Can Evening Primrose Oil Stop Acne?

I just took my daily dose of evening primrose oil. It's just a small capsule that I take once or twice a day, right after a meal. Why? Because a friend recently told me it can help clear up my skin and stop breakouts. And since I now break out more than I did as a teenager, most acne remedies, natural or not, are fair game to me. Luckily, it looks like this little experiment is working.

I've been taking evening primrose oil for about a month now (was a quick purchase at Whole Foods with no particular brand in mind) and can honestly say that my skin looks clearer and less red. But since I'm always a skeptic and assume that most supplements and medicine just create a placebo effect, I decided to reach out to two trusted dermatologists to get their take.

It turns out that my clear skin isn't just a figment of my imagination. West Palm Beach, FL, dermatologist, Kenneth Beer, MD, says, "Evening primrose oil is one of the earliest known treatments for eczema and it may also be used to treat acne as it calms some of the inflammatory lesions and decreases redness."

While Calabasas, CA, dermatologist Debra B. Luftman, MD, agrees and says that the supplement can potentially calm acne and rosacea due to its anti-inflammatory properties. "The seeds of the primrose contain gamma-linoleic acid and linoleic acid-both are omega fatty acids," she says.

Of course, taking evening primrose oil will only calm redness (not necessarily stop acne), but Dr. Beer says you can combine the supplement with emollients like squalane to smooth your skin and give it a better appearance.

It's a concept that I'm now sold on, but before you toss out your skin-care products, give it a try and see what you think first. You might be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.


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  • Vicki

    while supplements can help benefit acne the treatment still needs a daily exfoliant and benzoyl peroxide. Supplements can not cure retention hyperkeratosis.

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  • Cathy B.

    Yes, I took this for PMS but found it is the miracle pill to cure my adult acne issues. I've been using it for over a year and have had few major breakouts during that time. I'm very happy and even shared my good luck with my dermatologist at my last appointment. Hopefully she can refer it to others who suffer with acne.

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  • albertha

    Well, its my st time in about 20 yrs since i had no breakout after my period. usually i would get a lot of breakout after my menstrual cycle. I recently discovered dim plus capsule that dr OZ spoke about and evening primrose oil....with these two pills and a low sugar intake lots of natural fruit juices, eg beetm carrot, cantelope and pineapple and 1% milk,my face has no more bumps..i also did a deep pore facial which is good...i'm one happy woman.. but first i tired everything the dermatologist recommend, but because i was determine to find a cure i read all the acne forum

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  • Anna

    I stat taking evening primerose oil capsules for like month now, but I think I should stop because my acne is worst than ever !! This happen to any of you ??

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  • Dani

    I've been taking it for a month now, for reasons unrelated to acne, as I was unaware of it's affect on acne.... and decided to google it to see if it was just my imagination, or had this supplement also cleared up my face. Not my imagination! What a wonderful side effect. :D Not even getting hormonal break outs. I'm also taking Biotin along with it. Not sure if that makes a difference, but either way, I'm sold.

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  • Samantha

    I just started taking Evening Primerose, how long should it take before I start to notice results if any?

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  • Angelcat47

    I started taking fish oil a year ago for cardiac health and it has improved my acne.I also take 50 mg of zinc for the same reason.

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  • lizsuz

    I started taking evening primrose oil capsules about 15 years ago (at the recommendation of my massage therapist)primarily for perimenopause symptoms and found that it also helped my complexion. I don't have acne, but very sensitive, reactive skin and this has really helped calm the redness I used to suffer almost constantly. I will never be without it.

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  • Dee

    What dosage should you take per day?

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  • Kerry

    Great thanks! I think when you work from the inside out it has more effect!

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  • Hi Kerry. Yes, exactly. It's just a capsule pill that you take once or twice a day.

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  • Kerry

    Is this a capsule like you would find for fish oil?

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