Selenium For Acne: Does It Work?

  • By Abigail Roberts
  • 2 minute read
Selenium For Acne: Does It Work?

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that affects most people at some point in their lives. The main symptoms are spots, oily skin, and sometimes sensitive skin where it feels hot or painful to touch.

The causes of acne can range from hereditary skin conditions to hormonal issues, though it more commonly affects teenagers and younger adults where symptoms usually improve as they get older.

Though, no matter the cause or age, acne is an unpleasant and upsetting skin condition where treatment and relief are very often sought after.

There are many remedies which may help, mostly anecdotally! One of these remedies includes the consumption of selenium.

This article gives a brief overview of the potential benefits of selenium for acne. Firstly, what is selenium and what is its role in the body?

What is Selenium?

Selenium is an essential mineral mostly known for its powerful antioxidant properties. Selenium is important for many functions in the body, such as reproduction, thyroid function, DNA production, and protecting the body from free radicals and infection.

Selenium is also found naturally in some foods, including:

  • Seafood
  • Meat and poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Breads and grains

You will also find selenium as a supplement in tablet form, or as part of a multivitamin supplement. While deficiency is rare, it may still be beneficial to supplement with selenium either as a standalone supplement or as part of a multivitamin.

How Does Selenium Help Acne?

Selenium is a supplement that many people swear by for helping to improve acne. It’s largely involved in fighting infection, hormone balance, and as an anti-inflammatory—all of which can help improve acne symptoms.

Additionally, selenium works well alongside zinc and vitamin E, encouraging healing and proper immune system function.

Studies have shown notable decreases in the amount of lesion (area of altered tissue) counts after two months of selenium supplementation in those suffering from acne vulgaris.1

So, it seems that selenium may be a mineral to consider supplementing with if you suffer from acne!

Does Selenium Have Side Effects?

Selenium does not have any side effects provided you stick to the recommended dose. An overdose of selenium may cause some symptoms such as bad breath, fever, and nausea.

Selenium may also interact with certain medication and supplements, so it’s important to consult your doctor before you choose to supplement with it!

Take-Home Message

Selenium is an essential mineral required for proper thyroid, hormone, and reproductive function, as well as offering powerful antioxidant properties.

Selenium is commonly used as a remedy for acne. Studies show that selenium may be helpful in decreasing the lesion count in individuals who suffer from acne.

While there are no side effects to taking selenium, you should always follow the dosage guidelines and consult your doctor before taking something new.

Performance Lab NutriGenesis Multi is one of the best multivitamins containing selenium alongside 16 other essential vitamins and minerals required for optimal health and wellbeing!


  1. Sahib, A.S., Al-Anbari, H.H., Salih, M. and Abdullah, F., 2012. Effects of oral antioxidants on lesion counts associated with oxidative stress and inflammation in patients with papulopustular acne. J Clin Exp Dermatol Res, 3(5), pp.1-6.
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