I’m sure everyone who visits my blog knows that I’m a long-term sufferer of spots. I’m 28 and have had moderate to severe acne breakouts for longer than I can remember. There have been many products that have helped (there’s an “acne” tag in the cloud to the right if you’re interested in reading more), some that have even reduced my spot-prone skin to occasional breakouts, but I’ve yet to conquer the disease completely.
I’m currently undergoing a Jan Marin skincare review which is thankfully going really well. I won’t go into details about it here as it deserves its own post but what I will say is that I’m still getting spots (albeit fewer and less angry ones) and I’m still devoting the majority of my morning application to covering them up and trying to look less spotty.
The term “hormonal acne” is touted about all the time. I’ve certainly said it on here plenty of times as to me it states that I have acne due to a hormonal imbalance, yet I’ve never really thought about it further than that. However, recently I’ve been researching the impact of hormones on skin and found out a few things that I thought would be of interest to share with my lovely readers. I also met with Ole Henriksen – a former acne sufferer and serious skincare guru – who I had a long discussion with regarding the impacts of a high-sugar diet on skin.
Obviously, the word “hormonal” when discussing skin tends to refer to the idea that something is happening to your hormones to send your skin out of whack and make it produce more sebum and lose it’s ability to regulate oil production. A hormonal issue certainly could mean that you have something going on with your hormones – a good example of this is when us girls are menstruating and our hormones fly about all over the place – but it could mean that you’re unintentionally causing an hormonal imbalance by eating and drinking things that impact your hormones. Whilst we’re all different and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to dealing with our hormones, two strong ingredients kept popping up as being real hormone aggravators: Dairy and Sugar.
Sadly, I love both dairy and sugar but I can understand why they both create issues. Both these ingredients cause hormonal spikes (that freak your body out and make it do stuff it doesn’t need to – like produce more sebum) and both are now clinically proven to increase breakouts. Dairy makes our body produce more testosterone and sugar creates spikes in our insulin; neither of these results make for a happy body and instead result in fluctuating hormones that in turn often result in acne.
By keeping to a low sugar diet and keeping our glycemic levels low, the results are calmer hormones and calmer skin. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that I can throw the absolute best skincare in the world at my face by the bucket load (and thanks to my blog I’m regularly getting that opportunity) but if I don’t at least make a fairly decent effort to regulate my hormones then nothing is going to stick. I know that not all of my spots are hormonal and that a lot of it is down to my genes and my skin itself, but I think that with the right skincare and a little less dairy and sugar, I have a far better chance of conquering it once and for all.
Therefore I’m currently investigating suitable sugar alternatives that don’t cause insulin spikes and I’d also like to try and wean myself off dairy. I’m not going to be unrealistic about it as I love yoghurts, cream, cheese and the rest, but I’m certainly going to be more conscious about what foods I eat and consider the impact they might have on my skin.