A Powerful Natural Antioxidant for Health and Beauty

Alpha Lipoic Acid Could Help Prevent and Treat Acne

How can alpha lipoic acid prevent or get rid of pimples?

Alpha lipoic acid is used both internally and in topical skin care ointments – including for acne. It can often be found in combination with other pimple-fighting ingredients. (v.24-25)

How does alpha lipoic acid work against acne? Experts suggest that alpha lipoic acid shows the following benefits:

  • Blocks expression of genes in skin cells associated with inflammation and acne. (v.7)
  • Promotes anti-inflammatory proteins. (v.12)
  • Can counteract the adverse side effects of other acne treatments. (v.26)
  • Significantly reduces malondialdehydes – a type of compound produced by free radical damage. People with severe acne have high levels of these compounds. (v.27-28)
  • At 5% concentration, lab tests by one manufacturer show that alpha lipoic acid has antibacterial effects against Propionibacterium acnes . Alpha lipoic acid may also help strengthen skin's natural antibacterial barriers. Although P. acnes are a helpful type of bacteria found on the skin, high levels of it in pimples can generate free radicals. This can lead to oxidative stress which aggravates acne. (v.24, 29-32)
  • May help reduce hyperpigmentation after acne clears. (v.33)

Although some experts note that there may be some difficulty in alpha lipoic acid penetrating the skin due to the size of its molecules, there may be a solution. Research studies demonstrate that patches containing alpha lipoic acid cream help to improve how much of it is absorbed by the skin. (v.24-25, 33)

The Bottom Line

Alpha lipoic acid may be helpful in reducing pimples – especially severe acne. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the skin. Studies suggest its antioxidant benefits would help reduce oxidative byproducts linked to severe acne more than mild or moderate acne. (v.27-28)

If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about how alpha lipoic acid may help control blood sugar levels.

Recent lab studies show that the skin benefits of alpha lipoic acid may be enhanced if combined with other supplements. These include: (v.31, 34)

Especially down to the melanocyte -- the cells that can cause skin darkening. (v.33)
A form of vitamin E. (v.31)
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