For the past few months, I’ve started getting such bad acne on my face particularly around my chin which I’ve never experienced before. I’ve had the odd spot every now and again but it’s never been as bad as it has recently.
I assume that all of the chocolate and sweets I’ve eaten over the Christmas break has been the main cause though, in reality, before November my skin begun taking a turn for the worst.
So, I’ve been doing lots of research to help develop a better diet to cater to my skin dilemmas and I’ve found tips to alter my “beauty routine” too. This post will share everything I’ve learnt about clearing hormonal acne so you can too.
Good to know: I haven’t yet seen a massive improvement in my skin but I’ve only started committing to this new diet and beauty regime for a few days. I will report back in a few weeks on my results (though experts state it takes 8-10 weeks for your new acne routine to fully set in place).
Skin Care for Acne
1. Develop a face wash routine
The first step for helping to cure acne is getting into a good skin care routine. It’s suggested that you wash your face morning and night with warm water and a face wash that contains Salicylic Acid.
From my research, there are lots of good ones and my sister loves The Origins face wash which has definitely helped to improve her skin. However, I’m a bargain hunter and the Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Purifying Cleansing Wash 150ml has been mentioned by many beauty bloggers and trusted news sites to be a go-to product.
It costs £7.99 and can be bought from Boots and similar stores. I’m currently waiting for mine to arrive but if that doesn’t work, the next product I’ll try is The Origins face wash as that’s worked for my sister.
Tip Summary: Wash your face every AM and PM with warm water and a face wash that contains Salicylic Acid.
2. Apply a “non-comedogenic” acne treatment
Having washed your face it’s important to add skincare cream and lotions that will continue treating the acne throughout the day. However, it’s highly important that you don’t use a product that clogs your pores. Opt for a “non-comedogenic” product.
A non-comedogenic product basically means that it will not clog your pores which can be a major issue for people who suffer with acne. I honestly feel like having makeup on my face for even an hour or two can break me out in spots because my skin isn’t used to this extra layer clogging my pores.
Tip: Don’t use pore-filling primers and you’ll be less likely to breakout!
Some of the best non-comedogenic products I’ve come across are:
- The Ordinary AHA Cream
- Tea Tree Oil (mixed with an essential oil like coconut oil)
- Retinol creams and lotions (often prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter from a pharmacy)
Each product mentioned above will have slightly different application directions so just follow the instructions on the cream. For example, retinol creams are usually limited to the amount of times you should apply it, particularly if it’s of prescription-strength.
3. Apply SPF
One you have applied your retinol lotion, tea tree oil or AHA cream, you should then apply SPF. That’s because the products you’ve used can make your skin sensitive to the Sun and you are more prone to burn.
Again, your SPF should be non-comedogenic. From my research, I’d recommend:
Continue using this skin care routine for a few weeks.
Yet, if your skin gets even worse, it might be that your skin doesn’t agree with these products so stop using them and review them with your doctor.
Diet Changes for Acne
Now that you’ve developed your skincare routine, you should focus on improving your diet where necessary.
1. Limit your sugar intake
Ok, so this is probably where I went so wrong in the build-up to and over Christmas. The amount of sugar I ate was actually ridiculous. I’m a sucker for Milkybar Buttons (yes, I know they aren’t vegan) and I swear I had Malteaser truffles constantly in touching distance. Sadly, my skin has suffered because of it.
Reducing your sugar intake is probably the number one thing I frequently came across when doing this research so it’s definitely key to say goodbye to chocolate and sweets – even if it’s just 2 days at a time (then a treat day, then 2 days avoiding sugar) whilst you’re starting out.
Instead, you could do the following or eat the following to take your mind off the sugar intake:
- Ditch fruit juices, cordial or fizzy drinks for herbal teas. Berry teas, in particular, have a sweet tang to them so they’d be a good swap. However, I sometimes find them too sweet since I started to drink herbal teas and only herbal teas – other than water.
- Drink water or do sit-ups whenever you crave sugar. Your skin will benefit from the increased water intake and who doesn’t want killer abs?!
- Eat fruit instead of sweets but be careful you don’t go crazy! Eating lots and lots of grapes which are high in natural sugars can be just as bad for you.
Too much sugar, natural or not, is bad for your skin.
2. Add more vitamins to your diet
Moving on, there were plenty of vitamins that multiple articles were stating you should add to your diet. From Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and many others, I think it’s general knowledge that the more nutrients you get into your diet, the better.
There were lots of ways you can get vitamins into your diet naturally. For example, you can up your intake of Vitamin E by eating pistachio and Brazil nuts. Alternatively, if you aren’t keen on these foods then you can always take supplements.
I love taking supplements as an additional health precaution but you definitely shouldn’t take supplements alone thinking they’re enough. Your acne will require you to make bigger diet changes in order to give it the best chance of recovering.
Vitamins to include:
- Selenium supplements
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
3. Eat lots of fruits & vegetables
It’s not a myth that fruit and vegetables are great for your overall health, never mind just for your skin. However, below is a list of some of the best fruits and vegetables you should add to your diet specifically to improve your acne.
- Sweet potatoes
4. Drink spearmint tea & turmeric tea
I previously mentioned drinking herbal teas as a good swap to having sugary drinks and it’s true, they’re a great alternative and have lots of health benefits depending on which tea you choose
I’m not too sure whether peppermint tea has similar benefits to the skin as spearmint tea or not, so try and stick to spearmint tea where possible. However, it’s pretty cheap to buy and accessible in most stores. It’s recommended that you have 1-2 cups a day, ideally one in the morning, one in the evening.
“I’d recommend consuming one to two glasses of spearmint tea for at least 30 days to see how it affects you,” says Dr. Segal. “60 to 90 days would be best to get your body used to it.”
Turmeric tea is slightly harder to find in stores. You’re better to look in Holland & Barrett or perhaps Amazon or alternatively, buy the spice separately and add ½ tsp to a cup of boiling water.
Tip: In order to help the turmeric to dissolve into the boiling water you can sprinkle some pepper into the water. Pepper will help the spice to dissolve making it easier to drink (due to the taste).
Turmeric is said to “help to lighten the skin tone and remove the acne and pimples from the skin. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help in fading the spot scars and makes our skin glowing. It reduces inflammation and facial redness, and promotes skin healing.”
5. Swap to whole grains & quinoa
Finally, the last insight that I got was to swap to whole grains whether that’s your bread, pasta, rice or other. It’s important that you ditch white, refined carbs and opt for whole foods where you can.
Did you know? Fruit juices aren’t classed as a “whole food” and they’re actually said to be “refined”. If you’re going to have more fruit and vegetables in your diet, make sure you eat them in their “whole” form and not a refined version.
There really isn’t much taste and texture difference but the health benefits of whole grains over their refined alternative, make them much more appealing.
I’m actually one of those weirdos who will not eat a sandwich unless it’s brown bread. A couple of years ago it was the other way around… Education and motivation to be super healthy (and skinny) has literally changed my life.
What I’ve mentioned above are just a few changes that you can do to get rid of hormonal acne and of course, different products and foods work better for different people.
Experiment with products – but make sure you give them enough chance to work their magic – and hopefully, you’ll be able to control your acne.
Of course, the best thing to do is go to your doctor and get their advice too but just so you’re aware, there are lots of “natural cures” to help you improve your hormonal acne from home.