Those of us who have struggled with acne know it.
Acne is much more than an aesthetic annoyance.
It’s canceling plans you were looking forward to because you woke up with a bad breakout, missing out on things. It’s losing all confidence just before an important job interview. It’s trying cream after cream, with no results.
It’s a daily, frustrating struggle that can destroy your self-esteem and hold you back, as you dread looking in the mirror in the morning fearing another blemish.
At Nutryzen we focus on finding science-backed ways to use nutrition to enhance health. And that’s why we looked closely at the research about acne, to discover if nutrients are effective against it.
This is what we found.
Skin Health Is A Matter Of Balance
As you probably already know, the cause of acne is the pores of your skin getting clogged.
Glands inside your hair follicles produce sebum, an oil meant to protect the skin and keep it moist.
As the skin inside the pores renews itself, it sheds dead cells. The sebum helps push the dead cells out, keeping your pores free.
However, this process can get out of balance. Your glands might produce too much sebum, or the skin can shed unevenly. And when this happens, dead cells and sebum can clump together, plugging the pore.
Shed skin, sebum, and bacteria get trapped inside. The follicle starts swelling.
When your body’s immune system kicks in, the follicle gets inflamed. It fills with white blood cells (pus). And you wake up to yet another breakout staring back from the mirror.
The broken balance between your sebum production and skin shedding is the cause of acne.
And that’s why there are so many acne remedies. This unbalance has many possible reasons, and often more than one is acting at once. It’s different for everybody.
But can nutrients actually help restore your skin health?
Why Diet Affects Your Acne
There are many factors that, directly or not, affect what happens in the skin.
Some of them are outside our control, like genetics, and some are external, such as cosmetic products and environmental factors like pollution.
But what about food?
The connection between specific foods and acne is not clear from scientific studies, although there seem to be links between acne and some of what we eat, like chocolate and carbohydrate-rich foods.
However, the vitamins and minerals in your diet have a direct link with how well your body works. They influence your hormonal health, the processes happening in the skin, as well as sleep quality and stress levels — which are all factors linked to acne.
Nutrition is the easiest way to take action on the root causes of acne, and we have found plenty of scientific studies linking nutrients to beneficial effects.
Here are the three we are most excited about!
Zinc is an essential mineral nutrient, involved in hundreds of processes in the body and extremely important for overall health.
When it comes to acne, zinc enters the pictures in several ways, helping many of the processes necessary to keep the skin clear:
- It’s a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation in clogged pores, helping to prevent breakouts
- Reduces the amount of sebum produced by your glands
- Helps to fight the bacterial infections that occur inside clogged pores
- Has a role in stabilizing the process of cell reproduction and death, reducing the excessive buildup of dead skin cells
As a result, zinc is one of the most promising nutrients when it comes to acne.
- Studies show that people suffering from acne tend to have lower zinc levels overall. 
- In one double-blind study on 56 acne patients, 58% of those given zinc supplementation saw a noticeable reduction in their acne within 3 months. 
- In another more recent study on 163 patients, the average number of acne lesions dropped by 31% in one month and 49% after 90 days.