Are you suffering from acne in the days leading up to your monthly menstruation? Or maybe you are you approaching your menopausal years and experiencing breakouts? If so, this is just the right blog for you!
We will cover everything from skincare ingredients, skin hygiene, the gut and skin connection, where you can seek help, as well as the hormones involved!
Did you know that our skin is our largest body organ? It has various functions in protection, regulation, excretion and sensation and therefore, it is important that we take care of it.
How skin health fluctuates with hormones
First, we will give you the low down on why you're breaking out pre menstruation or just prior to experiencing menopause.
Oil is a factor that may play a role in these reoccurring breakouts. The skin secretes oil, referred to as sebum, through sebaceous glands of the skin. Hormones, genetics, skincare habits and the outside environment can all have an effect on how much oil our skin is producing. However, when addressing hormones in both males and females, androgens, commonly known as testosterone shows to be the hormone that stimulates the secretion of sebum from the sebaceous glands. Therefore, as androgen levels fluctuate, the oily nature of the skin will also fluctuate.
Oestrogen is another hormone which fluctuates throughout women's cycles. Whether you are menstruating, peri or post menopausal, your oestrogen levels have the ability to effect your skin health. It is common that when oestrogen levels are low, the sensitivity of skin will increase. Oestrogen levels seem to decrease post menopause and just prior to menstruation. Hormonal breakouts are most commonly seen at these points of the female menstrual cycle.
What causes acne?
Acne can be stubborn for some men and women and it can be non-existent for others. Although each individual and their skin health is determined by their own hormones, skin hygiene and so much more, we want you to know that, if you are suffering with acne, you are not alone!
Acne becomes present when there is excess oil/sebum produced by the sebaceous glands of the skin. Excess oil along with dead skin can cause a build up on the skin surface which is what we know as a breakout or acne. Inflamed breakouts can result from the presence of bacteria at these breakout sites. The skin becomes inflamed as it recognises that this foreign substance known as bacteria, is living within the breakout.
Although hormones play a huge role in your skin health, we know that there are many other factors can influence the clarity of your skin. Each individual will have differing contributing factors, therefore if you really want to get a hold of your skin health, we recommend you seek professional help.
What can you do?
You can seek professional help here at Healthful Wellness. We are able to test your hormones with advanced DUTCH (dried urine test for comprehensive hormones) testing in order to uncover your hormone profile and determine if your hormone levels are the source of your acne.
Our Naturopath's Jacqui and and Gemma are able to work through your hormone profile and provide you with an individualised treatment plan to get on top of your acne. Jacqui and Gemma are able to assess your hormones and the contributing factors that may be causing your hormones to fluctuate.
Ulyana is also able to support your skin health through Acupuncture and Naturopathy. Ulyana offers facial acupuncture which can support your skin health in unity with Naturopathic advice. Facial acupuncture supports improvement in skin tone and elasticity through promoting collagen production and detoxification.
When it comes to your skin health, the possibilities are endless here at Healthful Wellness, we treat every patient as an individual, allowing for the best possible outcome for your health.
What to be mindful of
Now we know that high levels of hormonal androgens such as testosterone can influence the production of facial oil and in combination with dead skin and bacteria, acne can occur. Therefore, we can assess minor factors that may be contributing to the cause of your acne such as skin hygiene, dietary habits and topical skincare.
We know that dealing with inflammatory acne is not much fun, so to prevent these large, red, raised acne sites on the skin surface, it is important that we are keeping up with our skin hygiene. Healthy skin hygiene may involve, cleansing twice a day, morning and night to get rid of any pollutants and bacteria from the day. It also involves washing bed sheets and pillow cases at least once a week. It is also recommended to avoid touching your face with your hands, something we all know is hard at times!
When it comes to what we are putting on our skin, it may be helpful to opt for calming ingredients that have an anti-inflammatory effect. These ingredients may include; shea butter, oatmeal and chamomile extract. However, it is important to check with your health professional before applying these topically to the skin.
Last but not least, another aspect that we can address when dealing with acne, is our diet. Our diet can impact the way that our hormones are fluctuating. Having a healthy, balanced diet that involves the consumption of Low GI foods, helps to avoid any spike in blood sugar levels which can link to reoccurring acne. Generally, a diet that is well hydrated and involves the consumption of fibre, antioxidants and essential fatty acids is recommended.
What is causing acne, if not hormones?
Although fluctuating hormones is a major cause of acne, there are also other risk factors involved. These can include;
Working with our practitioners at Healthful Wellness will enable you to establish what is the cause of your reoccurring acne! When it comes to your skin health, the possibilities are endless, we treat every patient as an individual, allowing for the best possible outcome for your overall health. Head to our website to book your next appointment!