Ever notice how right before & during “that time of the month”, you can suddenly be struck with a serious case of pizza face? (aka acne and breakouts)
It’s “sort of” related to your hormones, but also “sort of” not. We certainly do not live in a vacuum, but in addition to hormones, acne can also related to underlying issues – like poor gut health, a sluggish/overwhelmed liver, inflammation, environmental exposures, consumption of certain foods, etc.
Where is Your Acne Occurring?
– Acne along and under the jawline: Likely more related to hormones
– Acne on the forehead, chin, temples: could be more related to poor gut health, liver health, dietary choices, etc
While a variety of things can cause acne, one biggie occurs when androgens (like testosterone) turn into DHT (via action of 5 alpha reductase). DHT increases sebum production, thus we get acne, oily skin, clogged pores. Balanced blood sugar, keeping stress in check, and healthy progesterone levels can help keep DHT in check. But if hormones get out of wack, hellooo breakouts!
On the same token, we have this awesome organ (our liver) that helps detoxify the body. If it’s overwhelmed with pesticides and chemicals in our food, medications, hormonal birth control, too much alcohol on the reg, etc – excess estrogen may recirculate – rather than be broken down and excreted by the colon.
So how do we minimize breakouts? We keep our blood sugar balanced and love our liver, gut, and hormones!
Improving Acne Via Food & Lifestyle:
– Consider minimizing consumption of gluten, dairy, refined sugar, corn, soy.
– Minimize alcohol consumption (not necessarily directly related to acne, but does fuss with hormone health over the long haul)
– Buy high-quality meats, and minimize processed foods as much as possible
– Consume plenty of cruciferous vegetables on the regular (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, etc) as well as sprouts
– Consume 25-35 grams of fiber daily and plenty of water
– Monitor blood glucose levels, eat at regular intervals, and consume well-rounded meals with protein/carb/fat/veggies/tons of fiber at every meal
-Switch to all-natural skincare, body care, hair care, and cosmetics (Beauty Counter is EWG-Verified and performs like a DREAM)
– Use natural laundry detergent (we love Branch Basics!)
– Wash bed sheets weekly
– Immediately shower after working out or getting sweaty
– Try to avoid wearing make-up while working out
– Make sure to wash your hair regularly (;
Supplementation That Might Support Clear Skin:
– Berberine, Vitex, DIM (consult with your doctor)
– Vitamin D
Supporting Gut Health Via Supplementation:
– Bone Broth
– Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir)
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