Supplements and Skin Health

There are an unbelievable amount of supplements and vitamins on the market nowadays, but everyone has at least one in their mind that they tout as their cure-all. I think I have tried just about everything that had even the remotest anecdotal evidence that it would clear up my skin — but the conclusion is still that there is no silver bullet. We’ll take a quick look at three today: Spearmint, Lysine, and N-Acetyl-Cystine (NAC). (And also — I am definitely not a doctor, so if you’re going to try any of these out, do so at your own risk!)

Spearmint: Sadly my testing period of this began around the same time when I began spironolactone, so I couldn’t “prove” that it was clearing up anything that spiro wasn’t already doing. But I took it away for a week, once, and I swear that a few cysts occurred in that time that would not normally have occurred. When I added it back, it seems that my skin kept itself at bay — not that I never had another breakout after that, but they were substantially smaller. Perhaps I should take back what I said, maybe this is a silver bullet! Another nice addition: this supplement calms my very tumultuous and sensitive stomach down. It’s $7 for a bottle, a relatively cheap buy, so check it out here on Amazon:

Lysine: I’ve been using this for years, originally as part of my very strict diet and supplement routine when I was far more extreme about my fitness regimen. I kept it around even afterwards, because it’s supposed to be good for skin tissue health, particularly your lips. In fact, a few errant comments on Reddit said something like “my lips are fuller since I started taking this!” and I was like, “alright, random user, I believe you!” I don’t think it REALLY makes a huge difference, but I am slightly convinced that my lips slough off skin quicker than they did before I used to take this, and my lips aren’t chapped as much even in the dead of winter. As far as acne goes, it does nothing for it, since I continued to take it through my cystic acne phase.

N-Acetyl-Cystine: Another “cure-all” supplement, but not a ton of research to back it. This was lauded for preventing hangovers (if taken 2 hours prior to drinking moderately), diminishing certain nervous ticks, and clearing skin. I will say the hangover claim seems to be true for me personally — normally I am susceptible to hangovers after just two or three drinks even over the course of an entire night — but I don’t discredit placebo effect, either (or maybe I actually drank enough water that night!) Every other claim though — nope, nothing changed.