Selenium is an antioxidant that is one of the 32 nutrients considered essential for our health. Taken alone, selenium isn’t likely to cure acne. As an acne treatment, selenium needs to work synergistically with Zinc and vitamin E. Here’s how selenium helps treat acne:
- Through protecting other antioxidants, selenium increases your body’s overall antioxidant levels which are proven to decrease inflammation that contributes to acne.
- Selenium has been known to decrease inflammatory acne directly.
- In particular, selenium functions in glutathione peroxidase, an antioxidant enzyme which is very important in preventing the inflammation of acne.
Selenium in Food
In the United States, selenium deficiency is rare, but being a vegan or vegetarian increases the risk. If you don’t eat Brazil nuts, eggs and fish, and drink alcohol more than moderately, deficiency is much more likely.
Signs of Selenium Deficiency
- Some people don’t get enough selenium and acne patients often show low levels of glutathione and selenium in blood plasma.
Your acne could particularly benefit from selenium if you live in a place where oxidative stress on your skin is high, such as exposure to higher levels of air pollution, strong sun and smoke from cigarettes. Symptoms of a moderate selenium deficiency include:
- Brain fog
- Weak skin and hair
- Poor fertility
- Discoloured fingernails
Selenium Supplements for Acne
- Supplementing with selenium and vitamin E increases glutathione and may improve the appearance of acne in 6 weeks.
- 400 mcg of selenium per day is considered a safe upper limit.
Selenium can provide a modest boost to a holistic acne regimen that includes treating the skin topically with the proper regimen in addition to herbs and supplements. When selenium is taken in combination with other vitamins and herbs for acne, it just might be the missing link you need. We recommend Vitamedica Healthy Skin supplement and in cases of more severe acne, the slightly stronger Clear Skin Formula Daily Packs which contain 48 mcg of Selenium with better bioavailability as Amino Acid Chelate.