Natural Remedies for Hormonal Acne
Our hormones so often feel completely out of control. They play a powerful role in acne, weight, aging - let alone moodiness, PMS, and disrupted sleep. So often, we just wish those nasty things would simply go away.
But, hormones play a key role in keeping us alive and, when in balance, give us our radiance and happy mood.
They are created in our endocrine system, which is a group of glands scattered throughout our body. Hormones are messengers that communicate between our organs, maintaining our vitality or indicating problems. Our body creates more than 100 different types of hormones which all need to play together like a finely synchronized orchestra to achieve harmony. Some of the types of hormones include circadian rhythm (hormones that run our biological processes), stress hormones, blood sugar hormones, hunger hormones, steroid hormones, thyroid hormones, and sex hormones.
Hormonal imbalance makes us feel miserable and wrecks our looks. If you get breakouts right before your period, notice thinning skin, shed hair, struggle with monthly bloat - you know you're struggling with hormonal imbalances. These little communicators and the glands that produce them are incredibly delicate and are damaged easily by stress, toxins, improper diet, poor digestion, nutrient deficiencies, and dehydration. When in balance, hormones provide us a radiant complexion, strengthen hair and nails, reduce puffiness, keeps acne in check, not to mention gives us a happy outlook on life.
The good news is that there's a lot we can do to pamper ourselves with the right diet and lifestyle to restore hormonal balance. There are books upon textbooks written about hormones and scientists who dedicate their lives to researching our endocrine system, so there's simply no way to cover everything in just a short blog, but I'll do my best to give you the highlights!
Always remember that if you you struggle with hormonal health, talk to your healthcare practitioner for personalized support!
Balancing hormonal acne basically boils down to three foundations:
1/ Hormone balancing nutrition
2/ Nurturing selfcare
3/ Proper skincare
HORMONE-BALANCING NUTRITION TIPS
Focus on adding in foods that boost immunity, support gut and liver health and assist in reducing inflammation. Try avoiding caffeine, dairy, sugar and processed foods. There are studies that link dairy intolerance in people directly to acne formation. I believe it's because dairy can be difficult for some to digest, contributing to mucus formation, congestion, and blackheads. Sugar is a culprit as it contributes to inflammation and feeds bad bacteria which leads to an inflammatory response on the skin. Processed foods can contain xenoestrogens which confuse our internal delicate hormonal balance; boosting hormones that increase acne buildup. Superfoods for hormones includes water, leafy greens, seafoods, berries, and turmeric.
Managing your stress levels has profound effects on your skin. While we can't control everything that happens around us, there are ways we can lower our stress hormones.
Try these ideas and see how you feel:
> Showing gratitude for yourself and your life has been shown to decrease the stress hormone cortisol and increase the happy hormone serotonin. Take a moment to write down things you are grateful for, take a calming walk outdoors, buy yourself a little gift, take a relaxing soak, get a little extra sleep, or do anything else that brings you a little joy.
> Deep breathing relaxes your facial muscles, clears your mind, boosts your oxygen levels and rids your body of toxins. Try this, right now: Breathe through your nose to the count of 8, hold your breathe for a count of 4, and breath out through your mouth to the count of 8. Now repeat is two more times. You just lowered your cortisol levels and boosted your happy hormones!
> Get moving! Exercise does so much good for our bodies; besides helping balance our hormones, it gets nutrition circulating to our skin, boosts our lymphatic system in detoxifying, and reduces inflammation. Even 5 minute spurts of movement throughout the day can provide incredible benefits.
Unfortunately, many skincare products have an ugly side: they exacerbate hormonal issues because they contain ingredients which disrupt our delicate hormonal balance. So...products that are supposed to be keeping our skin clear may actually be causing deeper problems. Ingredients like parabens, phthalates, BHT, Tetrasodium EDTA, plus other synthetic ingredients are xenoestrogens (aka synthetic estrogens) which confuses our endocrine system, wreaking havoc on our hormone balance. Look for skincare products made with natural plant-based ingredients that support your beauty and your hormonal health.
While acne can take a toll on our emotional health and self-confidence, the good side about it is that it gives us an invitation to do some deeper healing. We can take a perspective change on acne, step back and evaluate our lifestyle habits and redefine our days with a fresh plan that can ultimately support us in so many ways.
I provided a few ideas on how to alleviate acne, different remedies will work for different people and ultimately I encourage you to tune into your body (seek medical help when needed) and incorporate changes that work best for you!