Angelique Panagos is a registered Nutritional Therapist and author of ‘The Balance Plan’. She specialises in hormonal health, stress management, weight management and digestive wellness. Her philosophy is that food is healing and nourishing, affecting each cell in our body - impacting our lives, bodies, emotions, and even our thoughts. In this article, Angelique discusses the causes of hormonal acne and shares her top tips on how to treat it...
Unfortunately, I’m seeing more and more clients through my doors who are struggling with hormonal acne. For many, it runs far deeper than a red blemish on their skin too. Not only can hormonal acne affect confidence, but it can also trigger negative emotions and knock self-esteem.
The thing is, the problem is growing worse and worse. We live in an increasingly stressful world where there are never-ending highly processed foods and skincare products that can strip our skin of natural oils and goodness.
If you are struggling, it’s important to remember that our skin is a living organ, not just a ‘cover’ for the rest of the body. For the most part, the way our skin looks - and that includes spots - reflects what is going on inside our bodies.
There are a number of causes of acne. Excess sebum production is one of the biggest causes of acne and is triggered by the hormone testosterone. When testosterone is produced in excess, sebum can be overproduced which contributes to clogging the pores. Stress can further add to this as cortisol causes sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Other hormones which can affect our skin are oestrogen and progesterone, which is why breakouts can happen at certain times of the month.
Of course, there are all sorts of causes of hormonal and adult acne, and you may need to consult with a doctor to rule out conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) first.
How to Help
Hormonal harmony is the best thing we can do for our skin, and this is something I talk through in my book. Yet, that age-old saying ‘you are what you eat’ couldn’t ring truer than when it comes to achieving clear skin.
Banish refined sugars
Think foods such as sweets, pastries and fizzy drinks, which spike blood-glucose levels, causing the body to secrete insulin. Excess insulin stimulates the production of testosterone, sending sebaceous glands into overdrive.
Avoid refined carbs
Highly processed foods such as bread, pasta and cereal are another enemy for healthy blood sugars and lack nutrients and antioxidants that our skin needs.
Ditch the dairy
Even if you are able to tolerate lactose, dairy contains hormones (yes, even in organic milk!) which can disrupt hormonal balance.
Instead, pile plates high with:
Leafy greens, AKA my Detox Warriors, are full of fibre and goodness and work wonders at helping detoxify the body. They also contain plenty of iron which boosts circulation and delivers nutrients to each of your body’s cells. Try this smoothie to get you started.
Zinc helps transport skin-healing vitamin A to the cells. Try eating spinach, kidney beans, flax and pumpkin seeds, crab, wild Alaskan salmon, garlic, turkey, chickpeas, brown rice and mushrooms.
Eat plenty of 'good fats' such as oily fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil and avocado. These essential fats have anti-inflammatory properties, help nutrients pass through into your body’s cells and help keep your skin soft and supple.
Dehydration can cause acne as it can lead to clogged pores. This also means we should avoid anything that dehydrates the skin more - smoking, caffeine and alcohol.
There you have it, easy tips to start implementing today. I go into more detail on how to balance your hormones in my book, The Balance plan.
For more individual support, get in touch with me at www.angeliquepanagos.com. I’d love to hear from you and welcome you to my tribe!Read more about how omega 3 fish oil benefits skin.