Healing Hormonal Acne
No one likes waking up in the morning to find a few pimples lingering that weren’t there the night prior—especially in our adult years! As a teenager, acne was never a problem for me. As an adult, it’s an issue I’ve had for almost a decade.
Back in my early 20’s, I developed a skin condition called perioral dermatitis that’s typically hormone-related. I had red bumps appear all around my nose and chin, and it wasn’t a cute look. I couldn’t understand how I got through my teenage years pimple-free only to wind up with acne as a 23 year-old.
Looking back, my acne incident was a blessing in disguise, as the circumstances ultimately led me to switching careers and studying nutrition. The bumps were actually caused by an excess of estrogen within my body, which was a result of the high amounts of soy foods I was eating.
Around 2007, I was what I like to call the occasional “fake vegetarian.” I was eating all the wrong vegetarian foods, including soy patties, soy milk, and soy protein. That much soy would drive anyone nuts, and both my period and my skin suffered as a result.
My dermatologist suggested expensive face cream and antibiotics. They worked, but the second I got off of them, back came the red bumps. I knew this acne was a result of something internal, and guess what? The second I eliminated processed soy from my diet, my skin returned to normal.
BOOM! Food is medicine babe, and my skin is living proof.
Let’s fast forward a few years later, to around 27 years-old. Literally right around when I met Ryan, my skin changed again. I had bumps on my forehead and chin, two areas that are hormone-related. I also think the breakouts were caused by stress, as I was in the midst of major life changes, including moving out of my boyfriend’s house, moving back in with my parents, getting fired from my job, meeting Ryan, and starting my business. Phew! No wonder my face blew up, right?
This skin phase lasted a few years, and it still comes and goes—more so on my chin than any other area. Even after I made the switch to mostly organic beauty products, the acne continued to come back. My current esthetician told me that as women, our bodies go through major changes between the ages of 27-32, and this transition can often show up on our skin. She was right! I’m 32 (turning 33 in April), and my skin is slowly making its way back.
But…what do you do when you’re dealing with hormonal acne? Well, I consider myself somewhat of an expert after trying “all the things” to get rid of it for so many years. So let me help you out :)
1. Don’t freak out.
Stress is known to cause breakouts, so freaking out about a few pimples or a change in your skin is only going to make it worse. I know this from experience. Your skin is always evolving, and learning to deal with your new skin type without the added stress is the best way to handle the situation. Do some research and follow the below tips before you add any additional stress to your life.
2. Make the switch to natural / organic beauty products.
Putting chemicals on acne-ridden skin surely won’t do you any favors. I understand the need for cover-up, but there’s plenty of brands out there who consider themselves non-toxic. I wrote a post here all about my beauty routine and the exact products I use. My favorites for handling hormonal acne are:
- Rosehip Oil
- IS Active Serum (this is pricey but lasts forever and I only use a little at night)
- Eminence Probiotic Cleanser
- Hydropeptide Toner
- Beautycounter’s Charcoal Mask
- Dr. Dennis Gross Daily Facial Peels
3. If you have the budget, find an esthetician that uses organic beauty products and have them assess your skin.
When I was going through my skin battle, I saw a few estheticians and compared their thoughts on what was going on. They mostly said the same thing—I had hormonal acne and bacteria-based pimples on my chin. This area is where those painful, cyst-like pimples tend to creep up, and day-um, they hurt. If you’re experiencing anything similar, it would be super helpful for you to go get your face checked out. I searched Eminence’s site (one of my fave organic brands) to find a spa that used their products, and luckily I had one nearby!
4. Assess your diet.
Since hormonal acne and acne in general can be a result of what you’re eating, take a look at your daily diet and look for any culprits that may be causing the acne. The usual suspects are sugar, soy, and dairy. Sugar and soy tend to cause red pimples, while dairy causes white pimples that you’ll want to pop. Invest in a magnifying mirror and take a look after a steamy hot shower. What’s the landscape of your skin? Try your best not to pop too many pimples to avoid scarring. If you see pimples that could be food related, take out the sugar, soy, and dairy for a week or two and see if things improve.
If you can do all of the above, you’ll be on an amazing track to healing your hormonal acne. Just remember to be patient! I’ve been dealing with mine on and off for almost ten years. It takes time, research, and effort, but it’s all worth it if you want that glowing skin I know we all desire.
Hope this was helpful, love, and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! Always here to help.