Skincare products can only get you so far when it comes to getting rid of acne. Acne is mostly an external expression of internal issues such as hormonal imbalance, stress, and diet. So, I'm going to walk you through the most effective 3 and a 1/2 lifestyle changes you can possibly make if you want to get rid of your acne for good.
1) Stabilize Your Blood Sugar to Balance Your Hormones and Decrease Breakouts
Two things happen when your blood sugar goes up and down.
First, your body thinks there’s an emergency, and it starts to produce cortisol, which causes acne. Second, your body starts to over-produce testosterone, which causes acne. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Here’s the bottom line:
In order to balance your blood sugar, you have to eat like a diabetic.
If you have hormonal acne, then your body is very sensitive to the amount of carbs you eat. This means you'll want to avoid getting a “sugar rush” or eating large amounts of carbs in any given meal or snack.
In fact, you should aim to get most of your calories from fat and protein.
The best way to eat for hormonal acne is to cook plenty of food at the beginning of the day that is high in protein and fat, and then graze on it all day as you get hungry.
Low blood sugar is as bad as high blood sugar here, so be sure not to go too long without food.
The good news:
It’s easy to maintain a healthy body weight eating this way, you won’t get tired in the middle of the day (as long as you're sleeping enough at night), and your mood will improve.
I used to have huge hormonal imbalance (with acne), and my main issue was that I would get extremely irritable and weepy.
Once I began eating a diet high in protein and fat, all of my mood issues went away. It’s been life changing for me, I highly suggest you try it!
2) Eliminate Toxins and Excess Hormones with Regular Bowel Movements
This sounds like a gross no-brainer but having healthy and regular bowel movements is very important in eliminating the toxins and excess hormones in your blood stream. This process allows your body to get your hormones back in balance.
When you are constipated, the toxins and excess hormones - especially Estrogen - that are on their way out of the body can unfortunately be reabsorbed back in to your blood stream.
So to get to the root cause of your constipation, you have to identify and stop eating the foods that back you up and make sure to eat plenty of green vegetables rich in fiber.
Not only will this help you achieve daily bowel movements, but it will help you repopulate your gut with good bacteria, which is where your body naturally produces the B vitamins that make your skin glow.
When your body is able to eliminate the excess estrogen and toxins, your skin will improve dramatically in only a few days.
These are the best ways to “get regular”:
Get a big, big bottle of water, keep it near you all day long, and drink it all.
Dehydration is a cause of constipation, and while water alone may not be enough to get you regular, you can’t get things moving without enough water.
Next, eat a small bowl full steamed Swiss Chard at lunch every day and steamed spinach at dinner every night.
It doesn’t actually have to be Swiss Chard or Spinach, but those are both very gentle on your tummy when steamed. And, as a bonus, they're yummy.
Begin your lunch and dinner with your helping of steamed greens. You can put olive oil and salt on top or your favorite salad dressing.
By starting with greens, you are doing two things:
1) Eating healthy food when you are most hungry means you will enjoy it more and acquire a taste for it, and
2) Eliminating the possibility that you “don’t get to it” because you’re too full.
You should be having a bowel movement 20 minutes after waking up every morning.
If you’re not, even after introducing steamed veggies into your diet twice a day, then it’s time to start eliminating the foods that are backing you up.
You may recognize some of these foods as ones that are well known for causing inflammation:
You may not have to quit everything cold turkey, but I recommend cutting it down to one item from this list one time a day (and not too much) and see if your body can handle that.
You’ll know it's working when you’re having an easy bowel movement right after you wake up everyday.
3) Supercharge Your Progesterone Production by Painlessly Eliminating Caffeine
Most women who suffer from hormonal acne don’t make enough progesterone. And here’s why. We live in a very stressful world. And we eat a lot of “food” that our bodies aren’t built for and that produces a physiological stress response in our body.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, and Progesterone, the chill out and get ready for a baby hormone, are mortal enemies. They cannot be produced simultaneously, it’s one or the other. And if your body has to choose, it will always choose Cortisol.
Essentially, your body is asking:
“Should I make Progesterone to make her calm and relaxed so that she can make a baby, or should I pump her with Cortisol to help her get through this potentially life threatening situation?”
And if you have any kind of stress: emotional, mental, or even dietary, your body is going to choose Cortisol to keep you alive.
In the absence of stress, your body will produce healthy levels of Progesterone that will make you feel better and can completely clear up your skin the two weeks before your period.
Check this out:
Stop drinking coffee. If you think it will literally kill you to stop drinking coffee, then you EXTRA need to stop drinking it.
Seriously, stop with all kinds of caffeine - it’s keeping your body in a state of Cortisol production which is preventing your body from making Progesterone.
3.5) Eliminate Trans Fat
This is only half of a tip, because it's not directly related to hormonal acne. BUT, I bet you didn’t know that trans fat will make you break out almost instantly. And it will be a big ugly zip that will take over a week to heal and won’t “pop” - gross, I know.
AND, according to the FDA “Currently, even foods labeled with “0” grams trans fat may contain small amounts (less than one-half a gram per serving) of PHOs” (Partially Hydrogenated Oils, also known as Trans Fats).
So, to be safe completely avoid the following foods:
Make sure to also read the labels before eating chocolate. Avoid anything with “hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils” on the label, and you will avoid massive zits on your face.
If dietary lifestyle changes aren't in the cards for you right now head over to our article, "Acne 101: Ingredients To Avoid If You Have Acne" to learn about how ridding your routine of irritating ingredients can also help eliminate your acne.