape fruit, guava and others. Now-a-days, getting nutrition form natural sources has become scarce due to fertilizers and chemicals while farming. So, try to include them in supplement form as well.
Vitamin A is a miracle ingredient with number of acne-fighting functions. As per a study published by NCBI, patients suffering from severe acne found to have low levels of vitamin A. So, clearly the presence and severity of acne depends on the vitamin A levels in the body.
How Does Vitamin A help to Treat Acne?
- Prevents dead skin cells from clogging the skin pores.
- Restricts the oil production by the sebaceous glands.
- Suppresses the androgen production.
- Protects from cell damage and inflammation.
What is the Right Dosage of Vitamin A for Acne?
The proper dosage of vitamin A is 5,000 IU to 10,00 IU per day. It can be achieved either through natural sources or supplements. Vitamin A rich foods include beef liver, carrots, sweet carrots, kale, spinach, broccoli, butter and eggs. Here’s what we recommend for vitamin A supplements.
An unhealthy gut contributes to toxic overload, hormonal imbalance and stress. This can directly show an effect on sebaceous glands leading to excess sebum production. The health of the gut mainly depends on the gut flora (good and bad bacteria). When bad bacteria outrun the good bacteria, then the problem arises. So, in order to maintain the gut flora and health, we recommend taking probiotic regularly.
Natural sources of probiotics include yogurt, kefir, kochumba and others. However, taking supplements along with them helps to add up the effectiveness. Below are what we recommend but you can find more options here.
Maintaining Proper Hygiene
Apart from taking the supplements, here are few things you have to consider to deal with any external factors clogging the pores.
Exfoliation: Exfoliating the dead skin cells, excess sebum and other impurities regularly helps to keep the pores clean and unclogged. Exfoliate 3 times in a week. Don’t be harsh while exfoliating
Remove Make up before Going to Bed: This step is very important as our skin undergoes repair and renewal process during our sleep. If makeup is not removed, then it clogs the pores and doesn’t let our skin breathe the oxygen it requires for the repair and renewal process.
Use a facewash containing acne-fighting ingredients: When it comes to cleansing, a facewash containing acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can be an added advantage. They help to deal with bacteria, inflammation and ensure deep cleansing to treat and prevent acne further.
Moisturize regularly: Many of us think, people with acne prone skin shouldn’t moisturize. But that isn’t true. Lack of moisture and hydration can also stimulate excess sebum production and lead to acne lesions. While choosing a moisturizer, we recommend looking out for non-comedogenic and oil-free moisturizer.
Enough sleep: Make sure to get 7 – 8 hours of sleep daily. Lack of sleep can cause stress in the hormones and lead to stimulation of excess sebum and keratinization. Good sound sleep also plays an important role in maintaining hormone balance.
Wash your linen: During the repair and renewal process of the skin during sleep, we shed a lot of dead skin cells at that time than in other hours. Bacteria or other organisms can feed on these dead skin cells on linen and spread infections when get in touch with your skin. So, we recommend to wash your bedsheets, pillow cases and towels regularly (at least once in a week).
Foods to Avoid To Prevent Acne
Few foods can trigger excess oil secretion in our skin. So, we have segregated a list of foods to avoid for at least month to see quick improvement while taking the supplements for curing acne.
Foods to Avoid for Treating Acne
- Over spicy foods
- Peanut butter
- Junk & Sugar Rich foods
- High glycemic foods
- Whole grains
- Deep fried foods
- Processed & Refined foods
- Sour fruits
- Red meat
- Carbonated drinks
- Caffeinated drinks
- Bakery foods
Foods to Eat for Treating Acne
- Omega fatty acids
- Fish or flaxseed oil
- Green tea
- Fermented foods
- Coconut oil
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fresh fruits
- Brown rice
- Herbal teas
- Spices and condiments
- Apple cider vinegar
- Organic vegetables
We have tried to put up maximum information for your benefits. However, if you have any useful information on treating acne, you can write to us in the comment section below. As many of our readers have achieved successful improvements in preventing breakouts, try the routine we specified to banish the acne.
Share your experience in the comments section after trying the process, we love to hear your story….