Natural Ways To Help Hormonal Acne:
9 Things To Try
Hormonal acne is a common skin condition that many men and women encounter during their lifetime. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 25% of women in their 40s and 50% of women during their 20s get hormonal acne.
While you might've thought your time for pimples and blemishes was behind you now that you're past your teen years, that's unfortunately not always the case. And on top of that, hormonal acne is a completely different breed than a teenage breakout.
However, there are some natural ways to help hormonal acne if you experience frequent or occasional breakouts. This guide will discuss chronic acne and some natural products for hormonal acne.
How Do You Know if You Have Hormonal Acne?
Have you ever wondered, "what is hormonal acne?" According to Medicine Net, hormonal acne often gets confused with other forms of acne, like fungal acne. If you suffer from hair loss and irregular periods during an acne breakout, it's likely hormonal.
Hormonal acne breakouts mainly occur on the shoulders, chest, face, and back. You'll notice different types of skin lesions, such as:
- Blackheads: Open, clogged pores
- Whiteheads: Clogged, closed pores
- Papules: Small, painful, and red bumps
- Nodules: Large, painful, and firm bumps underneath your skin
- Pimples: Papules filled with pus
- Cysts: Pus-filled bumps located deep under your skin
Hormonal acne usually affects individuals between 20 and 50 years of age. It's mainly caused by your body producing too much sebum. Sebum is an oily substance that's produced by the oil or sebaceous glands in your skin.
Having too much sebum can block the tiny pores on your face, resulting in acne.
Hormonal Acne Is Cyclical
You might notice that you have an acne eruption during certain times of the month, usually at the same time as your menstrual cycle. Women could break out the week leading up to their period or during it. Some women break out when they're ovulating.
If you start to notice an acne flare-up at the same time in your cycle, it's likely linked to your hormones.
Stress Can Increase Breakouts
If you're experiencing a time of high stress, whether it's physical or emotional, your body might produce an excess amount of cortisol. According to WebMD, cortisol is your body's primary stress hormone. It works in tandem with your brain to control your motivations, fears, and moods.
If your body is producing too much cortisol to help combat the stress it's feeling, it could result in your other hormones being shifted out of balance. Hormones like progesterone and estrogen have an effect on hormonal acne if they're not managed. For additional information read Healing Estrogen Dominance: Symptoms and Treatment Option.
We talked about the different types of breakouts above, but hormonal acne often begins to form underneath the surface of your skin. You can rupture a cyst the same way you would a white or blackhead.
If you suffer from hormonal acne, you might've tried other acne-controlling methods with no luck. However, there are many natural products for hormonal acne that you can incorporate into your skin routine to combat those pesky breakouts.
The Best Products for Hormonal Acne
Some of the best products for hormonal acne aren't harsh topicals or pharmaceuticals. Those types of products don't address the whole body and can oftentimes be harsher on your skin than helpful. We're going to talk about a few natural ways to help hormonal acne.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is effective at decreasing inflammation in your body and skin. It's often an active ingredient in a variety of skincare products, such as toners and cleansers. You can even use the essential oil as a spot treatment for acne.
Keep in mind that if you use tea tree oil when it's not included in skincare products that it needs to be diluted with a carrier oil. The most popular oils to use include:
The rule of thumb is to add around 12 drops of your oil of choice to every one to two drops of tea tree oil. You should also test this mixture on a small part of your skin, like on your forearm. If you don't get any signs of inflammation or irritation within 24 hours, you're good to use the mixture elsewhere.
2. Vitamins and Minerals
If you want the best natural remedy for hormonal acne, you might explore different supplements. There are a few vitamins and minerals that are great for staving off hormonal acne breakouts. The Knowell supplement is a good option to try if you’re looking for a clean list of ingredients that are known to help aide in hormonal balance.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential to our immune system. Having low levels of vitamin D can result in a variety of skin issues, such as eczema. The immune-regulatory properties of vitamin D can also help you combat hormonal acne breakouts.
You can add a daily vitamin D supplement to your daily routine. Additionally, you can start eating foods that are high in vitamin D. Try consuming more orange juice, egg yolks, or oily fish.
4. Fish Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce your body's overall inflammation. Eating foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids can help but you can also take a fish oil tablet. A fish oil supplement is a great option for those who suffer from moderate to extreme acne.
Zinc helps reduce your skin's oil production. Keep in mind that you only need to have a small amount of the mineral in your body. Having too much can result in other issues, like a deficiency in copper.
If you don't want to take an oral tablet, you can eat foods that are rich in zinc. Some foods to try include:
- Whole grains
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C has antioxidant properties which are great for collagen production and wound healing. In general, antioxidants help prevent free radicals from damaging our DNA, skin cells, and proteins.
Taking vitamin C supplements can help promote a healthier immune system and promote clearer skin. You can also consume more citrus fruits, Brussel sprouts, and strawberries.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in our gut. Having a healthy gut is essential to our overall health and immune system. You can take supplements that have probiotics in them, like the Knowell supplement, or eat certain foods.
Probiotics work to accomplish the following things for our bodies:
- Reduce inflammation
- Balance our gut
- Restore the barrier of our skin
- Improve the health of our skin
- Balance our hormones
Probiotics can not only help a woman's skin but her reproductive health as well.
Look for Natural Ways to Help Hormonal Acne
In addition to incorporating natural products to alleviate hormonal acne, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your symptoms. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Diet Changes
There are certain anti-inflammatory foods you can incorporate into your diet to help prevent hormonal acne. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids might decrease the inflammation in your skin. Plant-based foods that contain a lot of antioxidants might also promote clearer skin and decrease inflammation.
Some foods you could add to your diet to promote healthier skin include:
- Beans and lentils
Many people believe that greasy junk food causes acne. While there's no direct link between the two, overdoing it in fatty foods could cause more inflammation.
You might consider limiting the following foods to help combat hormonal acne breakouts:
- Red meats
- Refined carbs, like pasta and white bread
Every woman's body is different and how they react to various foods will be unique. You might discover that some foods cause more breakouts than others. Keep a journal of the foods you try and log how your body reacts to them.
For more information read Gut Health and Hormone Imbalance: Understanding the Link.
2. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Reducing how much stress you have in your life might be easier said than done. As we talked about before, having increased levels of stress completely messes with the hormones in your body. Trying to lower your stress levels will help your hormonal acne breakouts.
In addition to upping your levels of cortisol, high amounts of stress also increase testosterone. Too much testosterone in the body stimulates your hair follicles and oil glands. This also results in a hormonal acne breakout.
To make matters worse, stress messes with our body's wound healing properties. Your body can't fight off or heal the acne breakouts you're encountering.
Whether it's meditating, journaling, or going out for a walk, find ways that you can decrease your stress. You might not always be able to do so, but make a conscious effort as much as you can.