29 Jun Dietary and Lifestyle Tips To Reduce Hormonal Acne
Acne can present differently from person to person, if you have hormonal acne you may notice your breakouts are occurring before or during your menstrual cycle or after starting/stopping birth control pills. The location of hormonal breakouts is generally located on the chin area and may also include the cheek, neck and back.
Investigating the cause
Through case analysis and testing, we can determine the cause/key drivers contributing to your acne presentation and therefore, can treat the root cause.
Pathology testing may indicate imbalances in hormone levels which may contribute to your acne presentation such as changes in oestrogen levels, excess androgens (male hormones) and excess insulin levels. For example, raised androgen levels, in both females and males can trigger a process of higher sebum (oil) production, inflammation and changes in skin cell activity.
Furthermore, investigating the health of the gut microbiome through stool testing as well as assessing liver health, diet and lifestyle to determine if these might be contributing to your hormonal acne.
5 DIETARY CHANGES FOR CLEAR SKIN
Quit sugar & refined carbohydrates
Sugar increases a hormone called insulin growth factor or IGF-1. IGF-1 is the perfect storm for acne because it increases sebum, keratin, and inflammation. Elevated insulin levels stimulate the secretion of androgens and cause increased production of sebum . Eliminate all added and refined sugars including processed and packaged foods, sauces, white grains, juices, and baked goods. Take caution with food labelled ‘refined sugar-free’ or ‘raw treats’ as these are still high in fructose and can spike insulin levels.
Avoid cow’s dairy
Cow’s dairy may increase inflammation and the IGF-1 hormone. Swap to organic, unsweetened nut milk and try goat or sheep dairy instead.
My favourite milk alternatives include:
Increase foods rich in zinc
Zinc can help to kill bacteria, lower androgens, reduce inflammation and support skin healing. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, legumes, and good-quality red meat/poultry.
Increase good fats, especially omega 3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from fish oil inhibit the conversion of arachidonic acid, a pro-inflammatory substance . Omega 3 can also help lower IGF-1.
Ensuring you are having good quality sources of omega 3 such as oily fish (sardines, anchovies, salmon) flaxseeds, hemp seeds or a good quality EPA/DHA supplement can help reduce inflammation and improve skin integrity.
Increase intake of cruciferous vegetables
DIM (diindolylmethane) is a phytonutrient derived from vegetables such as broccoli, broccolini, cabbage and Brussel sprouts (cruciferous vegetables). DIM helps to increase the detoxification pathways/clearance of hormones that may be contributing to your hormonal acne and have an anti-androgen effect.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES FOR CLEAR SKIN
- Swap to filtered water, and ensure you are drinking 2 – 3L per day – water is required for cellular health and to promote toxin removal
- Ensure your pillowcase is being changed regularly as your pillowcase can be a feeding ground for bacteria
- Avoid touching your face and speak with your phone on speaker
- Cleansing your face AM and PM and avoid heavy, thick make-up.
Dietary and lifestyle changes alone may be enough for you to see improvements in your skin. However, if your gut health and hormones are unbalanced, testing and more targeted treatment will be required to give you clear skin, for good.
Looking for a Perth naturopath who can help?
Call 9399 1999 or book in for a FREE scoping session and I would be happy to discuss your skin concerns.