Hormonal  Acne

Suffering From Hormonal Acne? Hereís What You Can Do About ItÖ
One of the toughest types of acne to get rid of is hormonal acne. This is because acne is not really the main problem, but simply a symptom of a more serious internal health problem or imbalance. Itís an obvious sign that your bodyís crying out for help. Thatís why topical skin care products (no matter how amazing) or contraceptive pills or eating Ďpretty healthyí often still donít work against stubborn hormonal acne.

It is very frustrating when you feel like youíve tried everything; youíre eating super healthy organic food, taking helpful supplements, using top quality natural skin care products, youíre exercising and meditating daily, youíre detoxing regularly etc
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may need some extra help, some more info and a different approach, when it comes to hormonal acne. Itís really helpful and important to not only figure out whether your acne is hormone related (and not just due to toxicity due to years of an unhealthy lifestyle) but also figure out exactly how your hormones are unbalanced, what kind of imbalance it is, how it came to develop in the first place, and what specifically can you do to balance your hormones and regulate your sebum production for your unique situation (since everybodyís health, body, and acne situation is different).

Plenty of times Iíve been to the doctor or dermatologist to try and find out more about my hormonal acne, only to be put on the contraceptive pill (which only made my hormonal balance worse and made me break out even more when I tried to go off it). I felt like it was so difficult to find any real answers, and I spent a lot of years doing my own research, looking through forums, testing things on myself until I finally managed to re-balance my hormones and clear my skin. So I want to share with you what Iíve learnt about hormonal acne in the hopes that it will help you too :).

One of the main contributors to acne is overactive oil glands in your skin that produce excess sebum (oil) that then collects in your skin, blocking hair follicles and pores. This forms plugs that prevent the normal drainage of oil and also causes dead skin cells to become trapped. Bacteria in your skin then feed on the excess sebum which causes an infection which results in a pimple.

2 Main Causes of Excess Sebum:
Toxins
Excess Hormones (androgens)
Excess toxins that your body has to expel through the skin can be caused by:

Sluggish digestion, poor kidney and liver function
Candida overgrowth
Bad diet (Animal sources of diet, Sugar, MSG Aspartame junk food/low quality food)
Chemicals in food and environment
Allergies and Food Intolerances
Hormonal imbalances (particularly excess androgens) also increase sebum production.

Hormonal imbalances can be caused by:
Emotional stress
Physical stress
Environmental synthetic hormones (e.g. xenoestorgens in plastic)
Hormones in animal produce/food
Contraceptive pills
Genetic predisposition
Bad Diet, Poor Nutrition
As you can see, a lot of the root causes of hormonal imbalances are diet, lifestyle and emotional health related. These causes result in certain types hormonal imbalances are common in acne sufferers:

Adrenal Stress/Fatigue with elevated Cortisol levels
Estrogen Dominance (Low Progesterone)
Hypothyroidism
Insulin Resistance
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
How Hormonal Imbalances Result In Acne

A lot of you already know that the main group of hormones that help to control sebum production is androgens (male hormones). In particular Testosterone, and even more specifically a type of Testosterone called DHT (which is formed when Testosterone is converted to DHT by an enzyme called 5 Alpha Reductase).

Itís really helpful to realize that hormones are like a team that all work together. They ALL impact each other in different ways. So even though Ďexcess androgensí is what causes increased oil production there can be different reasons why you have excess androgens in the first place. For example, you may be lacking in other hormones that usually balance out androgens and so your androgen production may be a little out of control. You could also have a hormonal imbalance that causes an increase in the enzyme 5 Alpha Reductase so you may have an increased amount of Testosterone being converted to DHT resulting in more oil production and more acne. I donít want to get too technical, but I guess my point is, different people have different reasons to why they may have excess androgens, and any imbalance in your other hormones can send your androgen levels out of whack too.
What can you do to help yourself.
1) De-stress!

Please donít underestimate the impact this has on your hormones and acne. Any time youíre stressed your adrenal glands pumps out Cortisol that contributes to increased androgens and increased acne. Following a spiritual path is the best way to reduce stress.

2) Eat a Low GI Organic Diet devoid of Animal sources of food

Cut out all bad food, especially stimulants and sugar. Eat low GI, healthy organic food. Cut down on fruits too (even though theyíre good, donít eat too much because the sugar can be stimulating and add stress). Reducing the Animal sources of food helps to reduce all hormone levels greatly. Avoid eating fruits as well since fruits contain a lot of sugar.

3) Eat plenty of Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty can help reduce the production of androgens and balance hormones. People with acne have been shown to have deficiencies in EFAs. You can also apply topically to your body, face and hair for added benefits.

Flaxseed Oil (15-60ml per day)
Omega 3 Fish Oil (5ml per day)
GLA from Evening Primrose Oil (5ml per day)
Sunflower Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Grape Seed Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Avocadoes
Olives
Nuts
Seeds
Coconut Oil

4) Make sure youíve got enough of these Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin C
Vitamin Bís (especially Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12)
Zinc
Magnesium
Vitamin A
5) Herbs that help to balance hormones

Licorice
Rhodiola
Schisandra
Ashwagandha
Holy Basil
Chasteberry (Vitex Agnus-Castus)
Maca
Burdock
Milk Thistle
6) Natural Anti-Androgrens

Green Tea Extract
Saw Palmetto
Nettle
Spearmint Tea
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Emu Oil
Soy Isoflavones
Beta Sitosterols
Alzelaic Acid

When nothing else works you may be able to get further help with Blue light, Laser. and medications. Please consult your doctor regarding these.