The main causes of acne are five key things: occlusion of the follicles, excess oil production, bacteria Proprionibacterium acnes, inflammation and hormones. Occlusion of the follicles creates a microaerophilic (low oxygen) environment which is ideal for the bacteria to proliferate. The resultant bacterial overgrowth also has an abundance of oil, or sebum, to live off of as a source of nutrients needed. The metabolism of sebum by the bacteria for sustenance results in by-products that are pro-inflammatory. The hormones are key in increasing oil production and the fertilizer so to speak for the bacteria.
The best vitamin supplementation for treating acne would be one containing niacinamide due to it’s anti-inflammatory effect and vitamin A which results in reduced oil production and normalization of skin maturation reducing the number of occluded follicles. Adding in Zinc for the anti-bacterial effect would result in the trifecta for an oral supplement.
Vitamin supplementation is safe and without side effects EXCEPT vitamin A in pregnant and women who are breast feeding as this is a fat soluble vitamin that can cross the placental barrier and is excreted in breast milk. In excessive doses you can get hypervitaminosis A characterized by excessively dry skin and difficulty seeing clearly at night.