This is the one thing that has resulted in a significant and sustained improvement in my skin. I'm a male in my late 20's and have tried loads of different products and diets. My acne had gotten to a point where it was mild, however still noticeable and still really damaging to my confidence.
Before trying this I thought I was doing everything right. Clean diet, no processed foods or sugar, drinking tons of water and green tea, exercising, sleeping enough, zinc supplements etc etc. Yet my skin was still very oily and prone to breakouts and blackheads.
Since I started to take cod liver oil several months ago, my skin has gradually gotten to a point where I don't have to worry about new pimples when I wake up everyday and don't have to worry about topical treatments. My skin is naturally way less oily. It did take a while to see a difference (probably while my levels of vit A and D gradually increased) and I did have a few breakouts along the way, but my advice would be to keep at it. For something that is going to "cure" your acne, and not just treat the symptoms, this is the kind of timeframe you need to be thinking in.
I would also recommend taking the liquid form, rather than the capsules. Do your research and buy a good quality brand. The one I use is called garden of life Icelandic cod liver oil. From my research, I would also recommend cod liver oil rather than fish oil or fermented cod liver oil.
In terms of dosage, I did not take a "megadose" but did take double the recommended daily intake (which was approx 200% of your daily vit A and 100% of D).
In conclusion, - try it! Vitamin A and D are both incredibly important for your skin and if you think it is possible that you aren't getting enough of these in your diet, then definitely try supplementing with cod liver oil. It could be the thing that clears up your skin for good.
I agree with the 2015 reviews. Just want to add stress on the need for research if you aren't knowledgeable about this topic. At the very least, make sure you're getting *real* cod liver oil, NOT a generic drugstore brand's imitation version. Unfortunately, it's legal in Canada (and I'm guessing probably elsewhere) for them to label it as "cod liver oil" when actually it's mostly some cheap filler oil and there's only a tiny bit of vitamin D "filtered" in theoretically from an actual cod liver oil, but you get none of the naturally occurring vitamin A, hyaluronic acid, EPA and DHA (full-fledged omega 3s), or other good stuff.
I'm loath to recommend people just read any page on their site as there's a lot of unproven stuff there, but if you ignore the part about fermented being the best (it's expensive and not necessarily best for everyone), the Weston A Price foundation has pretty good guidelines on what to look for in a good cod liver oil. Also, they stopped recommending Carlson's Super 1000mg but I found it available with a decent vitamin A to D ratio and it's worked great for me. I have used CLO for a couple of years now and it's not only provided visible benefits to my skin's healing capacity and the strength of my hair, but even further health benefits as well.
I've been using cod liver oil (in generic capsule form) for about two months now and it has stopped almost all of my regular breakouts and has begun to even out my skin tone and heal my hyper pigmentation. That said, it doesn't prevent the acne I get when I have even a tiny bit of dairy, and my scars (the indent kind) are still noticeable (i believe it helps, but those are more of a long-term recovery issue). I take 6 capsules a day on average; I noticed that if I took 8 or 10 everyday, I would be a little too dried out in my hair and skin, while only 4 did not provide the right amount (I'm 6'1", 157lbs, and male). It's not the ultimate cure, but it works better than ANYTHING else I've ever tried and actually makes me healthier instead of hurting my body in the process of eliminating acne. I also use raw honey as a nightly mask and use aloe as my only moisturizer. The pills also made my hair less oily and fuller, now I don't even have to rinse it everyday (I started using only water each morning to rinse my hair and body and my hair has never looked better). I highly suggest using cod liver oil and cutting down on topicals and pretty much anything that isn't a simple product like honey or aloe in your care regiment, you feel better, save money, and look better naturally.
First of all I want to say if you think this doesnt work bcuz you've tried this in pill form 1 or 2 times a day, I thought that too. You have to take it by the tsp to get its full benefits. Ive tested it at 2, sometimes 3 tsp per day few times, Im clear within 2 weeks, but results are seen within a week.
Looking around on the net I see some ppl think only the fermented kind works, but at $40+ per bottle I just couldnt afford it. Ive used 2 different way cheaper kinds with great results. They were Garden of Life and Twin labs norweigan. They are both under $15 a bottle and available at healthfood stores and on amazon.
Good luck everyone! You're all beautiful.
First, I need to make a disclaimer. Like Isotretinoin, mega-dosing Vitamin A has its risks. This is a form of treatment that is available OTC, but you MUST do your research. You will find mixed reviews regarding the safety of a Vitamin A regimen for acne; this is why it is up to each individual to do their own research in order to make an INFORMED decision for themselves. This is an account of MY personal experience and I will try to include as much information as I can.
I chose the holistic route for myself, and decided on Vitamin A (derived from fish liver oil) as opposed to its synthetic version (Isotretinoin). I am a female, age 22, and I chose this method of treatment for a high concentration of nodulistic acne on my back, mild acne on my chest, and mild acne on my face. If you are considering a Vitamin A regimen for yourself, it is up to you (or a specialist) to determine your specific course of treatment and whether or not you need to take additional supplements.
MY plan was as follows:
50,000 IUs/day for two weeks
100,000 IUs/day for six weeks
150,000 IUs/day for four weeks
I supplemented the Vitamin A with 3,000 IUs of Vitamin D3/day. I washed my face/body twice a day with organic, scent-free ivory soap and moisturized with organic coconut oil.
In my situation, this was enough to cure my acne. It has been two weeks since I finished mega-dosing Vitamin A, and I have been acne-free for three weeks. I get the occasional pimple (whitehead) but this is NOTHING compared to what I was dealing with before. I plan to begin taking 8,000 IUs of Vitamin A/day (the recommended dosage) and continuing to do this for the next year or so to support my clear skin.
I stand firm in giving this form of treatment 5 stars, because it has been the solution to a lot of emotional (and physical) pain caused by my acne for upwards of five years. However, it was NOT without side effects.
One thing you can expect with Vitamin A is skin purging. In order for your skin to restore itself, it must release the accumulated impurities. For each of the three months that I was mega-dosing, I would have one skin purge. This consisted of a larger-than-normal, painful breakout. For the first time in my life, I experienced (albeit a small amount of) cystic acne. The concentration of acne on each effected part of my body increased quite a bit. This DID result in scarring. Picking/popping increased the amount of scarring.
Another thing to expect is very dry skin, lips, and occasionally eyes. Fortunately, there are remedies for these side effects. Coconut oil worked quite well on my skin; I chose organic-- in light of the fact that my skin was restoring itself to a pure state, I wanted to keep it paraben and toxin free. I used chapstick during the day (EOS) and at night, to prevent cracking of my lips (it happened around the corners, which was painful), I would slather them with Vaseline. This, too, worked quite well.
There are a large array of side effects one may experience, so AGAIN, research is absolutely necessary. My side effects were predominantly limited to those listed above.
After my final episode of skin purging, my skin began to clear rapidly. Within one week, I was left with only scars and the occasional pimple. I am ever so grateful, and will now be focusing on an organic skin-bleaching method to lighten the scarring. I do not feel right RECOMMENDING this course of treatment because that is a choice that must be made objectively by each individual for his/herself. However, I would encourage any acne sufferer to look into a Vitamin A regimen, especially if you are looking for a CURE as opposed to a quick fix.