We’ve all experienced some sort of skin congestion – and sometimes it can take a toll on our self-esteem. There may be a bump here or there, accompanied by redness, sensitivity, or a patch of flaky skin, except you only notice it on the lower part of your face around your jawline and chin area.
These are key indicators of hormonal acne and can also be characterized by whiteheads, blackheads, small bumps, and sometimes cysts. Teen hormonal acne typically appears in the T-zone. But we want you to remember that nobody has perfect skin!
Even though you might feel like clearing impurities is a never-ending process, don’t fret. Following the basics of a skincare routine while instilling a nutrient-dense diet will lead to significant skin improvements.
What Causes Hormonal Acne?
While hormonal acne is commonly associated with adolescence, it can also affect individuals during other life stages, including menopause and conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hormonal imbalances. Hormonal imbalances can occur in both men and women due to various factors, including stress, certain medications, underlying health conditions, and lifestyle choices. Increased duration of menstrual cycles and pregnancy will also cause breakouts. One key indicator of hormonal imbalance is hormonal acne, which is usually located on your chin, neck, chest, back and worsens when the time of the month comes around. If you have any doubts, be sure to take in-depth hormone panel blood level tests with your gynecologist.
Different types of Acne
Acne is not a one-size-fits-all condition, and understanding the various types is crucial for effective treatment. From the common blackheads and whiteheads to more severe forms like papules and nodules, we will explore the visual characteristics of different acne types. This knowledge will help you discern whether your acne is indeed hormonal and guide you towards tailored solutions for your skin's specific needs.
Healing Acne Internally
Acne, especially the hormonal variety, can be stubborn and challenging to combat. While external skincare is crucial, nourishing your body from the inside can also play a pivotal role in achieving clearer skin.
Hydrating on the inside, drinking plenty of water and exercising is always key to a healthy lifestyle as it helps flush out toxins while maintaining skin elasticity. Foods high in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables high in vitamin c and avocados or walnuts high in unsaturated fats will improve skin health almost instantaneously. Avoid processed foods such as sugary drinks, alcohol, and smoking. These can trigger acne and congestion – make sure to consume these in moderation. Omega-3 rich foods such as salmon, mackerel, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and almonds help reduce inflammation, especially acne flare-ups.
Supplements should complement a balanced diet and a holistic approach to skincare in managing hormonal acne effectively. Taking omega-3, zinc, vitamin c, probiotics, green tea extract, and evening primrose oil will significantly improve your skin! If possible, make sure to avoid dairy products, as these increase testosterone activity.
3) Manage Stress
Nurturing and focusing on mental health are crucial to improving overall health. It impacts every aspect of our lives, including sleeping, eating, self-esteem, and how we handle relationships. Stress and skin flare-ups are unanimous; stress can trigger dermatitis, rosacea, or acne flare-ups. When anxious, a fight-or-flight response in cortisol triggers within the body that impacts the immune system, including breakouts. Make sure to always put yourself first, and to surround yourself in positive environments with loving relationships. Engage in stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
4) Getting Enough Sleep
Beauty sleep is the real deal. During the daytime, our skincare protects our moisture barrier from pollution and UV rays. At night, our skin finally has time to regenerate after being exposed to environmental stressors all day. Studies prove that sleep deprivation results in dehydration, dullness, and fine lines. Make sure to let your body rest for at least eight hours of rest each night for a healthy lifestyle and beautiful, radiant skin.
Treating Hormonal Acne Externally
There’s only so much you can do externally when targeting hormonal acne, but your external routine matters just as much as your internal routine! It’s crucial to have a proper cleanser, toner, exfoliator, moisturizer, and SPF daily.
Be aware of using too many active ingredients often can cause skin irritation – that means cutting down on using exfoliators to 1-2 times a week with these ingredients: salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol. If using retinol, use it once a week and do not mix it with any other active ingredients. You may be tempted to overload on these daily, but trust us, they may cause irritation or skin sensitivity if overused.
1) Avoid Comedogenic Ingredients
Another tip is to always double check that your cosmetics and skincare products are non-comedogenic. Comedogenic ingredients such as talc, mineral oil, and lanolin are pore-clogging. However, there are different types of “comedogenicity” for ingredients. For example, we use Peg-75 Shea Butter Glycerides, which is a lightweight derivative of shea butter. Using non-comedogenic products, especially makeup will let your pores happily breathe and prevent acne.
Don’t Underestimate Yourself!
Hormonal imbalances and acne are completely normal, and are treatable. There are tons of natural remedies, accompanied by a good skincare routine that will make a difference anywhere from 8-10 weeks. If not, it’s always safe to visit the doctors and put your health first!