Acne is well.. complicated. We don’t live in a vacuum and our hormones, stress, and food constantly change even just day-to-day. Some people just seem to have perfect skin, others aren’t so lucky.
Why Does Acne Occur?
Usually a combination of:
⚡️Too much stress
⚡️Poor gut health
⚡️Gut imbalances (like SIBO or low stomach acid)
⚡️Not eating enough fiber
⚡️A sluggish and clogged liver
⚡️Food intolerances / food allergies
⚡️Chemicals in our environment (like our skincare/body care products)
Breakouts are a byproduct of androgens (aka male sex hormones) like testosterone being turned into DHT. Increased DHT = increased sebum production = oily skin = clogged pores & breakouts. Normally, progesterone helps inhibit testosterone from turning into DHT (by inhibiting a fancy enzyme called 5 Alpha Reductase).
Estrogen/Progesterone levels shift during the month anyway, but if hormones are a little imbalanced – hellooo breakouts.
**Important to note: Recently off birth control? Usually skin breakouts will be at their worst at around the 5-6 month point. Stick it out, skin should come around!
Foods That May Impact Acne:
⚡️Foods high in histamine (avocados, cheese, lunchmeat, bacon, certain nuts)
⚡️Sugar (Increases IGF-1, which increases sebum, keratin, and inflammation in the body)
⚡️Dairy (directly increases inflammation and IGF-1)
⚡️Gluten (may increase inflammation & alter gut biome)
Conventional Treatments for Acne:
⚡️Birth Control – Treats acne by modifying hormone levels, lowering androgen levels, & reducing sebum production
⚡️Spirolactone – Treats acne by blocking androgen receptors
⚡️Accutane – Alters DNA expression in the body (highlyyy recommend avoiding)
Supplements That Help Fight Acne:
1. Zinc (it kills bacteria, reduces inflammation, and lowers androgens).
2. DIM (a phytonutrient normally found in broccoli, kale, and brussels). Blocks androgen receptors and also helps naturally balance estrogen levels
3. Saw Palmetto (Inhibits 5-alpha reductase/inhibits DHT)
4. Reishi mushrooms (inhibits 5-reductase/inhibits DHT)
5. Berberine (reduces inflammation and IGF-1. Also a natural antibiotic that kills the bacteria that creates acne)
(^we don’t need to use ALL of them. Lean into food and lifestyle stuff & then considering adding to the mix)
Suggestions on Healing Acne:
⚡️Manage & address stress (namast-ay in bed, yo!)
⚡️Address gut health (probiotics, fermented foods)
⚡️30-35g fiber daily & plenty of water
⚡️Support liver (supplement with Milk Thistle & NAC)
⚡️Limit sugar, dairy, gluten, corn, soy, & foods high in histamines
⚡️Audit skincare, cosmetic, and personal hygiene products (avoid parabens, sulfates, etc)
⚡️Balance blood sugar (pro/carb/fat/veggie at every meal and watch sugar intake)
⚡️Balance hormones by working w doctor, seed cycling, & taking supplements like DIM if symptoms of estrogen dominance
⚡️Consider adding an anti-androgen supplement like zinc, saw palmetto, or reishi mushrooms
As always, please consult with a doctor prior to making changes to your prescriptions or supplementation routines!
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