How to heal hormonal acne naturally

Getting acne when you’re well past puberty can be one of the most frustrating things and can really affect your confidence and the way you feel about yourself – but it doesn’t have to be like this! There are things that you can do to start taking back control of your skin and your confidence. In the past, your options were usually limited to going on the contraceptive pill or taking antibiotics. But with the knowledge, we now have available there are more and more natural alternatives that are gaining traction in the fight against hormonal acne.

hormonal acne thyroid hormone

What is hormonal acne

Typically, acne that appears on the jawline, around your mouth and generally on the bottom half of your face only is considered hormonal acne. It is common for this type of acne to occur in time with your cycle, either prior to or during menstruation and/or during ovulation. This type of acne is usually cystic in nature, meaning that it can be further below the skin and can be sore to touch (or even when not being touched!). If you have gone off the contraceptive pill and are noticing breakouts in this region it’s more than likely it’s hormonal acne as your hormones begin to rebalance themselves.

hormonal acne jawline

What causes hormonal acne?

Hormonal acne is caused by an imbalance in hormones, as females, we produce the hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. If these hormones are not balanced correctly within the body this can lead to excess oil production from the sebaceous glands. Which in turn attracts Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes bacteria for short, which is the type of bacteria that causes acne. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there, if your hormones are not balanced then dead skin cells can become stickier than normal. So instead of shedding normally they can accumulate and clog up the hair follicle. Combine these factors and you’ve got inflammation in the skin which shows up as pimples.

hormonal acne chin

How to cure hormonal acne

1. Increase your vitamin and mineral intake through your diet

Eating a nutritious diet packed full of plants gives your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its best. Including probiotics in your diet in the form of fermented foods such as kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut and tempeh can increase the ability of your digestive system to take out the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs from your food. Probiotics are essential for having good gut health. Which contributes to a good immune system and helps to fight the infections the p. acnes bacteria cause.

When your digestion isn’t working at its best, it puts additional pressure on the liver. This means it has less time to process the excess hormones and toxins that can lead to acne as one-way toxins are removed from the body is through the skin.

hormonal acne kombucha

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2. Reduce stress

When your body is stressed it releases the hormone cortisol which can lead to a hormonal imbalance. Taking time out of your day to attend a yoga class or go for a walk in nature is a great tool for reducing stress. Another tool is meditation which when practised regularly, can give you the ability to be able to take a pause in times of stress. Pausing so you can put things in perspective and react the way you want to and not in a way that leads to more stress is an invaluable skill.

3. Get enough rest

Ensuring you get 7-9 hours’ sleep is essential for your general wellbeing as well as for curing hormonal acne. Not getting enough rest can lead to your body producing the stress hormones outlined above which can aggravate acne by causing inflammation.

4. Support your liver

Because your liver is the organ that processes any extra hormones before they are able to be excreted from the body, it’s good to give your liver as much help as you can. In addition to reducing your intake of alcohol, caffeine, sugar and processed foods, all of which keep your liver far too busy! Supporting your body with a powdered detox drink or supplement (both of which can be purchased from your local health store) is a great way to help your liver help you.  We’re also a big fan of Dr Libby who is well known for her work on the importance of the liver, so if this interests you check out her liver support formulation.

5. Up your intake of good fats

Increasing your intake of good fats in particular omega 3 has been found to reduce inflammation so including omega 3 rich foods in your diet can help to cure hormonal acne. Foods that are rich in Omega 3 include oily fish, nuts and seeds. It’s also possible to take an Omega 3 supplement, while fish oil is one option it’s important to choose one that is good quality and has had its mercury content checked. Another option is Evening primrose oil which doesn’t carry the risk of mercury and assists in balancing hormones so is the go-to supplement for hormonal acne.

hormonal acne omega 3

The role skin care plays in curing hormonal acne

You might be surprised to hear that your skin care routine doesn’t actually play too much of a role in curing hormonal acne (as this type of acne is caused by imbalances within your body). BUT it can play a role in stopping it from clearing up.

Harsh cleansers that strip the skin of its natural oil can cause the skin to produce more oil which in turn can aggravate it and cause more sebum (oil) production. Using a gentle cleanser that doesn’t aggravate your skin and cleansing morning and evening removes dirt and impurities that can clog pores and trigger pimples. If your acne is quite bad you may be tempted to cleanse more often but this can aggravate the situation as it can lead to over drying which can cause irritation. So cleansing twice a day is perfect and follow this with a moisturiser that contains acne-fighting ingredients and protects your skin from pollutants within the air which can also trigger pimples.

To check out our range of Certified organic skin care products developed to provide your skin with optimum nutrition for healthy and clear skin, head to our online store – if you have oily skin the Manuka and Grapeseed moisturiser is a perfect match. Or to learn more about how your diet can affect your skin have a read of  Foods to avoid if you’re struggling with acne or oily skin.

If you’re enjoying learning about the science behind hormonal acne head to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and American Academy of Dermatology which are the sources of this article.

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