Hormonal Acne

Where and when acne appears on the face can often provide a deeper understanding of the health of the body, including the reproductive system.  Acne appearing on the chin is usually associated with a hormonal imbalance. Women’s hormonal health is an important factor to address when addressing skin health.

In Chinese Medicine, fundamental disturbances in the flow of blood and energy, predispose many women to menstrual irregularity, premenstrual symptoms (PMS), premenstrual tension (PMT), heavy bleeding and painful periods.  Herbs such as Paeony, Dong Quai, Bupleurum, St Marys Thistle, Evening Primrose oil and Rheumannia may address symptoms of reproductive congestion, liver stasis and menstrual irregularities as well as reducing hormonal acne by balancing the hormones which contribute to this complaint.

Vitex and herbs for the health of reproduction

Vitex is a herb that has been used with great success for women’s menstrual symptoms (physical, psychological and behavioural) of low progesterone in the luteal phase of a cycle (depression, crying, despondency, mood swings, hormonal acne, nervousness and anxiety) and high oestrogen levels (pain, tender breasts, heavy periods, bloating). In Chinese Medicine Vitex helps to harmonise the energetic flow to the reproductive organs and helps the Pituitary and Hypothalamus to modulate these hormones thereby reducing pre-menstrual symptoms. Taking the herb Vitex first thing in the morning between 7-8am is the optimal time as this is when the Pituitary and Hypothalamus glands are most active to regulate female sex hormones.

Most women find that the longer that they take herbs to normalise a cycle then the better the results they receive. With each monthly cycle you should find that your menstrual blood will become less congested and heavy and the quality of the blood improved (cleaner, lighter and brighter in colour). When this occurs we know that the cycle is becoming better regulated, however, this may take at least 3 months to occur so please persist with taking these tablets for at least 3-6 months.

Signs of acne

  • Greasy, shiny skin – increased sebum production, increased size of sebaceous glands
  • Blackheads – hyperkeratosis of hair follicles enclosing dried sebum
  • Open pores
  • Inflammation, papules and pustules
  • Cysts
  • Scarring

Diet tips for hormonal acne

  • Ensure you drink plenty of liquids, drinking at least 2 litres of water per day
  • Start the day with a small warm glass of water with ½ lemon juice squeeze into it. This promotes digestion and cleanses the liver and bowel
  • Reduce saturated fats and sugars from the diet and this will contribute to dirty blood and skin
  • Increase fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet to help alkalise and cleanse the blood
  • Have a vegetable juice each day, some suggestions are carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger, parsley and apple. Vegetable juices nourish the blood, contain antioxidants and help to detoxify wastes

Lifestyle factors for hormonal acne

  • Address hormone imbalances
  • Address liver and bowel function to remove more wastes from the body and cleanse the skin
  • Keep the area clean, wash frequently with mild castile soap and water
  • Avoid greasy creams and heavy make up

Natural remedies for hormonal acne

  • Vitex and other hormonal modulating herbs such as Paeony
  • Blood cleansing herbs Rhubarb, Yellow Dock, Dandelion and Rehmannia
  • Liver herbs may help to remove excessive wastes from the liver and improve lymphatic circulation also. Liver herbs also act as antioxidants, promote liver and lymphatic function (waste removal), improve digestion and are anti-inflammatory, helping the body to expel excess wastes via the kidney and bowels instead of through the skin. Herbs which may be of assistance are Bupleurum, Dandelion, St Marys and Burdock
  • Antioxidants such as Selenium, Vitamin A, Zinc, Vitamin C and Bioflavinoids may help to reduce inflammation
  • Use a splash of apple cider vinegar as a toner on the face to reduce bacteria and reset the pH balance