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Saw Palmetto Acne Treatments: Can They Naturally Clear Up Your Skin?

If you want any chance of fighting acne for good, you must turn to a natural method of acne treatment. However, while natural acne remedies like saw palmetto acne treatments may have some benefits, they won’t get you anywhere if you don’t first start with a healthy diet.

The reason that a healthy diet is so foundational to effectively treating your acne is because no matter how many supplements you take, they won’t be able to combat the damage that an unhealthy diet does to your skin. In order to naturally clear up acne in your skin for good, you can use the basis of a healthy diet to ensure that your skin gets the vital nutrients it needs to strengthen and repair itself so that it can resist acne bacteria.

Natural Saw Palmetto Acne Remedies

When it comes to popular natural acne remedies, saw palmetto acne treatment is often recommended on natural health and beauty blogs.  But does it really work? Saw palmetto comes from a palm tree grown in some areas of the United States, and it is often used in the form of an oil extract for therapeutic health benefits. [1]

More specifically, saw palmetto suppresses DHT production in the body, which is a potent hormone produced by testosterone. This means that saw palmetto is often recommended to treat enlarged prostate in men, and it is also thought to be able to regulate excessive hair growth and abnormal blood pressure in women.

For the many people out there that believe that acne is purely hormone-based, they often recommend saw palmetto acne treatment as a means to regulate hormones and minimize breakouts in the skin. However, I must point out that there is absolutely no scientific backing to this theory. The truth is that acne is caused by a known chain of events, all starting with poor dietary habits and resulting in severeal different types of acne.

These poor dietary habits trigger digestive issues that cause toxic overload in the body, which will directly lead to an imbalance of hormones. This hormonal imbalance will create bacterial overgrowth on the skin that causes acne, as well as excess oil production that also causes acne, and it will even weaken the immune system to make it difficult for the skin to heal itself and resist acne.

From this example, it is clear to see how vital it is to attack acne at its source by first of all correcting your diet.

Yes, it may be possible for an option like a saw palmetto acne treatment to regulate some hormones and provide temporary relief to acne, but why would you trust in an acne treatment that does not have scientific proof? What does have scientific backing is the fact that eating a healthy diet will ensure optimal digestion to regulate all processes in your body, including an imbalance of hormones. This will guarantee that your acne is not caused by a hormonal imbalance in the first place, meaning that you may not need a saw palmetto acne supplement after all.

To give you a clearer picture, here is what several acne sufferers from the forums had to say about using saw palmetto to remedy acne:

I took saw palmetto for a long while as a substitution for spironolactone. I found that it wasn’t effective for my acne. Spironolactone worked for me within a week or two.

Saw Palmetto broke me out horribly!

I took beta-sitosterol which is the active ingredient in saw palmetto. My face was clear of oil but the sexual side effects were ridiculous. It definitely does what it is supposed to at least for me. I had no sex drive at all along with other weird stuff.

I took it for a little over a month, didn’t notice much with my skin but I did see a drop in my libido and I think I was experiencing some “shrinkage” if you know what I mean, that freaked me out so I quit, everything’s back to normal now though, phew! Try it, look for side effects, quit if you don’t see results, probably won’t kill you.

Perhaps the reason that so many acne sufferers are willing to jump on the saw palmetto acne treatment bandwagon is because we are all looking for a natural and gentle treatment to clear up our skin!

However, what I must emphasize to you is that making healthy changes in your diet to eliminate foods that contain processed chemical ingredients will help you to promote healthy digestion, flush your body of toxins, and keep all hormones in check. This is a completely natural and effective approach to regulating hormones that does not have any side effects, and you will also have the long-term benefit of improving your overall health as you clear up your skin.

Who’s going to argue with that?


  1. Saw Palmetto for Women.“ A Complete Guide to Nutritional Supplements. Web. 13 Jan. 2011. <>.

About the Author: Bethany Ramos is an aesthetician and makeup artist with a special interest in using nutrition to heal and alleviate a number of conditions in the skin. You can find out more skin care and makeup tips by visiting her blog at FacebyBethany.

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Great post bethany! I have been researching saw palmetto more lately and other herbs that help balance hormones and it does seem beneficial. I agree with you though that at the same time you can’t just be dependent on one herb to clear up all your acne without changing your diet or lifestyle at all.

Keep up the great work!

David Benjamin

I have been searching for an answer to my acne problem for years! When I was 15 I had cystic acne on my back. Got on Accutane for 2 months, it cleared up and has never come back. It also cleared the mild acne on my face, which came back with a vengeance at age 20. (Not to mention, I continued the birth control pills that I started taking with Accutane). At age 20, I got off the birth control pills and in about 6 months I was cursed with cystic acne all over my face. (I had never had anything more than mild acne on my face). I know it is because I got off birth control. I attempted every natural cure at the time. Acupuncture, A & B Vitamin programs, Zinc, Apple Cider Vinegar, Glycolic skincare and peels, Natures Ways Acne System, Proactive. Nothing helped, if not, made it worse. Dermatologist put me on every cream out there, along with antibiotics and still horrible cystic acne. After all of that, I was at the point where I didn’t care about the natural cure. I was eating super healthy and everything. I was put on Accutane for 6 months and cortisone injections all over my face. (extremely painful injections but they helped a little bit). I got off Accutane because of the side effects and about 6 months later I got back on it. ( I was starting to see pitted scarring on my cheeks). This time on Accutane, I held out for 9 months. Finally, even though my skin was not all the way clear, it had gone from severe to moderate cystic acne. I couldn’t take the thinning and dryness of my skin. I was loosing night vision and I was extremely depressed, dehydrated and having major joint pain. I swear I could feel my liver deteriorating. I was now 23. I was on and off of anti-inflammatory diets to control my acne. I had completely cut out dairy which seemed to help a little bit. At this point in time, I has mild to moderate (at times) acne. It was never clear. Because it was a lot clearer than before, I was starting to see all the scars. The scars are just a reminded of the absolute hell I went through with my skin. I lost a lot of friends, I feel like I missed out on my early 20′s because of how insecure I was. Now, I has an insecurity of the scars. Now that my skin was somewhat controlled (either because of the Accutane or my diet), I decided to get acne scar treatment. One TCA peel and three faxil laser treatments later the scars were a little bit better. I’m still left with the deeper pitted scars on my cheeks. At age 25, I had a new dermatologist who put me back on Accutane. The cystic acne was slowly coming back. I was on Accutane for about 3 months, when I had no choice but to get off of it. All the side effects were killing me. Not to mention, the acne has to get worse before it gets better each time you take that stuff. My joints felt like an 80 year old women. I couldn’t exercise or anything. My skin was so thin, I would get sunburn if I was in the sun for more than 30 sec. It was like the sun was evil. I carried an umbrella everywhere I went. I felt like a freak. I couldn’t get a manicure or a pedicure because my skin would start coming off. I am not exaggerating. At age 26, I went gluten free. With both dairy and gluten out of my diet I noticed a tremendous difference in my skin. I have never had another cyst on my face. Although, I still have mild acne. At age 27, even though I still break out I have never felt so good in my life. I never knew how bad I felt until I started to feel so good. I think I’ve always been depressed and that is completely gone. I feel spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically better. (I still have some joint issue and I blame the Accutane for that). I am now in the best physical shape and nutritionally I am clean as a whistle. My diet consist of mostly, protein, veggies and fruits and nuts. For the most part, I avoid anything processed. That includes grains and rice. I will do sweet or purple potatoes every now and then. I will do rice if I splurge. Unfortunately, I am still breaking out. Five months ago, my derm talked me into getting on Spironolactone paired with an antibiotic. For the first time that I can remember in my life, I had clear, beautiful skin! A few months went by and I developed eczema all over my face. (I’m assuming from the dryness from the Spiro). I also had no libido what so ever. I had never had eczema before and I now realize it is terrible and takes forever to go away. I got off both meds and the eczema is gone. After years of research online, I have started to read about Maca root powder for acne to balance hormones. My acne is obviously hormone related, as the only thing that has ever cleared it up was Sprio (androgen blocker). I have had my hormones checked and the panel came out completely normal which I don’t understand. Hence, I have been taking 1 tsp of Maca powder a day for two weeks now. I don’t see much difference in my skin so I am going to up the intake to 1 tbs and give it some time. Now, after doing more research and finding Saw Palmetto, I will incorporate that. I have read that it blocks the androgen hormone naturally. My only wish is to have clear skin naturally. This is a long story but my point in the end is that diet does indeed affect acne but does not clear it up if it’s hormonal. I am hoping nutrition in combo with hormone balancing will be the cure for me. We shall see….

Thank you for sharing your story Suzanne. You have certainly been through a lot! I truley feel the information on this website can help change your experience with natural cures, most namely what changes you need to make to your diet.


Hey Suzanne,
I understand your struggles with acne. I’ve been searching for something natural to help my skin also. I’m currently on Spironolactone and loving it so far. I wanted to let you know that through my research I’ve learned that having your hormones checked isn’t always an exact answer. Even though your hormone levels can be normal, your body might be sensitive to those normal levels. Hope what your trying really brings you the relief you’re looking for;)

I am a 25 year old female and have been struggling with cystic acne on my jaw line / chin for about a year and a half now. I tried all kinds of topical treatments with no results. Finally I went to my dermatologist who looked at me for five minutes and gave me a script for spironolactone. After talking to her I wasn’t crazy about being on spiro long term and decided to research if there were any natural alternatives to it. That’s when I came across saw palmetto. I bought the standardized GNC kind. 16 bucks for a two month supply. The results have been amazing I have been on it for two months. I am completed cleared up on my lower face. A few normal white heads here and there, but all the cysts are completely gone. I would encourage anyone struggling with hormonal acne to give it a try, it has been such a blessing to not have to worry about breaking out :)

I really need everyone’s advice I’ve had acne on my chest and back since the age of 15 went to a dermatologist was on heavy medication of isotrion etc it helped but it would always come back then when I got married at the age of 19 was detected with pcos .my acne was really bad then n the doctor put me on aldactone and Diane-35 was on it for a year then had Yasmin my acne was under control then now that it’s been 4 months since ive been of all the medication my skin has become bad . Have started taking vitex(chaste berry) which I believe is a great hormonal balancer it’s been 17 days since ive been on it but just don’t know what to do with my acne on my chest and back my face I get only one or two

These are not accurate takes of website. There are quite a few people who had success with saw palmetto. Also there are many people who can argue that diet changes make your skin better and acne go away. I am was/am vegetarian for the last 25 years eating gluten free, dairy free, sugar free food for the most of my life and guess what – I’ve had acne since 11 y.o and nothing ever helped except accutane. I do have clear face but it has nothing to do with my diet and your article is biased.

Hi Yu,

I highly suggest you inform yourself on the dangers of vegetarianism. Here is one link that will be of help:

Vegetarianism is an unhealthy way to eat, despite what many have said. There are unique nutrients found in animal products that cannot be obtained through eating vegetables. This would be a major reason why you’ve had acne since age 11, as well as other health issues.

Accutane helps many peoples acne, but it doesn’t come without consequences. The very best way to cure yourself of acne for good is through the correct dietary changes that provides your body with the nutrients all humans need in order to be healthy.


Hi, in respose to these posts I started taking saw palmetto and noticed results the first week. I am a 26 year old female and started breaking out severely on my chin last year. I went to my dermatologist who talked to me for five minutes, didn’t even look at my face, said it was hormonal and wrote me a script for spiro. I was uncomfortable taking spiro, prayed about it and came across these posts. I have been on saw palmetto for nine months. I have been really clear, thanks to everyone for the advice!

I mean I understand that you’re saying that there is no scientific proof that SP helps fight acne, but neither do those 4 random quotes you grabbed off of

That just proves that it may not work for everyone, or those people probably don’t have hormonal acne, or they had some kind of allergic reaction to it. Plus we don’t know whether those people were male or female, when SP is recommended mainly for males.

I had read way more successful stories about SP than bad ones, and there are actually plenty on

I am a 45 year old female who eats an extremely healthy diet; however, I continue to suffer from hormonal acne. I have tried many different prescriptions. Spiro has worked for the most part as it has minimized the breakouts but I still get some pimples.

Your article is generalizing the cause of acne to be of one thing – a poor diet but I don’t think I can eat any healthier than I already do. I eat a mostly organic vegatable and fruit diet, fresh wild fish, organic eggs, organic chicken and rarely have red meat. Don’t drink milk unless it is hormone-free and oganic, and eat a minimum of 9 fruits and veggies a day. I also avoid all forms of caffeine, processed food, and junk food. My sweet for the day consists of 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey in my plain yogurt. Though I believe a good diet is essential for optimal health, it has done nothing to combat my acne problems, so I disagree with this article in that aspect. Acne is not only affected by poor digestion and toxic overflow, it can by hereditary and hormonal as well. It can also be caused by certain products such as makeup, creams, etc.

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