There are pharmacological treatments for acne that do work.
Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane, is one of them.
Accutane is the biosynthesised form of vitamin A. It works by closing down the sebum production in your skin.
But like most drugs, there are side-effects. Bad side-effects.
Hair loss, suicidal depression, dry eyes, dry lips, red and flaky skin are a very real risk when you take this drug.
Just google “Accutane side-effects” and you’ll find many regretful forum users who can testify to this.
When it comes to natural ways to get rid of acne, there is no one absolute cure.
There are, however, many small remedies that when stacked together can have significant acne-reducing effects.
I used to suffer from acne. I also used Accutane and suffered some hair loss and mild depression.
These side-effects made me obsessed to find natural ways to cure acne. I’ve spent hundreds of hours reading about the science of dermatology, heard hundreds of anecdotal reports on possible treatments, endlessly experimented on myself and made Examine.com’s Supplement Goals Reference Guide my Bible.
Now I have a list of 6 scientific yet natural ways to get rid of acne. It could have been longer, but I whittled it down to the most potent.
On their own they will improve your acne a little, combined they will improve it a lot.
First I’ll tell you what supplements you need to take, then I’ll tell you how to improve your diet before finally showing you how to make your own skin cream that contains proven natural ingredients to get rid of acne.
1. Supplement With Zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral involved in regulating many enzymes in the body.
As I explained in my article ‘What Vitamins Should I Take?‘ active people are particularly prone to zinc deficiencies because it leaves the body through sweat.
Oysters and beef are the highest sources of zinc so if you don’t eat much of those you’ll also be prone to zinc deficiencies.
To date, there have been four human studies all showing that zinc supplementation can reduce acne. The effects are not huge (it’s not a magic pill), but it will help. It’s also fairly cheap.
How to take it
Take 30mg each day of zinc gluconate. Take it with a meal or on an empty stomach.
2. Supplement With Curcumin
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric.
When it comes to naturally getting rid of acne, we want to reduce inflammation as much as possible. Curcumin does just that.
There have been five human studies showing the notable anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin.
To avoid that swollen, red, breakout look and ensure spots go away faster, taking curcumin is a must.
How to take it
You have to take black pepper at the same time as curcumin otherwise it won’t absorb properly.
For supplementation, aim for 80-500mg.
If you’d rather supplement with turmeric, take 3 grams of turmeric mixed with black pepper (if you’re brave, down it in a shot glass).
3. Supplement With Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an incredible vitamin and should be part of everyone’s diet if you have acne or not. The reason being it’s so hard to get from food alone.
While most people aren’t deficient in Vitamin K, the optimal levels of vitamin K are 20 times higher than the RDA.
Vitamin K mainly helps with bone and cardiovascular health, but it also has a neat side-effect for acne sufferers.
There’s evidence that shows topical vitamin K can reduce reddening of the skin.
We’ll be using vitamin K in our skin cream later, but oral supplementation is also recommended.
How to take it
Vitamin K comes in two forms: Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2.
Take either 1000mcg of vitamin K1 or 200mcg of vitamin K2.
I take 500mcg of each. The editor of Examine.com, Kurtis Frank, does too.
4. Avoid Dairy
The link between dairy and acne is debatable, but it does exist.
Dairy spikes insulin levels higher than the contained carbohydrate and protein levels would predict.
You might not get acne from drinking milk but if you do have acne and you do drink milk it only makes sense to at least have a trial for a month without dairy to see if your acne improves.
I drink almond milk as an alternative, which also has the added benefit of having magnesium — the second most common vitamin deficiency in the developed world.
Note: Whey and casein protein shakes contain dairy.
5. Eat Lots Of Vegetables
If you have acne and you’re not eating lots of vegetables, then you’re stupid.
Vegetables are anti-inflammatory, packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and amazing compounds we haven’t even discovered.
Aim for at least 3 cups of fruit and 3 cups of veg every day.
I know it’s hard work, but after a few weeks you’ll start to enjoy them.
I’m speaking from experience. I didn’t eat vegetables until I was 21 (I wish I had found this article in my teens).
6. Create Your Own Acne Skin Cream
Here’s a list of things you’ll need:
- Basic Moisturiser
- Food Scales
- Vitamin K1
How to make it
1) Take 100g of your basic moisturizer (we’ll use 100g because it’s easy to work with).
2) Next add 2000mcg of vitamin K1 (ground up 4 x 500mcg pills). This is a safe dose.
3) Then add 250mg of trans-resveratrol. You can buy these in supplement forms.
4) Finally, add 1 gram of creatine monohydrate. There are preliminary studies that show creatine boosts collagen synthesis.
Apply this cream once per day, at night time. The vitamin K will get rid of the redness, the resveratrol will reduce the acne itself, the creatine will thicken and protect the skin from the environment.
6 Proven Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Acne In A Nutshell
- Take 30mg of zinc gluconate every day.
- Eat more turmeric with black pepper.
- Take 1000mcg of Vitamin K1 every day.
- Stop eating dairy for a month.
- Eat more vegetables, especially green ones.
- Create a skin cream containing creatine, vitamin K1, and reservetol.