You’ve probably heard of the phrase 'hormonal acne', but are hormones really to blame for your breakouts?
It’s likely! In fact, your acne could be one of the signs of hormonal imbalance!
Hormones like to work in harmony, so if one is not functioning right, it’s likely that they’re all out of balance.
However, hormones are complex. So even if they’re not being influenced by stress levels, diet or beauty products, they also fluctuate naturally when it comes to the female menstrual cycle.
Hormonal Imbalance Signs
So if they’re naturally fluctuating, you might be wondering how to tell if your hormones are unbalanced.
First, it’s important to know what a hormone is.
Aside from being blamed for our fluctuating moods, weight and energy levels, hormones are pretty awesome.
They’re essential chemicals that are sent around your body to deliver signals to your tissues and organs, affecting your metabolism, mood, growth, and development.
Pretty cool right?
So aside from normal female monthly fluctuations, if your hormones are out of balance you can look for the telltale signs.
In fact, here are some of the signs of hormonal imbalance:
- Extreme mood swings
- Fertility issues
- Low libido
- Unexplained weight gain
- Trouble sleeping
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Hair loss
- Excess Body Hair
It’s time to get more in tune with our bodies. Keeping track of our cycles can help us to identify when things aren’t quite going with the flow - and that includes acne!
How to Tell if Your Hormones Are Unbalanced
As we mentioned earlier hormones like everything to be in line for them to work optimally. So if you’re experiencing acne it’s likely that things aren’t quite in balance.
However, if you notice that your breakouts pop up like clockwork at the same time each month, then it’s probably due to the normal fluctuations in your hormones.
So, how can you tell if your acne is one of the hormonal imbalance signs or just a side effect of a healthy cycle?
Acne & Your Menstrual Cycle
During the luteal phase of your cycle (the last two weeks between ovulation and the start of your next period), progesterone rises and compresses your pores, meaning you’re more likely to get clogged and, you’ve guessed it, acne breakouts!
Frustrating, right? However, this is totally normal for many women and a solid skin cleansing routine is the way to minimize the effects of progesterone on your skin.
And if you’re pimples stick around during the first few days of your cycle, you can thank testosterone! Typically associated with males, women produce testosterone too, but in much smaller amounts.
However, when your cycle begins, estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, meaning testosterone appears higher. When it comes to the weight room, this is great news, but for our skin, it means more sebum production!
But what happens if you have too much or too little of these hormones?
What’s To Blame If You’re Showing Signs of Hormonal Imbalance?
If you suspect that your acne is the result of something more than the monthly changes your skin goes through, then it might be that you’re showing the signs of hormonal imbalance.
However, there are a few hormones that could be to blame…
Too Much Testosterone & Other Androgens
Androgen hormones are more commonly known as the male sex hormones, although they’re also produced by women to a lesser degree. Some women’s androgen hormones are to blame for their acne even if everything is in balance. However, if your acne persists alongside the other mentioned hormonal imbalance signs then it might be due to an androgen dominance.
Too much androgen hormones increase your skin’s sebum production, making your skin oilier and pores more likely to clog. It’s the reason why PCOS is associated with acne, as part of the condition is an excess production of these hormones.
Too Little Estrogen
Alongside its other roles, estrogen essentially stops the sebum-producing effects of testosterone, keeping oiliness in check. So if you’re dealing with persistent acne, you might have too much testosterone, or it might be that your estrogen levels are low, making testosterone appear elevated in comparison.
Too Little Progesterone
When our progesterone levels are sailing smoothly, they keep sebum levels in check by preventing too much testosterone from converting to DHT. Too much DHT and your sebum production can go into overdrive, which is why too little progesterone is bad news for your pores.
Other Reasons For Your Hormonal Acne
Hormones go out of balance for a reason. So if you’re wondering why you’re producing too much or too little of one of the common culprits it might be down to the influence of other factors, such as:
Coming off of birth control
Estrogen is known to suppress testosterone and other androgens which cause excess sebum. It’s why the pill is often prescribed to deal with acne. However, if you’re coming off the pill you may experience a rebound as your androgen hormones start to take effect on your skin - and pores - once more.
We all know stress is bad for us, but if you’re struggling to relax your skin starts to suffer. The more we stress the more our body generates those sebum-producing androgen hormones, leading to clogged pores and breakouts.
Meeting global food demands means more pesticide sprayed crops, linked to hormone disruption. But it’s not just inorganic food that could be to blame for your hormonal imbalance. Dairy has been linked with acne by producing more DHT, the hormone linked to sebum production.
Household & Personal Care Products
Plenty of products found in our homes and on the shop shelves are formulated with ingredients that have the potential to wreak havoc with our endocrine (hormonal) systems. Parabens, phthalates, and phenols are just a few of the ingredients that have been linked to hormone disruption.
While this information might seem overwhelming, if you’re showing signs of hormonal imbalance there are a few simple ways you can start limiting your exposure to hormone disruptors and get your acne under control!
How To Treat Hormonal Acne
If you’re experiencing one or more of the hormonal imbalance signs the first step is to see a medical professional so it can be addressed. However, there are a few things you can do in the meantime to show your endocrine system some TLC and eliminate that acne along the way:
- Choose organic food where possible.
- Cut out or limit your intake of dairy.
- Practice mindfulness techniques to reduce your stress levels.
- Swap to more ‘clean & green’ household & personal products.
- Hormonal support through supplements ( Zinc Picolinate, Saw Palmetto, DIM, Vitex, Beta-Sitosterol, Maca Powder)
Choosing clean products is a surefire way to ensure that you’re not exposing your body to potentially harmful toxins.
The truth is you don’t need harmful ingredients to treat acne. In fact, natural ingredients can prove just as, if not more, effective.
That’s why we formulated our Averr Aglow skincare range with ingredients that work synergistically with each other and your skin.
Our Luminous Clear Skin Kit is kind to your complexion and respects it’s natural state of balance. It effectively gets into pores and clears that excess sebum build-up whilst maintaining those essential skin oils that are so important for hydration.
Plus, they are formulated without any known hormone disruptors!
So after identifying the hormonal imbalance signs, you can be sure that while you’re addressing their root cause you’ll be taking care of your skin in a way that won’t exacerbate the problem.
If you’ve been wondering how to tell if your hormones are unbalanced it’s time to start listening to your body and keeping an eye on what your acne is trying to tell you. Adopt a clean & natural skincare regime and healthier lifestyle practices to ensure you’re paving the way for happy clear skin!