Category: health

Supplement for clear skin: MSM

I recently read a post on Into the Gloss where the interviewee said she took MSM supplements to help her achieve clear skin.  Since I’m obsessed with good skin (I have terrible skin), I immediately went to Whole Foods to look for it.

MSM supplement size comparison

I found this in the bones and joints section of the vitamins and supplement aisle.  It was strange because when I was searching for more info about MSM online, I read a few reviews that said it was good for skincare and also saw that it was good for joints.  I have no idea if the supplement is good for joints, but it is definitely helping my skin.  I stopped taking birth control pills a few years ago because I was concerned about blood clots, and every since then I’ve had issues with acne.  I usually have particularly bad skin around that time of the month, but with this supplement, it’s been a lot better.  I’ve been taking one 500mg pill a day during the work week.

I bought the Whole Foods 365 brand, and the supplement is about 50% the size of a dime (see picture for comparison to a nickel).  It’s pretty easy to swallow – not a huge horse pill like some of the vitamins out there.

Do you take supplements to achieve clear skin?  Have you tried MSM?

Acne for the 21+ crowd

A recent article from The New York Times reported that acne isn’t just something that only teens deal with.  45% of women between 21 and 30 have acne, 26% between 31 to 40, and 12% between 41 and 50.

From the article:

There is no definitive proof that specific foods cause breakouts, but some medical professionals say diet can play a role. “Whenever hormones surge — around your period, during perimenopause and menopause, when you’re pregnant, when you start or stop the Pill, and, yes, when you’re stressed or eat hormone-enhanced foods, i.e. nonorganic meat and dairy, skin changes can occur.”

I know a lot of the 21 and up crowd out there will agree with me that stress plays a HUGE role in your skin.  I’ve personally experienced this during stressful times at school and work – my skin will completely freak out in parts of my face that don’t typically break out, around the periphery of my face and where the hollows of my cheekbones would be if I had them.

I’ve been trying to deal with this with my usual arsenal of products:

In addition to stress, diet supposedly causes acne breakouts as well but there seems to be mixed research on this.  According to another article,

Diary and sugar (in all its blood sugar raising forms)–both cause spikes in certain pimple producing hormones. Dairy boosts male sex hormones (various forms of testosterone or androgens) and increases insulin levels just as foods that quickly raise blood sugar (sugar and starchy carbs) spike insulin.

I’ve heard of many cases where women cut out dairy to clear up their skin.  I’m currently experimenting to see if this might work for me, so I’m replacing dairy with soy milk.  I’ve only been trying this for about a week so far so it’s too early to tell.  Overall, I find that my skin in general is much more sensitive to the food I’m eating – I used to be able to eat salty snacks on end with no visible evidence on my face, but now it’s not the case.  Lots of water and eating fresh foods definitely help detoxify inside and out.

How do you treat acne?  Do you eat/avoid certain foods?