Hormonal acne is hard to deal with especially if you are a grown a$$ adult woman. You’ve probably gone through bottles of “skin care for hormonal acne” products which have little to no success. Or went on the pill to improve your skin. But, what actually causes hormonal acne? Your skin is a mirror of what is going on internally aka your insides are screaming at you! Luckily, through a structured hormonal acne diet and lifestyle changes, you can heal your gut, hormones, and skin! Now, lets get to the bottom of what causes hormonal acne, shall we.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be as these are solely based on my experiences. Please consult your family doctor before considering any recommendations listed in this post. Thanks!
What causes hormonal acne?
Hormonal acne is caused by an increase in androgen hormones, such as testosterone. These hormones stimulate the production of oil in the skin, leading to blocked pores and acne breakouts.
there are a few different types of acne that you may cycle through throughout your life:
- Comedonal acne: the type that occurs when the poor are clogged
- Inflammatory acne: red pimples and pustules along with clogged pores.
- Cystic acne: pimples are larger, deeper, and more painful…
- Hormonal acne: called adult acne, can be inflammatory or cystic. Breakouts cluster in the “beard area,” or the “T” area (chin, jaw, forehead, nose) and can worsen depending on the phase of your cycle.
hormones can trigger the production of sebum, an oily substance that can clog pores and cause acne. Hormonal imbalances, such as those associated with menstruation, can also lead to an increase in cortisol, a hormone that can increase inflammation and further aggravate acne.
Additionally, menstrual cycle-related fluctuations in hormones can affect the skin’s sensitivity to acne-causing bacteria, making it more prone to breakouts. Taking steps to reduce stress, eating a balanced diet, and using appropriate topical treatments can help to reduce the severity of menstrual-related acne.
how your skin is a reflection of your gut
The gut plays a major role in the production and balance of hormones, particularly the hormones involved in acne. The gut is home to trillions of beneficial bacteria that help to regulate hormones, digestion, and immunity.
When the gut microbiome is out of balance, it can lead to an increase in hormones such as testosterone and other androgens, which can cause an increase in sebum production and clogged pores. In addition, an unhealthy gut can lead to an increase in inflammation, which can also cause acne.
To help prevent and reduce hormonal acne, it is important to keep the gut health through a diet rich in probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber, as well as avoiding inflammatory foods. It is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and stress management.
How diet affects hormone balance
The foods you eat can have a major impact on your hormones, and in turn, your skin. Eating a diet high in processed foods, unhealthy fats, and sugar can cause a spike in hormones such as testosterone, insulin, and cortisol.
leading to an increase in sebum production, clogged pores, and inflammation, which can result in hormonal acne. So, what foods should you be focusing on when eating a hormonal acne diet?
- omega 3’s
- fibrous fruit and veg
- fish and seafood
- sustainably sourced meats
foods to avoid and cause information:
- highly processed food
- omega 6’s
How exercise affects hormonal acne
Exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on hormonal acne, as it has been linked to improved hormone regulation. Exercise increases blood flow, which can help to regulate hormones and reduce the production of excess sebum. It also helps to reduce stress, which has been linked to increased hormonal acne.
Regular exercise can also help to improve self-esteem and confidence, both of which can help to reduce the severity of acne. Lastly, exercise can help to improve sleep quality, which can reduce the inflammation associated with hormonal acne.
How stress affects hormonal acne
Stress can have a major impact on hormonal acne. When a person is stressed, their body produces more of the hormone cortisol. This hormone can increase sebum production in the skin, which can lead to an increase in clogged pores and acne breakouts. Stress can also affect hormone levels, such as testosterone, which can also contribute to an increase in acne. Additionally, stress can lead to unhealthy habits, such as decreased sleep, poor diet, and lack of exercise, which can all make acne worse.
step by step: how to heal your Gut and skin
your skin is a reflection of how you are doing internally so taking steps to heal from the inside out is key to achieving and maintaining clear skin.
Step 1: Eat well
As mentioned, a hormonal acne diet that heals your body from within includes a lot of anti-inflammatory foods. Nourishing your gut microbiome and reducing the inflammatory response caused by some foods.
Bone broth is an amazing way to support gut health along with eating whole nutrient-dense foods. Bone broth is full of glycine to decrease inflammation in your gut and improve gut lining.
Here are some recipes to try!
- Miso Salmon
- Banana almond smoothie
- gut friendly salad
- add in some fermented foods to your diet as well!
Step 2: get an exercise program that works For you
It is no secret that exercise is good for our body and mind. However, finding an exercise program that works WITH our female bodies is key to successful hormone balance.
Did you know we can sync our exercise routine with our cycle to improve energy, acne, and PMS symptoms? Yep! Exercising in accordance with what phase we are in on our cycle has been shown to improve acne and breakouts!
step 3: find ways to manage stress
Stress kills. Constantly being in a state of stress or “fight or flight” mode exhausts our adrenal glands. Stress is a healthy response to life but when we are stressed too much, our cortisol levels can go out of wack causing inflammation and, yep you guessed it, acne.
helpful ways to improve stress levels:
- get enough sleep
- limit screen and social media time
- get some morning sun
- skip the coffee on an empty stomach
- create a morning and night routine for yourself
Step 4: skin care for hormonal acne tips
Now that our gut and hormones have a chance to heal internally, let’s focus on what we can do for our skin.
- wash your hands before you touch your face
- don’t wash your face too much
- use gentle cleansers and moisturizers
- don’t forget the sunscreen!
- it doesn’t have to be that complicated!
Ill be honest with you guys, there have been times I’ve used a plain old bar of soap on my face and my skin has been fine. I don’t recommend that strategy, however, when your gut is happy it doesn’t matter what you use on your skin.
Wrapping it up
Now that you are aware that your gut and hormone health dictate the clarity of your skin, do you regret all those skin care products you have laying around? It’s ok, if you start focusing on your internal health you will instantly see and feel changes in your skin.
If you need help getting started or are too busy to focus on your health right now, check out my services page to learn more about ways I can help! Nutrition and fitness do not have to be complicated and it sure does help to have a helping hand along the way xx