Whelp, here we are again to unfold the ever tangled mysteries of female hormonal acne! But before we delve into the nitty gritty….
What is Female Hormonal Acne?
Well, for one thing, ALL acne stems from imbalanced hormones so if you’re getting acne, it means that your hormones aren’t quite doing what they’re supposed to.
Acne isn’t as normal as we think. It definitely happens for a reason because hey, hormones don’t just fool around, there has to be a REASON they’re out of whack. Something is behind it all, lurking in the shadows and causing you to get breakouts.
So what’s influencing these hormones to go haywire? Unfortunately, there are MANY different things that can mess up your hormones and cause them to become imbalanced.
It seems like almost all hormonal imbalances end up causing some form of acne and it’s all very difficult to unravel. The best way to find out what your specific imbalances are is to get your hormones tested via a saliva hormone test. This way, you have a clear idea of what needs to be re-balanced which is much easier than guessing.
Alright, so back to what hormonal acne is. Basically it’s known to be the most common form of acne in adult women and most often appears around the mouth, jawline, and chin. It is typically cystic and quit painful to touch and gets worse before and during ovulation and menstruation. This type of acne often goes hand in hand with terrible PMS symptoms and irregular periods.
What Causes Female Hormonal Acne?
Female hormonal acne is caused by estrogen dominance. This creates an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone due to frequent contact with environmental or dietary xeno/phyto estrogens like plastic and soy products. This is most often where the imbalance begins.
Other factors that can disrupt hormones include:
- Eating a diet high in processed foods
- Consuming too much sugar
- Taking the pill/using other forms of oral contraception (this can also include shots, implants, rings, IUD, and the morning after pill)
- Chronic stress
- Poor sleep
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Not eating enough calories
- Substance abuse
- Using toxic beauty care products that inhibit hormone communication
- An overburdened liver
- Thyroid problems
- Insulin resistance
- And many more!
Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? I wasn’t kidding when I said hormones can be complicated!
However, there are 3 things that I have found to be effective in straightening things out and getting you the clear skin you’ve always wanted.
How to Clear Female Hormonal Acne
First and Foremost you need to….
Clean Up Your Diet and Lifestyle!
One of the easiest things to start doing is eating healthier. If you eat a ton of processed junk, begin by swapping those things out with healthy alternatives. You can never go wrong with a whole foods diet, especially a whole foods plant based diet. these foods are full of bio-available nutrients your body need to rebuild itself from the inside out. Just taking a multi-vitamin won’t cut it either. You need to be eating REAL food every single day. No more processed junk! Also, find out what your food allergies are and avoid them.
Getting quality Sleep, lowering stress, and getting outside in the sun are great things to change too! This will get your body moving and flowing allowing for better detox, an uplifted mood, and overall more restful sleep. These are all key ingredients to improving hormone levels.
Don’t forget to change to all natural skincare while you’re at it. Believe me, this one helps a lot. You may not even realize how many chemicals you’re putting on your body that affect your hormones. I HIGHLY recommend that you check out the EWG website where you can search your beauty products and see what they contain. I guarantee they’re FULL of toxins that are only making your skin worse. Start by cutting out these products one by one until you’re using safe natural alternatives. This will help balance hormones and give your liver a much needed break.
Once you have taken action to improve your diet and lifestyle you can work on the 3 steps below to get rid of your hormonal acne for good. For those of you out there who get stressed and anxious about the breakouts that just won’t go away no matter how clean your diet is, this is for you. It’s the same protocol that I’m using for my lingering acne…and guess what? It’s working!
Start taking DIM and Vitex
Diindolymethane, or DIM, is a great supplement that aids the liver in dealing with bad/excess estrogens. It will help you detox the bad estrogens to make room for the good estrogen. I like this DIM supplement.
Vitex is an herbal supplement that helps regulate hormone production. It has an affinity for the pituitary gland, helping it get progesterone and estrogen levels back in balance. I recommend this vitex.
For both of these supplements, follow the instructions on the label for best results.
You can also start eating one raw carrot a day to help eliminate excess estrogen in your body. It contains a special fiber that attaches itself to excess estrogen where it is then harmlessly eliminated from the body through your stool. it’s a super non-invasive way to help balance estrogen dominance. You can read more about this here.
Another non-invasive method for hormone balance I want to mention is Seed Cycling. This is where you eat two different seeds for each phase of your cycle in order to encourage balance. It’s worked wonders for tons of women and is a safe method to try out. You can read how to do seed cycling here.
Detox and Support your Liver
Excess/dominant estrogen and the liver are closely linked because your liver is responsible for detoxing hormones. A normally functioning liver will have no problem sorting out the overabundance of estrogen under normal circumstances, but since people with hormonal acne don’t have balanced hormones, the liver becomes overwhelmed and the excess estrogen gets recirculated through the body. This inevitably results in acne.
In order to reverse these effects, you must detox the liver to make its job easier. One method to doing this is liver flush. While a little drastic for some people with delicate constitutions, it has worked well for many people. You will notice a huge difference once your liver is better able to detox and sift through the excess estrogens.
Milk Thistle is a fantastic herb that supports and protects the liver from synthetic chemicals by strengthening liver cells and its ability to detox. It’s also a gentle herbs which makes it suitable for those worried about detox symptoms. I definitely recommend taking it! Some people have seen dramatic results just by taking 2 capsules of milk thistle per day. I recommend this milk thistle supplement.
Burdock root is an herb that will purify the blood, detox the liver, and balances blood sugar (another factor DEEPLY involved in getting clear skin). It’s also incredibly nourishing for hair, skin, and nails too so what’s not to love? I recommend this burdock supplement.
You can also eat more of certain foods to help support a healthy liver. These include:
- Organic green tea
- Dark leafy greens
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Lemons and limes
Reduce Your Stress!
This is probably the hardest step for most of us, and sadly so. However, it is imperative to reduce stress if you want clear skin.
When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol (aka the stress hormone) which inhibits the natural processes in the body. Stress particularly affects the endocrine system which is why hormone levels become imbalanced. This is how chronic stress almost always shows itself in the form of acne.
Some examples of stress include:
- Being too obsessed with diet (also called Orthorexia Nervosa)
- Not eating well/ being over restrictive
- Not getting enough sleep
- Not getting enough exercise
- Worrying too much
- Letting emotions get the better of you
- Low self esteem
- Chronic fatigue
- Hair loss
- Anxiety or depression
- Unstable mood swings
- Over-all poor health
- Weight gain (because cortisol in your system keeps your body from burning calories!)
Working on lowering stress will almost always be the key to getting clear! Begin by making small changes if this third step seems too overwhelming for you, I know it can be hard to lower stress when the cause seems to be out of your control. It’s really about your frame of mind and what you allow to “get to you”.
If this is still difficult, consider taking nourishing herbs like lemon balm, holy basil, or rhodiola. They will greatly reduce stress and nourish your adrenals at the same time so that you don’t feel burnt out. In essence, these herbs allow you to react to stress in the best way possible.
You can get Lemon balm HERE.
Holy Basil HERE.
And Rhodiola HERE.
Other ways to reduce stress include:
- Going for walks
- Yoga and other forms of gentle centered movement
- Doing an activity you enjoy
- Breathing deeply for a few breathes
- Taking a relaxing bath after a taxing day
- Listening to music
- Venting to a good friend (it’s never good to hold in emotions!)
It’s important to know that you will see and feel results in about 3 months after beginning. Don’t give up! I know you’ll be happy once you get there!
Good luck =)
Check out these articles for more tips on clearing acne and hormone balance:
Essential Oils for Hormonal Acne
Essential Oils for Fertility
Can You Balance Hormones With Carrots?
6 Skincare Tips That Cleared My Acne Naturally
The 7 Step Routine You Need to Get Clear Skin
What are the Best Oils for Your Skin Type?
The Best Essential Oils for Your Skin Type
Is That Oil Good to Use for Acne?
The Oil Cleansing Method