Acneticin – A Miracle Pill?
Acneticin advertises itself as the skin treatment for acne sufferers who have tried everything, and who are finally ready to get rid of their acne for good—in just 72 hours. Claiming it works at the “cellular level,” Acneticin advises potential customers that it does not just scratch the surface to get rid of acne, but eradicates redness, blotchiness, blackheads, pustules, persistent acne, and zits by going “to the root of the problem to root it out at the source” (with exclamation points added).
Acneticin claims that acne starts far below the surface of the skin, and that acne is only a symptom of the underlying problem. The body, Acneticin tells us, manifests acne as a symptom because it is out of balance. Cells are breaking down too fast and the toxins they release build up in the epidermis.
- Acneticin is advertised as the last skin care product acne sufferers will ever need, resolving redness and blemishes in just 72 hours or less.
- The supposed mechanism of cure in Acneticin is “hormonal balancing.”
- Some of the ingredients in Acneticin have no benefits for the skin, and others do—but aren’t included in adequate amounts.
- If you really want to take a nutritional approach to treating acne, try supplementing with zinc or or omega-3 essential fatty acids. You may not see any results at all for up to two months, and then there is usually dramatic improvement in the third month.
- In addition to a nutritional approach, it is also a good idea to use a system of skin cleansers and moisturizers that work together to clear your skin and keep it clear, such as Exposed Skin Care.
Taking Toxicity Literally
The theory supposedly underlying the use of Acneticin echoes the explanation of acne found in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The ancient sages of Chinese herbal medicine explained1 the origins of acne metaphorically. Overheated blood could cause acne with or without pus. This corresponds to a modern understanding of acne as caused by stress hormones in the skin.
Or, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, blackheads and whiteheads might be a sign of accumulated “phlegm.” In Chinese medicine, phlegm can be mucus, but it can be a sticky “residue” of emotional energies. Blackheads and whiteheads occur in the skin after sebum accumulates in pores, and surges of sebum occur after surges in sex hormones.
Traditional Chinese Medicine also can occur after “toxic heat.” This roughly corresponds to rosacea. Toxic heat causes sudden breakouts of tiny pimples. Rosacea breaks out in tiny pimples after sudden heating of the skin.
Over thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine developed a system of relating changes in the energy to the body to changes in the energy of herbs. Certain combinations of herbs were explained in the same terms as changes in the body. The whole system works.
Acneticin is based on a similar kind of thinking, but without thousands of years of experience. The ingredients used in Acneticin are a hodge-podge of “detoxifying” ingredients that don’t directly relate to healing of the skin. Unfortunately, they don’t indirectly relate to healing of the skin, either.
What’s In Acneticin?
Acneticin is a blend of herbs and nutritional supplements in small amounts. The “active ingredients” include:
- Dandelion. The makers of Acneticin note that dandelion contains more calcium and iron than spinach and that it’s a good source of vitamins A and C2. This is true—but you can’t possibly get more than 225 mg of calcium, iron, and vitamins from the 225 mg of dandelion in each serving. It’s true that dandelion stimulates the production of bile by the liver and that bile stimulates bowel movement, but to do this you need to eat a dandelion salad, not take a tiny amount of dandelion in a capsule.
- Green tea. Acneticin claims that green tea will “help balance your hormonal imbalance” that causes unsightly skin blemishes. Actually, green tea does reduce the production of the oils3 that can clog pores, but only when it is applied directly to the skin.
- Mangosteen. Acneticin labels mangosteen as a “miracle fruit” that can kill acne and staph bacteria. This statement is based on actual clinical research, sort of. A research team at Mahidol University in Thailand found4 that a dichloromethane extract of mangosteen can kill these kinds of acne bacteria in a test tube. No research has ever found that mangosteen that is not treated with dichloromethane can kill bacteria in the human body, or that the extract would not be broken down when it went through the stomach.
- Noni. Acneticin claims that biological research proves that noni fruit can accelerate the healing of an acne pustule. Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences confirm that noni fruit contains a compound called 1,8-dihydroxy-2-methyl-3,7-dimethoxyanthraquinone that can kill various kinds of bacteria, but not acne bacteria.
- Vitamin A. Acneticin’s advertisers are absolutely correct that vitamin A is key to skin health. The kind of vitamin A that has an effect on acne is approximately 5,000 times stronger than the kind of vitamin A included in this formula.
- Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid (and used in nutritional formulas in the form of calcium pantothenate). Acneticin is correct in stating that vitamin B5 is used in treating acne5, but it is used in doses of 10,000 mg or more, not the 500 mg used in the formula.
- Biotin. Acneticin identifies the B vitamin biotin as an important “metabolite” of fats. It isn’t. It’s involved in energy creation in cells and accelerates fat burning, but it is not produced from fats. Acneticin is at least right that biotin is needed in a formula that also contains alpha-lipoic acid, since they are co-factors.
- Alpha-lipoic acid. The usual application of alpha-lipoic acid is stimulating the flow of fluids in the skin so outward-bulging scars are less noticeable. The 50 mg dosage in Acneticin isn’t enough to have this effect.
There are similar issues with all the other ingredients in Acneticin. They may sound good, but they just are not useful for balancing any kind of process that causes acne. If your acne gets better when you use Acneticin, it is just an accident.
If Acneticin Doesn’t Heal Acne From The Inside Out, What Does?
If you really want to heal acne with nutritional supplements, there are far better products you can try. Here are some suggestions that may really help you.
- Zinc with methionine. Researchers at the Maulana Azad Medical College in India have found6 that just taking 50 mg of zinc bound to the amino acid methionine every day resolved 80% to 100% of blackheads and pimples in volunteers who took the supplement. There’s just one catch to this plan. Zinc supplements have almost no effect at all for the first 8 weeks. Then acne dramatically improves in the ninth to twelfth weeks.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. The Lasky Skin Clinic in Los Angeles reports five cases of acne that cleared up substantially after use of omega-3 essential fatty acids, the kind of “good fat” you get from flaxseed oil or fish oil. Even better, the omega-3 essential fatty acids also relieved depression. It also helps to avoid “bad fat,” which is basically any kind of industrially processed cooking oil or snack foods fried in it. Butter, bacon, and even lard don’t have a detrimental effect on acne (although there are other reasons you may not want to eat them).
- Probiotics. Lactobacillus in the colon “trains” the immune system to respond to acne bacteria with less inflammation7. You can take probiotic supplements or eat yogurt that contains live cultures. Actually, even dead Lactobacillus bacteria have some value in controlling inflammation in the skin, but you get better results from live cultures.
And if you also want to treat acne with effective cleansers and blackhead removers, consider an acne treatment system such as Exposed Skin Care.
- Cao H.J., Yang G.Y., Wang Y.Y., Liu J.P. Acupoint stimulation for acne: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Medical Acupuncture. 2013;25(3):173-194.
- Wirngo F.E., Lambert M.N., Jeppesen P.B. The physiological effects of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) in type 2 diabetes. The Review of Diabetic Studies. 2016;13(2-3):113-131.
- Saric S., Notay M., Sivamani R.K. Green tea and other polyphenols: Effects on sebum production and acne vulgaris. Antioxidants. 2017;6(1):2.
- Pothitirat W., Chomnawang M.T., Gritsanapan W. Anti-acne-inducing bacterial activity of mangosteen fruit rind extracts. Medical Principles and Practice. 2010;19(4):281-286.
- Yang M., Moclair B., Hatcher V., Kaminetsky J., Mekas M., Chapas A., Capodice J. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a novel pantothenic acid-based dietary supplement in subjects with mild to moderate facial acne. Dermatology and Therapy. 2014;4(1):93-101.
- Sardana K., Garg V.K. An observational study of methionine-bound zinc with anti-oxidants for mild to moderate acne vulgaris. Dermatologic Therapy. 2010;23(4):411-418.
- Bowe W.P., Logan A.C. Acne vulgaris, probiotics, and the gut-skin axis: Back to the future?. Gut Pathogens. 2011.
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