There are a number of reasons why we have hormonal breakouts, with a range of contributing factors that are best treated holistically. I worked with our naturopath Melanie Ruckley, to outline the common causes and natural treatments for us.
It's a common myth that spots and pimples are a thing of the past once you enter adulthood. There's nothing more frustrating than hormonal breakouts! So why do they occur, and what is the most effective hormonal acne treatment?
What is hormonal acne?
There are a number of reasons why we have hormonal acne, with a range of contributing factors that are best treated holistically. But what is hormonal acne? Before you tackle hormonal blemishes, it's important to first understand the underlying cause, as this is different for everyone. Hormonal breakouts can be caused by anything from stress to poor gut functioning! Using toxin free and nourishing topical products works to calm and clear the skin whilst aiming to identify any internal imbalances that may be contributing to the problem. For this comprehensive guide, I worked with with our Nourished Life Naturopath, Melanie Ruckley.
Can stress cause skin to break out?
The short answer is yes. When your body is under increased pressure, you're feeling exhausted or worried, or you're simply a high achiever... stress can have an impact on your hormones functioning optimally. This in turn can challenge your skin. Some herbal remedies can help to nourish and support you during these times of stress.
The Zilch herbal supplement was created for those with acne prone skin.
The Welleco Super Elixir Alkalising Greens is also a wonderful daily supplement which is packed with alkalising greens and cold pressed bio-live ingredients which the body can easily recognise. It also contains a unique blend of 4 probiotics to support gut health which is one the keys to clear skin.
Often the cause of hormonal breakouts is simply an imbalance of hormones. This is particularly prevalent for women during certain stages of their menstrual cycle, when hormones are fluctuating wildly. You may notice that breakouts starts anywhere between two to seven days before your period. This is due to a drop in oestrogen levels and a rise in progesterone levels, which in turn causes an increased production of facial oils. If you have a worsening of symptoms around menstruation or suffer from problematic or erratic periods, pyou can benefit from the balancing herb Chaste Tree (you can ask your naturopath about this).
If you are taking the oral contraceptive pill, then our Naturopath recommends that you address any stress with alternative products. Some great ingredients to look out for are Evening Primrose Oil and Zinc. The Ethical Nutrients Hi-Strength Evening Primrose Oil offers all round support that may support mood swings and energy levels.
Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner. For use by adults only. Vitamin supplements should not replace a healthy diet.
Lymphatic congestion related acne
As your skin is an organ of elimination, you need to make sure that your lymphatic system is flowing well in order to rid your body of toxic build up. Your bowel and lungs are also organs of elimination, so it's important to ensure these organs are functioning well too. Dry body brushing can assist with supporting lymphatic functions. Brush the groin, above the belly button, below the ribs, underarms, above the collarbone and under the jawline. We recommend a good quality Dry Skin Body Brush to remove dry skin cells and improve circulation. These brushes can really stimulate blood flow and improve the overall health of your skin.
Poor gut function and blemishes
Eating a diet high in processed foods and refined sugars can cause poor gut function and negatively impact your skin, as your body struggles to deal with high levels of sugar (fructose) in your diet. To improve your gut health, sugar elimination is so important for your body to efficiently get rid of waste products. Our Naturopath recommends starting this elimination process by cutting down on sugars and ensuring that you are eating quality proteins with each meal or snack. This will help to balance your blood sugar levels!
Having a high quality protein powder on hand can help to avoid reaching for those sugary snacks! The Amazonia Raw Protein Isolate is an ideal way to enhance your gut functioning by fuelling your body with live digestive enzymes and high levels of BCAA. This delicious Cocoa Coconut powder is vegan and filled with raw prebiotics.
For clear skin from the inside, The Beauty Chef Inner Beauty Glow powder uses a unique fermentation process to provide nutrients to your body. This delicious powder includes both prebiotics and probiotics to encourage the growth of good gut bacteria which are known to assist the skin and help in the treatment of breakouts.
Another fantastic product for gut health is The Love Your Gut Powder which is designed to sweep the bad bacterial and toxins from the gut (while keeping the good bacteria), helping to create an unburdened digestive system which more easily absorbs and stores nutrients and hydration for clearer skin.
Step by Step skincare routine for acne prone skin!
1. Cleanse with an oil balancing cleanser
Juniper Skincare Oil Balancing Cleanser $24.95, is ideal for dehydrated and acne prone skin. Made with Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel and Vitamin E, this cleanser helps to purify and clarify the skin without causing irritation. It's perfect for anyone that has problematic skin as it may help to balance dry skin and oily T-zones.
Weleda have recently introduced their Weleda Blemished Skin Purifying Gel Cleanser $26.95 which is specifically made for acne prone skin and this is attracting a lot of great reviews in store.
2. Tone with a purifying toner
The Juniper Skincare Oil Purifying Treatment Toner $25.95, is an ideal way to refresh your complexion throughout the day. It can help to mattify oily skin, while balancing the skin's natural pH levels and this toner is also very hydrating so it won't leave your skin feeling tight or dry.
I use the The Beauty Chef Skin Refiner in place of a toner for balancing oil and keeping blemishes under control. It contains natural AHA's to remove dead skin cells and unblock pores. It also contains lactic acid helps to hydrate the skin, so for those days of the month where skin is more oily, you can use this and skip your moisturiser altogether.
3. Gently exfoliate with a purifying facial exfoliant
The Pollen Botanicals Honey & Sugar Exfoliator $34.95 has been specifically created to help manage monthly blemishes. It's a gentle, non-abrasive formula that is ideal for all skin types. Use up to three times a week by massaging a generous amount onto your skin.
We have received loads of 5-star reviews for this product from happy customers.
4. Lightly moisturise with an oil balancing lotion
To finish off your skincare routine, our Naturopath recommends the Juniper Skincare Oil Balancing Lotion. This is a light moisturiser that balances the skin's natural oils to leave a silk, matte complexion. It's filled with nourishing Camellia Oil and Vitamin E.
The daily moisturiser partner to the Weleda Blemished Skin Purifying Gel Cleanser, is this Weleda Blemished Skin Refining Lotion. This contains Sage, Lavender Thyme and Witch Hazel which are all anti-acne herbs traditionally used to help improve blood circulation, control excess oil and keep pores clean.
For overnight hydration and blemish control, pure Jojoba Oil may be perfect for blemish prone skin! It is the only oil that actually mimics the sebum in our own skin so actually helps control the excess oils that lead to breakouts.
Natural breakout treatments
Necessity Zit Stik
The Necessity Zit Stik $7.95, is a 100% natural, anti-acne, anti-bacterial stick that you can apply directly to blemishes.
Mukti Clarity Balm
The Mukti Clarity Balm $44.95, uses the benefits of Witch Hazel, Kakadu Plum and Organic Aloe to purify the skin by reducing excess oil build up. Pat a little of this clear gel over the blemish area to help kill the bacteria and promote the healing of blemishes.
Weleda Blemished Skin S.O.S Spot Treatment
The Weleda Blemished Skin S.O.S Spot Treatment $21.95, contains anti-bacterial willow extract which fights impurities and begins to work on angry blemishes and pimples, reducing redness and relieving pressure. Feel calm, feel clear, feel relief for your skin.
Kiwiherb Skin Clear Gel
The Kiwiherb Skin Clear Gel $19.95, uses a combination of antioxidants and antibacterial ingredients. It is gentle on the skin and made using a natural formulation of New Zealand native herbs. To use, apply to the affected area 2-3 times daily.
Celsus Bio-Intelligence Scar Cream
The Celsus Bio-Intelligence Scar Cream $38.95, is great for helping to hydrate and smooth the appearance of scarring caused by hormonal acne by using 22 active ingredients. To use, massage into scarred areas 2-3 times daily.
The below article is written for general informational only. If symptoms persist, please consult your health care professional. With all vitamins and supplements, always read the label and use only as directed. For a supportive and focused approach to wellness, you can contact our Naturopath anytime for personal advice and to book a detailed Skype consultation.