Hormones and how they effect the skin

Hormones, more like horormones

Raise your hand if you have ever been victimized by hormones! If you raised your hand keep reading, if not stop lying. Seriously though, they affect everyone in so many ways. Hormone imbalances cause acne, bone loss, and our mood. Hello PMS…  I’ve been so lucky to be affected in all 3 ways. I have a hormone imbalance called primary ovarian failure syndrome which effects my bone density, and adrenal glands. Since my adrenal glands are affected that in turn causes my skin to breakout with hormonal acne. When you are afflicted with hormonal acne, it’s important to remember that you must treat the body on the inside and the outside. You can throw all the skincare products you have in your cabinet onto your skin but if the problem is not treated internally, you’re only solving half of the problem.


Symptoms of a hormone imbalance

1. Bloating
2. Weight Gain
4. Irritability
5. Brain Fog
6. Hump of fat between the shoulders
7. Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
8. Irregular periods
9. sleeping poorly or lack of sleep
10. Muscle weakness
11. Muscle aches
12. Mood Swings
13. Increased or decreased heart rate
14. Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
15. Gastrointestinal troubles like abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation and vomiting
16. Infertility 
17. Trouble concentrating
18. Poor libido and loss of interest in sex
19. High or Low blood sugar levels

How to treat hormonal acne

So how can you treat hormonal acne? Often treatment comes down to 2 prescriptions you get from a dermatologist. The 1st being the OG balancer, birth control. Its often recommended to teenage acne sufferers but it does obviously have other uses, and the side effects should always be discussed. 2nd up we have spironolactone, an androgen blocker. Androgens are the hormones responsible for causing acne. Spironolactone has gained popularity over the years as an acne fighting medication, but it can take a while to find that sweet spot dose specific to you. While its great at balancing aldosterone, it’s also pretty great at raising potassium levels which isn’t always a good thing. Its also a diuretic which will cause the user to have to use the bathroom more frequently.

Another way you can help reduce your hormonal acne is through diet. It’s true that what you eat shows on the outside. While many say chocolate does not cause you to breakout I beg to differ. If you have a hormone imbalance that is not in the average range, then you would probably benefit from eating it sparingly. Foods really can affect our hormones sadly. When we eat high glycemic intake foods such as white rice, fried foods, and refined sugars our androgen levels and insulin levels increase. Foods can also cause a surge in estrogen levels too. For example, anything with soy, or added hormones such as dairy milk.

Balancing Hormones

It is important that we keep our hormones balanced as well as we possibly can.  When we are younger we go through puberty, and women when they are older go through menopause. Since, I have a rare hormone condition that causes a grand imbalance between estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in my body, I have experienced a few menopausal things in life already. My skin has gone from being oily, to dry, and now it is more balanced and normal. Hot flashes have come and gone, and my sex drive has also gone on a rollercoaster ride. I balance my hormones by taking a higher dosage of birth control because I need it for my bones. Fun fact….. estrogen is vital for our bone mass, which is why women are more prone to having osteoperosis later in life. You can also try balancing your hormones holistically if you prefer. Some ways to balance hormones is by exercising, making sure to get enough protein in your diet, and eat less soy because it contains phytoestrogens and they mimic estrogen in the body. Consuming too much processed sugar can cause insulin resistance, and in turn ramps up testosterone production, leading to acne, fatigue, and missed menstrual cycles. Lastly vitamin D likes to play with hormones, and incorporating a supplement could help with keeping hormones balanced. 

Is it my diet?

A fun way to figure out if your diet is causing you to breakout, you can try keeping a food journal. This is how I found out that dairy milk makes me breakout and causes stomach upset. While journaling your diet, make sure you only eliminate one thing in your diet at a time, so you can keep track of what is or isn’t causing acne flareups. Lastly, if you think your diet is the root cause, then consult with a dietary specialist. 


I am not a licensed physician, and you should consult with your doctor before starting any home treatments. 

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