The quest for clear skin can seem like an ongoing battle. One week your skin can look great, the next for no discernible reason, it can seem like it’s the worst it’s ever been. Clear skin is about balancing a variety of habits and making sure you remain consistent over the long term.
Cause of acne generally:
- Excess sebum production
- Clogged cells in the hair follicles
- Excess of skin bacteria: staphylococcus and propionibacterium acnes
Hormonal acne is typically seen around the mouth, chin, lower cheeks and jawline. It can take the form of whiteheads, blackheads, small pimples that come to a head or large painful cysts.
- Hormonal acne is influenced by changes in the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone
- Changes in estrogen and progesterone during puberty/menstruation/menopause
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Increased androgens, specifically testosterone
- High cortisol levels
- Insulin imbalance
It can be exacerbated by:
- Hormone treatments including the pill
- Harsh, drying skin care treatments
People who suffer with acne can face a whole range of emotions: shame, disgust, anxiety and depression. It can have a huge effect on self-esteem and hold people back in life. This can cause a lot of stress, which in turn will make the acne worse. Addressing these emotional triggers need to be part of any treatment plan.
Treating acne takes time and commitment. But with a consistent routine, it can be helped naturally.
Nutrition – eating to balance your hormones will really help. Think about lots of cruciferous vegetables, dark green leafy veg, lean sources of protein and good fats. This will not only help balance your hormones, but will also help your liver and bowels to detoxify excess hormones efficiently.
Eliminate – inflammatory foods are not your friend. Specifically, you should look to be cutting out sugar, refined carbohydrates and dairy. Dairy is the one thing I really encourage acne sufferers to eliminate completely, due to the use of growth hormones and antibiotics in milk production. If you are going to have dairy, please use a good quality organic brand.
Supplement – if you have had a lot of antibiotics you will benefit from using a high grade probiotic to replenish the gut with good bacteria. Omega-3 fatty acids can help balance hormones and reduce inflammation and excess sebum.
Water – make sure you are drinking at least 2 litres of fresh filtered water every day. The kidneys filter the blood and it is essential they are working well to remove impurities from the system. They allow the liver to do its job properly, so don’t overlook this vital organ.
Products – have a look at the products you are using. Are they harsh or drying to the skin? Are they full of endocrine disrupting chemicals which could lead to hormone imbalance? Organic skincare, free from xenoestrogens, is essential for balanced hormones. I recommend Neal’s Yard Palmarosa range as a starting point.
Stress – daily stress leads to increased levels of cortisol, which can lead to low progesterone and estrogen dominance. Looking at ways to reduce the stress in your life will have a positive effect on your skin. A daily meditation or mindfulness practice, getting more sleep and eating for hormone balance will all help to reduce stress.
Homeopathy – addressing hormonal imbalance, emotions around acne, inflammation and excess oil is how I use remedies when treating acne. When appropriate I will also look at using Homeobotanicals to support the liver and kidneys.
If any of this resonates with you and you would like to discuss it in greater detail, please do book a free 30-minute discovery call.