What Causes Adult Acne?
Acne is no fun! And there are many reasons you can break out as an adult. Stress or changes in your hormone levels, like menopause or switching or stopping birth control pills, are two possibilities.
Some medications, including lithium, anti-seizure drugs, and corticosteroids, can cause acne.
Your dermatologist can help you figure out why your acne is happening. In some cases, it may be related to another condition.
Hormone imbalance is a major factor when it comes to acne. Think of adolescence, when estrogen and testosterone flood the body for the first time and cause those much-loathed teenage breakouts. Or the menstrual cycle, when fluctuating estrogen levels contribute to cyclical breakouts.
But estrogen and testosterone are not the only hormones that affect the skin. Insulin is one of the body’s master hormones, and high levels of insulin aggravate acne. “Insulin stimulates oil glands,” says holistic and integrative dermatologist Lila Yenn, MD.
Boost your detoxification pathways. The liver is the body’s main organ of detoxification. In the first phase of detoxification, toxins (including used-up hormones) are shuttled to the liver to be broken down. In phase two, the liver sends these broken-down toxins back out into the body to be eliminated. Elimination happens in one of three ways: through sweat, urine, and the bowels. You can optimize the detox process at every step of the way.
Eating cruciferous vegetables (the broccoli and cauliflower family, for example) is one of the best ways to support liver function; getting regular exercise or making use of other sweat therapies (like infrared sauna) boosts sweat; staying hydrated keeps the bladder moving, and a high-fiber diet does the same for the bowels.
What else can I do to clear hormonal acne?
- Wash your face with the I’m Fabulous TCA Cleanser in the morning and again in the evening.
- Apply no more than a pea-size amount of any acne product. Applying too much can dry out your skin and increase irritation.
- Use the
- I’m Fabulous TCA Toner every evening after washing your face, this will help clear up your pores and control the oil secretion.
- Use the I’m Fabulous Vitamin C hydrating serum in the morning and the I’m Fabulous Blemish potion in the evening after the TCA toner.
It can also be related to micronutrient deficiencies or compromised bacteria in the gut, which manifests in your dermal layers.
Poor digestion, or slow or compromised detoxification, can play a role, too. If detox is sluggish, if you aren’t breaking down hormones internally, your skin will show it because the skin is the largest organ of detoxification.
Food that might trigger your acne:
Some foods that trigger spikes in insulin include:
- white rice
- white bread
Because of their insulin-producing effects, these foods are considered “high-glycemic” carbohydrates. That means they’re made of simple sugars.
Some skin-friendly food choices include:
- yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apricots, and sweet potatoes
- spinach and other dark green and leafy vegetables
- whole-wheat bread
- brown rice
- pumpkin seeds
- beans, peas, and lentils
- salmon, mackerel, and other kinds of fatty fish