Use Acne Supplements Wisely
The one thing that determines how well a supplement works is how much of it you actually absorb.
And that is totally dependent on the health of your gut and digestive system . If these two things are not in good shape, you may not absorb much of the good stuff that its a supplement. And it can look like the supplement isnt working.
So, before you go crazy with tons of supplements, make sure youre taking care of your gut and liver as outlined above.
Once these two things are taken care of, then you want to consider taking a good daily multivitamin/multimineral supplement. My two favorites are Beyond Tangy Tangerine and Pure Synergy Multivitamin .
In addition, other supplements that some women find helpful for acne are:
- Evening primrose oil.
Can Vitamins Help Hormonal Acne
Yes, vitamins can help hormonal acne by acting as antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and supporting healthy hormone balance. The best vitamins for acne are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and a B complex. You can find many of these nutrients in food, but taking supplements can ensure youâre getting enough.
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Hormonal Acne: Natural Remedies
Here are my top lifestyle tips and non-toxic product picks to help:
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A Holistic Esthetician + Health Coachs Guide To Acne
Although we recommend an integrative approach to all wellness and beauty goals, acne is definitely a condition that is best treated holistically. The skin is a direct reflection of whats going on inside the body. There are a few triggers that could be contributing to acne. Some of the top culprits are stress, diet, hormones, and product choices.
Sometimes its a hard to know the exact cause but a holistic approach generally covers most of these. Prescription acne medications may be a necessary temporary solution in some situations but generally will not address the underlying problem.
First, lets take a look at your skincare products. There are a lot of products out there and it can sometimes be a challenge to know where to start. Please just promise that you will not buy drug store brands. If these products are cheaper, theres a reason why. Typically, the ingredients are more harsh and not as healthy. It costs more to develop products with more research and better ingredients.
We carry a professional, clean skincare line at citron, Glo Skin Beauty, that we recommend for our guests. I will go through a basic acne skincare routine that can be done using Glo Skin Beauty skincare. Even better if you can make this a relaxing ritual- light a candle, use some aromatherapy and a soothing warm facecloth to remove your products.
Prioritize Self Care To Lower Stress
Its easy to underestimate the effects of emotional stress and a busy lifestyle on hormonal acne.
Yet, as weve seen in this article, our bodies react the same way to all stress.
So, making time for self care can be a fun and relaxing way for you to lower inflammation and support health skin.
Now, when it comes to self care, theres no one-size-fits all.
What is relaxing and stress-relieving for one person can be boring and stress-inducing for another.
So, you might have to do a little experimenting to see what works for you.
However, here are some general tips to consider:
- Physical activities like yoga, dancing or hiking.
- Diffusing essential oils.
For more ideas, read this post on starting a self care routine for hormone imbalance.
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How Stress Affects Hormonal Acne
No matter what type of stress were talking about, they all activate our stress response system aka HPA axis .
Theres a lot that the HPA axis does, but for the sake of simplicity, were going to focus on just one aspect: the adrenals.
When were stressed, the adrenals release anti-inflammatory hormones, such as cortisol.
As cortisol increases a bunch of other processes are triggered. These processes can end up contributing to acne. Below is a brief overview of how that can happen.
1. Excess oil production
During stressful times, the adrenal glands stimulate the sebaceous glands to make more sebum.
This means more oil on your skin. Long term, this can worsen clogged pores, and make each pimple larger and more painful .
2. Gut Dysfunction
Blood flow to the gut is reducedwhen theres a lot of stress.
Since blood carries nutrients, this means that chronic stress leads to chronically reduced blood flow to the gut.
And with less nutrients going to the gut, inflammatory conditions like leaky gut and gut dysbiosis develop.
This is majorly important for acne because some studies show that people who struggle with acne have less diverse gut bacteria than people who dont .
3. Hormonal imbalances
When were stressed, we need more glucose in the blood as a source of energy.
And interestingly, as cortisol increases, it prevents insulin from doing its job .
This increase in androgens triggers inflammation which leads to increased sebum production, clogged pores, added stress and so on.
The Holistic Approach To Acne
As someone who specializes in Hormone Health, it is not surprising that acne is often one of the many symptoms of hormone imbalance that my clients struggle to resolve. We sometimes forget that the skin is an organ of elimination as well as protection. When the other organs of elimination are taxed, excess toxins are excreted through the skin, and it shows! The skin can be viewed as a reflection of what is happening inside the body.
One of the most common skin inflammatory conditions is Simple or Common Acne. According to the National Institute of Health, an estimated 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks at some point, and some people in their forties and fifties still get acne. Unfortunately some of the side-effects associated with conventional medical treatments for acne inlcude drying and peeling of the skin from topicals, gut dysbiosis caused by antibiotics, and even headaches, nausea, vomiting and depression from oral medications.
Simple acne can be associated with both toxic accumulation and hormonal fluctuations, particularly during puberty and perimenopause/menopause. Stress excess iodine or high arachidonic acid levels as well as low levels of zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Essential Fatty Acids may also contribute to acne.
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How Does Hormonal Acne Affect Women
For women, hormone levels fluctuate throughout their monthly cycle. Estrogen is what some dermatologists call “the happy skin hormone” – it helps the complexion stay young, clear, and firm. Balanced levels of estrogen typically mean glowing skin! However, this pesky hormone peaks during the second week of a woman’s cycle, during ovulation, and dips just before their period begins. During this dip, a progesterone surge happens, which causes many women to experience breakouts. Women in perimenopause or past menopause may also experience hormonal acne symptoms since estrogen tends to diminish with age.
Why You Are Experiencing Adult Acne
Maybe you feel like your skin is going through its second puberty. Maybe this is your first go-round with acne. Either way, breakouts are no less distressing as an adult.
Hormonal acne symptoms tend to show up on hormone sensitive areas of the face the cheeks, jawline, chin, and neck and tend to be deeper rather than surface blemishes. Acne is one of the most common skin complaints in adults and grown up breakouts can be especially stubborn to deal with, since traditional acne products are often ineffective. Thats because what you are seeing on the outside is a result of whats going on inside. Bacteria is only playing a small part in hormonal acne, so you’ll need a new strategy to deal with it.
Our hormones fluctuate throughout our monthly cycle. Estrogen is at the helm of good looking, well behaved skin, and its responsible for keeping the complexion looking young, firm, and healthy. Since its the happy skin hormone, the complexion usually looks clear when estrogen is balanced.
Estrogen peaks during the second week of the cycle, during ovulation, then dips just before your period begins. During this dip and the progesterone surge that accompanies it is when most women see an uptick in breakouts that often last throughout their period. Women in perimenopause or those who are past menopause can also experience hormonal acne symptoms, since estrogen tends to diminish as we age.
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My Holistic Approach To Treating Hormonal Acne
This post has been a long time coming, months honestly, but it has been something Ive struggled with for the past few years. Up until I hit 30 I had pretty good skin. I rarely had breakouts, it was a little dry but overall, something I honestly didnt really think about. I did my normal skincare routine, wore sunscreen, slapped on some tinted moisturizer and called it a day. And then I hit 30. All of a sudden something changed. It wasnt just a random pimple every once in a while. It was constant breakouts, basically never a day went by when I didnt have something going on with my skin. I was able to deal with it for the most part until this past winter. My skin just went into a complete and utter tailspin. Breakouts like Id never had before. They were painful and frequent. There were times I honestly didnt even want to go out in public because of the way my skin looked, and that made me feel even worse. How could I let my skin dictate my self-worth? I felt ridiculous for allowing it to control me and how I felt about myself. It can be a very lonely experience. I felt very self conscious and embarrassed. And then, I decided to start posting about it. I couldnt believe how many of you sent messages saying you were dealing with the same thing. It not only made me feel a bit better about my situation but it forced me to do something about it. So I did some research.
Discover How You Can Get Clear Of Your Acne Schedule A Free 15 Minute Clear Skin Discovery Session
This is all important because research has shown there are androgen receptors in the base of the oil gland and also in the cells that line the pores! If there are high levels of testosterone floating in the body, they are highly capable of binding to these receptors.
To put it simply, when these hormones attach to the oil glands in the skin, they trigger the gland to produce more oil as well as feed the bacteria. Then, an inflamed acne lesion is well on its way to the surface of your skin.
The key takeaway is that by lowering androgen and testosterone levels in the body, the skin will not produce as much acne or not produce ANY at all.
So how does Estrogen play into all this?
Estrogen and testosterone frequently act like a teeter totter. As one goes up the other goes down.
Hormonal acne is an elevated androgen/testosterone and low estrogen issue. It is not an elevated estrogen problem. Therefore, taking herbal supplements that block estrogen, such as DIM, will make your acne worse and increase testosterone causing cystic breakouts. I do not recommend DIM for hormonal acne for these reasons.
So it makes sense that if you lower androgen levels, the skin will not produce as much oiland your acne will improve!
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Work On Stress Management
Stress often cannot be avoided, but adapting to stress more appropriately is crucial. Taking a moment to have 3 deep breaths at times of stress can drastically shift your mind out of the fight or flight mode and thus help to lower cortisol. Other great ways to decrease stress are going for a walk, practicing yoga, and reading.
Why Treat Hormonal Acne Holistically
While common solutions like topical products and prescriptions for birth control, spironolactone, and Accutane may mask the aesthetic symptoms of hormonal imbalance , they dont do anything to address the root cause of hormonal imbalance. Underneath it all, your hormones are still wreaking havocand by suppressing their cries for help, you could be missing important cues about your health.
Thats probably why the above solutions dont work. At least, not long-term. One study of Accutane notes that complete remission could not be obtained in patients whose acne was determined to be hormonal. Those who opt for birth control or spironolactone typically see a resurgence of skin issues the second they stop poppin the pills.
The Pill is not supporting your hormones, the Pill is shutting them off, explains Alisa Vitti, a functional nutritionist, hormone expert, and author of WomanCode. Its not making them better, its shutting off the brain-ovary conversation.
As soon that concept clicked for methat my hormonal acne was part of a larger conversation my brain was having with my body, a symptom of something deeper than skin-deepI knew I needed to stop silencing my hormones and start listening to them.
When we consider acne is a symptom of an underlying imbalance like poor detoxification, dietary and lifestyle habits, and hormone imbalance, then we need to examine our environment in answering the question of why acne seems more prevalent, Dr. Brighten agrees.
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How Long Does It Take To Treat Hormonal Acne
While you may notice changes within one cycle, its important to give yourself 8 to 12 weeks to really begin to see the benefits if you dont see them immediately. It takes a minute to resolve inflammation, balance blood sugar, and reset hormone balance. But as your hormone balance improves, so will your skin.
E Other Medication For Hormonal Acne Treatment
1. Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl Peroxide is an over-the-counter acne medication that helps clear your blocked pores. It also has an antibacterial function that regulates the growth of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria and prevents further acne breakouts.
Isotretinoin is often prescribed to treat severe inflamed hormonal acne. It regulates the level of sebum production by the sebaceous glands and thereby reduces acne formations.
3. Topical Anti-Androgen Cream
Recent addition to hormonal acne treatment is the topical anti-androgen cream also called Clascoterone . It inhibits the aggravation of androgenic hormones that play a major part in the formation of hormonal acne.
4. Hormonal Therapy
Hormonal acne in women is also treated with the administration of oral contraceptives. These pills regulate the circulation of androgen hormones that cause over-secretion of sebum which leads to acne.
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What Is Hormonal Acne
Hormonal acne can be rooted in an issue of excess testosterone, estrogen, or environmental chemicals that mimic our hormones, says Dr. Jolene Brighten, a Functional Medicine Naturopathic Physician and author ofBeyond The Pill. It can also be caused by poor gut health that leads to inefficient elimination of metabolic waste and hormones.
Some of the signs dermatologists look for in hormonal acne are acne that has a prevalence for the chin or jaw area and acne that worsens around menstrual cycles, adds Sabrina Uddin, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Chicago. For some, PMS pimples may only be present at certain points throughout the menstrual cycle, as progesterone and estrogen levels fluctuate for others, hormonal acne is constant. In most instances, the symptoms can be traced back to increased testosterone or cortisol productionboth trigger the skins sebaceous glands to churn out extra oil.
Dont Let Your Acne Go To Waste
The healing truly begins when you switch the relationship with your skin from one of attack, shame, and battle to one of gratitude, acceptance and love. I challenge you to write a love letter to your skin tonight.
Thank her for the message. For warning you that theres something going on in there. For not giving up on you. For helping you to love yourself above all else.
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How To Heal Hormonal Acne
I hear from a lot of women. From emails to social media, I constantly have women asking me about certain foods, supplements and beauty products that I approve of. I love hearing from all of you as you clearly trust my opinion and I am grateful to always help guide you in the right, healthy direction.
Something I am asked about constantly is acne.
I hear from a lot women who are suffering with hormonal acne or PMS acne and have just had enough of it! I hear and feel your pain! Theres nothing worse than waking up in the morning feel refreshed and ready to start your day to only have a massive zit on your face thats bright red. Or even worse, multiple zits that are popping up around your chin and jawline or even your forehead.
Yup it sucks and its hormonal.
Of course there could be multiple reasons for a breakout, from indulging in too much sugar, to using a product you reacted to, or to lack of hydration but if youve been dealing with monthly breakouts, theres a very good chance your hormones are a little out of balance and are wreaking havoc on your skin.
For me, I tend to breakout just before my period, which is common for many women. If Ive been eating well, taking my supplements and staying hydrated Im not typically affected by pre-period breakouts, but thats not always the case. After ovulation, estrogen drops and progesterone rises. The drop in estrogen is what leads to PMS acne.
So whats a girl to do?
I want to HEAR FROM YOU!
IN NEED OF SOME HORMONAL HELP?