​MSM cream for acne: will it work?

27th Apr 2020

Is MSM really good for acne? Or is it pseudoscience?

One of the questions you won’t find answered specifically to acne is: will MSM work for 

acne? The quick and short answer is yes, it will help fight acne. What needs more 

explanation is how.

You are not alone! 80% of Americans11-30 years old 

suffer from acne. It’s not rare at all. But the solution to this 

problem is not always as common. For some it’s diet,

stress, infection, or overall skin health. If you have 

problems with acne, please read this article, I hope to 

provide some very helpful details.

What is MSM cream

MSM is found in fresh fruits and vegetables in small amounts. MSM is an sulfur compound (CH₃)₂SO₂. It is called methyl sulfone and dimethyl sulfone. It’s often used to boost collagen production to soften the effects of rashes and swelling, due to it’s anti-inflammatory qualities.

So what is acne really?

Our skin contains millions of small glands, all producing oil. When the oil builds up, it can clog the pores and can become infected by bacteria which live on the skin. In men it is common in the younger years because the testosterone causes excess oil to be produced. As women age they produce more testosterone, which causes them to suffer from acne. Excess oil, dead skin cells, natural bacteria, and dirt trapped inside the glands are all common factors for acne.

What  can cause acne?

- stress

Fight or flight. That’s where this kind of acne begins: in the brain, more specifically, the hypothalamus. When fight or flight is engaged, it releases corticotropin hormones, triggering the pituitary gland to release adrenocortic, which then stimulate the adrenal gland, causing adrenal to release cortisol, the major stress hormone. Cortisol is great for fight or flight but for most of us, it collects in the body, causing inflammation, suppresses the immune system, making you likely to be infected by bacteria, and causes your body to produce more oil in the sebaceous gland, located at the hair follicle. That’s why exercise can help reduce acne.


Everyone’s diet is different. That’s why saying “avoid fat” or “avoid carbs” doesn’t make the cut. Eskimos eat a large fat diet and generally have nice skin. Okinawans eat a large amount of carbs, low acne. In fact, most of the non western world has 0 to little acne. What makes the western world different is our desire to eat non only starches, sugars, refined grains, but also meat and fattier meals.

One study found that people who frequently consumed added sugars had a 30% greater risk of developing acne, while those who regularly ate pastries and cakes had a 20% greater risk (6Trusted Source).

What we can say is avoid refined foods. Refined carbs are easily absorbed into our bloodstream, which raises our insulin levels, causing androgen hormones to be more active and increase the sebum, or oil production in our skin.


Keeping your skin clean requires regular washing. Taking a shower allows hot water to constantly grace your skin, allowing your pores to open and release the oil trapped inside. A shower trumps a bath, so if you want a bath (maybe with some essential oils?), shower before or after.

In Japan they showers next to the baths so you can wash off before you get in. They do this because often a family would take turns with the bath, reusing the same bath water. When I was in Japan I would shower before and after, especially when you were the last person to use the bath.

-Hormonal imbalance

According to Medical News Today: “The rise in androgen levels can trigger a process of higher sebum production, changes in skin cell activity, inflammation, and colonization of the hair follicles by a bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). This can lead to acne.”

Why MSM cream works on acne

-MSM limits androgen hormones

-helps the skin become more permeable

Androgen stimulates the glands in our skin to produce more oil. Androgen can be increased by testosterone, in both females and males. Androgen levels bring about higher sebum production, which is the oil our glands produce. This causes unwanted inflammation, infection, and lower skin cell permeability.

Skin permeability is essentially how well your skin can breathe. When our pores are clogged, it’s akin to a sponge with all the holes, crooks, and crannies filled with glue. Water can’t enter and it can’t leave. Our skin needs to produce oil, but the oil also has to leave the body. Bacteria and other toxins are unable to leave, resulting in acne, cysts, white-heads, and black-heads.

Apply it as much as you’d like

MSM cream is safe can be applied as liberally as you’d like, of course you’ll want to apply only enough to gently coat your skin, you wouldn’t want to waste any.

Hemp seed helps too

People with acne problems tend to overwash, one of those solutions is keeping your skin moisturized. Hemp seed oil is deeply penetrating, which sounds scary, but it’s really good for your skin. Hemp seed oil is healthy and contains 0% THC or CBD, so you won’t feel high at all. Hemp seed oil has no affect on the brain, so it only affects the skin.

One of the biggest draws to hemp seed oil is it’s oil regulation properties. It balances out the amount of oil your skin produces.

What if I’m allergic to hemp seed oil?

Hemp seed oil is as safe as any essential oil you’ll find, but that doesn’t mean you shouln’t be precautious. If you’ve ever watched Naked and Afraid, trying something completely new can be scary, even hazardous. Some of the contestants would experiment with new food by keeping in their mouth for 15 minutes. You can do this with topicals too. Simply apply a small amount to your wrist or forearm and wait awhile.

MSM cream is a great tool to experiment with. Ours can be found in extra strength with hemp seed and essential oils, or without and fragrance free.

Extra strength MSM cream

Extra strength MSM cream jar

Extra strength MSM cream with hemp seed oil found here

This MSM cream is designed just for those suffering from acne. Extra strength MSM will work at double speed to keep your skin permeable while the hemp seed oil works to keep your skin moisturized. Extra strength also gives added relief to those using the product for it’s anti-inflammatory purposes, symptoms common in Arthritis, Gout, or Rosacea. To make things better it also has essential oils: Lavender, lemon, tea tree, eaucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary.

We also have regular strength MSM, no hemp seed oil.

Sometimes you just want the MSM, without the hemp seed oil, we get it. Links to our regular MSM cream here.

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We make goat milk soap in Washington State. Our farm goat farm also processes and sells dairy products to all of Washington State. Our goat milk farm is located north of Seattle, in Bellingham, WA.

Sources used in this article: