Vitamins for Acne: A guide


Acne is a common skin concern seen mostly in teenagers due to hormonal imbalance that they go through during the period of adolescence. This can be one of the many causes of Acne, however, there are other genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that play a big role in Acne.

Acne is an inflammation of the skin which happens when the pores on your skin get clogged with sebum, bacteria, and dirt. Thus resulting in breakouts on your skin either in the form of pimples, whiteheads or any other form of Acne.

Can Vitamins help Acne?

Topical application of Vitamins has proven to be beneficial in helping cure Acne. This because in certain cases it’s seen that there could have been a hormonal imbalance due to a deficiency of certain vitamins.

Vitamin A–  Vitamin A is considered to help in the treatment of Acne due to the chemical compound Retinoid that it contains. You’ve most commonly seen the term “Retinol” being used in particular skin care products. Vitamin A is also considered to help reduce inflammation due to its antioxidant properties.

Although Vitamin A is said to work better when applied topically as opposed to injecting it orally. While ingesting Vitamin A you need to be careful because an overdose of it can cause Hypervitaminosis A. This is when an overdose of Vitamin A can turn toxic as it’s fat soluble and tends to collect in your body. This condition can cause blurred vision, and even liver damage and is particularly something to look out for before pregnancy.(1)

Vitamin C – When we talk about Vitamins for Acne, Vitamin C is one of the vitamins that help in not only Acne but also in the marks that are left back by Acne. Due to its lightening properties, Vitamin C helps in reducing the dark marks left back by Acne. It’s also considered to help in reduce redness that the main cause of inflammation that leads to Acne.

Vitamin C is also considered to keep the immune system under control. What happens is that when you have an Acne breakout, your immune system attacks the Acne causing bacteria with certain chemicals. Although the Bacteria has a trick of reversing this and in turn, it affects your skin itself causing inflammation and redness.

Vitamin B– A deficiency in Vitamin B can lead to dryness of the skin thus causing the skin to release more oil and sebum. This makes the skin oily and can also end up clogging your pores, thus resulting in Acne breakouts. This holds true for Hair fall as well, while some people say that Biotin or B7 can cause Acne breakouts this is not true. Since Vitamin B is taken in the form of supplements and overdose of this can cause an imbalance of hormones in your body leading to Acne.

Vitamin E– This is one of the vitamins that work better for dry skin rather than oily skin. This is because Vitamin E is considered to be an anti-oxidation agent. Which means that it helps in pushing out bacteria that causes Acne. However, this is commonly used in the form of Vitamin E oil, which basically helps in retaining moisture content on your skin and keeping it soft and hydrated. This can adversely affect your skin in case you already have an oily skin with Acne breakouts. (2)

Vitamin D– It was seen that people who lived in cold regions with less sunshine had a Vitamin D deficiency and incidentally Acne as well. A good section of these people was able to get rid of their Acne when they were given Vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D is considered to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which help in reducing Acne and keeping it under control.(3)

Can Vitamins cause Acne?

No, vitamins themselves don’t cause Acne but a deficiency of certain Vitamins such as B12 as mentioned above can cause Acne.

Can Prenatal Vitamins cause Acne?

No, prenatal vitamins don’t cause Acne, it is purely caused due to the hormonal imbalance and has nothing to do with the Vitamins that you take.(4)

Can Vitamins help Acne?

As mentioned in this article, Vitamins can help in Acne. While some are better as topical treatment other are better when taken as supplements. Although when these vitamins are used in big amounts it will obviously have side effects. Especially for women in their pregnancy when their hormones are at a surge.

In general Vitamins for Acne can actually help in reducing certain characteristics of Acne, such and redness, and inflammation, but it doesn’t help in completing getting rid of Acne unless combined with another treatment.

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Picture of Dr Jisha Gomez

Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.