The journey in dealing with my hormonal acne has been a marathon not a sprint. I feel like I’ve tried everything under the sun. And if I’m honest, I’m not quite 100% where I want to be with my skin yet. Acne doesn’t work the same for everyone which is why I’m hesitant to share today’s post. However, I hope that maybe I can provide a few suggestions to try and a little bit of hope that you can do this without intense medication and toxic skincare products.
If you haven’t read my skincare post for acne prone skin, I’ve also rounded up my favorite products. But as far as hormonal acne goes, there’s quite a few lifestyle changes that made a difference. Again, this is what I’ve found works best for me. Let’s chat about the 7 things that actually helped my hormonal acne.
When I Eat
Half of the things that I’ve found affected my hormonal acne have revolved around food. When I first started intermittent fasting, I noticed that my skin started to clear up. Just not my hormonal acne. Eventually I realized that I’d been overtaxing my digestion and eating more than my body needed which led to my skin breaking out. But unfortunately, IF wasn’t the cure all I wanted it to be for my hormonal acne.
I’ve found I do best when I eat meals every 5-6 hours. I still stick with an extended fasting window over night. There’s normally at least 12-14 hours between my dinner and breakfast. But ditching my snacking habit and focusing on well rounded meals has helped keep my blood sugar balanced and my hormones happier.
How I Eat
When I realized intermittent fasting wasn’t helping me reach my goals, I decided to finally apply Kelly Leveque’s Fab 4 method* to my diet. The idea behind each meal is a balance of protein, fat, fiber and greens. It’s an incredibly maintainable lifestyle and focuses heavily on balancing your blood sugar. So now instead of random bits throughout my 8 hour fasting window, I have 3 balanced meals a day. My energy levels are better, my skin is clearer and my body is thankful to be getting a better mix of nutrients.
WHAT I EAT
I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that there are some foods that just don’t work with my body. Yes, you hear from people that foods don’t trigger acne. I’d disagree based on personal experience. But to each their own. The foods I’ve found trigger acne for me contain gluten (a food sensitivity I’ve been tested positive for), refined sugar, dairy and bovine collagen powder. I’d love to try other collagen’s to see if they also affect my skin. However for now, I’ve tracked, fasted and learned that these are foods I need to avoid if I want my hormonal acne and my digestion to play nice.
THE PRODUCTS I USE
Overly drying your skin is not helping your hormonal acne. Using insanely harsh products is also not helping. But finding the right mix of products can take time. Making the full switch to clean beauty has been a massive help in healing my skin. My goal has been to find effective products that nourish my skin and help keep it in balance. There have been some favorites like Tata Harper’s Clarifying Cleanser* + Beautycounter’s Counter Control line. Being mindful of the toxic load I’m adding to my already taxed endocrine system has been a big help in getting my hormonal acne in check.
I did a review a few months ago on Flo Living supplements and they are still they majority of my every day supplements. They are designed to help with your overall hormone levels. And I’ve definitely been able to tell a difference. The small bumps that typically plague my chin as hormonal acne are more and more rare. Plus, the changes in my hair due to an extended amount of time on birth control seem to be reversing. I also take Seed’s Daily Synbiotic & a raw iron supplement*.
Our bodies have a great detox system but we have to give them the tools to do the job. Drinking tons of water is something your body desperately needs. I always notice how much clearer my skin is when I’m hitting my daily water goals. I aim for 1-1.5 gallons a day. Typically I cart around my Hydro Flask* everywhere I go. But when I feel like I’m really not getting my water in, I’ll use the My Water* app to track my intact and keep me mindful.
SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP
When I had my hormones tested months ago, one of the things I realized is how off my cortisol levels were. Luckily, it wasn’t anything extreme. But making sure I’m resting and giving my body the time it needs to recover nightly is major for everything to do with my health. Stress can present in a lot of ways in your body. So if you aren’t taking care of yourself and resting, your hormones and hormonal acne are bound to be out of whack. Don’t skip the sleep. You need it.
As you can see, hormonal acne requires a bit of an all encompassing approach. If you aren’t already tracking your period and symptoms, I’d highly recommend downloading myFLO* and reading Alissa Vitti’s Woman Code*. If you think your hormones are out of whack, you can also get them tested with EverlyWell*. I have a discount code that will get you 12% off your first test (code: everly).
I know how much having hormonal acne sucks. But believe me when I say, you can heal your body naturally. Don’t be afraid to be proactive about asking for alternative treatment and seeking out a functional medicine doctor. And if you have managed to heal your acne, I’d love to know what you did. Leave a comment below and let me know. Also, please feel free to share this with anyone you think it might help. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
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