Yes it can, but not in a bad way. MSM is a wonderful supplement that apparently a lot of us are deficient in. I recorded a video a few months ago about MSM which I highly recommend you watch if you’re not already familiar with what’s so great about MSM and why a lot of us are deficient – Why We Aren’t Getting Enough MSM & Why It’s So Good For Our Skin!
I’m particularly interested in MSM because it’s a great beauty supplement – it’s awesome for the hair, skin and nails. It even got its own little section in my most recent eGuide, How To Clear Acne Scars, because it’s been proven to help reduce acne pigmentation scars when used either internally or topically (or ideally both).
But can MSM cause acne? The reason why I asked this question in the first place was because in my own personal supplementation I had quite a bad acne breakout not long after taking MSM on a daily basis. This breakout then quite quickly stopped, dried up and now the pigmentation scars left behind are healing rapidly.
I hadn’t actually put MSM together with the breakout (it’s good for the skin, how could it cause acne!?) until I was listening to a David Wolfe podcast a couple of days ago where he was talking about how MSM enables cells and tissues to detox. So of course whenever I hear the word detox, I straight away think of “possible healing crisis”. Upon further research I discovered that yes MSM can in fact induce an acne breakout which can be thought of more as a mini healing crisis or a purging of toxins that the MSM is clearing out.
The key to avoiding this breakout is to start very slowly, which of course requires the patience that I obviously don’t have. Unless you don’t mind a bit of purging and a bit of a temporary breakout. Starting too quickly with MSM however can also cause gastrointestinal discomfort (ie diarrhea), headaches, and a range of other general and quite minor healing crisis symptoms. So watch out for that.
Interestingly, I found quite a bit of information on the web from people experiencing anxiety, sleeplessness or the jitters when they first take MSM. Apparently this can be due to resides of drugs (such as caffeine) stored in your cells and tissue detoxing out. So as you’re detoxing it out, you’re experiencing part of what the effects were when you consumed those drugs in the first place. It trips me out thinking how long “stuff” can sit in our bodies.
If you’re new to MSM
If you’re an MSM newbie, it’s recommended that you start super slow. Begin with 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon daily and drink plenty of water with it to help flush everything out. It’s also highly recommended that you couple MSM up with Vitamin C which is needed to help healthy new cells to grow. Without enough Vitamin C, it’s a lot more difficult for your body to create and grow these new healthy cells.
Over time it’s safe to build this dosage up to around 1 teaspoon. My MSM from Sunfood Nutrition recommends to build up to 1/2 teaspoon per 100 lbs of body weight 2 times a day. I weight around 60 kgs so ideally I could be taking around 3/4 teaspoon twice a day.
I’ve been in a great routine of taking MSM every morning with the juice of 2-3 lemons mixed with at least 1 liter of water. The lemons are a great natural source of Vitamin C so I don’t need to worry about taking an extra supplement. Every now and again, I’ll top the lemonade up with a teaspoon of camu-camu which is boosting the Vitamin C content by a considerable amount. I drink this after a morning run or walk so it’s also a great way to rehydrate myself after exercise.
In my opinion I honestly feel that it’s safe to take MSM at a gradual low dose without an acne breakout. But if you do experience some kind of purging, please know that it will only be short lived and in the long term the MSM is likely to improve your skin and your scarring.
Please also follow your intuition. If you feel that the MSM in not right for you, then don’t take it. And of course if you’re unsure, ask your natural therapist.