Vitamin and Probiotic Therapy:
 Treating Inflammatory Skin Conditions Effectively

by Marie Veronique

"A year of treatment with nicotinamide (niacinamide), a form of vitamin B3, significantly lowered the risk for skin cancer in high-risk patients," an Australian study showed.

People who used nicotinamide had 23% fewer new nonmelanoma lesions as compared with people who did not use the agent. All 386 participants in the study had a history of skin cancer, increasing their risk for additional lesions.

The results provide the "first clear evidence that we can reduce skin cancers using a simple vitamin, together with sensible sun protection," said Diona Damian, MBBS, PhD, of the University of Sydney.’ (For a discussion of why niacinamide works so well, read our latest MV Lab post.)

The doctor’s interesting conclusion immediately made me think of all the other good uses for niacinamide. Indeed, it’s presently undergoing clinical studies in combination with zinc for treating inflammatory diseases such as acne vulgaris.

Using vitamins, both topically and internally, to control inflammatory disorders such as acne and rosacea, as well as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and other skin-aging symptoms, has been of interest to natural formulators for quite a few years now. We all use vitamin E and some form of vitamin C, some of us use coenzyme-Q and retinol, and quite a few of us already use niacinamide. And now, serious scientific researchers are giving us the nod that we’re on the right track.

This niacinamide study confirms the impact of this specific vitamin and implies that other vitamins are also useful. The benefits of vitamins C, E and retinol are well known, but the B vitamins have just begun to be explored. Increasingly vitamin B5 is recognized as an acne-treatment alternative to tretinoin. Studies show that niacinamide in combination with N-acetyl glucosamine helps with hyperpigmentation. We also know that all the B vitamins are necessary for methylation to run smoothly. Methylation is a key biochemical process essential for the proper function of all the body’s systems, including skin maintenance and repair.

In short, the future of skin care will likely be how to provide the complex of vitamins skin needs to prevent disease and maintain health. Just as we take multivitamins for our internal bodies, the skin needs its own daily multivitamin fix. In fact, it’s even truer of skin because as a protective cover it’s exposed to constant assault from the environment and gobbling up antioxidants at an extremely rapid rate.

If you suffer from adult acne, rosacea or hyperpigmentation here are some treatment suggestions:

ALL INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS

Increase B vitamins in your diet

Sources are dark leafy green veggies, cheese, beans, walnuts, fish, eggs and liver.

Supplements

Take a B-complex vitamin as well as individual Bs, so you don’t overload on specific B vitamins. B-complex is water soluble, so your body excretes what it doesn’t use.

Probiotics

Be sure and eat live-cultured food (fermented vegetables, yoghurt, etc.) high in probiotics so your gut microflora can digest all the goodies coming their way.

Topical

Topically, any of these conditions may also use Gentle Retinol Night Serum, layered with the serums suggested below.

ACNE

Supplements

Take 500 mgs B3 and 1,000 to 2000 gs of B5. You can split up the B5 into 500-1,000 mg doses at a time, with meals. It’s water soluble, so your body excretes what it doesn’t use.

Topical

Treatment Serum contains vitamins B3 and B5; for mild acne topical applications of the serum, in conjunction with the Treatment Oil to keep pores clear, are often sufficient to do the trick.

Treatment Oil: May be used night and day. By day, use under your sunscreen, and at night apply serum first, then oil. Treatment Serum can also be used day or night as a spot treatment.

Notes for men: Men may take more—up to 4,000 mgs daily of vitamin B5. Layer Gentle Retinol Night Serum with Treatment Serum for quicker results.

ROSACEA

Your problem is inflammation rather than sebum production so you can skip the B5. Take 1000 mgs B3, 500 mgs twice a day with meals. You can split up the B5 into 500 mg doses at a time, with meals.

Topical: Treatment Oil and Redness Relief Serum

Treatment Oil and Redness Relief Serum may be used night and day. By day, apply oil then Redness Relief Serum, then sunscreen. At night apply serum first, then oil.

Notes for men: Facial redness is a common problem for men because they have more blood vessels. The problem is often exacerbated by their unwillingness to wear sunscreen daily.

If you want to reduce redness but you don’t want to wear sunscreen every day, here’s an out-of-the-box solution:

 

  • Use a sunscreen containing zinc oxide at night. Apply Redness Relief Serum first, the follow with sunscreen. Zinc combined with niacinamide makes a powerful anti-inflammatory combination.
  • When you wash it off the next day, don’t scrub furiously; you will still have some zinc oxide left for protection during the day—and it won’t show. After washing apply Vitamins C+E+Ferulic Serum and Protective Day Oil for an extra sun-protection boost.

 

HYPERPIGMENTATION

Your problem also starts with inflammation. Take 1000 mgs B3, 500 mgs twice a day with meals. You can split up the B5 into 500 mg doses at a time, with meals.

Topical: Protective Day Oil and Lightening Serum

Protective Day Oil may be used night and day. By day, use under your sunscreen. At night apply Lightening Serum before oil.


Have a question about our blog content and how it may apply to your own skin concerns? Email us here to get personalized advice from our on-call estheticians, or browse our Product Recommendations here.