…. are the ones tailored to you.

Let me explain…

You probably don’t hear me talk about supplements a lot on here (and there’s a reason for that), but I actually think supplements are great.

If you are seeing a lot of improvement in your skin from improving your lifestyle – eating better, sleeping better, exercising more, and reducing your stress – but you can’t QUITE make it to be perfectly clear – I think a well targeted nutritional supplement can push you over the edge into clear zone.

That’s the thing though – supplements are only great if they’re well targeted and specifically what YOU need to address your individual imbalances.

Sadly, everyone is very different, and everyone’s acne is caused by slightly different things. And when you hear on the internet that “this supplement cleared my acne”, it’s a natural reaction that you want to run out and try whatever it was. If it worked for them, it’ll work for you, surely?

Well… it might. If you’re really lucky.

In reality though, supplements are expensive. And it’s really easy to try one supplement after another, finding that that they do nothing, and you’ve wasted a lot of money. And a lot of frustration.

Believe me, I know. I do it all the time. I’m always buying new supplements that I read about, and then find out they do nothing and I wasted my money. 

People are always asking me “what do you think about this supplement”, or “what do you think about that supplement”. Most of the time I just don’t know what to say. Yes, I have probably heard about someone whose acne got cleared by using that particular supplement, but do I really know if it’s going to help YOU?

I seriously have no idea.

A Holistic Professional Can Help You Decide Which Supplements Are Best

Someone who can help you is a naturopath, or an herbalist, or a Traditional Chinese doctor, or someone who can see you in person who can either run tests, or muscle test you, or give you a saliva hormone test, or in some other way figure out what will work in your particular situation.

Here is an article of mine that talks about going to see a naturopath and how to find one.

The other benefit of this is that they can recommend high quality supplements that will actually work (not cheap synthetic ones that don’t do anything), and tell you how much to take and for how long. Some people actually might have the right supplement for their acne, but the quality wasn’t good enough, or they didn’t take it for long enough! How lame is that?

If you are still stubborn (it’s okay, me too!) or just really can’t go to see someone (even though I swear it will save you money in the end), the second best thing you can do is try to narrow down what the imbalance is that is likely causing your acne, and choose supplements based on that. The following are two of my articles that can help you with that:

Where Your Acne Is And What It Looks Like Can Tell You What’s Causing It
Do You Have One Major Imbalance Contributing to Your Acne?

If you’re even more stubborn and still want to shoot around in the dark, here is a few supplements for acne that have quickly come off the top of my head. This is not, in any way, conclusive – there are hundreds of supplements out there, and depending on you and your body, any one of them could be the supplement that helps you with your acne.

1) Fermented Cod Liver Oil

I feel good recommending this one because the nutrients in it are just so important for your overall health and skin (including absorbable Vitamin A, D, K2, and Omega 3s). I think everyone should be taking this whether they have acne or not – it helps your brain, it cures colds, supports healthy hormonal balance, and in many people, it will clear your acne, or at least support your body enough so that it can successfully heal your skin through other methods! This is the only supplement that I take regularly and plan to take indefinitely due to its overall health benefits. I have already written a post about this, so no need to be redundant. Just read the article.

2) Megadosing on Vitamin B5

This one sounds iffy to me – but many, many people have found that taking a high dose of vitamin B5 totally clears their acne (I’m talking like ten to twenty capsules of it per day). I have heard about this over and over and over again – that’s why I’m mentioning it – but have never tried it. It sounds like an expensive pain, and is likely only to work in the short term since megadosing on anything for too long is a bad idea, and even in the short term may not be without side effects. I don’t want to be too dismissive though – it might be just what you need to get clear really fast while you find a longer term solution. I encourage you to do your own very thorough research if you’re interested in this (and if you have experience with B5, please share your experience in the comments!).

3) Milk Thistle

Most people with acne have a bit of a sluggish liver that could use a boost. The liver is a very important organ in the body, and it does many jobs – including deactivating all the toxins coming into your body, and also helping to regulate hormones. If it isn’t keeping up with its jobs, it can definitely show on your skin. There are many herbs that are helpful in supporting the liver, but milk thistle may be the most powerful/well known. Read my article about liver support for more info.

4) Vitex Chasteberry

This one in particular is useful for women who get acne before their periods (and other PMS symptoms), or for women who are getting acne after coming off birth control pill. It works by stimulating and normalizing the pituitary gland, which regulates the balance of estrogen and progesterone in the body. Vitex usually has the effect of enhancing progesterone and decreasing estrogen levels, so it’s most effective if you have acne due to what they call “estrogen dominance“. If you don’t have acne due to this imbalance, taking this could make things worse.

Vitex is not a hormone itself and does not build hormones, it just helps your body to normalize your own hormones, so it’s quite safe. Vitex can be used and is quite effective alongside DIM.

5) DIM – or specifically, the brand Estroblock

Many months ago, Fran from High on Health pronounced Estroblock (a very high quality, effective form of the natural plant extract, DIM, or Diindolylmethane) to be “the best supplement for hormonal acne”, and it was what finally cured her of her ongoing, mild, cyclical, adult, hormonal acne (which is the same kind that I continue to have).

The purpose of this supplement is to help your body detoxify and rid itself of “bad estrogens” (we have both good and bad estrogen), which can throw off all your hormones. The majority of people, including men (which means they can use this supplement too), have more bad estrogens than they should because they are in a lot of things in our environment – like plastics.

DIM is a natural extract from cruciferous vegetables like kale and cabbage. As far as I know, it usually has very few side effects, as all it’s doing is helping you to boost the natural detoxification of something harmful. This detoxification would be happening anyway, DIM is just helping it. It may not clear your acne if bad estrogens are not the root of your acne, but taking it is not likely to hurt you. But of course, as we’ve been saying – there is still risk of wasting your money on another random supplement! (and annoyingly, this one is very expensive with horrendous shipping charges, at least if you don’t live in the United States)

Anyway… I had been hesitant to try this because I was wary of messing with hormones without getting them tested to see what was really going on (and also wasting my money on another random supplement!). But I finally decided to try it anyway. The reason is because I realized that my naturopath had prescribed this for me a long time ago when I first saw her. Except I didn’t know what DIM was then, and didn’t quite put two and two together that this supplement that Fran was talking about was the same as what my naturopath gave me.

So I figured hey – I’ve actually already used this for a short period and it seemed to jive with me (didn’t cause more acne, anyway), and so maybe I should just give Estroblock a try.

I’ve been using it for the last three months (3 pills a day – two in the morning, one in the evening). At first I wasn’t sure it was doing anything because for the first two months, I was still breaking out a little bit before my period, but, as time has gone on, I actually, really, honestly think it’s making a significant, positive, difference in my skin (*knock on wood!*). Last period, I had no acne  – and in between periods, my skin looks absolutely GREAT. I’ve even noticed a marked increase in compliments on my skin lately from people watching my videos.

I do want to use it for a little longer and go through a few more cycles before I really sing its praises… but… yeah. I just thought I’d tell you that I’m trying it and I think it’s working. After a few more months, I’ll give my real review of whether it really worked or not.

Watch Me Yak About Acne Supplements In This Video

Do you use any supplements for clearing acne? Which ones and why?

 photo by ano lobb