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Ultimate Guide to Hormonal Acne!

There are a number of reasons as to why we have hormonal breakouts, with a range of contributing factors that are best treated holistically. I worked with our naturopath to outline the common causes and natural treatments for us.

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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 as to 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 work to calm and clear the skin while 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 due to an increase in male hormones or androgens. Herbal remedies can help to nourish and support your adrenal and hormonal health to balance normal bodily processes.

To help manage stress related breakouts, our Naturopath recommends taking a regular Vitamin B supplement, such as the Ethical Nutrients Super B Daily Stress Plus. Or the Ethical Nutrients Ginseng 5 Exhaustion Relief which works to reduce the effects of stress, made with a combination of traditional adaptogen herbs, these supplements help to relieve daily stress, exhaustion and any physical strain.

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.

Hormonal acne

Often the cause of hormonal breakouts are simply an imbalance of the hormones. This is particularly prevalent for women during certain stages of their menstrual cycle, when hormones are changing and fluctuating. 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, you can benefit from the balancing herb Chaste Tree (you can ask your naturopath about this).

If you are using the OCP, then our Naturopath recommends that you use alternative products for support such as nervousness or stress support. 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 to reduce mood swings and increase energy levels. It can also help alleviate symptoms of sensitive skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis.

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 clearing major lymphatic functions including 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 really stimulate blood flow and improve the overall health of your skin.

Gentle movements including walking and yoga also stimulates the lymphatics. The Herbs of Gold Clear Skin contains a thorough blend of lymphatic and blood cleansing herbs for those needing some assistance with clearing these pathways. An active ingredient in this supplement is Echinacea which provides an antibacterial action to assist in preventing bacterial overgrowth on the skin.

Poor gut function related acne

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, 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 to ensure 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 an abundance of visible skin benefits including the treatment of breakous. This delicious powder includes both prebiotics and probiotics to encourage the growth of good gut bacteria.

Another fantastic product for gut health is The Heal Your Gut Powder which is designed to sweep the bad bacterial and toxins from the gut (while keeping the good bactieria), creating 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 helps to balance dry skin and oily T-zones, while unblocking and refining pores.

Weleda have recently introduced their Aknedoron Cleansing Lotion $25.95 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 helps to mattify oily skin, while balancing the skin’s natural pH levels. 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 break outs 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 all together.

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. With over loads of 5-star reviews from happy customers. 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.

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 that clarifies acne prone skin to prevent breakouts from popping up.

The daily moisturiser partner to the Weleda Aknedoron cleanser, is this Aknedoron Purifying Lotion. This contains Sage, Lavender Thyme and Witch Hazel which are all anti-acne herbs to help improve blood circulation, control excess oil and keep pores clean.

For overnight hydration and blemish control, pure Jojoba Oil is a godsend 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. our skin’s natural oils, our pores allow it to sink past the top layer of our skin.

Natural Hormonal acne 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 to help promote fast healing and help new break outs from occurring.

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.

Lavera SOS Blemish Control
The Lavera SOS Blemish Control $26.95, is another fast acting treatment that reduces redness, calms the skin and fights bacteria that causes acne. Made with natural ingredients including Willow Bark Extract, Peppermint Leaf and Zinc, this treatment reduces blemishes and prevents future breakouts. To use, apply a small amount over spots as they appear.

Kiwiherb Skin Clear Gel
The Kiwiherb Skin Clear Gel $19.95, offers high potency acne relief using powerful antioxidants and antibacterial ingredients. Containing pure Manuka essential Oil, this gel helps to prevent acne and fight off bacteria. It’s ultra 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 erase and minimise the appearance of scarring caused by hormonal acne. Using 22 active ingredients, this cream heals and boosts the skin, helping the skin's natural regeneration process. 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.

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