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Essential Nutrients And Minerals For Acne-Prone Skin

Essential Nutrients And Minerals For Acne-Prone Skin

Acne is a very common skin condition that most adolescents and young adults suffer from. It is true to say that acne has a significant influence on the quality of life. It can lead to lower self-esteem, social withdrawal, anxiety, and depression. This is why treatment is essential for acne. 

We all know how careful one has to be while taking care of acne-prone skin. Apart from your regular cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and sun protection, nutrition can also play a crucial role in banishing those stubborn zits. 

Nutrition therapy for acne

There is a direct relationship between the food you consume and the acne breakouts on your skin. Among other anti-acne therapies and treatments, nutrition therapy is one. Since the late 1800s, research linked diet to acne and identified chocolate, sugar, and fat as some of the main causes of breakouts. However, during the 1960s the concept of diet-acne fell out. But in recent years, dieticians, and dermatologists have revisited the idea and have become more interested in the role of nutrition therapy as an anti-acne treatment. 

In the anti-acne treatment, a great place to start is by getting the right nutrients or minerals. 

Here are some key nutrients and minerals that you need to look for in your food or oral supplements to fight acne. 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an antioxidant, and antioxidants are known for preventing free radicals that lead to cell damage. This in turn helps in decreasing skin aging. Vitamin A is also used in treating acne, but it all depends on the source of it and how you use it. For example: Eating vitamin A-rich foods promotes better skin health from the inside out, while applying vitamin A topically may target acne directly.

Caution: Taking too much vitamin A can lead to severe health conditions. If you are taking vitamin A in excessive amounts while you are pregnant then birth defects are also possible. 

Side effects of taking too much vitamin A:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Coma

The amount of vitamin A adults aged 19 to 64 need in µg (micrograms) : 

  • 700 µg a day for men
  • 600 µg a day for women

Good sources of Vitamin A: Cheese, eggs, oily fish, sweet potatoes, mangoes, papaya, apricots, green leafy vegetables, salmon, beef liver, and carrots.


It is another powerful antioxidant that keeps free radicals at bay. It also protects other antioxidants, thus increasing your overall antioxidant levels which are proven to decrease inflammation related to acne. It helps in curbing the growth of ‘Propionibacterium acnes’, a microbe that is responsible for causing acne. It works as an acne treatment by working synergistically with Zinc and Vitamin E. 

Good sources of Selenium: Brazil nuts, fish, ham, pork, beef, turkey, chicken, cotton cheese, eggs, brown rice, mushrooms, spinach, and bananas.


It is a trace mineral that works with insulin in the metabolism of sugar. It enhances insulin sensitivity and improves glucose tolerance, which is important for acne patients who do not metabolize sugar properly. It also fights off acne by reducing the rate of skin infection.

Good sources of Chromium: Grape juice, ham, beef, orange juice, lettuce, turkey breast, and barbeque sauce.


There have been numerous research showing that deficiency of zinc can be a cause of acne, especially in adolescents. This trace mineral helps in controlling acne by regulating the oil gland activity, reducing the severity of acne, and strengthening skin cells to minimize acne scars. It also aids in the formation of collagen, and in conjunction with vitamin A helps to promote healing, control inflammation, and regenerate tissues. 

Good sources of zinc: meat, broccoli, kale, shellfish, legumes, nuts, eggs, whole grains, dark chocolate, and seeds

So before you start popping off the zits or try numerous anti-acne products, keep a close eye on what you are eating and what nutrients/minerals your diet is lacking. Because everything shows on your skin, things you do, eat, and even think!