Acne is a common symptom in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affecting up to 30 percent of women with this condition.
In this article, we’ll review the most effective PCOS acne supplements to address the root cause of your breakouts and achieve clearer skin.
PCOS and Acne
Acne is common in PCOS due to higher levels of androgens, like testosterone. In fact, an estimated 60 to 80 percent of women with PCOS suffer from high levels of androgens (1
). High androgens cause an overproduction of oil in your skin which can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Insulin resistance
may also cause acne in PCOS. This occurs when your cells become resistant to insulin, a hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar levels. Higher insulin levels triggers your body to release more testosterone and worsens the vicious cycle.
PCOS Acne Supplements
Our doctors and dietitians help women find and treat the root cause of their acne and other related PCOS symptoms. A healthy PCOS acne diet
and balanced lifestyle is foundational to this treatment plan. However, we also find tremendous success in using targeted supplements for these individuals.
Ovasitol is a supplement designed for women with PCOS containing two vitamin-like compounds called myo and d-chiro-inositol in the same ratio (40:1) found naturally in the body (2
). Ovasitol can reduce acne lesions in women with PCOS by lowering insulin and glucose levels. As stated above, balancing insulin and blood sugar levels can lower testosterone levels, one of the root causes of acne in PCOS (3
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
NAC is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits. NAC promotes antioxidant activity by increasing the production of glutathione, one of the most important and naturally occurring antioxidants in the body. Unfortunately, studies show that women with PCOS have almost 50 percent lower glutathione levels compared to controls (5
). Nonetheless, taking an NAC supplement can increase glutathione levels and may even reduce testosterone levels in women with PCOS (7
Omega-3 (Fish Oil)
Omega-3 is a type of anti-inflammatory fat that provides many health benefits for women with PCOS. More specifically, we recommend taking an omega-3 supplement that contains two key omega-3 fats: EPA and DHA. You may also see EPA and DHA labeled as “fish oil.” Omega-3 is a vital acne supplement for PCOS because of its anti-inflammatory benefits and proven ability to reduce insulin resistance (9
Magnesium is an essential mineral with many important functions for optimal hormone balance. Unfortunately, most Americans fail to eat enough magnesium each day. Taking a magnesium supplement
for PCOS may improve insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and ease PMS symptoms (10
). Magnesium can also be calming and helpful for restful sleep. This is particularly important for women with adrenal PCOS. In this category of PCOS, women have high levels of an androgen called DHEA-S. This androgen is made in your adrenal glands, generally increases in times of chronic stress and may cause acne as well.
We include all four of these top PCOS supplements in our PCOS core supplement bundle.
Research suggests that women with PCOS may also be at a higher risk of zinc inadequacy or deficiency. Zinc levels may correlate with the severity of acne, and taking zinc supplements may be useful in treating moderate to severe acne. We suggest a zinc dose of 15-30mg daily.
Dysbiosis is an imbalance of gut bacteria that may cause or worsen acne. Dysbiosis is also associated with PCOS and women with PCOS are more likely to have dysbiosis than women without this condition. In fact, some researchers believe that dysbiosis is the initial triggering cause of PCOS (11
). The best probiotic for acne
is called MegaSporeBiotic. This is a soil-based probiotic which means it can survive the harsh digestive conditions of the gut in order to provide health benefits. MegaSporeBiotic has shown to reduce inflammation and treat dysbiosis within the gut (12
Acne can be a devastating symptom, especially if you’re dealing with other unwanted PCOS symptoms like irregular periods, hair loss or unwanted hair growth, difficulty losing weight, and more. We believe in using targeted supplements to help treat the root cause of acne and PCOS. We see tremendous success using our PCOS acne supplements Ovasitol, NAC, omega-3, magnesium, and MegaSporeBiotic. You can purchase each of these products individually in our Root Shop
. However, we also offer a PCOS Supplement Bundle
which allows you to bundle for optimal results and savings.