Are hormones causing your breakouts?
Let’s dive into what would be causing your hormonal acne and explore 4 tips you can implement to reduce your breakouts!
Here at Em’s Skin Boutique, we look at the skin in a holistic manner – integrating internal & external support. Today, this blog post will be focusing on the internal support options…stay tuned for the external support.
First off, let’s determine if your breakouts are hormonally driven
Symptoms to look out for:
>Breakouts around the cheeks, jawline and chin.
>Breakouts that have a pattern – they pop up before your period starts/during.
>You have recently stopped taking the pill (OCP) / hormonal birth control
>You experience cysts that may not come to head & can be painful
>You also experience other PMS symptoms leading up to your period/during
>Underlying hormone conditions such as PCOS
So what hormones are leading to your breakouts?…
Androgens have a direct influence on the amount of sebum (oil) your skin produces – if your androgen levels are raised this can lead to increased sebum (oil) leading to keratin plugs (blocked pores) results in breakouts!
What can cause raised androgen levels?
Sugar! One of the main triggers, elevated blood sugar levels or insulin resistance results in the secretion of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) which increases the production of androgens.
Excess insulin in the blood post sugar consumption can also raise Luteinising hormone (LH) – LH then tells the ovaries to make more androgens!
It doesn’t stop there
Excess insulin also lowers sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) which you want, as it binds to excess androgens. When SHBG is low it means more free circulating androgens are present in the bloodstream.
*Remember increased androgens = increased breakouts.*
TIP ONE: Our go-to herbs and supplements to help with reducing raised androgens levels are;
- Spearmint tea
- Green tea
- Licorice & Peony root
Before starting any new supplements check in with your GP or health practitioner and have your hormone levels tested.
TIP TWO: Our go to herbs and nutrients to assist with blood sugar regulations;
- Gymnema leaf
Again, before starting any new supplements check in with your GP or health practitioner and have your fasting blood sugar levels tested.
This more so comes down to how your body is excreting estrogen via your elimination organs.
*Remember, your skin is your biggest elimination organ! So if your liver or bowel are not working at their optimum the skin will put its hand up to help out with elimination*
Estrogen is metabolised by the liver and then excreted via the bowels, this is why it’s absolutely vital that you are having regular well-formed bowel motions daily.
We also have this incredible estrobolome system within the gut!
In short, the estrobolome is a collection of bacteria in the gut which is capable of metabolising and modulating the body’s circulating estrogen.
How cool is that?
This again highlights why we need to make it a priority to look after your gut health when addressing hormonal acne.
TIP THREE: Our go-to herbs and foods to assist with regular bowel motions and estrogen clearance;
- Cruciferous vegetables – Make Broccoli your new bestie
- Kiwi fruit
- Dandelion root tea
Recent research has confirmed the skin is a target of the stress response & immediate stress perceiver. This is because the skin is our largest organ of the body & plays an important role in maintaining a balance between our external environment and internal tissues (Chen.Y & Layga.J, 2014).
Now how do these stress hormones influence acne?
>Increase inflammation within the skin = redness & swelling around the breakout
>Increased sebum (oil) production = increased breakouts
>Change in skin microbiome = increased in P.acne bacteria = increased breakouts
>Mast cell activation resulting in histamine release = itchiness, redness & rashes
Don’t forget, stress can also have an influence on your menstrual cycle length & PMS symptoms! This is why during times of high stress you might experience a “missed period” or increased mood changes/cramping.
TIP 4: Herbs and lifestyle interventions to support the stress response;
- Lemon Balm
- B vitamin complex
- Low intensity exercise
- Self care rituals – At home facials, bath with epsom salts, meditation, time in nature, laughing and a hobby that brings you joy!
This is just the tip of the iceberg when investigating hormonal acne, if you would like support please hit the BOOK NOW tab, we can’t wait to meet you!
Written by Emily-Rose