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Acne's blemishes and bumps, or pimples as they are more commonly referred too, are often treated with chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, lactic acid, resorcinol or salicylic acid. However, there are also some natural remedies that may reduce or eliminate acne for those wanting to avoid harsh products. Studies have shown that nutritional yeast, or what is better known commercially as Brewer’s yeast, may be an effective acne treatment, and while it might not work for everyone, it could be a gentler alternative for acne sufferers preferring to try natural options first.

How Brewer’s Yeast Works

Acne results from 3 main factors:

•   Dead skin cells, which are not shed properly and irritates the hair follicles leading to infection.

•   The secretion of too much oil by glands in the skin.

•   An overabundance of bacteria mixing with this oil and blocking the glands of the skin.

Brewer's yeast can be used to combat acne by killing excess bacteria within the blood stream and supporting the production of white blood cells. These extra white blood cells fight acne by clearing infection in the hair follicles. A yeast acne treatment is rich in nutrients such as riboflavin, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid and biotin. These nutrients contain proteins important in the long term prevention of acne and regulation of hormones, which control the secretion of oil.

Who Should Use Yeast

A yeast acne treatment can be used by anyone, regardless of age or sex. Teenagers are most prone to acne because of the hormonal changes that take place during adolescence. Adults can get it too with 91% of people suffering acne at one point in their lives, especially women who are prone to hormone fluxes caused by their menstrual cycles or pregnancy.

How to Take Brewer’s Yeast

Brewer’s yeast is available in powder form, which is its most potent form, flakes that are good for adding to shakes and protein drinks, or tablets which may be best for you if you don't enjoy the taste. Experts recommend either taking two teaspoons every day or one Brewer’s yeast tablet after every meal. They also recommend that when using a yeast acne treatment, it should be accompanied by keeping skin clean to compliment its benefits by cutting down as much as possible on oil and bacteria growth.

Potential Side Effects

Acne sufferers should be warned that Brewer’s yeast can have unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects in some people. Minor effects include headaches, bloating and excess gas. People with these allergies can break out in a rash and their skin can swell and feel tight. The high purine content makes Brewer's yeast unsuitable for people with gout, kidney disease or arthritis. Diabetes patients or those diagnosed with hypoglycemia should consult their doctors before using yeast.

While it might not be for everyone, yeast is a proven acne fighter. In one double-blind study involving 130 acne sufferers, more than 80% of the patients who consumed the Brewer's yeast had either skin cured from acne or improved.