Which Hormones Are To Blame
Even though each hormone plays a specific role in the body, there are a few key hormones to keep your eye on as they can influence many different lifestyle factors. Here is a brief overview of each.
- Cortisol: the stress hormone that may cause insomnia, anxiety, and increased heart rate.
- Thyroid hormones: can affect our metabolism, and can be an underlying cause of irregular periods, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and hair loss.
- Estrogen: a female sex hormone responsible for female physical features and reproduction.
- Progesterone: another female sex hormone vital for a healthy pregnancy.
- Testosterone: the primary male sex hormone that influences sex drive, bone health, acne, and body hair.
- Insulin: controls the sugar level in your body.
- Leptin: helps to regulate body weight.
- Ghrelin: the hunger hormone that signals the brain to eat.
- Melatonin: a hormone that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
What Medicines Treat Hormonal Acne
Medicines for treating hormonal acne include the birth control pill and spironolactone. Birth control works by suppressing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone hormone production, while spironolactone blocks androgen, the hormone that contributes to hormonal acne. While these medications work for some people, they often come with side effects or could worsen acne, especially once you stop taking them. You can learn more about acne after birth control here.
Stress Impacts Our Hormone Balance
Stress can increase blood sugar, so your body releases insulin and bumps up androgen production. To help manage stress, consider adding relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
You can also try taking adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha or holy basil, which could help your body better deal with stress. We combine adaptogenic herbs, along with other nutrients to support a healthy stress response in our Adrenal Support and Adrenal Calm supplements.
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Top Diet Tips To Control Acne
Everyone’s body is different and a person sticking to one diet may help clear up their acne while the same diet may not work for someone else. Lee suggests maintaining a low-glycemic dietincluding lots of fresh vegetables as well as some fresh fruits, beans, and steel-cut oatsto help minimize pimples. And no matter what, make sure you’re cleansing your skin morning and night, and incorporating benzoyl peroxide, an effective antimicrobial agent that helps with hormonal acne as well as inflammatory acne, into your skincare routine.
Swap Carbs For Healthy Fats
Foods that balance hormones include a variety of fat-containing foods that provide short-, medium- and long-chain fatty acids. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol.
Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
Healthy fats have the opposite effect of refined carbohydrates, which lead to inflammation and can mess with the balance of your hormones.
My four favorite sources of anti-inflammatory, healthy fats include coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild-caught salmon.
- Coconut oil uses are plentiful. For example, coconut oil has natural antibacterial and fat-burning effects.
- Avocado benefits include improving heart health, lowering inflammation, controlling your appetite, and contributing to your daily intake of fiber and nutrients, such as potassium.
- Salmon nutrition is also impressive. Its one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower inflammation and help with cognitive functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are a large component of brain-cell membranes and are important for cell-to-cell communication in the brain. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help protect against hippocampal neuronal loss and reduce pro-inflammatory responses.
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Insulin And Insulin Growth Factor 1
Insulin stimulates the growth and maturation of sebaceous glands. This action is mediated through upregulation of GH receptors on the sebocytes by insulin. Moreover, insulin inhibits SHBG production from the liver and further plays a positive feedback effect on adrenal and ovarian androgenesis. The controversial link between diet and acne can be explained by the fact that highly glycemic index foods result in insulin release and in turn excess androgen and sebum production.
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High Glycemic Index Foods
The glycemic index is a scale that ranks carbohydrates based on how fast they raise your blood sugar . High GI foods spike glucose quickly, while lower scores mean the food is digested slowly and generally healthier for your metabolism.
- White and whole wheat bread
- Sweetened cereals and bars
Since chocolate is usually categorized as a sweet treat, it seems appropriate to address the big question does chocolate cause acne? It likely depends on the type.
Pure, unsweetened cocoa is not a high GI food. While one small study did find a significant increase in acne after participants were given unsweetened cocoa, other studies specifically found an association between milk chocolate and acne.
Milk chocolate is sweet and contains dairy , so it may be more about the added ingredients.
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How Do I Treat Hormonal Acne
Based on the severity of your acne, different treatment options are available to reduce sebum production, pimple formation and painful inflammation:
- Blackheads and whiteheads: Topical cream .
- Inflammatory acne: Topical retinoid and/or topical antibiotic and/or benzoyl peroxide.
- Moderate to severe acne: Antibiotic and/or isotretinoin .
- Cystic acne: Steroid injection .
Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% Bha Pore Cleaning Toner
Free of alcohol and other skin-stripping ingredients that irritate sensitive, acne-prone skin types, the Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner uses clarifying salicylic acid to remove all traces of impurities and oil from the pores to treat and prevent breakouts from forming. This top-rated toner also brightens and smooths your skin using an antioxidant-rich and nourishing blend of purifying moringa and soothing chlorella.
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What Is The Best Cleanser For Chin Pimples
If you struggle with breakouts on the chin, start using a mild, oil-free cleanser with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is the best acne-treatment medicates to include in cleansers as it is oil-solublemeaning it can penetrate the pore while washing and remove excess sebum without overdrying the skin. People with dry or normal skin types should look for active cleansers with 2% salicylic acid, while a cleanser with 0.5% salicylic acid will be optimal for people with dry or sensitive skin.
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Foods And Beverages To Avoid
Dairy products, refined foods, and high-sugar foods and beverages should be avoided:
- Milk and dairy products: milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
- Highly processed foods: fast food, frozen meals, meal bars, sugary cereals, chips, microwave meals, white bread, etc.
- Sweets and sugary beverages: candy, cake, soda, cookies, table sugar, energy drinks, sweetened sports drinks, juice, etc.
The best diet for acne revolves around whole, nutritious foods that fight inflammation. Avoid highly processed foods, sugary items, and dairy.
Research indicates that supplementing your diet with certain vitamins, minerals, and other compounds may ease acne.
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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.
About Dr Roohi Jeelani
Dr Roohi Jeelani is Director of Research and Education at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Dr Jeelani earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. She then completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, where she was awarded a Womens Reproductive Health NIH K12 Research Grant. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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Does Diet Cause Acne On The Chin
Another major cause of acne on the chin is the food you eat, impacting your skin from the inside and out!
- Oily Foods: Consumption of salty, greasy foods such as chips and french fries can leave oil residues around your mouth to clog skin pores and cause pimples.
- Dairy & High GI Foods: As with all other acne types, there appears to be a correlation between certain foodsâ consumption and breakouts on the chin, mouth, and jawline. The worst culprits? Dairy and high-glycemic foods such as sugar and refined carbohydrates. Eating large amounts of these goods has been shown to trigger and worsen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, avoiding foods with high GI is one of the best ways to prevent acne.
To learn more, check out this blog, the best diet for people with acne.
What Are The Best Natural Oral Treatments For Hormonal Acne According To Dermatologists
Low levels of critical nutrients can affect your body’s production of hormones and make your cells more sensitive to androgens. By putting good things into your body, you’ll get the good stuff out of it – AKA healthier skin and a glowing complexion. Your body cannot produce essential minerals on its own, so you must be getting enough of these key nutrients in your food or oral supplements.
Though there are several different treatments available to combat this condition, treating adult acne calls for a different approach and a customized management plan versus adolescent acne. Harsh acne treatments designed for other forms of breakouts are not what you should be reaching for. Instead, dermatologists suggest a more holistic approach to healing hormonal acne. Many natural ingredients can help clear blemishes, visibility, reduce signs of inflammation and redness, and reduce excess oil production.
DIM supplements – the best natural treatment for hormonal acne
Vitamin B5 – the most important vitamin for people with acne
Vitamin B5 can enhance skin healing and help reduce stress. B5 has also been shown to help moisturize the skin and enhance its natural barrier function.
Antioxidant vitamins: Vitamins A and E
Vitamin E is also often used as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. The fat-soluble properties of vitamin E allow quick absorption into the skin, leading to faster healing times. It also helps promote collagen production to keep the skin plump and moisturized.
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Best Vitamins And Minerals For Hormonal Acne
A. Vitamin A
Topical medication containing Vitamin A is frequently used for the treatment of acne. Consuming Vitamin A improves the condition of your skin and is also beneficial in reducing inflammation caused by hormonal acne.
B. Vitamin B6
Studies have shown the positive effects of Vitamin B6 in regulating estrogen and testosterone levels in your body. Furthermore, including Vitamin B6 in your diet can help reduce the harmful effects of the DHT hormone that causes hormonal acne.
C. Vitamin B3
Niacin or Vitamin B3 is a great stress relieving hormone. If stress is causing you to develop hormonal acne then including Vitamin B3 in your diet can be beneficial. Vitamin B3 is also known for regulating excess sebum production and improving blood circulation which can prevent further development of hormonal acne.
D. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant that strengthens the epidermal barrier and improves your overall skin condition. It is also known for balancing progesterone levels.
Magnesium is a good balancer of both estrogen and testosterone levels. This is why magnesium supplements are often included in hormonal acne diets.
A deficiency in zinc can put your testosterone hormone levels in turmoil. It is also known for reducing inflammations and regulating oil secretion. Further it assists in healing hormonal acne by preventing the growth of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria.
G. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The Last Word
The Best Skincare Products For Hormonal Acne
One of the best acne treatments is the Intensive Clarity Treatment 0.5% Pure Retinol Night. This product contains a variety of acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid, retinol and niacinamide. Retinol is one of the most effective treatments in calming acne as it stimulates cell turnover and is anti-inflammatory. This means it minimises the appearance of acne and prevents further hormonal breakouts. Intensive Clarity is also an effective cystic acne treatment as niacinamide soothes inflammation and reduces oil production. Niacinamide is gentle and effective, meaning that this treatment wonÃ¢t irritate sensitive cystic acne. Niacinamide also reduces water loss, keeping your skin hydrated which is essential in preventing excess oil production, and calms sensitive acne.
The Acne Gelfrom skincare pioneers PCA Skin is another great skin clarifying product. This gentle, fast-acting gel uses 2% salicylic acid to clear existing breakouts and blemishes. Excess oil production is reduced, as well as unwanted discolouration. As well as this, it also helps to prevent future breakouts. Furthermore, the product utilises a unique OmniSome delivery system to allow for deeper penetration of its key ingredients.
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Dont Underestimate Natures Healing Power
As you can see, I am very passionate about the topic of hormonal acne because it is often not discussed by mainstream skincare professionals when treating blemished skin.
Although there are wonderful topical products on the market , addressing hormones is a huge component for achieving lifelong clear skin. Not only have I successfully done this for myself, thousands of NAC clients have as well, and so can you. Let us show you how!
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Consider Seed Cycling For Acne
Seed cycling is a food-based approach to hormone balance that is synchronized with your menstrual cycle.
With seed cycling you eat a specific set of seeds during each phase of your cycle. It looks like this:
- Follicular phase: flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds.
- Luteal phase: sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
Each set of seeds provides nutrients that support how our hormones naturally fluctuate throughout the month.
Now, even though theres not a lot of scientific research around seed cycling, its a method that is often taught to naturopathic doctors.
And there is anecdotal evidence from women on social media and other blogs who have successfully used seed cycling to improve their hormones and skin.
If you need help with this protocol, then be sure to read this beginners guide to seed cycling for hormone balance. Its got all the details you need to get started.
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Steps To Eliminate Hormonal Acne Naturally At Home
In this section, were going to look at how to use your diet, lifestyle and skin care routine to start clearing up your skin quickly.
If your acne is really severe, its best to follow all of these steps.
However, you can start with whichever ones make the most sense for you and add on others as time goes by.
Foods And Beverages To Enjoy
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, kale, peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, beets, etc.
- Fruit: berries, grapefruit, oranges, apples, cherries, bananas, pears, grapes, peaches, etc.
- Whole grains and starchy vegetables: Sweet potato, quinoa, butternut squash, farro, brown rice, oats, buckwheat, etc.
- Healthy fats: whole eggs, olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, coconut oil, etc.
- Plant-based dairy alternatives: cashew milk, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut yogurt, etc.
- High-quality protein: salmon, tofu, chicken, turkey, eggs, shellfish, etc.
- Legumes: chickpeas, black beans, lentils, kidney beans, etc.
- Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices:turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, parsley, garlic, ginger, cayenne, etc.
- Unsweetened beverages: water, sparkling water, green tea, hibiscus tea, lemon water, etc.
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Follow A Low Glycemic Diet
A 2021 research review reported that folks with acne tend to have high blood sugar levels and that eating sugar on the reg tends to be associated with higher rates of acne.
The possible solution? A low glycemic index diet .
An LGID involves eating foods that are low on the glycemic index . This means they slooowly break down into sugar in your bloodstream, helping to keep your blood sugar stable.
High GI foods like sugar, white bread, and cookies increase your blood sugar. Long story short, high blood sugar leads to high insulin, which can also boost other hormones. And when hormones get out of whack, well say hello to hormonal acne!
A small 2007 study supports the idea that following an LGID helps with acne. In a 12-week study of 43 dudes with acne, those who followed an LGID ended up lowering both their zit count and their body weight more than those who ate high GI foods.