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What is Biotin?
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a necessary part of your diet if you wish to have healthy hair, skin, and nails. A type of B vitamin, many people take it in the form of a cosmetic vitamin supplement to assist in hair growth, nail strength, and overall skin health. Countless people swear by the supplement and sing its praises in its beauty enhancing role in their everyday routine.
Oddly enough, though many companies claim biotin supplements are the absolute answer to skincare woes, there are few known benefits for your skin aside from in those who are deficient. Deficiency is characterized by a red, scaly rash and is quickly resolved when a proper biotin level is restored.
If you are not deficient, biotin is not required in the form of supplements, as you will likely get enough within your diet to sustain a healthy level; if you suffer from dull hair and brittle nails, though, it can be an amazing asset to have on hand.
Does Biotin Cause Acne?
One cautionary tidbit of information about biotin to consider before starting a course of it is that it can cause acne breakouts. Biotin competes with vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid. The two share a sort of inverse relationship, meaning that when your biotin levels rise, your B5 levels will likely drop. Low B7 means a higher chance of an acne flare
It is recommended that when you take a biotin supplement you actually include a second vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) capsule as well to offset the risk of a B5 deficiency.
Many doctors actually recommend against taking biotin supplements. Biotin deficiency is incredibly rare in general, oftentimes only occurring in a very small population sample that includes those on long term antibiotics and, extremely rarely, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Vitamin B5 is used by your body in regulating your skin’s protective layer; disrupting the balance of the vitamin means the layer is not working as it usually does. Bacteria can attack your skin more freely and spread more easily, resulting in more frequent and likely more severe breakouts.
If you are not diagnosed by a doctor as deficient it is likely not worth it to add a supplement into your diet, especially since you get more than enough biotin from your diet as is.
Of course, your reaction to biotin supplementation will vary depending on your skin type. Some people actually see a stark reduction in the appearance of their cystic acne. Biotin can assist your body in regulating insulin production and blood sugar levels.
Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to inflammation so keeping them in check is key in preventing acne flares, especially in those with diabetes. This can also be achieved by monitoring your food intake and following a doctor’s directions, though.
Always check with a medical professional before adding biotin to your diet if you are seeking long term treatment to ensure it is a safe addition.
Instead of opting for a biotin supplement, try to get your daily recommended dosage from natural sources. Your diet is crucial in maintaining all aspects of your health, including your hair, skin, and nails. Proteins like liver, eggs, pork, and salmon are all rich in biotin and give you a boost of additional nutrients.
Avocado, nutritional yeast, raspberries, cauliflower, wheat bread, and cottage cheese make amazing vegetarian friendly biotin options as well. It is always best to attempt to get your vitamins and minerals from natural, food based sources when possible, as this prevents overdosing and potential side effects that often accompany pill or liquid based supplements.
If your doctor recommends a supplement then certainly take it but otherwise eating a nutritious, diverse diet is the way to go!
An overabundance of biotin in the body can actually increase your chances of experiencing acne scarring, as well. Due to it potentially causing more severe breakouts with intensive inflammation, your skin will be more damaged than when you have a random mild breakout.
This can lead to discoloration, uneven texture, and sensitivity. Many people have reported deeper, more painful pimples that take longer to go away. Additionally, some people experience an increase in oil production that can cause blackheads and clogged pores.
For a supplement that claims to be specially tailored to cater to the hair, skin, and nails, biotin certainly has quite a few side effects.
If you wish to achieve soft, healthy skin and grow out your nails and hair and really wish to use a supplement to assist your efforts, go with something rich in vitamins A and E. Vitamin A is necessary for your body to be able to repair and regenerate damaged or inflamed areas.
Vitamin E acts to protect the vitamin A in your body and is a natural antioxidant that helps prevent aging and keeps pollutants out of your skin while also deeply moisturizing your face. Together, these two vitamins are skincare powerhouses that carry far fewer potential negative side effects when compared to biotin.
Check in with your doctor and see if he thinks you can benefit from A and E supplementation.
Biotin is a popular supplement for those looking to enhance the appearance and health of their hair, skin, and nails. While it certainly does help to grow out your hair and nails, there are few actual proven benefits for your skin.
So, does Biotin cause acne? It can actually do quite a bit of harm and trigger some rather nasty acne outbreaks. All in all, you should probably skip biotin and go for Vitamins A and E if you really wish to supplement your diet, as they are much safer and are proven to work.
Keep in mind that, while it may sometimes be easier to take supplements, it’s always better to get the vitamins you need directly from what you eat!