In my previous post – My Journey to Clear Skin (Part 1) – I shared my up and down cycles with acne. Just when I thought that battle was over, it comes creeping right back up under my skin. But this time, I feel like I’ve come to a deeper understanding of what causes acne. To heal my acne, I have to fix my gut. So that’s where I started.
The idea is to be conscious with what we put into our body. It could either heal or damage your gut. So you want to make every food, every bite, every bit of calorie to count. Ask yourself, Will what I eat add nutritional value? Or will this aggravate my already damaged gut?
Now that I’m at the four-month mark and seeing great improvements in my skin, I’m no longer as strict in what I eat. Just a few days ago, attending a social event, I couldn’t say no to the host when dessert was offered (It was the opening of a bakeshop.). I thought of the breakouts this may cause me but I indulged anyhow. A new acne now sits on top of my eyebrow. But hey, no longer cystic and painful, so it’s all good.
While food plays a central role in the healing process, taking in supplements may also help move things along.
Here are the supplements I took/take:
- Probiotics. I only bought one box of this as probiotic supplements are expensive! I just continued on with my kombucha. I tried Protexin. There are other brands out there (I’ve been told of USANA and GNC). What you want to look out for here is the specific strains it carries.
- Zinc. Acne has been linked to zinc deficiency. The best form is zinc picolinate. There’s a brand available in Healthy Options. Solgar around 500php. However, I already bought chelated zinc gluconate 50mg and it works just as fine for me.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV is a prebiotic, which feeds the probiotics. It’s good for the digestion, immune system, blood sugar, and has plenty of other benefits. Choose organic raw unfiltered ACV with “the mother”. Braggs is the go-to brand. I take a teaspoon of this diluted in glass of water every morning, first thing when I wake up. I even use this as toner (1 part acv, 3 parts filtered water).
- Coconut Oil. This is another wonder food with lots of benefits. It’s an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, high in natural saturated fats – good for heart health and cholesterol. At first I would take this before meals but it had a strong laxative effect on me. Very strong. So I started taking this after meals instead, occasionally. I also use it for oil pulling.
Another, which I will not include in the above recommended list, is Cod Liver Oil with Vitamin D3. But I would advise against this (and is making me think twice now) because of the bad reviews. Read here and here. It was recommended awhile back because of the good mix of Vitamin A, D and Omega-3 fats. But new studies reveal that vitamin A and D has to be in good ratio, otherwise it could either be toxic or useless. Also, cod liver oils are highly unsaturated by nature. Unsaturated oils may contribute to free radical damage, which means, short-term your skin looks good but long-term your skin is aging faster.
With that said, taking vitamin D3 alone may suffice. Vitamin D3 is known as the “sunshine vitamin”, which means the best way to take this in is from direct sun exposure. I know the scares on skin cancer (I lather on sunscreen like there’s no tomorrow.) But did you know that 10-15 minutes sun exposure is equivalent to 10,000 IU vitamin D3? And that’s the maximum number you’re targeting for. But if you’re really an indoors person, aim for 2,000-5,000 IU of vitamin D3 supplement. How do you know how much to take? The best way is to get blood work done. But if not, gauge for yourself: If you’re getting some sun and eat foods that contain vitamin D, then 2,000 IU may be enough. Otherwise, increase the dose. But remember, more is not necessarily better. So take precaution.
Question: Can I just take supplements and not change my diet?
Answer: Maybe. I did that in 2014 and it certainly cleared me but my acne came crashing back even while on supplements. So if your acne is mild to moderate then supplements alone may improve it. But if it’s severe like mine, then supplements alone will have nothing to work with in a damaged gut environment.
Hope this helps you in your acne-free skin journey! Next, I’ll discuss lifestyle factors that can make or break your skin. Drop me a line if you have questions.
Disclaimer: I am not a Certified/Professional Healthcare Practitioner. All of this is based on my own personal research and trial-error on what worked for me. Do your own research, consult a healthcare professional if you wish and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. I can’t stress that enough.