What are good vitamins and minerals for fighting acne? Blood work first?

Commented on December 10, 2014
Created November 06, 2014 at 7:41 PM

I've read Chris Kresser's analysis on fighting acne or clearing up skin, and he recommends that Vitamin A, C, E, B5, K2, Zinc, Sulfur, Biotin, Selenium, Silica, Niacin, Omega 3 Fatty Acids are all important elements (or most) to balancing your skin.

So what are your perspectives and thoughts? Should I get blood work done first to see if I have any definicies in those areas?

Note: I have not started paleo, and plan to do so in the start of 2015 (don't ask why, lol).

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4 Answers



on November 07, 2014
at 01:09 AM

Acne is one of many diseases of civilization. Most ancestral populations are free of it. Solution: thorough, well recorded elimination diet. Start with only fresh meat, fish and fruits, plus some vegetables (excluding solanaceae) and olive oil.  Good candidates for first foods to be reintroduced are rice, potatoes, avocado. Currently, I stay away from most cured meats, wine and beer, coffee, wheat, dairy, sugar, and egg whites, plus black pepper and nutmeg. But I have vastly expanded my vegetable selection, my oil and animal fats selection, I have reintroduced all beans after learning thorough cooking techniques, and even some grains besides rice. 35 years of dandruff (another skin disorder commonly associated with civilization) are gone.


on December 09, 2014
at 11:31 PM

Rather than taking those vitamins in pill form, you need to be sure you're absorbing them from your healthy whole-food diet. To ensure you're absorbing the nutrients in your food, you'll need to investigate your gut function. Examine the following:

  • Complete digestion: do you appear to be completely digesting your food? If you see many identifiable food particles in your stools, you have a problem.
  • Frequency of elimination: you should be going at least once a day with minimal pushing.
  • Consistency of Stool: your stools should be a 3 or 4 on the Bristol scale.
  • Color of Stool: should be a pleasant brown color. Too light or dark and you've got issues.

If any of these are consistently "off" for you, consider speaking with a functional medicine specialist. You can also DIY on the cheap, like I did. Check out the Autoimmune Protocol and hop on board. My acne took about 3.5 months to disappear. Also consider getting beneficial gut flora into your digestive system by supplementing with soil-based probiotics and resistant starch/fermentable fibers. 

Long story short our bodies strongly prefer absorbing vitamins and minerals the old fashioned way: by getting them from food and our gut flora. Good luck!


on December 10, 2014
at 02:03 AM

Would you mind staying in touch with me? Your input is very good and knowledgable. Coming from a different perspective and I have some other questions for you, or at least your take. Follow me in my journey?!



on December 10, 2014
at 05:37 PM

ezravanauken, you are welcome to contact me at lesley dot egbert at gmail dot com if you'd like to ask me more about how I finally killed my acne and my food intolerances.


on November 10, 2014
at 11:15 PM

With my experience with acne, it's not so much about vitamins or minerals, but rather about hormones, overall diet, and with elements of hygene. Sure, beta carotene is good for skin cells, but a diet high in healthy fats (such as coconut, salmon and other fatty cold water fish, nuts, avocado), low in processed food with additives and preservatives and hormones (don't forget, the skin is an organ for filtering out toxins, and the most toxic toxins that are too toxic for the liver and kidneys and intestines are excreted through the skin), hormones added to food can throw your hormonal balance off, and that's a leading culprit of acne, and foods you may be allergic to (low grade allergies can cause an inflammatory response and the skin is attempting to rid the body of allergens) are more important than supplementing to cure acne. Don't forget, there's a hygene element to acne, so be sure you're wiping your mouth after you eat, washing your pillowcase on a regular basis, keeping your hats clean, keeping your hair clean and and pinning bangs out of your face.


on November 11, 2014
at 03:51 PM

Also, I've been doing more reading on sea salt or dead sea salt (from the actual Dead Sea) and many are posting great reviews about the sea salt use.

This reminds me of how whenever I go to the beach, the seawater completely revamps my face. Should I try this as well as the eating habits?


on November 11, 2014
at 12:25 AM

PilatesGatekeeper, could I have your email address? I'd love to keep in touch with some of the knowledge you have to offer, and keep you posted on my journey to figure this out. Please let me know! 


on November 11, 2014
at 02:31 AM

So, if I am getting acne and it doesn't really "go away", then I am most likely putting something in my body that sees it as a toxic toxin, and therefore I should start with the general food base to see what makes me have acne and what doesn't? 

I eat pretty well, and hardly eat hormone driven foods. 

Could stress play a role? I know stress has to do with the androgen hormone in particular, so enough of those and it can also cause acne? 


on November 11, 2014
at 02:34 AM

And by the way, the acne is not located on my forehead (mostly ever) or on my cheeks. It is 99% of the time on my jawline area and chin, with some coming in around my upper lip (mustache) area. Could that tell me anything? 

I literally see no acne on my forehead or cheeks for the most part. On a daily basis, there is acne on my jaw line, about half way to the side of my face (ear) and in. So jawline, closer to chin, and chin, and top of lip. It's very concentrated for the most part. 



on November 11, 2014
at 05:32 PM

I scrub my face with Epsom salt while showering about 3 days per week. It seems to help keep my skin clear. Also, beef liver 2-3 times per week really helps. I hate it so much but it works. 


on November 11, 2014
at 07:31 PM

MN72885, what is in beef liver that helps with your acne? 

I'm going to get a minerals and vitamins blood test in a week to see if I'm deficient in the ones listed above at all. I think sleep, reducing stress, saltwater process, eliminating foods to fish, meat, veggies, fruits is what my plan is so far. It's a sound plan to me, and I'm not one to endorse many plans. This will be probably the 4th ever acne method (saltwater) I've used since a teen, and I'm 21 now. 

I've done Witch Hazel, Proactive, the different shower face wash scrubs, etc. 

Witch Hazel helps, but not completely. I also think this is a diet issue as well. I'm already eliminating sugar foods, white foods. Sugars, white breads, etc. 

I think it's a combined effort, although I'm not sure. Stress/sleep are big. Diet is big. Hygene is big. So I'm going to alter/work on all of them. 


on November 06, 2014
at 09:57 PM

I hate to break it to you but it is unlikely that any of those supplements will do anything for your skin. Acne is just one of those things that nobody truly understands that well yet. We know hormones have some influence over them (hence the strong link between puberty and acne as well as steroids and acne), however, we don't exactly know the mechanisms involved in the creation of acne with too much precision. You're probably going to have to wait it out until it heals on its own. I highly doubt Paleo is going to make your acne go away, regardless of all the supplements Chris Kresser tells you to take.


on November 06, 2014
at 10:06 PM

Well they do know how acne is created. Through serum and other hormones that correlate to serum...

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