The Best Vitamins and Supplements for Acne

Some of us are fortunate enough to leave acne behind in our teen years. For others, we still have to suffer the occasional breakout. This can be the absolute the worst, especially when we have something important lined up, like a business meeting, a job interview, or a first date.

If you suffer from acne as an adult, you’re not alone. In fact, acne is actually something that afflicts 1 nearly 50 million men and women across the U.S. – from all age groupings.

If you suffer from frequent acne breakouts and are wondering what can be done, let’s start with getting one thing straight: beauty is skin deep. If you get your skin healthy, your body can fight against breakouts - since unhealthy skin is just a prime target for all kinds of acne (regular, cystic, or inflammatory).

Acne has two primary causes:

1. It can be caused by hormonal imbalances in your body, which is often what teenagers suffer from.

2. It can be caused by unhealthy or blocked skin. Skin pores can get blocked by dirt, debris, or dead skin cells.

Sometimes all you need to do to get a grip on acne is to clean your pores with an exfoliant. However, if simple face-washing techniques are not the required treatment, you can consider skin supplements and vitamins as well.

Below are some of the best ones to take for healthy skin:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is perhaps one of the most important vitamins needed by your body in order to promote healthy skin. Nutrients magazine discovered2 through extensive tests that vitamin C not only helps wounds heal, as well as to minimize scar tissue formation, but it also stops your skin from drying out or aging quickly. The reason? Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant.

Antioxidants are great for your skin’s health as they neutralize the free radicals that harm your skin cells.

Vitamin C isn’t a cure-all in the battle against acne, but it certainly can be a great ally in treating some of acne’s underlying causes, such as overly-oily or impoverished skin pores.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has been another vitamin that is heavily linked to skin health. In fact, a study found that Vitamin D actually has a negative correlation with acne severity3.

This means that within the study, those who had Vitamin D deficiencies were more likely to experience acne than those with normal vitamin D levels. The scientists were actually able to show that Vitamin D, when administered to those experiencing a vitamin deficiency along with severe acne, saw great, overall improvements to the severity of the acne.

It is unclear as to why Vitamin D deficiency leads to acne breakouts, however, it’s worth topping up your Vitamin D levels 3, particularly during winter, since most of our vitamin D is generated by our skin from sunlight. Additionally, we need a healthy amount of Vitamin D for a good night’s sleep, and essential functions. That is why a vitamin D supplement is a good idea.

Vitamin E

Similarly to vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces the number of free radical damaging your skin’s cells.

With an adequate intake of both vitamins E and C, there can be a marked difference in the overall health of your skin, as well as other bodily functions. Vitamin E’s link to skin health and dermatology can be found in The Indian Dermatol Online Journal paper 4 found a link between vitamin E and skin health, after the effect of Vitamin E in common dermatology practices was studied.


Another great supplement that helps fight acne is fish oil. Evidence has shown that populations that consume a high level of fish oil have less inflammatory acne as opposed to those populations who have lower levels of fish oil. Lipid Health Distribution released a paper which found5 that fish oil supplementation had a positive correlation with less overall acne inflammation and severity.

Alternatively, you can get omega-3 from algae.



2. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health, 2017 Aug 12

3. Comparison of Vitamin D Levels in Patients with and without Acne: A Case-Control Study Combined with a Randomized Controlled Trial, August 25, 2016

4. Vitamin E in dermatology, 2016 Jul-Aug; 7(4): 311–315

5. Effects of fish oil supplementation on inflammatory acne, 2012 Dec 3