Food, Vitamins, and Minerals For Acne Reduction

Vitamin B Complex can work to improve overall skin health and even reduce acne and breakouts.  Increasing the amount of Vitamin B complex in your body can improve energy, amino acid metabolism, and facilitate steps required for cell division. Vitamin B complex reduces the possibility of getting pimples and blackheads, because it increases protection against skin bacteria. Vitamin B complex cannot work by itself, though!

Eggs are a great source of Vitamin B Complex. You can also get Vitamin B Complex in the form of supplements.

You need to help by washing your face properly twice a day, removing all makeup before sleeping, avoiding stress, and keeping chemicals and hair products off of your face.

What is Vitamin B Complex?

Vitamin B Complex is one of the few vitamins that plays an important role in cell metabolism. In general, supplements containing all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex. Individual B vitamin supplements are referred to by the specific name of each vitamin (e.g., B1, B2, B3 etc.). The B Vitamins are essential in maintaining the health of the skin, hair and nails. They reinforce proper brain cell function, and improve liver health.  B vitamins are water-soluble so they are not stored in the body and need to be replenished every day.

Where is Vitamin B Complex found?

It is found in products such as liver, whole-grain cereals, milk, rice, nuts,fruits, fish, eggs, meat, and many other foods. It is also found in separate types of Vitamin B, but that is not Vitamin B complex. Vitamin B Complex is all the vitamin Bs together. Vitamin B complex can be taken as a supplement, also, which is very popular.

What else does Vitamin B Complex help with?

Although Vitamin B Complex is helpful for acne sufferers, it can prevents skin disorders, moodiness, restlessness, irritability, insomnia and fatigue, which is important for maintaining a happy, healthy lifestyle. They reinforce proper brain cell function, and improve liver health. They also strengthen bones and muscles, improve energy production, helps metabolic functions, and relieve PMS.

Non-inflammatory food sources that are great for acne are:

  • Pinto Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Eggs
  • Raw nuts (almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts)
  • Salmon
  • Halibut
  • Yogurt (not the sugary kind)
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets
  • Avocados
  • Asparagus
  • Melon
  • Everyone’s favorite: Brussels sprouts!

There are other things aside from vitamins that help with acne! Zinc is a mineral that is necessary for clear skin, but yet some people don’t know about it or aren’t getting enough zinc in their diet. It is critical for proper functioning of the immune system, as well as having antioxidant activity.It is useful for all types of acne, from blackheads to pimples. Zinc is a non-inflammatory mineral, so it will not hurt your stomach, like some other minerals do.

What are good zinc rich foods for acne?

Zinc is commonly found as a supplement, but it is also found in a variety of foods. The foods with the most zinc are seafood, beef,  lamb, pumpkin and squash seeds, nuts, spinach, pork, cocoa, chocolate, and mushrooms. All of these foods have more than 100 grams of zinc per serving. Zinc deprivation has bad long-term effects on your body, so you should try to eat zinc with at least two meals a day.

Enjoy a healthy meal with zinc rich foods like salmon, spinach, mushrooms, and nuts to improve overall skin health and even combat acne!

What else does zinc help with?

Zinc helps wounds heal, boosts energy metabolism, reduces the chance for many diseases like anemia, and helps the body maintain healthy collagen. It is also very critical to the proper functioning of the immune system. It has some antioxidant activity as well as a powerful anti-inflammatory activity.It is necessary for lessening the chance of getting skin conditions, taste or smell disorders, immune disorders, diabetes, and diabetic problems.

Where else can I get more zinc?

A multi-mineral complex would be great since they are all important in maintaining your skin’s health.

Non- inflammatory foods that are great for acne are:

  • Brazil Nuts
  • Halibut
  • Oatmeal (not instant)
  • Salmon
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Turkey

Vitamin A For Acne

Have you ever thought about trying vitamin supplements for acne, or changing your diet to include more vitamin-rich foods? Vitamin A, which is found in many foods, controls the development of skin cells. It is a antioxidant vitamin, which is proven to help acne because it helps to remove all the excess dirt and bacteria. Buildups of dirt, bacteria, and dust can result in blackheads. Vitamin A also helps your skin produce sebum, which helps fight pimples.

Where is Vitamin A found?

It is found in animal products such as liver, in dairy products such as eggs and in fish products, such as fish liver oil.It is also found in two main types of Vitamin A, retinol and carotenoids. Retinol is found in many animal products, most fortified foods, low-fat dairy products, and more. Carotenoids are found in green and yellow vegetables, especially carrots, but it can also be taken as a supplement.In fact, the most popular prescription for Acne and aging skin is topical Retin-A, an acid form of vitamin A.

What else does Vitamin A help with?

It helps with acne, but it has a lot more in store, it aids in bone development, strengthens the immune system, improves night vision, helps reproduction, promotes wound healing and encourages healthy skin.


Board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. Perricone, world renowned healthy aging expert, award winning inventor, educator and philanthropist in his Anti-Acne Program, recommends 10,000 IU from carotenoid sources. Excessive intake of vitamin A, however, is toxic – unless you take it in the form of carotenes that the body converts into vitamin A on an as-needed basis.

Non-inflammatory food sources with Vitamin A that are great for acne:

  • Whole milk
  • Liver
  • Fortified Foods
  • Colorful Vegetables
  • Carrots

Nutritional Supplements for Acne

The omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids are necessary for the performance of many biochemical processes in the body.  I know you might be thinking “eat fat for your blemishes? Say what?”

We know that omega-3s have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.  EFAs are one of the best ways we have to help fight the systemic anti-inflammatory disease of acne.  It has also been found to help improve itchy, scaly patches in psoriasis patients as well.  EFAs block the production of arachidonic acid, a major cause of inflammation in the body.

The omega 6 oils are also extremely beneficial.  Their active ingredients are derived from linoleic acid.  Acne patients have a low concentration of linoleic acid in their sebum, and the levels decrease as the severity of acne increases.  Both omega-6 and omega-3 oils help lower levels of stress chemicals, which we all know directly affect your skin.

Anti-inflammatory foods are salmon, avocados, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts and flaxseed oils.

We all hear the importance of “taking our vitamins,” eating well, exercise, and so on. While all of that is undoubtedly true, taking Multivitamin and Multimineral supplements is more important than we probably know.

Multivitamin and Multimineral supplements help boost your nutrient intake and promote radiant clear skin. While supplements like A, C, E, zinc, magnesium and selenium are considered star nutrients in curing acne, in truth, all vitamins either directly or indirectly aide in the reduction of acne. In addition, many vitamins/minerals are absorbed better when taken in combination with other nutrients.

Unless your doctor specifically states you are deficient in one of these nutrients, do not go out and buy them individually. A multimineral supplemental / vitamin supplement will do–and it is one pill versus multiple! Supplements can start to add up and get pricey, not to mention time-consuming in taking all of them individually at certain times, and with or without food. Keep it as simple as possible.

Avoid the one-a-day formulas. Vitamins are better utilized in doses or eaten like food, broken up throughout the day. Please, NO gummy vitamins! Go to a local health food store and ask for a recommendation.

Gut Health, Probiotics, Prebiotics and Acne

Just as important as taking multivitamins (if not more), are taking Probiotics and Prebiotics.

Pro and prebiotics are essential for improving and clearing acne. Probiotics are living good bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health and digestive system. Prebiotics are indigestible fiber that fuel our good bacteria. Prebiotics and probiotics work together to reduce inflammation, lower stress, improve digestion and balance hormones. Soil-based organisms (SBOs) are a different class of probiotics that also help to balance and support our microbiome.

There are thousands of different species of bacteria living in our bodies, and different strains of bacteria provide different benefits. To repopulate the gut with good bacteria and re-establish a healthy lining / barrier, a wide variety of strains are best.

Deciding which ones to buy can be overwhelming. When choosing a probiotic formula, look for organic with a high CFU count (25-50 billion); strain diversity (5 strains or more); has prebiotics (food for our probiotics); SBOs; survivability (stomach acid resistant) and is shelf–stable / heat resistant.

Probiotics from yogurt does not count.

Yogurt is a dairy product and usually contains sugar, and has minimal strains of good bacteria.

I personally like Garden of Life and Ultimate Flora–but just go to Sprouts (or another local healthfood store) because they have a fabulous vitamin selection. Sprouts often does a quarterly 25% off sale for the entire vitamin department, call and ask when a sale might be coming up!

(Taking the pill-form is best–but grab some Kombucha as an added bonus! Or better yet, make your own.)”

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jennifer swink celebrity skin aesthetician scottsdale


I am a medical aesthetician and author of Getting Clear: Everything You Need To Know To Cure Your Acne Quickly, Easily and Naturally. I specialize in chemical peels, microneedling, dermaplaning and microdermabrasion for all skin types, with a focus on acne, aging and ethnic skin.