HOW TO TREAT YOUR HORMONAL ACNE HOLISTICALLY
If you have ever struggled with uncontrollable acne breakouts - hormonal or otherwise - I feel your pain. I sailed through high school without the derm-related trauma that afflicts most teens, and other than the occasional zit or cluster of blemishes throughout me 20s and 30s, I could never related to the stress and frustration that comes with chronic acne.
For whatever reason - changes in diet, a stressful period in my life, or both - the skin along my jawline began to break out uncontrollably in Winter of 2018 and has become progressively worse ever since. Breakouts along the jawline are indicative of hormonal imbalance (which result in high cortisol and inflammation of the skin).
I was trying to treat the breakouts topically - spending money on a slew of different chemical-free cleansers, glycolic acid, spot treatments, and toners, but experiencing no relief. When I got real with myself and did some more homework, I realized that my health diet could definitely use some improvements (yes, even Health Coaches sometimes eat too much dairy and drink too much coffee), and that this level of hormone imbalance was going to necessitate some dietary supplements to help clear the acne.
I believe very much in a less is more approach when taking supplements - too much can tax the liver. But short term, sometimes the body needs a little something to help it through a period of trauma or imbalance, and this is where dietary supplementation comes in. Even if I wasn't experiencing stress at the level that I was 8-9 months ago, I realized that I was still experiencing low-level stress on a daily basis, and that this was contributing to low-level inflammation and hormonal imbalance. While I've had to incorporate lifestyle changes (exercising more, sleeping more), after doing some research, I also opted to add the following three (3) supplements for additional support.
1. I RAMPED UP MY DAILY PROBIOTICS INTAKE
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the substances produced by probiotics have antimicrobial properties, meaning they can create holes in bad bacteria and kill them. Similar to the way antibiotics work in the treatment of acne and rosacea, probiotics can help fight harmful bugs from triggering inflammation. While I was already taking LoveBug's Here's The Skinny daily, I added in Yeast Is a Beast, which is specifically formulated to tackle yeast overgrowth. Candida albicans is a naturally occurring yeast in the body found primarily in the intestinal tract. But if you have acne it is very likely you also have Candida overgrowth, so adding this formula from the LoveBug line seemed like a practical thing to do to eliminate any overgrowth. If you follow my blog or my Instagram feed, you know that I've been a long-time devotee to Lovebug Probiotics. They are one of the highest quality probiotics in the market, and the only one that I'm aware of that has been scientifically manufactured to survive the trip through both the large AND small intestine, so this is the brand that I recommend to clients over and over again.
2. I'M MANAGING STRESS & ANXIETY WITH CBD
Unless you're living off the grid, you've probably been seeing 'CBD' everywhere. Use of hemp in the health world is nothing new, but mainstream use of CBD is. Derived from the stem of the sativa hemp plant (but containing no THC), CBD is a multi-purpose holistic treatment for anxiety, depression, pain, PTSD, and science is finding that it even inhibits tumor growth. As someone who runs on the anxious side (who doesn't these days?), and as someone with chronic sleep issues, finding a way to incorporate CBD into my daily routine became top priority for me. Stress, anxiety, and insomnia raise cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol levels get your hormones out of whack, and THAT leads to acne along the jawline. While I love CBD tinctures, CBD honey, and CBD coconut oil for some purposes, they're not the most practical for running around on a busy day, so I've turned to these capsules for daily use to minimize stress and anxiety, and to help me sleep at night. The CBD Genesis brand has absolutely no fillers, it's purse hemp oil and hemp extract, and they are also full-spectrum which you absolutely want in a CBD product. Full spectrum CBD includes an array of cannabinoids - the active property in CBD - that work together to maximize efficacy. And if you're new to CBD, I recommend trying HempleBox who will take the guesswork out of trying different brands and product lines!
3. I'M MINIMIZING INFLAMMATION WITH TURMERIC
If acne is inflammation of the skin, then it stands to reason that managing inflammation is key to treating acne. While I follow an anti-inflammatory diet 90% of the time, once the acne took hold of my skin, diet alone hasn't been cutting it and running to yoga whenever I need to just isn't an option with my busy life. Antioxidants also play a key role in skin health and acne management, and turmeric is both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, so I also began incorporating this Turmeric supplement from Well Told Health. I chose Well Told's because it's the only one that I could find that was gluten free, soy, free organic, vegan, and filler free. My body was already dealing with a lot, and what I didn't want to do was make it start to also have to detox from fillers, dyes, and toxic pesticides which would just exacerbate the acne. The only ingredient in Well Told's Turmeric Booster is organic turmeric. So I got on board with these fast. Since I've also (attempted) to give up coffee as part of my anti-acne campaign, their Energy Booster has been saving me on busy mornings where I need an assist.
If you're reading this because of your own acne struggles, I wish you the best of luck in finding a treatment and routine that works for you. In addition to taking the supplements above, I'm also just staying positive and keeping a healthy perspective that I have my health, the most loving family anyone could ever ask for, a boyfriend I'm obsessed with, and that I have the opportunity to be here and alive in this world. I'll be writing more about acne management in future posts, so make sure to follow me on Instagram and sign up for my newsletter.