Do you find you get a huge zit on your chin in the middle of your cycle? Or maybe it’s right before your period that you notice you really breakout? So many women suffer with hormonal adult acne well beyond their teenage years. I had terrible hormonal acne in my 20s, it was the painful cystic kind that spread all over my face, chest and back. I was desperate to improve the appearance of my skin and I tried everything – antibiotics, Retinol-A cream, Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid – and not only did these common treatments do nothing to help my skin, they actually made the acne worse. As you’re here reading this post, I suspect you already know this and you’ve probably even tried a few of those hormonal acne treatments. You have the instinct that your hormonal acne needs to a more holistic approach that really gets down to the root cause of exactly why it’s happening, and you’re absolutely right!
What is hormonal acne?
Hormonal acne is related to specific hormonal imbalances that are heightened at the time that you see those breakouts. Most women get their hormonal acne around the time that they ovulate (mid-cycle) and/or right before their period. These are the two points in the hormonal cycle when estrogen and testosterone are peaking. If your body is not processing your hormones correctly, eliminating the excess and detoxifying, then that extra estrogen and testosterone will cause acne. The excess estrogen will cause estrogen dominance and inflame your skin. The testosterone will play on your sebaceous glands to produce more oil.
It’s interesting to note that right before your period your blood comes closer to the surface of the skin and this has many effects, including increased redness and acne. Dentists are well-aware of this phenomenon, because if you have a dental appointment when you’re premenstrual or menstruating your gums will be more likely to overly bleed! You may also notice that pre-menstrually you are more prone to unwanted hair growth or even hair loss due on the extra testosterone playing on your hair follicles.
The root cause of hormonal acne
Hormonal acne is caused by an imbalance in our hormones, but it goes deeper than that. Your skin is your biggest organ of elimination – but it works within a system that includes the liver, lymphatic system, and large intestine. These organs all act as one unit and they can’t be separated when it comes to treating the root cause of hormonal acne. What you put into your body – the food you eat, the products you use on your skin and hair, the cleaning substances you handle – must be eliminated properly, if not, then these chemicals that mimic estrogen will stay in your body circulating around. If all of your elimination organs are not working optimally, then your skin will suffer. The leftover, circulating toxins will show up on your face as acne. A buildup of toxins will cause hormonal imbalance. The excess hormones (estrogen and testosterone) will also be prevented from leaving the body properly and cause you to have all the hormonal symptoms – from acne to PMS.
How to prevent hormonal acne
The best way to prevent hormonal acne is to support the function of your elimination organs with the right foods. Your liver needs enough micronutrients to work to detoxify your body. Foods that are inflammatory cause leaky gut syndrome where microscopic holes develop in the wall of your intestine. These holes let food molecules through which then cause an inflammatory response in the body, which reads them as harmful. This is when the other elimination organ – your skin – tries to take on the workload. When your liver and large intestine are working at a subpar level, your skin steps up and tries to eliminate the toxins – resulting in skin inflammation and acne.
The Flo Living protocol effectively supports your body’s elimination system, balances estrogen and testosterone, and will treat and prevent your hormonal acne. A combination of the right foods and the right supplements can help you move past hormonal acne, finally, and get the clear skin you want. It worked for me and it will work for you too. As part of the Flo Living protocol you do avoid certain types of foods that trigger hormonal imbalance issues, including hormonal acne. Although my protocol is much more about what you can eat and hormonally-supportive good foods, there are some foods that are particularly bad for women with problems like hormonal acne that I advise my clients to cleanse from their diet.
The foods to avoid if you have hormonal acne
- Dairy – aside from the fact that a lot of our dairy options include synthetic hormones that add to your body’s hormone excess, dairy is also a primary cause of leaky gut syndrome as it is an inflammatory agent.
- Peanuts – the allergens in peanuts that cause some people to react adversely in serious ways, can cause many more of us to see inflammation on our skin.
- Soy – the phytoestrogens in soy can create estrogen overload in the already hormonally-sensitive individual and this can contribute to hormonal acne. Watch out for soy in many products where you wouldn’t expect to see it – including some supplements.
- Canola, sunflower, safflower, vegetable oil – these kinds of cooking oils have more omega-6 than omega-3 and this produces inflammation on the skin during peak estrogen time.
- Caffeine – coffee and black and green teas will strip your body of essential B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc, which disrupts the skin’s immune response.
- Gluten – like dairy, gluten contributes to inflammation of the gut and leaky gut syndrome.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you have hormonal acne?
Second, do you have any other hormonal symptoms?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
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