We have all been going through a stressful time recently, so if your acne has become worse in the past few month, this could be the reason why..
When our body experiences stress, whether that be in the form of worry, work, being too busy, arguments, dehydration, lack of sleep, under / unhealthy eating or trauma, our body produces a stress hormone called cortisol.
The oil glands in our skin have receptors for cortisol, so when it rises in our blood, an increase in the formation of oil on the skin occurs, which can lead to clogged pores and acne.
Stress also has a depressive effect on the body’s immune system, which can effect your body’s ability to fight wounds and inflammation, leading to acne healing slower and it being more inflamed and painful in general.
Stress can also lead us to act differently in the forms of sleeping less, choosing the wrong foods, neglecting our skin care routine and subconsciously picking more at our face or leaning chins on hands.
Meditation, mindfulness, yoga and deep abdominal breathing have all been proven to reduce levels of cortisol in the blood, so they are all good habits to introduce daily to help manage breakouts.
Herbal medicine is also really effective at helping to reduce cortisol levels, so if you do all of the self-care and still feel really stressed with ongoing breakouts please reach out, as your body may just need an extra helping hand.
The OCP reduces your hormones to a pre-pubescent level, so for many of us what they were when we were around 12 years old. This essentially ceases the body's ability to ovulate to avoid getting pregnant.
Many women that I consult with think that because their skin clears up and they get a monthly period when they take the sugar pills that their hormones and period are 'regulated'. Nope! If your period was regulated why does it only come when you stop taking the pills and you can skip it if you stay on them?! It is not a real period that you are getting, it is a drug withdrawal bleed.
Therefore, once you stop taking the pill the body has to wake up and jump from producing 12 year old levels of hormones to the appropriate levels a woman of child bearing age should have. This comes with complications, the common one being acne due to the rapid surge in male sex hormones which regulate our oil gland production and have been suppressed during pill use which reduces acne.
Now you might say, "why don't we just suppress male hormones all the time to treat acne?" Well, because they are really good for women in appropriate levels to feel good!! They help give us a healthy libido, improve mood, motivation and increase muscle strength. That is why libido and mood get significantly impacted on the pill.
The pill is a bandaid and not a solution. Any problems that you had prior to the pill, whether it was acne, irregular periods or bad PMS, it will all come back afterwards, and often worse without a treatment plan.
If you are wanting to come off the pill then book in a consult with me so we can prepare your body prior to stopping and support your body afterwards to avoid post pill acne!
PROGESTERONE is our female feel good hormone!! It helps balance mood, increases libido, boosts energy and helps to clear up acne caused by excess androgens.
It is made when we ovulate during a menstrual cycle so if you are on the OCP you are not making any progesterone.
Even if you have a menstrual cycle it does not guarantee that you are ovulating. The best way to check if you are is by tracking your cycle on an app to record basal body temperature every day. Just before ovulation basal body temp drops slightly and then rises afterwards and stays high until menstruation. If your temperature doesn't change it means you did not ovulate and didn't make progesterone that cycle.
You can also check progesterone levels with a blood test but it needs to be done in your luteal phase, and ideally 7 days before your next period. Levels should be at least 8ng/mL.
Symptoms of low progesterone include:
- pre period anxiety
- spotting before or after your period
- pre period or mid cycle acne breakouts
- breast tenderness
- fluid retention
- low libido
- weight gain around belly
- night sweats
- foggy thinking
- low energy
Ways to encourage ovulation and raise progesterone levels:
- avoid undereating, ensuring that you are consuming a good amount of carbohydrates
- manage stress levels
- don't over-exercise and balance high intensity exercise with lower intensity exercise like yoga, pilates or walking
- make sure you are consuming foods that contain high amounts of magnesium, zinc and B6
- take progesterone stimulating herbal medicine (under guidance of a naturopath)
If you have recently come off the OCP, want to come off it or have irregular periods and think you may not be ovulating book in a consultation so we can get you feeling gooooood! ♥️
With the rise and fall of hormones your skin quality, texture and oil production changes throughout your menstrual cycle.
This short guide will help you manage your skin throughout the month, understand what changes you may notice and some skin tips to help implement treatments to support your skin health ✨
Now is the time to pamper yourself with a relaxing, hydrating facial
Also make sure you are cleansing every morning and double cleansing at night to ensure bacteria, makeup or sunscreen isn't left on skin overnight
Skin Care Tip: Use a salicylic acid based gel or moisturiser. This beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) clears blockages, kills bacteria and helps prevents future breakouts.
Use gua sha or a roller to massage your face to help
If you care about what you put into your body you should equally care about what you put onto it.
There are thousands of nasty chemicals that can be found in everyday skincare, even in very popular brands, that can negatively effect not only the integrity of your skin barrier, but your overall health.
Below is a list of the most common nasty ingredients to look out for 👇🏻
☠️Parabens (look for words ending in -paraben eg methylparaben) - mimic oestrogen in the body and interfere with hormonal function
☠️Fragrance / Parfum - damage skin barrier, disrupt hormones, trigger allergies
☠️PEG compounds - allows ingredients to be penetrated faster into the skin
☠️Oxybenzone - found in sunscreens, linked to cellular damage, irritation and hormonal disruption
☠️Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) - skin irritant, damages skin barrier, can trigger allergies
☠️ Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP) - cause hormonal disruption
☠️Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA) - linked to allergies and skin barrier damage
☠️Coal Tar Dyes (look for “CI” followed by 5 digits) - contains heavy metals which can be neurotoxic
☠️ Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) - synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives that disrupt hormones and can cause liver damage
☠️Formaldehyde releasing preservatives
- DMDM hydantoin
- imidazolidinyl urea
- diazolidinyl urea
- sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
- 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol
If you see any of these on the label chuck it out they aren’t doing you or your skin any good 👋🏻