Acne can make you feel alone, self conscious, depressed, embarrassed, shy, and uncomfortable. I know these feelings a little too well. I want you to know that you are never alone. Ever. Sent me a DM on Instagram any time. I will always try my best to answer within 24 hours. So, let’s talk about Acne. There are 3 major causes for acne. I believe there is always a reason for my breakouts. When I hear people say “sometimes it just happens” I think WHAT?! It doesn’t happen just because. You can’t heal or cure something if you don’t know what caused it and what triggers it. Before we go down to facts and important information I want to say that I hope you realize that this journey you are on or that you are thinking of starting (I’m talking about skin health) it’s a long one. It’s a commitment, it’s a lifestyle change. You are reading this post because you are currently dealing with acne or you are just curious and want to gain some insight as to why you still get acne flare ups every once in a while.
Maybe you are in denial about the fact that gluten, excess amounts of sugar and dairy are part of the problem and it’s the cause of many of your skin issues. Perhaps you feel that way because they have been part of your diet your whole life and you have never had a problem before. Try taking one of those 3 things out of your diet for a month and see the changes in your skin. Try taking those 3 things out of your diet at least 80% of the time and watch your skin transform after a few consistent weeks. You can become sensitive to dairy and gluten later in life. Sometimes people will only stop eating something if they have a huge reaction like severe stomach cramps, heart burn, severe gases or a migraine. But in your case it might be different. Maybe for you it shows up on your skin. Your body can’t get rid and break down food but it needs to release it in some way. So it comes out through your pores!
I consume gluten here and there, sometimes I have arroz con leche, and every couple of months I’ll have a slice of pizza. I get it, it’s hard to say “I’ll never eat…. I swear it”. If you can slowly get rid of those things 80% of the time you should be able to see enough changes that will boost your confidence up a bit. If you are a teen I would stop consuming so much sugar and processed food! I know that’s what your friends want to eat.. just meet them after lunch or after school. Not everything has to revolve around eating junk food. You don’t need to eat trash to have a good time.
We cannot forget about water! Flush those toxins out of your system as quick as you can! Drink lots of water and start the day with warm water and lemon in the morning, and cucumber juice. I have a blog post on cucumber juice and the skin benefits it provides. It’s pretty rad. Click here to read this post.
The last thing I want to say in regards to diet is to keep a food journal. If you keep track of everything you eat you will be able to identify exactly what types of food and how much of it triggers acne. I’m not talking about counting calories. This is just a food journal where you write down everything that you put in your mouth. It’s the best chance you have at knowing what upsets your skin and what your stomach has a hard time processing.
Sometimes, we have the clean eating down but those breakouts just keep on coming! What’s up with that?! Acne can also be influenced by hormones. Most people think that they are saved from acne after puberty but acne can affect adults too. In fact now a days it’s becoming more common to have adult acne! This was my case. I probably had 2 pimples during my teen years. And then my twenties came and that’s when my skin problems started.
Did you know that 50% of women ages 20-29 have acne and that 25% of women ages 40-49 are also affected by acne?! So it seems like I’ll have a good chance of saying goodbye to acne flare ups during my 40’s.. l am hopeful. You are probably wondering exactly how hormones influence acne, right? I listed below a summary of the research I did a while back.
Primary causes of acne
- Excess sebum, or oil gland, production (influenced by hormones).
- Skin cells that shed become abnormally sticky and accumulate, or clog up, in the hair follicle (influenced by hormones).
- Increased number of the acne-causing bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes.
- Skin inflammation.
The role of androgens
- Androgens, the male hormones present in both men and women, can contribute to acne flares by overstimulating the oil glands and altering the development of skin cells that line hair follicles in the skin.
- The majority of women with acne have normal androgen levels, but hormonal testing is recommended for females who have acne accompanied by excess facial or body hair, deepening voice, or irregular or infrequent menstrual periods.
There was a time in my life that I had my period every 2 weeks for almost a year. You can imagine how my skin looked like. I was either suffering from menstrual acne or pre-mentrual acne. It’s a real thing. Can you just imagine for a second how stressed out I was regarding my skin?! After 10 months of this I had enough. I need this to stop. I then tried so change a few things in my lifestyle to get this squared away and it would only work sometimes. I would have my period at the beginning of the month and then I wouldn’t get it the next month. On the third month I would get the most awful/heavy period with terrible side effect due to that previous month that I didn’t have a menstrual cycle. I went to see doctors many times and we did testing and they always said nothing was wrong with me.. clearly something was wrong. I did my own research and looked for natural ways to heal my body. That’s when Maca powder came into my life. This magic supplement it’s meant for balancing hormones and guess what? That’s exactly what it did. I took Organic Maca powder from Peru (my home country) every single day for a year and ta-da! My hormones stabilized and I felt like a huge burden was taken off my shoulders. I became a regular woman with a regular period. Sometimes it comes at the begging of the month, sometimes it’s in the middle or the end but regardless it comes once a month. For the most part it comes during the second week of the month. If you want me to do a long post about Maca powder let me know!
There are other ways to combat hormonal acne. You can go to a professional like a licensed Dermatologist and he can prescribe you tropical creams, birth control and other alternatives. I personally do not love birth control. It did not work for me, my skin, my hormones and my mental stability. I cannot tell you exactly what to do because each one of us is unique. I encourage you to do your research and to speak to a professional if you have tried so many things and are still dealing with severe breakouts. Just please, please, please don’t pick at your skin. Deep acne scars are something you want to avoid as much as you can.
Stress is evil. It makes you sick, it ages you, and it will bring back your acne in a matter of hours. If you have your diet and hormones in check but you are still having so many skin problem think about your lifestyle. Who are the people that surround you? Are they toxic, negative people? Do you have a stressful job? Are you constantly in survival mode? Are you a perfectionist? Are you hard on yourself in many areas or in every single are of your life? Do you SLEEP well? Are you constantly running late? Are you always playing catch up? Make a list of the top 5 things that stress you out the most and try cutting it/them out of your life starting with one stressor.
I find this one to be the most challenging one since a lot of things are out of my control. However, when I decided to focus on small tasks, and to be kinder to myself it became a little easier to say goodbye to most of the negative things in my life. It all starts with loving yourself first. Another thing that has helped tremendously is to start the day with a grateful heart. Every morning I pull out my gratitude journal and I write down 5 things I am grateful for. If I am running late I will say out loud the things I am grateful for while I am getting dressed or in the car when I take my kids to school. This works. It forces your mind to search for the good and the positive in your life.
Many people find that working out is a fantastic stress reducer. Maybe an intense workout will force you to forget about the world and your daily problems. Perhaps going to a fun gym class with your friends sounds more appealing to you. How about going for a long walk? If a hard workout stresses out your body more than just take a walk, stretch, or go sit in a steam room.
The bottom line is find the things, people or activities that relaxes you and makes you the happiest and DO MORE of it. Like tons more. Find a way to schedule it in to your busy schedule. Mental health is not just good for acne and your body. It’s good for your heart too.
I shared these photos on my Instagram stories earlier this week and I want to also share them with you here on this blog. Beauty bloggers, beauty influencers, celebrities, models, even the most beautiful people you know of…. they break out too.