Young woman with flowers | nutrition and teenage acne acne

How good nutrition helps teenage acne

If you’re the parent or carer of a young person with teenage acne, you’ll be very aware of how debilitating this skin condition can be, but it can be hard to know exactly what to do to help.

We spoke to Nutritional Therapist Vee O’Brien NT.Dip MFNTP who explains how it pays to start with improving gut health if you want to help reduce teenage acne. 

As a Nutritional Therapist and Wellbeing Coach, Vee works with people who want to make positive changes to their health and wellbeing to boost their immunity and avoid illnesses. Her passion is showing us how easy and effective it can be to incorporate healthy eating, natural medicines and supplements into our lives to create significant improvements to our health. She is also the mother of a teenage son.

HRI: Why is teenage acne such a big deal?

Vee: When young people suffer from teenage acne, spots or conditions such as eczema or Rosacea, it can make the idea of going into social situations feel very difficult. Healthy, clear skin helps you feel confident and ready to take on the world.  

HRI: Is there anything we can do about teenage acne?

Vee: Most of us have experienced spots or skin problems of some kind at some time in our lives and have probably been told that they’re caused by poor skin hygiene, natural oil production, or just age. 

But this often isn’t the case. Better skin health is available to most of us when we understand the underlying causes of the problems. 

Our skin is the largest organ in the body and the first line of defence against external invaders. Keeping skin healthy is not just about it looking good, but is also incredibly important to protecting the whole body. 

Many people treat skin issues from the outside in. This might seem like a logical approach, but evidence shows that the root cause of many skin disorders lies within the gut and liver. So to help your teen heal their skin, you need to take an inside-out approach and start with gut health. 

HRI: What does the gut have to do with skin?

Vee: The gut and liver are two of the primary detoxification organs – toxins are processed by the liver and then cleared out of the body through the gut via the digestive system. 

When either or both are not functioning optimally, the skin is the next best way for toxins to be cleared out of the body. But toxins can build up in the deep layers of the skin, causing inflammation, which can manifest in different ways including:


    • Acne
    • Eczema
    • Blemishes
    • Dermatitis
    • Raised, itchy spots/rashes

HRI: What conventional treatments are available for teenage acne?

Vee: Most conventional treatments for teenage acne and other skin problems rely on topical creams and/or drugs to try to suppress symptoms, but this is a short-term approach. 

By addressing gut health and liver function, we can use good nutrition and natural supplements to start healing skin naturally.

Treating teenage acne with antibiotic pills or creams may reduce symptoms temporarily and give some relief, but they don’t solve the real cause. Antibiotics should really be used for serious health conditions, and only in the short term, especially for young people who run the risk of developing resistance. 

Long-term use of antibiotics could actually make skin problems worse as they impact the gut microbiome, and it is often a compromised gut that is contributing to acne in the first place. 

HRI: How can improving gut health help with acne?

Vee: There is currently a great deal of research going into what is now being called the ‘gut-skin axis’. Both the skin and the gut defend the body against disease-carrying pathogens and both have their own microbiome, where bacteria and other microbes naturally reside. 

The gut alone contains trillions of bacteria. 

The more diverse the species of bacteria, the healthier the gut tends to be, meaning the skin has less work to do clearing out toxins. 

The gut and skin also effectively communicate. Nutrients that are absorbed in the gut have a direct impact on the skin, so getting the right nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, C and B vitamins, and minerals such as zinc and selenium in the diet are key to great skin health. 

Eating too many refined carbohydrates and sugars can have a negative impact on the skin, especially for issues like acne, as they raise insulin levels and stimulate oil production. 

HRI: How can we help teenagers improve their gut health?

Vee: Re-establishing a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut is critical for teenagers with acne and other skin conditions. Food plays a critical role in maintaining the diversity of the gut microbiome, as what we consume will feed the bacteria residing there. 

So to support your gut and take the strain off your skin, it’s essential to have a diverse and balanced diet, with the emphasis on reducing sugars and refined (white) carbohydrates such as bread and pasta and cutting down on dairy products. To flush out those toxins, you need to drink plenty of water and stay clear of sugary fizzy drinks.

But that’s easier said than done when it comes to teenagers!

So a supplement such as HRI Teen Skin which is full of vitamins, minerals, good bacteria and nutrients can be an effective way to help teenagers look after their skin and restore their confidence.

How HRI Teen Skin supports skin and gut health

HRI Teen Skin is the first vegan multivitamin + probiotic designed specifically to support clear skin and good gut health.

Its blend of vitamins, nutrients and live cultures help to help with energy, blood glucose and hormone levels. 

HRI Teen Skin is vegan-friendly and contains:

    • Live cultures of lactobacillus reuteri to support gut health
    • Grapeseed extract, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, Biotin and Zinc to help promote clear skin in teenagers
    • Vitamin B6 to help regulate hormone levels
    • Chromium to help regulate glucose levels and macronutrient breakdown
    • Vitamin B complex to regulate energy release and help combat tiredness and fatigue
    • Berry Extracts from Wild Blueberry, Wild Bilberry, Cranberry, Tart Cherry, Prune, Raspberry Seed and Strawberry

So if you want to support your young person to have clearer skin, why not try helping them to improve their health from the inside with the vitamins and nutrients they need to improve gut health and boost energy levels.

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