When it comes to hormones it can be a daunting minefield to even begin to comprehend. Understanding what is going on in the subtle undercurrents of the ‘systems’ of your body is hard.
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Delicate changes therein can lead to any number of skin conditions. There are a plethora of factors that may contribute to an imbalance of hormones. And, it’s the fluctuations we experience that can bring on the affectation of hormonal acne (source).
Here, you’re going to find a few tips and tricks 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. In other words, an influx of hormones causes an imbalance in the delicate flora of the skin.
Puberty can be one of the biggest reasons for 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.
Also, health issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome can cause hormonal acne.
Women tend to be more commonly affected than men. But, the condition is apparent in both sexes.
Where Does Acne Appear?
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. Also, hormonal acne can be a mixture of all three.
Cysts can form too. They manifest deep under the skin 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 different levels of outbursts, some being more aggressive than others. They last for different periods of time, all dependent and relative to the hormonal imbalances.
Most commonly these hormone aggravations and fluctuations increase due to:
- Production of acne-causing bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes
- Androgens (such as Testosterone) excess (source)
- Oil (sebum) production in the pores
- Clogged skin cells in hair follicles
Our body 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 restore order.
Men and women both produce testosterone (and estrogen). But, more often than not, women are sensitive to superfluous testosterone.
Due to the fact that they can’t use testosterone for normal functions the excess hormone has to go somewhere. 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. But, they may not be as effective (especially for the more aggressive types of hormonal acne).
Research on natural options is deficient and to date, there are little-proven results. Yet, 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:
1. Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree works by decreasing inflammation that can contribute to acne. You can use this oil by adding a few drops when steaming your face.
Also, find skin care products, such as cleansers and toners which have Tea Tree extract in them.
You can also use tea tree essential oil for treating spots. You can directly apply it to your 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 about 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 use.
2. Use Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a class of chemical compounds. 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 minimize the appearance of acne scars.
AHAs are widely used in the cosmetics industry. You can find creams, facial masks for acne, and peels which help improve all look and feel of the skin. Through continuous treatment, you can achieve effective results.
3. Drink Green tea
Green tea is known for decreasing inflammation. As a holistic approach, drink a few cups per day alongside practicing your skincare regimen and trying to improve your skin texture.
You can also find lotions and gels that contain green tea extract. You may find them beneficial.
4. 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). Thus, causes more acne.
Practice yoga or meditation to purge daily stress.
5. Eat Less Processed Foods
Eliminate foods that cause sugar imbalance. Sugar fluctuations from eating processed/junk food can create sugar spikes in your system. It, in turn, creates stress in your body (source).
Try eating lower GI (Glycemic Index) foods. These are less modified products. Consume more sweet potatoes, black rice, greens, and grains like quinoa.
6. 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 testosterone concentration (source).
Get your healthy fats from products such as flax and borage oil, nuts and seeds, avocados, algae, Coconut Oil, high-quality cod liver oil, extra virgin olive oil, and evening primrose oil.
Essential Fatty Acids Sources
- Nuts and seeds
- Flax oil
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fish oils
7. 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.
But, when your sugar intakes are high, your body starts producing more insulin and IGF.
The latter increases sebum production, which clogs up enlarged pores and promotes acne formation.
In addition to that, sugar promotes inflammation. So, it might be a good idea to stop adding sugar to your coffee and tea. That’s especially if you seriously want to get rid of acne without using drugs.
8. 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.
Yet, you might forget to do it due to being busy. 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.
8. 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 the 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.
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.