Who hasn't battled with blemishes at some point in their lives?! Our skin gives us a much deeper picture as to what is going on within the body. There could be a lot of different variables causing acne and we are going to address the top 5 today!
How does a hormonal imbalance cause acne? Well, it depends on when and what age you are getting the acne. During adolescence, it's common to have elevated androgen levels but then again, elevated androgens aren't always the culprit. A study found that 60% of women with acne had normal androgen levels but a significantly elevated 5-alpha reductase (it's an enzyme that converts small amounts of testosterone to DHT which is the much more potent form of the hormone) sebaceous glands. There is also a direct correlation between acne and menstruation. So, paying attention to the times when you get acne is important and what other symptoms that might occur.
BOTANICALS FOR BALANCING
Saw palmetto has been shown to decrease 5-alpha reductase in the tissues and is often used in the treatment of PCOS.
Chaste tree increases progesterone and is often used to ease women off birth control, for menstrual irregularities, and in PMS.
DETOXIFY YOUR BODY
The key detoxification systems within your body are the liver, lungs, kidneys, skin, and your lymphatics so we must support these to eliminate toxins. Exercise and sweating are 2 great old-fashion ways to get the lymphatic system moving and push toxins out through your skin. There are so many amazing botanicals that support the body's natural elimination pathways it was hard to choose, but here are my favorite...
BOTANICALS FOR DETOXIFICATION
Cleavers, when used internally, helps move the lymphatic system in the cervical area which promotes detoxification.
Dandelion root, when used internally, gets things moving by increasing bowel elimination and bile secretion.
Milk thistle not only supports liver function but even helps promote regeneration.
Burdock root is considered a blood cleanser and is a great addition to your juicing regime.
SEED ROTATION DIET
The seed rotation diet is such a simple thing to integrate into your daily life and can have profound changes! Days 1-14 of your menses eat 1 tablespoon of either ground flax seeds or pumpkin seeds daily. Day 15 to your menses eat 1 tablespoon of freshly ground sunflower or sesame seeds daily. The flax and sesame seeds contain ligans which block excess estrogen. The pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which supports progesterone release while the sunflower seeds are high in selenium that is important for liver detoxification (via glutathione production). Eating the seeds at specific times during your cycle can support healthy a healthy hormone balance.
Have you ever noticed that when you're super stressed out your skin breaks out? Then the cycle continues because you get even more stressed out that your skin has blemishes! Emotional health is just as important as physical health so find ways to relax whether it's doing yoga or going for a run.
BOTANICALS FOR ANXIETY
Relax with a cup of chamomile tea which is a great plant to help you relax while providing anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
While we're working on the root cause we might need a little extra help in the mean time. Check out some of my favorite DIY's....
Pumpkin & Honey Mask: The pulp of the pumpkin can be used as a facial mask which can soothe breakouts and decrease fine lines & wrinkles. The honey has anti-microbial properties which can help clear the pores.
Calendula Facial: Calendula is a wonderful, soothing herb that can also be anti-microbial. Hot facial steams are helpful for opening the pores and allowing the delivery of the volatile oils into the area.