details on what foods and supplements help get rid of acne

by purelytwins

Hello luvs!

Let’s face it acne is not a fun topic.

But it’s a topic that I am passionate about (as well as Michelle) since I have been struggling with adult acne for about 5 years now. And there were times when I just did not know what to try anymore.

And lately I feel like I am FINALLY starting to learn my body and get my hormones under control. And now knowing that PCOS is a key player in some of my hormonal acne.  I am feeling more and more confident in my own skin again. I am so happy. So excited that hopefully my adult acne struggle is coming to an end. I don’t want others to suffer like I did. Going days and months being depressed and hiding in my home so embarrassed to go outside.  Not fun! I am here to share more of my personal thoughts on what has helped me get clear skin! I hope my struggles and now success can help you in some way.

what to take to get rid of acne

**I am not a doctor so please discuss any major change in your diet or supplements with them. I am here just sharing my personal experience what has helped with my acne.

What foods and supplements I feel helped my acne go away.

UPDATE — read here how my skin is doing!

 Well not sure where to start as this can be complicated. I will try my best to keep it simple to follow. 

(Present) What I feel worked (and is still working) for my skin:

  1. taking 2000mg of Pantothenic acid (still doing it – it has been at least 4 weeks)
  2. taking care of my gut and eating a low-carb/low-sugar and grain-free diet for a few weeks to help get my inflammation down
  3. drinking skin detox tea daily from Yogi tea  (have been drinking it for almost 3 weeks now)
  4. taking magnesium daily about 600-1000mg daily
  5. having gelatin 2x daily
  6. more recently having more balanced meals – increasing my carbs and having a little natural sugar after I did a very limited diet for a few weeks to help gut and inflammation (read here more about gut healing)
  7. taking 1/2 teaspoon fermented cod liver oil daily (I notice if I miss a few days my skin starts to break out)
  8. having a lot of coconut oil daily (2-4 tbsp, amount varies on my day and mood) –> make sure it is a good quality coconut oil too!
  9. eating high quality grass-fed meats (mainly beef and livers) a few times a week —> since they are full of vitamins and minerals.
  10. having a green juice  (Green smoothies might work for some but I did not want a lot of sugar even if it was from fruit- still not sure where I stand on this yet. I love both smoothies and juices but lately with me doing more juices over smoothies my skin seems to be liking it. So if you are someone who has been doing green smoothies and still having skin issues, try green juices to see what happens.)
  11. eat less raw foods and more cooked foods —> I know this is weird as I used to be all about raw foods (and I still like them) but for my skin it seems to be really liking more foods that are cooked over raw. I do feel having more cooked foods has helped me with having better digestion, which leads to my foods being digested and nutrients being used in my body better than when I was eating mostly raw foods – that were not being digested fully. I do think raw foods can be great and healing, but for me at this moment in life it was not working for me. Again experiment with eating some raw and cooked foods and see how your skin does. I find both healthy, you just have to see what your skin likes better.
  12. eating more Omega 3 based foods and less omega 6
  13. taking liquid Vitamin-D everyday
  14. do my best to remember to take Niacin every night —> sometimes I forget
  15. eating more whole foods and less processed  –> which means cooking most of my own meals and not eating anything packaged for the most part
  16. reducing my intake of stevia  –> not sure if this has helped my skin  or not but it is something I have done the past week or so

Things that I did in the past that worked for some time but did not get rid of it completely for me  and acne came back (but hopefully some of these might work for you):

  1. take MSM in water —> I still do this sometimes but not as daily as I was, maybe once a week now
  2. drinking apple cider vinegar water with cinnamon just about daily and put it on face —> ACV is very healing but it would just cause me to break out in eyebrows and forehead so I stopped just was not worth it to me
  3. took Udo oil and hemp oil for awhile —> helped but then made by face worse – my skin loves fermented cod liver oil
  4. took zinc —> helped some
  5. took aloe vera juice —> helped some
  6. took Holy Basil for months —> it mostly helped with controlling my moods and stress (I recommend it if you get stressed easily but again takes 1-2 months to really start working)
  7. I have changed my diet so many times to help —> things would work at first but again with what I have done this past year with my diet I feel is finally starting to work
  8. reduced my nut and seeds intake –> I still do this and yes I feel it has helped with my acne
  9. took oral antibiotic for a month last year —> helped calm down my inflammation
  10. took DIM to help balance hormones —> felt it only made my acne worse so stopped taking it (just taking Vitex lately and liking it)
  11. taking probiotic —> again this helps but I do not think cures acne
  12. eating fermented foods —> I would go through periods of eating them and felt it did nothing for my face, I do believe in them so I still eat them from time to time, and drink kombucha frequently
  13. figuring out what foods make my skin worse (still figuring it out but have some ideas): chocolate (still unsure but have been trying to avoid it and eventually will add it back to see how skin does), store bought sauerkraut (since technically they are not always raw and made correctly it seems to cause my pimples so making homemade is best for me), hemp products (going to play around with hemp to see if I break out when I eat it or not)
  14. watching my fructose intake –> more related to gut and stomach issues, but as we all know that is related to skin issues
  15. avoiding soy and flax –> it has been years since I have had soy and this year I stopped having flax. These are more related to hormones, but again everything is related. For me, my body does not like these 2 things, and I am much happier without them in my diet.

Few final thoughts:

I know each person is different. And you will experience different things with your skin and/or acne. Some of these things might make your skin worse and some of these things might actually make your skin better. You have to be willing to play around with your diet and supplements until you find what your body and skin like.

It might take months to figure it out. But once you do – trust me it will be worth it!  Just don’t give up!

I knew a lot of my adult acne was related to going off birth control 5 years ago and making my hormones go crazy!

I also knew that diet played an important part in getting hormones  balanced and eventually my skin would get clear. It took a lot longer than what I was hoping. Dealing with adult acne on and off for 5 years was not fun.

I do feel me trying all those different things was good in a way – it helped me to discover what my skin likes and does not like.

What would I tell someone who is experiencing adult acne to do first with diet and supplements:

  • If you know your acne is hormonal based start taking vitex daily.   And if highly stressed take holy basil too.
  • If you have digestive problems and your body is not absorbing any nutrients you need to take the time to heal your gut.  As it all starts in the gut. (I would start with this)
  • Also start to get more balanced meals in terms of your macros. And more whole foods and less process stuff.
  • Figure out what CARBS your face and body like. (for me it seems white rice, regular potatoes, bananas, berries, and plantains are working well at the moment). This will require some documenting and diet experimenting to figure it out. So recommend keeping diet simple so you can play around with different foods to see what makes your skin breakout or not. 
  • Find what FATS your body likes. Again this will require you to experiment and document. See if your body prefers animal fat over plant based fats or does it like plant based fats over animal fats.  And even within those you have to find what works for your skin. I do believe most people would benefit from eating more coconut oil!
  • And you may have to reduce your nuts and grain intake as I personally found them to be irritating to my skin during my healing.
  • Watch your sugar intake – you can have some natural sugars but don’t go overboard on them either. 
  • Try drinking the detox skin tea from Yogi everyday.
  • Make sure you are getting vitamin A, vitamin D, Vitamin B-5 and Omega 3 into your diet –> Chris Kresser has great articles on more great vitamins for acne.

Now again I tried to keep this acne topic related to foods and supplements that I personally feel helped me.

till next time,



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Sylvie June 5, 2013 - 3:48 pm

Hello ladies,

I’ve been quietly following you and OMG you live my life with a few exception. I to struggle with adult acne and digestion problems. When I hear what you are going through, I say that’s me!!! I have a million quesitons to ask but will start with one. I notice you eat alot of eggs but I find as much as I love them they make everything worse for me, have you tried eleminating them? Also coffee will exaberate my acne so bad so i’ve completely eleminated anything with caffeine with the exception of Matcha which seems to help me. Anyway I only have a few minutes to write but wanted to thank you for sharing your journey and hope you find a cure and I’m hoping it will help me as well as others. YOu guys Rock!!!!

purelytwins June 5, 2013 - 3:53 pm

thanks Sylvie!! I have eliminated eggs for a few months last year and it did nothing for my face. I still broke out like crazy. I feel good quality local eggs have helped my skin, since they are full of vitamins and minerals – so my skin seems to like them 🙂 And we do notice with coffee if we drink too much of it and not enough water we will break out a little. So we try to keep a good balance, but we love our coffee so hard to give it up. we hope to cut back on our intake of it from time to time. Good luck with your journey as well 🙂 HUGS

JessicaR June 5, 2013 - 4:10 pm

Great tips! I followed almost all of those too to heal my adult acne. 🙂

Re: stevia — It DEFINITELY broke me out. I had been eating it for about two years when I went off my prescription acne meds and it was one of the last things I cut out because I thought there was no way it could break me out, but it did. The weird thing is I tried a small amount of it after not having any for over a year, and I woke up the next day and my face and eyes were extremely swollen. So weird… it tells me that there is something not quite right about processed (white) stevia.

Christa @ Edible Balance June 5, 2013 - 5:08 pm

Fabulous post Lori! Thank you for sharing everything in one post. There are a few things I will be talking to my ND and holistic nutritionist about tonight, to see if there are things i can change at this point to try and resolve my issues. I agree that gut healing is vital, I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next for me 🙂

Carolyn June 5, 2013 - 8:55 pm

Do you find issues digesting coconut milk?

purelytwins June 6, 2013 - 10:28 am

Some people do, we do not really drink much any more.

beka June 5, 2013 - 9:44 pm

I deal with adult cystic acne too… On or Off birth control. It is definitely triggered by my monthly hormones, but also I found it flared up when eating too much sugar or processed foods – and if I’m “backed up” if you know what I mean. Drinking a ton of water and eating a primarily gluten free diet (since I was recently diagnosed with IBS/GERD/gluten sensitivity) seems to have helped a bit as well. I’m also super religious about washing my face 2x a day with the Nuetrogena Acne (3 step) kit. It’s slowly getting better!

lindsay June 5, 2013 - 10:41 pm

i truly believe healing begins within. Yes? gut and all. Love you ladies!

Linz @ Itz Linz June 6, 2013 - 8:28 am

itz so interesting how foods can greatly affect skin!

Miz June 6, 2013 - 8:56 am

I always say this but it is so so so true.
you are changing lives.

purelytwins June 6, 2013 - 10:31 am

Thank you Miz!

Chris June 6, 2013 - 9:54 am

What brand vitamin D do you use?

I never have much success making homemade sauerkraut.

Why your opinion about hemp?

Do you use coconut milk? Is coconut butter as nutritious as coconut oil?

purelytwins June 6, 2013 - 10:32 am

Chris we have used a few different brands of Vitamin D. We like hemp, think it is great if your body can handle it. We are still trying to see if our bodies like it or not, we sure hope it does. We do not really use coconut milk. Coconut butter is great if your body likes it.

Chris June 6, 2013 - 9:56 am

Why green juice vs. green smoothie?

purelytwins June 6, 2013 - 10:32 am

Chris as we mentioned it is more of the fiber reasons.

Sasha June 9, 2013 - 6:42 pm

Great, informative article! Question for you regarding the Pantothenic acid: do you find it upsets your stomach at all? When it comes to the 2,000 mg, do you break it up throughout the day (i.e. 2 pills in the AM, etc)? I’ve been struggling with adult acne for about a year and a friend recently recommended I take “big doses” of Pantothenic acid as well as Zinc picolinate. Would love to hear your dosage details on the Pantothenic acid and if you’ve heard anything about zinc helping control acne too!

purelytwins June 10, 2013 - 10:21 am

I haven’t had any issues with upset stomach with the pantothenic acid. I take all 2,000mg in the morning with breakfast. I do not really take zinc so can’t help with that, but know others who took it and liked it.

Julue July 10, 2013 - 6:20 pm

I have cystic acne (with PCOS and leaky gut issues) and I have used anywhere from 30 mg(newchapter), to 50mg zinc glucamate for over 6 months now and it has helped me a lot. I still get acne, but I went from being terrifed to be seen without makeup, to feeling OK to run errands without. I would highly reccomend trying it.

purelytwins July 10, 2013 - 9:12 pm

Thanks Julue!

Dannii June 9, 2013 - 10:22 pm

Hey gals,
Just was wondering about the gelatin on your list. Cos I do/ or have done much of the other things you mention and am still deciphering what’s up with my skin – stress and hormone imbalance is a large factor. But what is the gelatin for?

purelytwins June 10, 2013 - 10:23 am

Gelatin helps with so many things for the body, it helps strengthens our skin and our gut which leads to better skin since the whole digestive system is working.

Adventures in Dressmaking June 10, 2013 - 10:36 pm

This is a great list! I’ve heard the fermented cod liver oil is great, and of course what isn’t gelatin and coconut oil good for?! I’ve found that lowering fructose and actually all carbs from fruit has helped me, and actually eating more cooked foods as well… it’s crazy how connected the gut is to skin! I’m sure you’ve heard of it but it seems THE great reference for natural skin care is Liz Wolfe’s massive eBook, the Skintervention Guide… those ladies are full of great info about natural health and body care!!!

Kristy @ Southern In-Law June 22, 2013 - 10:49 pm

Did you find that the Pantothenic Acid/B5 caused any nausea/appetite loss for you?

I’ve been taking it for a couple of weeks and since I started I’ve had constant nausea and have had absolutely no appetite. I’m currently trying to figure out if it’s the Pantothenic Acid or something else.

betty February 15, 2014 - 4:33 pm

Hi I was wondering what brand you use for pantothenic acid? Im having a hard time choosing a good one. Thanks!

purelytwins February 15, 2014 - 9:10 pm

I used and liked Solaray or Kal – two different brands.

Janet June 22, 2014 - 10:58 pm

I just stumbled onto your site, but am so glad I did! The information you’ve put out is awesome. My 19 yr.old daughter is struggling w/acne, so I’m researching what she can do to get healing. I had horrible acne in my early 20s, and took Accutane when it was new on the market, but am hoping to help her avoid such strong meds. Since it has Retin-A, I researched cod liver oil yesterday for the natural Vit. A content, and learned fermented was best. You might like to know that as far as fermented sauer kraut, I get a brand called Bubbies at our local health food stores. It’s wonderful. It’s full of probiotics! They do have a website, and might be able to tell you where the closest placest is to buy it. Or maybe you can get a store to order it. Thanks for chronicling your healing journey and sharing it with us!

Kat December 12, 2014 - 7:56 pm

Thank you very much for this post. I’m very interested in supplements for acne prone skin lately and your review proves that i’m on the right way somewhat… 🙂
I have 2 questions:
1) Vit D – which type and what’s your dosage? why liquid and not pills?
2) I also take (very recently) Great Lakes Collagen (not gelatine). From your experience is there a difference? Do you prefer gelatin for some particular reason?

Just one thing to mention maybe this will help someone: applying zinc topically really helped my skin. I apply Desitin (yes the diaper rash cream..) on active pimples and a very thin layer all over the face every other night. Made a huge difference for me.

purelytwins January 27, 2015 - 8:47 pm

Kat we have taken both liquid and pills of Vit D, both are good. Dosage varies but 5000 is a good starting point. We like gelatin for several reason – check out this post for the benefits of it

Issho Genki January 27, 2015 - 3:09 am

Awesome! I experienced having acne in my mid 20s. I remembered having low self-esteem because I’m afraid of getting bullied. I tried some of the tips that was mentioned here and it was very effective.

purelytwins January 27, 2015 - 9:54 am

Glad you skin is better 😉

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