Posts Tagged ‘vitamins’

If you suffer from acne you may feel reassured to know that you are not alone and that it is one of the most common skin conditions. Although it commonly affects teenagers, 51% of adults aged 20-29 report still having acne. The good news is that for most people acne can be straightforward to treat.

Along with diet and fitness, vitamins play a vital role in overall skin health. They are involved with reducing inflammation in the body, replenishing vitamin deficiencies, the maintenance of the protective barrier of our skin, and for the nourishment of our skin cells. In general, they are needed in the body for essential biochemical reactions and processes, but in relation to acne, vitamins are extremely important for maintaining a healthy complexion.

In the last few years, experts are recognizing vitamins as a relevant treatment for acne. As more and more studies come out showing that acne sufferers are deficient in various vitamins, the more clout that vitamins are given as a viable alternative in the treatment of acne. Combine that with all of the acne sufferers who have cleared up their skin using the right combination of vitamins, vitamins are something that must be looked at seriously in the treatment of your acne.

Here is a list of the most beneficial vitamins in the treatment of acne:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is responsible for growing new skin cells, strengthening your skin’s protective tissue, and reducing the amount of oil your skin produces. This means that when you don’t have enough Vitamin A in your diet, dead skin cells, bacteria and oil (from the sebaceous gland) can build up in your skin. According to studies, a large percentage of those who suffer from acne problems have vitamin A deficiencies.

An important antioxidant, vitamin A has been used to treat acne since the late 1800s, but as drugs have become the favorite of most doctors, vitamin A is used less and less.

The best type of vitamin A for treating acne comes from fish liver oil. This type is a retinoid and is biologically active in the body. The other kind of vitamin A available is beta-carotene, which is a much cheaper form. However, it is not true vitamin A, it is a precursor to vitamin A and needs to be converted into vitamin A by your body.

This study shows a relationship between acne and low levels of vitamin A:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23826827

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. It helps improve digestive health, plays an important part in growth and energy levels, and is a stress reducer. High stress levels can cause breakouts due to hormonal imbalances, and acne can be a symptom of B2 deficiency, so it’s important that you have enough vitamin B2 in your diet.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Vitamin B5 is truly the juggernaut of acne vitamins! It helps metabolize skin oils, counteracts hormonal imbalances, increases your blood circulation and reduces your stress levels! All four of these things cause acne breakouts when they’re out of whack. Most acne supplements contain pantothenic acid, just watch out for the ones that are basically only pantothenic acid without much else.

Here are two studies relating pantothenic acid and acne:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7476595

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24831048

Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)

Vitamin B12 boosts your metabolism as well as your red blood cells and nerve cell count. It also happens to improve your blood circulation, which helps regenerate your skin cells to give your skin that glowing, healthy look.

Biotin (Vitamin B7) – Not recommended

Biotin is a tough one. It is touted for it’s benefits to hair and nails, and often for the skin as well, but there is not any strong evidence that it helps with acne. Biotin is necessary for cell growth and the metabolism of fats and amino acids and it may help with maintaining a steady blood sugar level. It is very rare for someone to be deficient in biotin as it is produced in excess of our body’s daily requirements by our intestinal bacteria. Many cases have been reported of people’s acne getting worse when supplementing with biotin so we do not recommend it as an acne treatment, and it really should be avoided if you suffer from acne. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, which means it slows the rate of free radical damage to your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules and cause damage to collagen, which is an amino acid that keeps your skin smooth and supple. When too much free radical damage occurs, you get dry skin, fine wrinkles and lines.

Taking Vitamin C not only helps halt and reverse free radical damage, it also speeds up tissue growth and repair, and reduces your risk of developing skin cancer from long-term sun exposure.

Vitamin D3

Popularly referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D3 actually acts as a defense system for your skin by activating a special kind of white blood cell called macrophages. These macrophages directly attack acne-causing bacteria, making them a kind of ‘knight in shining armor’ for your skin.

Vitamin D3 helps with insulin response, reduces inflammation, helps to boost your immune system, and helps to improve your mood. Vitamin D3 also works cohesively with vitamin A, and taking vitamin D3 increases the amount of vitamin A your body can tolerate. Vitamin D3 deficiency is very common in North America, and if you have acne, you are probably deficient in vitamin D3 as well.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps defend your skin from free radicals, helps prevent damage to cell membranes, and helps keep your skin soft and moisturized. Vitamin E also supports your immune system, and it helps fight against acne bacteria too.

Some studies have shown vitamin E helps the skin recover and reduce the appearance of acne scars. This study shows a relationship between a vitamin E deficiency and acne:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23826827

Vitamin K2

This once-obscure vitamin has been getting a lot of attention for all kinds of health benefits, including fighting cancer and heart disease. But one of the lesser-known facts about Vitamin K2 is that vitamin A doesn’t work properly without it. This means that even if your Vitamin A levels are normal, you could still have acne problems if you don’t have enough Vitamin K2. There are no studies showing a direct relationship between vitamin K2 and acne, however it is an extremely important vitamin to consider for overall health. In addition to its supportive relationship with Vitamin A, Vitamin K2 prevents our skin from calcifying (hardening) so it stays smooth and elastic, and is also potentially beneficial for smoothing out lines and wrinkles.

Zinc

Several scientific studies show that acne sufferers are deficient in zinc. Zinc helps regulate the activity of your oil glands, so when you don’t have enough zinc, the oil glands can get out of control and produce too much sebum, which can lead to acne. Zinc also helps heal wounds and strengthens your skin tissue to prevent scarring.

Turmeric

This yellow-orange spice is most commonly known for its use in curries and other Southeastern Asian dishes, and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also contains curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory, so turmeric plays a role in reducing redness as well as killing off acne-causing bacteria for a clear, smooth complexion.

Magnesium

It’s been estimated that around half of the U.S. population doesn’t get enough magnesium in their diet. Magnesium deficiencies can lead to constipation, which causes acne breakouts because your digestive system isn’t ridding your body of toxins the way it’s supposed to. A lack of magnesium can also cause skin inflammation, which doesn’t do anything to help your complexion!

Getting enough magnesium into your diet will not only handle these things, but also lower your stress level, which also affects acne breakouts.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil is rich in GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid that balances the hormones responsible for your acne breakouts and inflammation. It also helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and promotes skin elasticity. Translation: it’s anti- acne AND anti-aging!

Vitex (Chaste Tree Berry)

Commonly used by herbalists to treat hormonal acne. Vitex contains no hormonal compounds but acts on the pituitary gland to help normalize and regulate hormones. Also widely used to treat PMS symptoms. Vitex has been used for centuries to treat acne and inflammation.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Lipoic Acid is one of the body’s crucial antioxidants and it is helpful with acne due to protection from free radical damage and inflammation. Two separate studies have shown lipoic acid to be twice as low in the blood of acne sufferers as those without acne. Alpha lipoic acid has also been shown to help the body control its levels of sugar and insulin as well.

In all cases, increasing the intake and absorption of certain vitamins through diet and/or supplements can eliminate the symptoms of a vitamin deficiency. Supplements can provide a more immediate reversal of symptoms because they deliver the needed vitamins in high doses. Vitamins are important to skin health, they are needed for the production of collagen, for the maintenance of the protective barrier, for the nourishing of the skin cells, and for reducing oxidative stress on the skin.

So if you’re wondering if you should look into vitamins for acne, then the answer is yes!

 

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Comments Off on 3 Kick-Butt Vitamins for Acne Relief

Ever suffer from an acne breakout that wouldn’t go away no matter what you put on your face?

It’s frustrating. You wash your face five times a day, go through twenty skin creams and face washes, and try every skincare mask under the sun.

You cut chocolate out of your diet, go heavy on the concealer, and every day wake up hoping your skin has cleared up… only to find you’ve got a new zit.

We’ve all been there, and I know it’s frustrating and introverting as heck. But instead of putting that bag over your head, locking yourself in your room, or smothering your skin with cover-up and foundation, have you considered taking vitamins for acne relief?

Here at Innate Skin, we’ve discovered that nutrition plays a big role in clear skin. When developing our Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™, we found certain vitamins work wonders on getting rid of your acne.

If you want to be that girl with the clear, glowing skin who turns heads, gets compliments, and laughs when asked what foundation she uses (none, of course!) then read on! These vites will help you make that dream a reality.

Vitamin A

Believe it or not, vitamin A has been used to treat acne since the late 1800s! It’s one of those housewife remedies that got swept up under the table as we moved further into the modern world and away from natural remedies.

Vitamin A is what helps your body grow new skin cells, strengthen your skin’s protective tissues and keep your skin from getting oily. If you’re not getting enough in your diet, you end up with layers of dead, oily, bacteria-infested skin on your face. No wonder you’ve got acne issues!

If you’re looking at adding some vitamins for acne to your diet, try picking out some vitamin A-rich foods when you go to the grocery store. There’s a great list of them in this article, Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin A from Health-Alicious-Ness.com.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another one of those oldie-but-goodie vitamins for acne. It’s great for keeping your skin soft and moisturized and protecting against acne-causing bacteria.

Also, if you’re one of those people who can’t stop themselves from popping their pimples, you can do some damage control by breaking open a vitamin E capsule and smoothing it over your skin to prevent scarring and dark spots.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

I may have saved this one for last, but if you could only pick one of these vitamins for acne, this is the one you should choose. It reduces stress, makes your skin less oily, counteracts hormonal imbalances, and helps control blood sugar levels!

High stress levels, hormonal imbalances, low-blood circulation and oily skin can all contribute to acne flare-ups, so by adding more vitamin B5 to your diet, you’re handling all four of these issues in one shot.

Keep in mind that it is important to supplement with vitamins in the right amounts when you are trying to treat acne. Too much or too little of a vitamin can even make your acne worse. There are also many other vitamins that help keep your body balanced and skin clear that you need in lesser amounts, so they are hard to supplement with. Using a high quality skin supplement such as the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ that has been formulated to keep your skin clear is the best choice.

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Comments Off on Can Milk Cause Acne? What About Dairy Products?

Milk has often been called nature’s perfect food. And it may be, if you are a calf. But in human beings can milk cause acne?

In the same way that a mother’s breast milk is meant for babies, a cow’s milk is meant for it’s calf. You see, cows only produce milk after they have given birth. The cow will continue to produce milk as long as it is ‘milked’. This can last for 2-3 years until the cow’s milk dries up, then the cow must get pregnant again to produce milk. So is the life of a dairy cow.

Now, a cow’s milk is designed to help a baby cow grow very fast. For this reason it is full of anabolic hormones. If you’ve ever seen anyone who uses steroids, you know that anabolic hormones cause acne. There are over 50 different hormones in your average glass of milk, even in organic and raw milk, as these are natural hormones we are talking about, not the bovine growth hormone some dairy cows are injected with.

There have finally been some large controlled trials that have found a relationship between dairy products and acne. These trials showed an increase in the severity of acne as well as the number of people who got acne. Milk may not cause acne in everyone, but if you have acne, you should experiment with not drinking milk and see if that helps.

So how do dairy products and milk cause acne?

There are a few different ways. We will look into the hormone connection as we briefly discussed, as well as inflammation and blood sugar levels.

 

Hormones and acne

Some of the hormones contained in that glass of milk designed to make a calf grow rapidly are IGF-1 or insulin like growth factor-1. IGF-1 stimulates sebum production. Sebum is the oily/waxy substance secreted by your glands that makes your face and hair oily or greasy.

Milk also contains DHT (dihydrotestosterone) precursors. Once again, DHT causes more sebum production.

Insulin is another factor in the milk/acne problem. Milk contains insulin, which, once again, stimulates the production of sebum. Plasma insulin responses are elevated after drinking milk, and elevated insulin is associated with acne.

 

Inflammation and acne

Whether they know it or not, many people are allergic, even mildly, to whey and casein which are proteins in milk. Our immune system will attack these foreign proteins which leads to inflammation throughout the body and can result in acne.

Another source of inflammation is all of the bacteria and toxins that can be found in milk. The majority of dairy cows live in less than ideal conditions, eating unnatural food to them that is full of pesticides. Even with organic milk, the cow is still fed a diet that is unnatural to them in most cases, although it is organic. Cow’s are meant to eat grass, not corn, oats, soy, and other manufactured feeds that make them sick.

Because of this unnatural feed and the filthy conditions that most dairy cows are forced to live in, they also get regular shots of antibiotics to try and keep them healthy. How much of these antibiotics are passed on when you drink their milk?

One of the main reasons for pasteurization of milk is to kill off all the bacteria in the milk due to the filthy conditions the cows live in. Pasteurization of milk kills off all the vitamins it contains which then have to be added back in. It also kills off the natural enzymes that help us digest the milk, one of the reasons some people are lactose intolerant.

 

Blood Sugar Levels and acne

Milk contains sugar, albeit ‘naturally occurring’. The lower the fat content of the milk, the worse it will affect your blood sugar levels (think skim milk or 1%).

Sugar raises insulin levels, which promotes the production of sebum and other hormones such as testosterone in women. Raised blood sugar levels also cause inflammation.

 

The bottom line on milk and acne

If you drink milk or consume dairy products will you get acne? Not necessarily. Many people’s bodies can handle the effects of cow’s milk. However, if you have acne and you drink milk or consume dairy products, there is a good chance that the milk is making your acne worse. There is some evidence that shows that milk is the worst offender, some people can tolerate cheese and yoghurt and not get breakouts.

Bottom line, cow’s milk is meant to be consumed by cows, not humans. Of the 5000 or so mammals on this earth, humans are the only ones who continue to drink milk after we have been weaned from our mothers. Your body does not require it.

Got Milk? Throw it out.

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Comments Off on Evening Primrose Oil – How to Treat Acne Skin Troubles and More

Many people are aware of the benefits of Evening Primrose oil. Yet surprisingly, there are few who realize how well it can help with acne.

Some of the commonly known health benefits of evening primrose oil include:

Heart Health — Comprehensively aids arteries and may help to lower blood pressure and thereby reduce heart attack risk.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome — Can provide relief from the combined existence of depression, fever, and aching.

Anti-Inflammatory & Pain Reliever – Evening primrose  oil might ease the discomfort of chest pain or rheumatoid arthritis.

Diabetes — Evening primrose oil is believed to reduce the existence of tingling types of pain and numbness which diabetics often experience.

A.D.H.D. — Some improvement may be obtained from attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children.

Menstrual Pain — Lessens the discomforts of menstrual cycles and PMS.

Now let’s look at how Evening Primrose oil supplementation can improve acne conditions, as well as overall skin health.

Evening Primrose oil is one of the best sources of an essential fatty acid known as GLA, or gamma-linolenic acid, which allows skin cells to grow and heal properly. GLA has been shown to act as an anti -inflammatory agent and promote the growth of healthy skin, hair and nails. GLA also plays a role in balancing out hormones in acne sufferers.

The seed of the “Oenothera Biennis” plant, or Evening Primrose, has a long history of usage in Europe and throughout North America. Its components not only help to improve the human immune system, but also promote the reduction of inflammation and redness associated with acne.

Some other sources of GLA are coconut oil and butter from grass fed cows, though both have much smaller quantities of GLA than Evening Primrose Oil. With butter, it has to be from grass fed cows, as the standard supermarket butter from grain fed cows does not have GLA. Cows are supposed to eat grass, not grain!

While Evening Primrose oil will work on its own to help with acne, it works much better when combined with vitamins and minerals that are known to help with acne. Some of these are Vitamin A, C, E, pantothenic acid and zinc.

It is important to combine these vitamins and minerals along with the evening primrose oil in the right amounts, so do your research or buy a product that is already formulated for fighting acne.

Here are some comments found on the web about the benefits of Evening Primrose Oil and acne:

“I’ve only been taking it for a couple of days, but now when I wake up my skin seems to be glowing, soft, and my inflammation and redness has been reduced.”

“It really helps with my hormonal acne.”

“No more acne! It has cleared my skin, is good for hormonal and cystic acne, makes my skin soft”

“Everyone suffering from acne needs to try evening primrose oil. I suffered for 8 years before finally trying it and now I am acne free!”

“I have a 95% improvement on my face. I take EPO, some vitamin E, C, and A on a daily basis. It has literally changed my life!”