hormonal acne


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?

  1. Wash your face with the I’m Fabulous TCA Cleanser in the morning and again in the evening.
  2. Apply no more than a pea-size amount of any acne product. Applying too much can dry out your skin and increase irritation.
  3. Use the
  4. I’m Fabulous TCA Toner every evening after washing your face, this will help clear up your pores and control the oil secretion.
  5. 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:

  • pasta
  • white rice
  • white bread
  • sugar

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
  • tomatoes
  • blueberries
  • whole-wheat bread
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • turkey
  • pumpkin seeds
  • beans, peas, and lentils
  • salmon, mackerel, and other kinds of fatty fish
  • nuts

You started with a seemingly perfect skin—until you hit puberty. Hormones surge through your body causing havoc to your metabolic processes. Sebum production is increased, as well, causing your face to get easily greasy. You tried your best to minimize breakouts.

Finally, your puberty is over and your skin returns to normal. For a couple of years or so, acne breakouts no longer frighten you. You thought it is gone forever—or so you think—until you get pregnant.

Pregnancy and Acne

During pregnancy, the production of certain hormones in the body is increased. This is supposed to support the growth of a new organism inside. While this supports the survival of the new life and proves to serve the best interest of rearing a new life, it comes with a price: acne.

On the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, the mother produces increased amounts of androgens. This hormone supports growth and development of the baby inside her womb.

Its ability to increase the growth and reproduction rates of cells, however, isn’t just confined to the baby but extends to the mother’s skin, as well. As a result, the skin produces more amounts of sebum and skin cells tend to grow and reproduce faster than usual. The change in the growth and reproduction rates of the cells, coupled with elevated amounts of sebum in the skin, increase the likelihood of the pores being clogged and cause acne.

Comparably, acne caused by puberty is easier to treat than that caused by pregnancy. For one, some cosmetics have active ingredients that, while they treat acne effectively, are harmful to the fetus. Thus, a pregnant woman has to be careful with what product to use in her face.

Natural Remedies for Pregnancy Acne

Instead of resorting to the use of common skin products designed to treat acne, a safer way to treat it without fearing for its adverse effect on the growing fetus inside the womb is to use natural remedies.

The following natural remedies are not only used for acne by people for years now, they are also composed of basic ingredients that are harmful and neutral but highly effective.


#1 Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar works perfectly as a natural toner. It helps remove excess oil and control the production of sebum.

To use, dilute one part of vinegar with three parts of distilled water. Soak a cotton ball on the mixture and apply to your skin like a regular toner. This will help absorb excess oil and remove dead skin cells.

Apple cider vinegar contains alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) and a wealth of natural enzymes to keep acne at bay.

#2 Lemon

Apple cider vinegar smells like vomit to some. If you do not like to use it because of such an issue, you can use lemon juice as an alternative.

Citrus fruits, like lemon and limes, natural contain AHA which helps remove dead skin cells and free your pores up. Soak a cotton to the juice and apply it to face like a regular toner. Leave it on for 10 minutes or until the juice dries up. Rinse it with cold water afterward. Leaving it longer will irritate your skin as lemon juice is such as powerful exfoliant.


#3 Oatmeal and cucumber

Another great exfoliant is oatmeal. You can use it as a cleanser to remove dirt and excess sebum without the need for soap. Because it’s rich in saponins, a compound that binds with and removes dirt and oil, oatmeal has been a popular ingredient in many cleansers.

Oatmeal is best combined with cucumber, which has a nourishing, moisturizing and cooling effect on the skin. You can blend the two ingredients and apply them on your face as a face mask.

To boost its effects, it is best to combine oatmeal and cucumber with honey and yogurt. Apply the mixture to the skin of the face for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off with water.

You might even want to try the all-natural mask after pregnancy. It’s all-natural yet all effective.

#4 Honey

Not only is honey safe for the skin, it also has antimicrobial and healing effects that makes it an effective natural remedy for acne. Bees make honey to nourish the young thus it is relatively harmless for pregnant women.

In addition, honey has is a good exfoliant. A pregnant woman produces elevated levels of hormones, such as androgens, to support the growth and development of the baby. One of its effects on the skin that contributes to acne, is it causes skin cells to grow faster than the usual rate.

This can contribute to the clogging of the pores. Regular application of honey as part of skin regimen ensures that dead skin cells are removed and prevented from blocking the pores.


#5 Coconut oil

A skincare regimen is not completed without moisturizer. Unfortunately, most moisturizers in the market have a lot of synthetic chemicals in them. If you want an all-natural one, which does its job without added ingredients, you can try virgin coconut oil.

After cleaning your face with a mixture of cucumber, yogurt, honey and oatmeal, and applying apple cider vinegar or lemon as a toner, apply virgin coconut oil. It is best applied during sleep as it can nourish your skin, as well.

If you are trying to go outside and you are concerned about looking greasy on the face, apply virgin coconut oil an hour or so before you leave. The oil will get absorbed well and will not be noticeable anymore.

Some Reminders

Acne is an inflammatory response thus anything that could irritate your skin will likely to cause a breakout. You want to clean your skin without overdoing it thus do not over wash.

Even though you are using natural products for your skin, they can still strip your skin of natural moisture and mess up with the natural microbiome. Both are important for a healthy acne-free skin. In addition, irritation can trigger excess sebum production.

Lastly, remember to exfoliate every other day or after two weeks. Do not do it daily as it will irritate your skin and could lead to worse problems than acne.

Author: Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist and co-founder of UsmanDigitalMedia.com. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.