Supplements for Acne

Most people label acne the "adolescent plague", but outbreaks can occur at any age. Even those who escaped the scourge in their teenage years may develop acne as an adult.

Acne breakouts occur when the sebaceous glands at the base of hair follicles secrete too much sebum, an oily substance necessary for lubricating skin. Excess sebum can block the pores, leading to blemishes, blackheads and pimples. Hormonal imbalances, stress, certain medications and basic heredity are common causes of this unsightly condition. Acne is rarely caused by eating things like chocolate, shellfish, nuts or fatty snack foods, but some people still contend that the condition can be brought on or aggravated by diet.

Fortunately there are some natural approaches to controlling acne outbreaks. Vitamin A is involved with regulating sebum production and has had some success in controlling acne. In fact, prescription treatments like retin A and accutane are based on vitamin A. Vitamin B6 and magnesium help balance hormone levels that could be triggering outbreaks. Vitamin C and zinc boost the immune system and may help kill the bacteria that causes acne. Vitamin E is important for skin repair and selenium helps with skin elasticity. Flaxseed oil and evening primrose oil contain gamma-linolenic acid, which can dilute oily sebum to reduce the chance of pore clogging. Finally, topical applications of astringent tea tree oil can dry up blemishes – a gentler, more natural approach than benzoyl peroxide.

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