Acne, most commonly associated with the teen years, can erupt at any time. It is usually found on the face but can also break out on the neck, shoulders, chest and/or back.

Vitamin C promotes immune system health, and may help to keep acne-causing bacteria in check. Taken with vitamin C, zinc enhances immune function, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthy hormone levels. Essential fatty acids aid in diluting oily sebum, the root cause of acne, and may reduce the likelihood of clogged pores; two excellent sources are flaxseed oil and evening primrose oil.

Action Plan

Drink plenty of water. Keeping your skin hydrated is one of the best treatments for almost all skin ailments.

Eat foods with vitamin B-2 like whole grains, fish, milk, eggs, meat and leafy green vegetables, such as  spinach.

Eat foods with vitamin B-3 like peanuts, eggs, avocados and lean meats.

Eat foods high in antioxidants like fresh fruits and vegetables, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, broccoli, eggs, whole grains and mushrooms.

Important Points

Acne should be treated by a doctor if it doesn’t respond to self-care within 3 months. Fluid-filled lumps, red or purple inflammation, cysts, or hard nodules or if the skin is continually red and flushed, even if no pimples appear, should also be evaluated by a physician.

If you consume zinc regularly for a month or longer, consult your physician about taking the mineral, copper, along with it. Long-term use of zinc inhibits copper absorption.


Gelman, Steve, ed. The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs. Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest, 1999. Print.

“Foods to Clear Acne.” LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2013

“Acne: Alternative Medicine.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 Oct. 2011. Web. 25 July 2013.

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