These 5 Home Remedies Helped Cure My Uncontrollable Hormonal Acne
It begins with the oil-producing sebaceous glands beneath your skin pushing the sebum up the pores to protect the skin by creating an oily barrier. But then dirt and dead skin take advantage of the situation and clog your pores.
Yup, this is the story of the acne. And it gets worse due to a hormonal frenzy in the body which can lead to a drop in the female hormone called estrogen. The lack of this hormone encourages sebum production even more and thus trapping more dirt and giving you more acne.
But in this battle against zits, you are not alone. I happen to be a victim too. But luckily, I havent given up on a clear acne-free skinthanks to a few tried-and-tested home remedies that work like a charm.
Check them out:
1. Apple cider vinegarThe wonder liquid that can aid weight loss when consumed on an empty stomach. It can also get rid of acne, when diluted with water. Heres how you can go about it: mix 3 parts of water with one part of apple cider vinegar and apply it on the affected areas. Leave it on for about 20 seconds and then wash off with water.
The succinic acid in apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties while the lactic acid has amazing scar-lightening powers. Moreover, it can even soak up the excess oil and dry out the acne. What more do you want?
2. Green tea bagsInstead of throwing away those used green tea bags, rub them gently on your face.
How Do You Know If Acne Is Hormonal
There are several signs that your pimples are related to hormones. According to dermatologists, here are a few signs of hormonal acne:
While wed love to leave acne behind once we enter our 20s, the reality is acne flare-ups are possible at any time. Hormonal acne is the type thats most likely to attack in your 20-something years, since those are the years when people with vaginas tend to be most hormonally active. Your 20s is often the peak childbearing age, says Dr. Jegasothy. This makes people with vaginas more prone to the intense hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
But age alone wont determine whether or not youll break out. Genetics can dictate when hormonal breakouts start and stop. Throughout my professional career, Ive found that nearly half of women in their 20s experience acneand menopause can cause a resurgence of breakouts, Marina Peredo, M.D.6, cosmetic and medical board-certified dermatologist and associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, tells SELF.
This is because these excess hormones in your body stimulate the oil glandsmany of which are around your chin area, says Dr. Peredo. These excess oil glands make your skin a prime spot for these types of breakouts.
Lifestyle Changes And Natural Treatments
While small changes to your lifestyle and hygiene habits usually wont be enough to deal with severe acne outbreaks, making a few modifications to the way you take care of your skin can usually help to improve mild to moderate hormonal acne.
From a hygiene and skincare perspective, you can:
Avoid scratching, scraping or picking pimples. This can open pimples to the air and allow bacteria to enter into the pore, increasing your risk of dealing with an inflamed and infected acne lesion.
Wash your face no more than twice daily, unless you need to after excessive sweating. Excessive washing can irritate your facial skin and make acne outbreaks more severe. Try to limit your facial washing to twice a day, usually after youve been active and sweating.
Avoid harsh, chemical-laden face washes. Unfortunately, many over-the-counter facial washes are packed with chemicals that can irritate your skin. During an acne outbreak, its best to avoid exfoliating face washes and other harsh skincare products.
Limit your makeup usage. During an outbreak, its best to completely avoid using any makeup that isnt water-based. We know this is practically impossible, so just try to limit your makeup usage to occasions when you really need it.
From an environmental perspective, you can:
From a natural treatment perspective, you can:
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Adopt A Simpler And More Natural Skin Care Routine
When creating a skin care routine for hormonal acne, look for products that are:
- Non-comedogenic i.e. doesnt include ingredients that clog pores.
- As natural as possible. In particular, you want to avoid potential hormone disruptors or pro-inflammatory ingredients. This means watching out for ingredients like parabens, triclosan, phthalates, siloxanes, BHA and BHT.
Also, be careful not to over clean your skin. Even though oily skin and clogged pores can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria, over cleaning the skin especially with harsh ingredients can also destroy the healthy bacteria that naturally sits on the skin.
Overall, less is usually better.
As for how to get your hands on more natural products, you can go the DIY route or buy from companies that use natural ingredients. Ive put together this list of brands and products that you can use .
Lastly, consider using a nourishing face oil like jojoba as your daily moisturizer.
Now, you might think this would make your acne worse, butjojoba oil is the only oil that is closest to the natural sebum that our skin produces.
And research suggests that applying jojoba oil on the skin actually signals to your body that it doesnt need to produce more sebum .
In addition, jojoba oil is non-comedogenic so your pores can actually breathe!
Low Dose Birth Control Pills
These tablets and devices are low in Estrogen and, therefore, tend to increase the bodies Androgen levels as the Estrogen drop. Think of a teeter-totteras one goes down the other goes up.
As a general rule of thumb, those with the potential for higher androgenic symptoms should be avoided for people prone to acne because they promote breakouts. As an acne sufferer, it is critical to speak with your doctor about selecting a form of birth control that is higher in estrogen and lower in androgen potency.
SOLUTION: Take out the IUD or come off the low-dose birth control pill and switch to a safe tablet if you are on birth control for a said reason. Here at Natural Acne Clinic, we are not proponents of using birth control pills or devices to balance hormone levels or to clear acne. With that said, it is ok to be on certain types of birth control to prevent pregnancy and keep your skin clear.
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The Link Between Our Hormones And Acne
Before we get to the three best natural treatments for hormonal acne, lets first discuss how hormones trigger breakouts. Bear with me for a moment while we have a mini biology lesson!
Hormones have a major role in the development of acne. Although the exact mechanism behind their powerful influence is unknown, we do know that androgen hormones gum up the follicle by triggering oil production.
Androgens are the so-called male hormones and are present in males and females. The testes, ovaries and the adrenal glands all produce androgens. The most well-known androgens are testosterone and its breakdown product is dihydrotestosterone .
The 5 Natural Supplements To Stop Hormonal Acne
Last updated on by Alisa Vitti
Is there anything more cruel than adult acne? Youve suffered through the skin issues of adolescence only to discover that adulthood comes with its own host of blemishes. So unfair, right?
Trust me, Ive been there. Before I created and then lived, the FLO Living protocol, it took me an hour and a half just to leave the house. My face and back were covered in cystic hormonal acne that I had to cover with heavy makeup just to feel confident enough to carry on with my life. If that painful scenario sounds even remotely familiar, then youll really want to pay attention. Your skin shouldnt rule your life and hurt your self-esteem. By learning to heal your endocrine system naturally, you can regain control of your beautiful face and body and learn to love your skin again. I certainly did!
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What Gets Rid Of Hormonal Acne Fast
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to get rid of hormonal acne depends on the underlying cause. However, some simple lifestyle changes can help manage hormonal acne, including diet changes, supplements, stress management, and exercise. Also, pay attention to your skincare routine, as using the wrong products can make hormonal acne worse.
Hydrocolloid patches can also work overnight to help reduce and eliminate a zit that comes on unexpectedly.
Try An Oral Contraceptive To Balance Hormones
If you’re comfortable and if a gynecologist says you’re a good candidate, oral contraceptives can help balance out your hormones, including those that are responsible for acne. Zeichner says that the best prescription options for hormonal acne are birth control pills and Spironolactone . Birth control pills help regulate your hormones and decrease testosterone levels, which can mean fewer hormone-induced breakouts. Zeichner notes the four birth control pills currently approved for acne: Yaz, Beyaz, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, and EstroStep.
Another option is the aforementioned Spironolactone. Though not specifically designed to treat acne, it is often used for exactly that purpose because it prevents testosterone from stimulating the oil glands: “Less oil means less shine, fewer clogged pores, and less food to feed acne-causing bacteria,” Zeichner explains.
“Certain oral contraceptives have even been approved by the FDA to be used in the treatment of acne,” explains Fenton. “If you are already on birth control or thinking of going on it, make sure to ask your gynecologist for an oral contraceptive that will also help your acne.”
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Take A Look At Your Food
I knowthis is nobodys favorite topic. But if your meals currently consist of pizza and cookies and shredded cheddar cheese straight from the bag, all washed down with multiple glasses of wine, you should know youre not exactly helping your hormonal acne situation. The sugar found in sweets can actually spike acne-causing hormones, Dr. Zeichner has said. Think: a spike in insulin, which can cause a hormonal cascade that leads to inflammation and breakouts.
Same thing goes for dairy: Dairy has been shown to have an effect on testosterone levels, according to studies, which can trigger excess oil production that leads to hormonal acne. If you wanna see if your favorite foods are making hormonal acne worse, cut out all dairy and significantly reduce your alcohol, sugar, and refined carbohydrate intake for two full weeks to see if your skin seems at all calmer.
Here Are 8 Diet Tips To Help With Hormonal Acne:
1. MINIMIZE SUGAR & SIMPLE CARBS, and essentially all high-glycemic foods. These foods break down quickly in the body, triggering an insulin spike and raising blood sugar levels. They trigger hormonal fluctuations and inflammationboth of which encourage acne. Basically, AVOID: all processed sugary foods and juices, all refined wheat products , and LIMIT white rice and white potatoes.
2. EAT COMPLEX CARBS FILLED WITH FIBER. Every day, aim to have a serving of sweet root vegetables like sweet potato, yams, carrots, squash, and/or whole grains like quinoa and oats. I find that eliminating all carbs can worsen the problem, so aim for eating some HEALTHY carbs like these I mentioned . Note: if you have an autoimmune disease, gut issues, or sensitivity to grains, avoid the whole grains and opt for sweet root vegetables as your fiber-rich carbs.
3. EAT CLEAN PROTEIN with each meal to help maintain your blood sugar stable. Focus on lean protein, which can be both plant-based and animal protein, preferably organic/wild such as organic cage-free eggs, free-range chicken, wild fish and wild/organic seafood.
4. EAT HEALTHY FATS as they are essential to lower inflammation and lower androgens. EAT PLENTY OF: flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, wild salmon, sardines, and consider taking an Omega-3 supplement.
Love and Hormone Balancing Foods,
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Ayurvedic Therapies To Balance Hormones
Oil massage with essential oils helps to balance the doshas and clear out ama. Useful essential oils include turmeric oil, neem oil, jojoba oil, etc.
Shirodhara involves pouring medicated oil on the forehead. It helps relieve stress and hence reduce stress and cortisol levels. It also balances doshas.
Nasya involves pouring medicated oils like ghee down the nostrils. It is especially useful for relieving Pitta.
What Is Hormonal Acne Anyway
First, its important to understand the difference between hormonal acne and good old-fashioned pimples. Hormonal acne is intrinsically linked to your hormones, resulting in cyclical breakouts that usually coincide with a persons menstrual cycle, Joshua Zeichner, M.D.2, board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, tells SELF. It can also match up with other hormonal shifts in your life, meaning your menopausal acne or postpartum pimples could be hormonal.
One important thing to note: Hormonal acne is technically not a medical term, board-certified dermatologist Ife J. Rodney, M.D.3, founding director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics and professor of dermatology at Howard University and George Washington University, tells SELF. However, when a person tends to get very specific types of breakouts around the time of their period or when their body is experiencing vast hormonal shifts for other reasons , dermatologists generally describe it as hormonal acne.
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What Is Hormonal Acne
Acne is caused by a combination of factors includingbut certainly not limited toexcess sebum production, clogged pores, inflammation, and bacteria buildup on the skin. In some folks, however, hormones are the main culprit. As Joshua Zeichner, M.D., board-certified dermatologist in New York City, explains: “Hormonal acne refers to breakouts that occur in women around the time of their menstrual cycle, as the fluctuations in hormones stimulate oil glands, leading to acne flares.”
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?
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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.
Take Better Care Of Yourselfseriously
This always feels like the most frustrating piece of health advice, right? Oh, youre stressed? Just work harder at being less stressed! Just try squeezing in some meditation, yoga, exercise, therapy, baths, nature walks, sleep, etc.! How easy! No pressure! Just breathe! Yeah. F*ck that.
First, Ill say that yes, its all true: stress and lack of sleep can worsen hormonal acne. When youre freaking out, your stress-related hormones spike and send your oil glands into overdrive, Dr. Zeichner has said. These spikes then lead to inflammation, pimples, dryness, extra oiliness, and even rashes. Similarly, when you dont get enough sleep, your body is exposed to continuously high levels of cortisol, which can trigger breakouts, he added.
But what are you going to do about it, if youre dealing with final exams, or a global pandemic, or political turmoil, or personal traumas and stresses in your life? Youre going to do the best you can, whether that means going to a dermatologist , downloading a meditation app, or just being aware of your stress levels throughout the day. Hormonal acne is stressful enough without you feeling like its somehow your fault or in your control, okay?
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