When it comes to hormones it can be a daunting minefield to even begin to comprehend what is going on in the subtle undercurrents of the ‘systems’ of your body. Delicate changes therein can lead to any number of conditions of the skin and can be a continual harbinger throughout youth, adulthood and into older age. There is a plethora of factors which may contribute to an imbalance of hormones and it is the fluctuations we experience that can bring on the affectation of what is known as hormonal acne. Here, you’re going to find a few tips and trick on how to treat hormonal acne naturally and improve your life quality.
So, what is Hormonal Acne?
In brief, it is the outburst of acne due to hormone variability or in other words, an influx of hormones which causes imbalance to the delicate flora of the skin. Puberty can be one of the biggest reasons as to its outbreak but there are many other factors too. Menstruation, menopause, poor diet, digestion, stress, too much/too little physical activity and not enough sleep are one of them. Furthermore, health issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or other underlying medical conditions can all cause the appearance of hormonal acne.
Women tend to be more commonly affected than men but the condition is apparent in both sexes throughout differing ‘physiological cycles’ of their lives.
Where Does Acne Appear?
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During puberty, hormonal acne often appears around your forehead, nose and chin (otherwise known as the T-zone). Hormonal acne can usually form around the lower part of your face. That includes areas like the bottom of your cheeks and around your jawline. Some hormonal acne will take the form of blackheads or whiteheads and/or small pimples that will eventually come to a head. Also, hormonal acne can be a mixture of all three. Cysts can form too. They manifest deep under the skin in the subcutaneous layers and don’t come to a head on the surface of the epidermis. Instead, they will take the form of under the skin bumps which are often tender to the touch.
What Causes Acne Breakouts
There are differing levels of outbursts, some being more aggressive than others whilst lasting different periods of time, all dependent and relative to the hormonal imbalances or influxes.
Most commonly these hormone aggravations and fluctuations increase due to:
Our body delicately balances our hormones in its aim to keep everything flowing smoothly. When the hormone balance is offset, the body has to work to make necessary changes in its efforts to attempt to try and restore order. Men and women both produce testosterone (and estrogen) but more often than not, women are sensitive to superfluous testosterone in their bodies. Due to the fact that they can’t use testosterone for normal functions the excess hormone has to go somewhere. The skin has androgen (testosterone) receptor cells and so surplus testosterone is ‘called’ to the skin to be removed. The skin then takes action to get rid of the excesses resulting in cystic breakouts. Remember also that testosterone in the bloodstream increases sebum (skin oil) production. This sebum can then clog hair follicles and cause breakouts to worsen.
How to Treat Hormonal Acne Naturally?
Natural treatments are typically free of side-effects often caused by prescription options. However, they may not be as effective or indeed as quickly remedied (especially for the more aggressive types of hormonal acne). Research on natural options is deficient and to date there are little proven results being produced. However, that aside, nature is continually offering up plant-based options. They, in the long run, will always be safer to use than medications coming forward.
Treating Mild Hormonal Acne
In some cases, for mild hormonal acne you can look at using options such as:
Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree works by decreasing inflammation that can contribute to acne. You can utilise this oil by adding a few drops to a facial steam treatment or finding skin care products, such as cleansers and toners which have extract of Tea Tree in them. You can also use tea tree essential oil as a spot treatment as this essential oil can be applied directly to the skin. Those who don’t know how to treat hormonal acne naturally can use Lavender and Chamomile essential oils too, both of which have soothing and anti-inflammatory qualities.
If you are unsure as to the application of tea tree oil. Try a skin-patch test before use. Apply a small amount of oil to the inside of your forearm. If you don’t experience any irritation or inflammation within 24 hours, it should be safe to apply elsewhere.
Use Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a class of chemical compounds that consist of a carboxylic acid replaced with a hydroxyl group on the contiguous carbon. They are plant acids derived mostly from citrus fruits. They may be either naturally occurring or synthetic. AHAs can help remove excess dead skin cells which are clogging pores and can also help minimize the appearance of acne scars and wrinkles. AHAs are widely used in the cosmetics industry and you can find creams, masks and peels which help improve the overall look and feel of the skin. Through continuous treatment there have been proven effective results.
Drink Green tea
Green tea is known for decreasing inflammation in the body. As a holistic approach, contemplate drinking a few cups per day alongside practicing your skin care regimen. You can also find lotions and gels containing green tea extract which you may find beneficial.
Lower Stress Levels
Stress has an enormous impact on hormones and acne, so don’t underestimate the power of de-stressing. When you’re stressed, your body will pump out greater amounts of cortisol. More cortisol (stress hormone) in your system increases androgens (testosterone) and thus causes more acne. Try taking up some gentle Yoga or Meditation to purge daily stress.
Read More: Lower Stress with at Home Facial
Eat Less Processed Foods
Eliminate foods which cause sugar imbalance. Sugar fluctuations from eating processed/junk food can create sugar spikes in your system, which in turn creates stress on the body. Try eating lower GI (glycemic Index) foods - less genetically modified, white flour products, and more sweet potatoes, greens, and grains like quinoa.
Eat More Essential Fatty Acids
If you have acne, the chances are that you’re deficient in essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs reduce inflammation, balance hormones, and reduce androgens. Get your healthy fats from products such as flax and borage oil, nuts and seeds, avocados, algea, coconut Oil, high quality cod liver oil, extra virgin olive oil and evening primrose oil.
Essential Fatty Acids Sources
Limit Your Sugar Intake
One of the tips on how to treat hormonal acne naturally is cutting on your sugar intake. You’re probably wondering what sugar has to do with acne. Nothing directly. However, when you sugar intakes are high, your body starts producing more insulin as well as insulin growth factor. The latter hormone increases sebum production, which clogs up enlarged pores and promotes acne formation. That’s the reason why some people have acne outbreaks after eating chocolate. Now it makes sense, doesn’t it?
In addition to that, sugar promotes inflammation. Just imagine, once your body starts fighting it and uses antioxidants to flush the toxins out, your skin is no longer protected and you’re more likely to get an acne outburst. Therefore, it might be a good idea to stop adding sugar to your coffee and tea, if you seriously want to get rid of acne without using drugs.
Wash Your Face Regularly
Yes, you’ve heard me. Washing your face 2-3 times a day can improve your skin’s condition tremendously. It’s a very simple tip. However, many forget to do it due to how busy they are. Do remember that acne is a disease and diseases don’t wait for you to get the time to cure them. Use a natural, unflavored soap when washing your face to remove excess oils that might be clogging your pores.
Exfoliate and Hydrate
You can make a natural scrub out of coffee or sugar at home without too many problems. It’s a cheap and effective way to get rid of excess oils and dead skin cells that promote acne formation. Make sure to hydrate your skin too. For that you can use slices of cucumber. All you have to do is rub it into your skin and let it work its magic. Cucumber has choline that’s considered a building block of cell’s membrane. It helps skin cells to stay healthy and promotes nutrient exchange. You’ll notice that your face will get a natural glow in the long run.
Read More: Are There Any Steaming Benefits for Acne?
I hope you enjoyed the tips on how to treat hormonal acne naturally. Remember that at the end of the day, it’s all about staying in balance with your body and your mind. That’s mostly due to the fact that we react to both external and internal stress and hormones are very sensitive towards that. What may seem like a small thing, might completely reverse the way your body works. That, in return, can result in acne and other skin problems.