If you’re struggling with adult acne, you’re not alone. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually.
One of the leading causes of acne is hormonal imbalance, especially for women. Hormonal acne tends to appear along the T-Zone, nose, chin and jawline. Hormonal acne can range from small whiteheads and blackheads to deep, painful cysts and nodules.
If you want clearer skin without the negative side effects of prescription acne treatments, try naturally balancing hormones to reduce hormonal acne.
Main Causes of Hormonal Acne
Acne forms when bacteria, dead skin and sebum (the body’s natural lubricant) build up and clog pores. The build up can cause inflammation which triggers the skin to start swelling and create a bump. Hormonal acne is often caused by additional factors that increase the severity of the inflammation and swelling.
A 1999 Study found that an individual is four times more likely to have acne if he or she has a first-degree relative with acne. Genes influence hormone levels, immune system response and skin sensitivity.
Hormones regulate sebum production and have a significant effect on skin health. Changes in androgens, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen levels can affect acne severity.
During puberty, the body produces an excess of male hormones called androgens. Androgens stimulate sebum production and excess androgens can cause sebum overproduction. Obesity and insulin resistance are often linked to high androgen levels. Women tend to experience adult acne more due to hormone fluctuations caused by menstruation, menopause, pregnancy and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and anxious and cause hormone levels to fluctuate. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and high cortisol levels indicate high levels of stress. Acne can also lower self-esteem, increase stress and cause a continual cycle of anxiety.
A 2003 Study found a correlation between stress and acne severity: “Clearly, there are some psychological components to the etiology of acne, because treatments such as biofeedback relaxation and cognitive imagery have been shown to be effective. More specifically, patients with acne often complain of breakouts following the experience of frustrating or stressful events and it has been observed that post-adolescent patients with acne tend to be intense and ambitious people with high-visibility jobs. Another study linking acne exacerbation with emotional factors reported an increase in acne lesion counts days following an interview during which anger was intentionally provoked.”
How to Balance Hormones to Reduce Hormonal Acne
Hormonal acne often requires more than just topical creams to see results. If you have hormonal acne, you may consider trying different lifestyle changes and DIY solutions to reduce severity.
1. Maintain a Balanced Skincare Routine
Prevention is the top solution to reduce hormonal acne. Make sure you’re following the basic steps to keep your skin clean and nourished every day.
- Wash face in the morning and evening daily with a gentle cleanser.
- Apply a gentle moisturizer and sunscreen daily.
- Use non-comedogenic skincare products to reduce risk of clogged pores.
- Avoid inflammatory ingredients such as synthetic fragrances and dyes in detergents, cosmetics and hair care products.
If your skin is too dry, aim for balanced hydration. Avoid overusing drying topical acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide, alcohol and salicylic acid. Also don’t overdo it with thick moisturizing creams and pore-clogging oils. Balance is key!
If your skin is too oily, again avoid overusing drying topical acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide, alcohol and salicylic acid. Over-drying can cause a vicious cycle because your skin is trying to overcompensate. Experiment with micro amounts of drying creams. Less is more!
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
A healthy, balanced diet is the key to healthy skin. If your body is not absorbing nutrients, your immune system can suffer and inflammation can increase. If you eat inflammatory foods, you can increase your risk for acne. If your skin is severely dry or oily, it can indicate that your body’s pH is out of balance.
- Aim for a pH-Balanced Diet: Maintain a balance of both acidic and alkaline foods.
- Reduce Alcohol: Alcohol is a diuretic, can dehydrate skin and cause sebum overproduction.
- Reduce Dairy: Milk contains androgens that can stimulate the sebaceous glands.
- Try an Elimination Diet: Pay more attention to how you feel after you eat. Try keeping a food journal or take photos of your meals. If you feel particularly hot, itchy, irritated or anxious after eating, that could be a sign of inflammation. If you notice a pattern of inflammation, try eliminating that food from your diet for one month. If you notice clearer skin, then try slowly introducing that food back into your diet in limited quantities.
3. Balance Immune System
If your immune system is overactive, your skin may be detecting threats inaccurately and therefore causing excess inflammation. If you have allergies or highly-sensitive skin, calming your threat-response system may help reduce acne.
- Relax and Have More Fun: Enjoying nature and laughing more can boost endorphin hormone levels, relieve pain and strengthen immunity.
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Lower cortisol levels by expressing yourself through art, music and dance.
- Improve Sleep Habits: Getting consistent quality sleep can help speed up the healing process and increase serotonin levels.
Hormonal acne can vary from person to person. Listen to your body and pay attention to how it reacts to environmental and internal factors. Proactively balancing hormones can reduce acne severity. Try experimenting with different DIY acne solutions and you may see clearer skin in 8-10 weeks.
Contact Natural Bio Health Today
Since 1999, Natural Bio Health has helped thousands of people regain their quality of life, prevent disease and maintain a strong immune system for optimal health. Through a careful review of health history, genetics and lifestyle, our providers are able to create individualized wellness plans to address the root-cause of your underlying health concerns.
Whether your personal struggles are with hormone imbalance, weight, sleep, energy, libido, migraines or depression, Natural Bio Health is committed to help you restore your quality of life and achieve optimal mental and physical health.