My Personal Acne and Vitamin D success story

Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before taking supplements or medications. All information below is for educational purposes only and not to be taken as medical advice.

I decided to create this site as an informational resource for those suffering with acne. I suffered with cystic acne for 13 years before stumbling upon a lonely forum post online where a man who had tried everything found a cure for his acne in Vitamin D. I had tried so many things that a $10 bottle of vitamin D seemed very reasonable compared to some of the pricey procedures I tried. Two weeks later my acne was cured. It felt like a joke. I was ecstatic that I no longer had to suffer what felt like a life sentence of pain. I remember telling my mom, “wow, my skin is white and not red”. I could actually see what I looked like underneath the infection and inflammation. My face was no longer swollen and misshapen. I also felt ripped off and angry that I was simply vitamin D deficient and that was what was causing me to suffer for over a decade. I told my doctor who said, “who knew!?”. Well, no one apparently. But someone should know. I am writing this blog for personal closure of what was a painful condition, and in hopes that one day doctors won’t have to say “Who Knew?”. There are very little resources online for the Vitamin D and acne relationship and I want to change that.

Here is my story….

I am a 26 year old 120lb female and I live in Canada. I had cystic acne for 13 years that got worse as I was ovulating every month. It appeared to be hormonal acne. My skin and hair were also exceptionally greasy. When I wore makeup it would slide off after a few hours. My nose would look like someone put butter on it. My pores were large and wide open because of all the grease. I would have 4-5 cysts at a time with a nose full of black and white heads, and little bumps along my temples, cheeks, mouth and jaw line. My acne changed a lot over 13 years (when I was a teen I had a lot on my forehead and mostly clear everywhere else), however what remained the same was that is was always there. I never noticed if it would improve in the summer, but looking back on photos, I did have slightly better skin during sunny months.

What happened when I took Vitamin D3….

vitamin-d-acneThe main, noticeable effect that Vitamin D3 has on my skin is that it dries it out and reduces the oil on my skin. The first two weeks that I took it, my skin started peeling a lot. I loved it. The peeling made my hyperpigmentation go away faster and if there was a small bump, it would peel right off, rather than growing into a big infected cyst. Within those first two weeks I stopped having new breakouts. After about a month, the peeling slowed down, but my skin stayed clear. I now have clear skin, as long as I keep up my vitamin D intake. My hair is also not uncontrollably greasy anymore. I can wash it every 2 days now, where I used to have to wash it 1-2 times per day and it always looked terribly greasy before washes.

The specifics….

I have been taking about 8000IU of Vitamin D for four years now. I take it with Vitamin K2, Magnesium and Calcium among other supplements.When I first started taking it, I played around with the dosage a lot. I started with 10 000 IU which made my skin as dry as it was on Accutane, so I tried 5000 IU which worked, but not well enough. Eventually I settled on 8000 IU. The first year I started taking it, my body would notice really quickly if I missed a day or two. I would break out right away. Now I can go 4-5 days without taking it before I break out.

Taking Other Supplements

Taking Vitamin D at higher doses did not come without a learning curve. After taking Vitamin D for about 6 months I got magnesium deficiency symptoms including some anxiety, difficulty sleeping, jaw grinding, and heart palpitations. Luckily, I was able to make them go away within a few days by taking Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate. The reason for this is that Vitamin D needs magnesium to be metabolized, so it uses it up. You need to make sure you keep replenishing it otherwise you might get deficient. The next thing that happened was that I was started getting calcium deficiency symptoms. Mainly I found that my hands and feet would “fall asleep” really easily. This would fall under the calcium deficiency symptom of “numbness and tingling in the hands, feet, and face”. I started taking calcium and it went away in a few days. It’s fairly common knowledge that you should take Magnesium with Calcium and after heeding this advice I no longer experienced any deficiencies. I also take Vitamin K2 with my Vitamin D to make sure it works properly. You can read more about why it’s important here.

For more info on recommended Vitamin D intake level, read my Q&A page.

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vitamindforacne

I cured my chronic cystic acne using Vitamin D then wrote a blog about it.

6 thoughts on “My Personal Acne and Vitamin D success story”

  1. I read a similar post about 6 months ago and it intrigued me, so I tried it too. I think I must’ve read a fair bit about the toxicity side as it scared me and I only bought 3000iu and took it for a good few weeks and there was no change. I may actually try it again at a much higher level.
    I have just started using salcura, which seems to be working well after just two days as it’s bringing everything to the surface. It would be nice to just look at my chest would day and not see spots!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the toxicity is definitely a real thing, but if you read the Vitamin D Council guidelines it’s not as bad as some people think. Just be safe! The salcura looks interesting, I personally use African Black Soap and I’m hooked, it really helps with any oiliness. I wish you the best in finding your cure, I never thought I would find mine, but I did eventually! Also consider taking Vitamin K2 to help avoid D toxicitiy, more info here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/16/vitamin-k2.aspx XO

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      1. Wait, you didn’t cite any mechanisms or hypotheses as to why vitamin D intake (at normal-optimal levels) decreases sebum production. You just made up an untrue metaphor about this [cholesterol] film going in and out, in and out, transporting and reabsorbing vitamin D into the blood stream. Again, how does that affect sebum production?

        Also, your anecdote about 2-3 days after you stopped vitamin D, you were breaking out is a little hokey. Anyone reading this knows it takes longer than that for the bacteria to develop, the sebum to harden, the pore to clog, the bacteria to infect its quadrant and get covered in immunogenic pus.

        Additionally, I’ve never heard of vitamin D increasing keratolytic functioning. I’ll visit PubMed next time.

        (This is all tongue in cheek. I love the site in general, I just felt like I was being played by this article.]

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      2. It’s not hokey because I recently tried to lower my dose, and after two days I had acne starting again. That’s just with lowering my dose, not even stopping. My body is very reactive to it. Just because you don’t believe it doesn’t make it false. Your skepticism does not change my reality. You are simply presenting me with your doubt of my acne timeline, but you aren’t even citing any literature that says it takes longer than 3 days for acne to form. “Anyone knows” means nothing to me. If I trusted pub med and doctors and used what “Anyone knows” about acne, I would have never found my cure. I also never said Vitamin D changes sebum production. I said in order to produce Vitamin D your skin secretes an oily cholesterol which I hypothesized may clog your pores. Perhaps this was not clear in my blog post.

        I have not used any metaphors in my explanation of production of Vitamin D in the skin. If there is something incorrect about the process I described, please explain what and cite it.

        Vitamin D made my skin peel therefore it affected keratolytic functioning. The link I left in the blog post about how Vitamin D affects oily skin explains theories about how Vitamin D affects keratolytic fuctioning. I’ve had keratosis pilaris on my arms since I went through puberty and it’s been gone since I used Vitamin D. I think personally my body is unable to store Vitamin D because I have to take high doses of it daily and as soon as I stop my symptoms come back. I contacted Vitamin D council about this, but they don’t know of any diseases that cause your body to be unable to store Vitamin D. In my current research I’ve learned some health conditions cause your blood to have high calcium which may influence your body to stop producing Vitamin D in order to lower calcium levels. So perhaps it is possible that some people’s bodies do not want to produce/store Vitamin D.

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  2. I have adult acne and severe KP all over arms and legs. I started taking vitamin d3 supplements 2 months ago and my face is almost all clear and my Kp is getting better by the day!! I was looking up online if there was a link in low vit d and acne or kp and found your article and I believe it!

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