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I wasn’t one of those people who adopted a plant-based diet and got flawless skin as a result. I tried my best counting my macros and making sure I drank a ton of kale/spinach smoothie concoctions, but nothing worked for me. Unfortunately, cystic acne runs in my family: my mom and dad had it and they passed it on to my brother and me. No matter how clean my diet is or how balanced I eat, I still have acne, and after being a plant-based, mostly raw vegan for three and something years, I can tell you nothing has worked. The only thing that has come close to reducing my acne has been spirulina and reducing my gluten intake. In this article, I’ll mainly focus on the benefits of spirulina because that’s what I tried first, and it’s done wonders for my complexion.

Spirulina … A Super Algae for Great Skin

Spirulina, for those who don’t know, is a cyanobacteria, a blue-green algae that’s a complete protein, rich in multiple B vitamins, iron, and beta-carotene (a natural skin-clearing agent). It is well-known for healing and relieving inflammation, fighting free radicals and eliminating toxins, including bacteria on the skin, which can lead to acne. Spirulina is also one of the most alkaline foods on Earth, containing more chlorophyll than common greens and vegetables, another reason it promotes clear skin. Sounds pretty awesome, right? That’s what got me buying spirulina powder and supplements. I was truly fed up with my skin and decided to give it a go.

I take the recommended dosage of tablets daily, and about two days a week, I make an organic (Hawaiian) spirulina face mask with Australian clay and water and apply the mask after I cleanse my face and apply diluted raw apple cider as a toner. I’ve done this procedure for about a month now, and I’ve noticed that my face is considerably less red and looks healthy for once. I know this is just a lay testimonial, but it got me thinking about whether or not other people were successful with spirulina supplementation as an acne remedy. So, I headed over to the folks at and found that other users had seen some benefits in their skin from using spirulina. 

What Does Science Say About Spirulina?

This was great news when I discovered that I wasn’t alone on the benefits, but what about the science behind it all? The University of Maryland suggests the following: “test tube and animal studies suggest spirulina may boost the immune system, help protect against allergic reactions, and have antiviral and anticancer properties. However, there is no proof that spirulina has these, or any, benefits in people. More research is needed.” Essentially, this institution is saying that with limited research on spirulina, none of the so-called “benefits” can be effectively proven,  so there should be some caution in supplementing with the algae. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that the U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends only supplementing with pure, unadulterated, and organic spirulina from a trusted brand.

From my own experience, I wholeheartedly recommend spirulina to be used both topically and internally to help with acne and reduce the chance of breakouts. I believe, as the United Nations believes, that spirulina may be “the best possible food for the future,” and that it can help do so many things, even cure your pesky acne. What do you have to lose? Pick up some good quality spirulina, and supplement with it, toss it in a smoothie, cashew balls, or mix it into a face mask, it’s up to you.

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Lead Image Source: Why You Need More Spirulina in Your Life