Do you have adult acne or hormonal acne? Don’t worry, you are not alone! It’s estimated that 50 percent of women ages 20 to 29 have acne. It affects about 25 percent of women ages 40 to 49.
Acne is probably one of the most common skin problems and it often lasts into adulthood.
There are many factors that can cause adult acne. These include hormones, stress, an unbalanced diet and use of pore clogging or harsh cosmetics. It’s often a combination of these factors.
Hormonal acne is tied to fluctuations in your hormones. It typically forms on the lower part of your face which includes the bottom of your cheeks and around your jawline. Hormonal acne usually takes the form of small pimples and cysts. Cysts form deep under the skin and don’t come to a head on the surface. Hormonal acne may be caused by unbalanced hormones and influxes of hormones from menstruation and birth control.
Hormone imbalances are strongly connected to stress. Chronic cortisol is a stress hormone that can disrupt the entire endocrine system.
Increased cortisol can result from lack of sleep, excessive exercising, under-eating, constant anxiety, mental and emotional stress.
In order to help rid yourself of hormonal acne, your hormones need to be more balanced. Try to prioritise eliminating sources of chronic stress in your life, improve your mental and emotional health (with solutions like therapy or meditation) and get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Going to sleep before 11pm will help balance your cortisol rhythms.
Our diet can has a huge affect on our skin. A diet high in carbohydrates and inflammatory foods can cause surges of insulin that wreck the delicate balance of testosterone and oestrogen. This can result in acne, redness/rosacea.
Try to eat foods that contain zinc – this will help to reduce inflammation and bacteria production. Cashews, avocados, blackberries, and raspberries are good examples of zinc rich foods.
Fresh fruit is always a satisfying and healthy sweet treat, but if you crave sugar, try to eat dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains zinc and has antioxidants that can help fight sun damage. If a low-glycemic diet is something you're interested in trying, incorporate more whole grains, veggies, and beans while cutting back on white pasta, rice, bread, and, of course, sugar.
Gut health is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Try eating probiotic rich foods regularly eg. kimchi and kombucha.You could also add in a high-quality probiotic supplement that will support your microbiome.
Hormonal acne skincare
When choosing beauty and skincare products, you should first and foremost take your skin type into account.
In general, you should remove your makeup with a mild, gentle cleansing product, such as a cleansing balm or a cleansing oil. Oil based cleansers are perfect because they remove make-up pigments very easily without stripping the skin. You could also use a second cleanser if needed, for example a gel/foam cleanser. Make sure you use a gentle one, without sulphates or other harsh ingredients.
Whether you have hormonal acne or not, it is very important to moisturise your skin. A light-weight, balancing face oil, such as our facial oil, is perfect for people with acne. Our facial oil is a natural acne scar treatment and helps to balance sebum production and reduce inflammation.
One big acne aggravator is UV radiation from the sun. If you’re dealing with hormonal acne, you need protect your skin from the sun. However, try to avoid using chemical sunscreens. Not only can they aggravate the skin (making your acne look worse) but common ingredients oxybenzone, homosalate and octocrylene are known to be possible hormone disruptors.
Mineral sunscreen is a safe and effective way to protect your skin from the sun. These contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, often mixed together. A bonus is that zinc oxide is known to effectively reduce inflammation in acne.
With regards to makeup, it is important to avoid using pore-clogging foundations on a daily basis. But how do you know if it’s pore-clogging or not? Check the ingredient list to make sure there’s no silicone in it. It is usually names that end in -cone or -siloxane, such as dimethicone, cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane… Silicone is an occlusive molecule, it forms a barrier on top of your skin, so your skin can’t “breathe” properly. It also raises the question of biodegradability, as it seems to take 400-500 years on average to decompose...
If you follow these principles: a good skincare routine, balanced diet, physical and emotional self-care - your skin should definitely feel the difference!