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 afflicts 1 nearly 50 million men and women across the U.S., from all age groupings.

Unhealthy skin is a prime target for all kinds of acne (regular, cystic, or inflammatory). If you suffer from frequent acne breakouts and are wondering what can be done, you should start by getting your skin healthy.

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 aren't doing it, you may want to consider skin supplements and vitamins as well.

Here are some of the best supplements to take for healthy skin:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins needed by your body to promote healthy skin. Nutrients magazine discovered2 through extensive tests that vitamin C not only helps to heal wounds and 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 because they neutralize the free radicals that harm your skin cells. In addition, vitamin C helps your body produce collagen, which helps keep skin looking youthful.

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 is 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. Those who had Vitamin D deficiencies were more likely to experience acne than those with normal vitamin D levels. When vitamin D was administered to those experiencing a vitamin deficiency along with severe acne, they saw great overall improvements to the severity of the acne.

It is unclear why Vitamin D deficiency leads to acne breakouts, but 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, a strong immune system, and other essential functions. That is why a vitamin D supplement is a good idea.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is commonly used in dermatology practices to support skin health.4 Similarly to vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces free radical damage to 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.


Another great supplement that helps fight acne is omega-3 fish oil. Evidence has shown that populations that consume a high level of fish oil have less inflammatory acne than populations that don't. Lipid Health Distribution released a paper which found5 that fish oil supplementation had a positive correlation with less overall acne inflammation and severity. If you are vegan, you can also get omega-3s 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