Hormonal Acne – What Supplements You Should Be Taking?

Updated on March 11th, 2020
supplements for hormonal acne

Hormonal acne is the acne that occurs because of the fluctuation in hormone levels. It occurs mostly because of the rise in male hormones such as testosterone or fluctuations in the levels of progesterone close to the menstrual cycle. The fluctuation in hormone levels causes the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum that clogs the pores of skin along with dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria, causing acne.

According to The American Academy of Dermatology(1), there are as many as 50 million people in the USA suffering from acne at any given point of time.

Hormonal acne may appear as

  1. Papules: Red, raised bumps that are small in size.
  2. Pustules: Small and red pus-filled pimples.
  3. Cysts: Large lumps that are present below the skin and are painful to touch.
  4. Nodules: Nodular acne is similar to cysts as they are also formed under the skin, but these may be skin toned and may sometimes take months to heal.

Best Supplements for Hormonal Acne

1. Zinc


Why to use

While zinc supplements do not work for all acne sufferers, it has been noticed that most people suffering from acne are deficient in zinc. As soon as they start supplementing for the zinc deficiency in their body, the acne starts disappearing.

Zinc is responsible for carrying Vitamin A to your skin and also helps in regulating the hormonal balance.

How to use

  • Supplementing your body with 10-15 mg of zinc per day is ideal. The dosage must be discussed with your doctor before intake.
  • Alternatively, one can also include zinc-rich foods in the regular diet like oysters, crab, grass-fed beef, lamb and pumpkin seeds.

[ Read: Get Rid of Hormonal Acne ]

2. Vitamin B-6

Why to use

Vitamin B-6 aids in regulating hormonal irregularities and also reducing the inflammation caused by acne. In our body, B-6 is responsible for the development of red blood cells and cell production which helps in the growth and repair of skin cells.

How to use

  • Vitamin B-6 can be induced in daily diet by including foods like bananas, sunflower seeds, and garbanzo beans.
  • It can also be taken in the form of pills ranging from one or two a day as per the prescribed dosage.

[Read: Foods That Causes Acne]

3. Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12

Why to use

Vitamin B-12 is also called Cobalamin and facilitates the metabolism of protein in your body which helps in achieving clear and healthier skin. It also aids in reducing pigmentation.

How to use

Foods like cheese, eggs, and shellfish are rich in Vitamin B-12 and can be incorporated in your daily diet. However, recent studies have also shown that unmonitored amounts of B-12 can also promote acne. Hence, when taking as pills, it should be administered in quantities suggested by a physician.

[Read: Supplements for Acne Treatment ]

4. Vitamin D

Why to use

A study(2) shows that people with acne are more likely to be deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D also regulates the immune system which helps if the acne is caused by bacterial overgrowth. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that aid the suppression of inflammation and redness caused due to hormonal acne.

How to use

Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D, however, sitting in the sun won’t provide your body with the necessary amounts of Vitamin D. The best way to increase your levels is by incorporating it in your diet and by taking oral supplements.

  • Dairy products like cheese and milk are rich in Vitamin D and one should ensure their regular intake unless you are lactose intolerant.
  • For oral supplements, take care that you do not take more than 100 mcg per day as it can build up in your system.

[ Read: Natural Treatments for Acne]

5. Ashwagandha


Why to use

Ashwagandha, also known as the Indian Ginseng, is known to reduce inflammation as it constitutes biologically active steroids. It is also an adaptogen that regulates hormonal balance.

  • It also reduces serum cortisol levels, thus reducing the formation of stress-triggered acne.
  • It also has antibacterial properties that assist with getting rid of acne-causing bacteria.

How to use

1 Tbsp of Ashwagandha powder can be taken with milk every day or powder of ashwagandha leaves and herbs can be mixed with honey and applied to the affected area for 15 minutes every day.

[ Read: Benefits of Ashwagandha ]

 6. Probiotics

Why to use

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that help digestion and promote the healthy functioning of the gut. They are known to affect and kill bad bacteria and at the same time promote and induce good bacteria that help with the proper functioning of your digestive tract.

Probiotics also increase immunity against gut and skin harming pathogens. They also help in absorbing nutrients essential for the skin, thereby making the skin healthier and less prone to acne.

High glycemic levels are also a big reason for hormonal acne; probiotics help control these levels, thus helping with the acne.

How to use

Include probiotics like kimchi, kombucha or fermented milk drinks like kefir or yogurt in your daily diet. If taking pills as a supplement, take a capsule a day or the dosage prescribed by your doctor.

Hormonal acne is a condition that everyone struggles with at least once in their lifetime. It affects your skin adversely and also affects your emotional well-being, targetting your confidence and complexes. A well-balanced diet and immune system can help prevent acne and the same has been covered in detail here.

[Read: Probiotics for Acne ]


1. What are the best natural supplements for hormonal acne?

There are a variety of supplements that can be taken for hormonal acne. The best out of these are –

  • Ashwagandha
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Probiotics

2. Which food items can be taken as zinc supplements for hormonal acne?

Oysters, crab, grass-fed beef, lamb and pumpkin seeds are zinc-rich foods that can be induced in one’s diet to help with hormonal acne.

3. Can acne be treated herbally?

Yes, acne can be treated with herbal supplements and natural remedies. Some herbal supplements for hormonal acne are mentioned below and have been discussed in detail in the above article.

  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin D
  • Ashwagandha
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Probiotics
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