I thought I would share with you my supplement regime because I think it has really made such a difference to my skin. But before I plunge into it proper, I would like to preface this by saying that I didn’t take any of these under any medical guidance, I just did some research on the Internet, and gave it a go. Also, I think the cause of my acne was due to the fact that I stopped taking birth control pills (which I had been consuming for over 6.5 years before I stopped in late June 2010).
My skin is still far from perfect but I stopped getting monstrous breakouts and it has stabilized and is much more predictable. I still get some acne during the time of the month but my skin has been pretty alright. I don’t think it would ever return to its acne-free state when I was on the pill because I think the pill actually decreases sebum production so I think what I’m experiencing now is my natural state — oily, dehydrated skin.
Anyway, in order to help keep zits and hormonal changes in check, I take the following:
♥ Zinc: If you are familiar with getting acne, you would probably know that zinc helps to prevent and heal acne. I only take a 10mg tablet per day and I have read that zinc works great with vitamin C which also helps stave off the flu.
♥ Dong Quai: This is actually a Chinese herb that has been used for centuries by women facing fertility problems. This herb helps to regulate your hormones and I picked this up in forums where women who stopped the pill recommended taking dong quai to get their cycles back on track. Though I need to point out that my cycle has never really been out of whack so I took this to just balance out my “raging” hormones.
♥ Vegetarian Acidophilus: Now I know I’m a veggie gal and you might think I’m recommending this just based on the fact I don’t eat meat but I have actually read that dairy can make acne worse because it contains a load of hormones. Even before I knew that, for years I tried not to consume dairy not just because I’m mildly lactose intolerant but also because I noticed a decrease in getting skin conditions like eczema and other various mysterious bumps and rashes on my body. So I go by the rule of thumb that too much dairy can stress your skin so I try to avoid it as much as I can.
♥ Milk Thistle: I think this herb combined with dong quai has made great strides in improving my skin. Apparently, milk thistle increases the production of bile which helps to break down the amount of testosterone which causes acne.
On top of taking these supplements daily, I also pop a multi-vitamin tablet that contains vitamin B which again helps to prevent acne by way of reducing inflammation in the skin. All in all, I’ve been taking this combination for almost a year now and it took about two months for my skin to show visible signs of stabilizing — I still got some acne and it took another few months on top of that for my skin to stop breaking out twice a month (I’m not sure why but it happened every two weeks). I felt like I had everything pretty much under control by June this year.
Another dietary change I made was to cut down drastically on refined carbs and gluten, but I didn’t do that specifically to target my acne, but as a general health strategy for skin and weight maintenance, as I feel that gluten can be the root of many skin conditions (you can read about the link between acne and gluten here).
I hope you found this useful and do you have any supplements you would like to share that is great for skin?
*Please note I’m not an expert on this topic and these conclusions were based on my personal experience and research.