What is Hormonal Acne?
Hormonal acne is acne that is triggered by an excess of androgenetic hormones in your body and is characterized by blemishes that tend to appear in monthly cycles- typically one week before and two weeks after menstruation- and is not highly responsive to topical treatments.
Hormones and Acne, what’s going on in your body
Acne is an androgenic disorder, which means that it is set off by the effects of the family of hormones called androgens. These include testosterone, DHEA-S and others. Testosterone is the most important of these. While androgens are often thought of as male hormones, this is misleading because adult women have active levels in their blood (but women’s levels are only about a tenth of those found in men).
Many women with hormonal acne have excess testosterone, which stimulates the sebaceous (oil making) glands. The pores plug up and trap the oil inside and then bacteria grows in the trapped oil, causing the production of pimples. Finally the body’s immune system comes into play, causing the redness, swelling, pus-like fluid and later scarring which make acne so unsightly.
Natural Remedies for Hormonal Acne
Since hormonal acne is triggered by your body’s internal functioning, you must adopt a holistic, inside-out approach to treat it effectively. Here are the 4 main things you can do to treat your hormonal acne naturally:
1) Go on a clear skin diet. Since your body is producing excess androgens, it’s very important that you go on a strict clear skin diet, as this will help naturally balance your body chemistry. This means absolutely no dairy, sugar or gluten. You can read more detail about a clear skin diet here: http://freshandagelessblog.com/2010/08/30/your-diet-and-your-skin/). It should also be noted that animal products, especially non-organic, contain hormones that can make your acne worse, so they should also be avoided. The more serious you are following your clear skin diet, the better chance you will have of clearing your hormonal acne naturally. In addition to avoiding dairy, sugar, gluten and animal products, you should dramatically increase your consumption of water and vegetables.
2) Detox your liver. Often times an excess of toxins in the liver are another culprit of difficult-to-treat hormonal acne. Going on a juice cleanse and drinking dandelion tea and milk thistle will heap naturally detox your liver.
3) Kill the bacteria. While the excess of androgens triggers oil buildup, it’s bacteria on your skin that creates the infection that causes pimples and sets off the body’s immune response that leads to the redness & swelling. Because of this, it’s critical that you use products that will kill that bacteria on your skin and keep it clean. You also want to be using products that are non-pore clogging and paraben & synthetic free. These are the Vasseur Skincare products we recommend:
Foaming Cleanser: Daily gentle pH balanced cleanser; deeply cleans but will not strip or dry out the skin (AM and PM).
Day 25 Cream: SPF 25 sun protection, daily moisture and antioxidants. Non-pore clogging (AM).
Benzoclear 5: Antibacterial treatment kills the bacteria in your skin that feeds acne, both clears and prevents future breakouts (PM).
Maxiclear Advanced: Powerful spot treatment that pulls out impurities and dries up stubborn pimples (PM, spot treatment).
Optional Add Ons:
ALA Cream. Use to reduce and prevent acne scarring and skin redness. Will also improve and even out overall skin tone (AM and PM).
Night Cream: Add for extra hydration (PM).
Mandelic Acid Serum: Use if you have small bumps in addition to cystic pimples and whiteheads (PM, alternate with Benzoclear).
4) Get a facial. Lastly, we recommend getting regular (monthly or bi-monthly) deep cleaning facials. Over time, dirt, pollution, oil and bacteria get deeply lodged in your pores and getting a facial removes build up.
If you follow the above advice and your acne has still not dissipated after three months, then you may want to consider going on an estrogen-dominant birth control pill that will internally balance your hormones (read more about this here) or visiting your dermatologist who can prescribe you a low dose antibiotic. If you have any questions or would like a personalized phone consultation, contact us or visit us at www.vasseurskincare.com.