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Supplements are an important element of any holistic skin care regimen, and the good news is that they are easily accessible and affordable. So why are they often subject to debate?
Supplements are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration as foods, not as drugs. This means that while they are required to be safe, they are not required to actually work.
There are also misconceptions about supplements and what they are actually for. They’re not a magical cure-all, rather they are meant to supplement an already healthy diet. This is why it’s important to educate yourself on supplements in order to determine which ones will be effective and beneficial for you.
How Do I Decide Which Supplements to Take?
Different supplements can enhance your health in different ways. And since you don’t want to exhaust yourself taking 15+ supplements a day (I tried this for a while and got supplement burnout, lol), it’s important to pay attention to your body and lifestyle habits to decide which supplements are best for you. For example, eggs contain some of the highest levels of Vitamin D of any food, so if you eat scrambled eggs every day for breakfast every day then you don’t need to take a Vitamin D supplement. Below is a list of some of the best supplements for hormone balance and a guide to choosing them based on your symptoms and diet:
B Vitamins (Vitamins B2, B6, B9, B12)
Why it’s important: According to Healthline.com, “B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. As the building blocks of a healthy body, B vitamins have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism.” Vitamin B6 specifically plays an important role in the production and regulation of testosterone in your body.
Who should take it: The birth control pill depletes your body of several B vitamins, so if you are currently taking it or have recently come off it, it is a good idea to take a Vitamin B-Complex to restore your hormonal health.
Why it’s important: Berberine is an organic compound found in some plants, including tree tumeric. According to a study led by the National Library of Medicine, Berberine helps the body by “inducing secretion of insulin in the body, reducing insulin resistance, and improving sensitivity of liver, muscle tissues and fat to insulin.” Insulin resistance is a resistance in the body to the hormone insulin. It causes increased blood sugar levels, which can often lead to acne. (Click here to read more about how blood sugar impacts acne.)
Who should take it: If you have recently stopped taking birth control pills and are experiencing acne and oily skin, you should try taking Berberine supplements.
Why it’s important: DIM is a natural chemical compound found in cruciferous vegetables. It is one of the best supplements you can take for acne because it blocks excess androgen. Women experiencing acne often have high androgen levels, which lead to increased sebum production. (Click here to read more about hormones and how they can lead to oily skin.)
Who should take it: If you are struggling with hormonal acne and your diet is lacking in cruciferous vegetables (brocolli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and more) then DIM supplements are an excellent choice for you.
(Click here to see a complete list of cruciferous vegetables from Happy DIY Home.)
Why it’s important: Magnesium might be the most important supplement on this list. As stated on FloLiving.com, “Magnesium is magic for your hormones. It is a foundational support to all hormone functions in the body – without it you will not produce hormones at levels you need, and ovulation will become irregular.”
Who should take it: Everyone can benefit from a magnesium supplement. Most people do not get enough of it. Even once your hormones are balanced and acne has subsided, it is advisable to continue taking magnesium long term.
Why they’re important: Probiotics are important for maintaining a healthy and diverse gut microbiome. Scientists have even discovered links between gut microbiome diversity and reproductive health. As mentioned by Flore.com, “One study found that a probiotic regimen could restore the gut microbiome’s diversity in rats with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This restoration improved the function of their reproductive system.”
Who should take them: Anyone suffering from PCOS, Post-Birth Control Syndrome, or hormone imbalance in general could benefit from probiotics. See other tips for restoring gut health in my post about gut health testing.
Why it’s important: Saw palmetto is a type of palm that grows in the southeastern United States. According to HealthLine.com, “Some research suggests that saw palmetto has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help treat certain conditions. For example, one study in mice with enlarged prostates observed that saw palmetto extract decreased swelling and several markers of inflammation.” It is also high in antioxidants, which are crucial to skin health because they help the skin repair itself.
Who should take it: If you’re struggling with red and inflamed skin and acne, taking a saw palmetto supplement may be beneficial.
Why it’s important: According to EternalDermatology.com, “Zinc’s anti-inflammatory properties help the body to reduce swelling and redness in acne patients. Studies show that patients who were treated with zinc noticed a decrease in active breakouts compared to those who didn’t. Since zinc also helps wound healing, it can help to reduce any residual acne scarring.” It can also help decrease redness from rosacea and dermatitis.
Who should take it: Zinc is best obtained through foods, specifically oysters, red meat and poultry. If you’re not getting enough of these foods and you’re experiencing acne and acne scarring then you may want to try zinc supplements.
Tips For Taking Supplements:
-Take your supplements with a glass of water after eating to avoid nausea.
-For efficiency, keep your supplements in a weekly pill organizer.
-Always take your supplements according to the instructions on the back of the label. If you have concerns about a particular supplement then consult a healthcare provider before taking it.
Thanks for reading 🙂 <3