Acne is almost always hormone-related, which makes it a much bigger problem than just a skin issue. The great news is that there are lots of things you can do for free that will help you to control and manage your hormone balance without spending a ridiculous amount on doctors and supplements. Not only do you help your acne, you help your health overall, which makes this a win-win.
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Cut Down on Sugar
This isn't just free, it saves you money. Eliminating sugary foods like soda and candy saves you money, saves your waistline and as an added bonus helps to clear up your acne as well. How great is that? Having a high-sugar diet, especially when the main source of sugar is high fructose corn syrup, causes an increase in both cortisol and estrogen, both of which are linked to acne. Helping your body to balance those hormones will allow your skin to heal and become healthy.
Don't Fry Your Food
Frying foods not only adds a significant amount of fat to the food, but it also heats that fat to a higher temperature, which changes the shape of the fat and the way your body uses it. Frying foods causes the fats to become oxidized and these fats actually mimic estrogens in your body. Oxidized fats become "xenoestrogens," substances from outside the body that mimic estrogens. These fats are difficult for your body to deal with and just can't be used in the normal way so your body has to use antioxidants to make them safe and then tries to eliminate them any way it can. Reducing fried fats in your diet will reduce the amount of xenoestrogens in your system.
Your body is an amazingly thrifty machine and so even when you get rid of hormones, your body sometimes tries to take them back. Fiber helps with this process tremendously. Hormones are detoxed through the liver and eliminated into the intestines with the rest of your waste. Unfortunately, if your body notices them sitting there in the intestines, it grabs them and pulls them back in just in case they could be useful at some point in the future. Our bodies are hoarders. If you have enough fiber in your intestines, then the hormones bind to that fiber and your body can't pull them back in. This applies to other toxins that we want to get rid of as well, so make sure you are eating your fiber so that your body can't bring the trash back in.
Eat Your Brassica Vegetables
We all know that vegetables are important for healthy skin and healthy bodies in general. The brassica family of vegetables is especially important because they contain extra compounds that help to capture and remove extra estrogens from the bloodstream, and so can help to reduce acne. This family of vegetables includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts and kohlrabi.
Removing excess estrogens is important for both women and men because in both genders it can lead to acne as well as more serious health problems. Excess estrogens also convert to testosterone, which directly increases your tendency to develop acne.
Use Hot Water to Wash Your Skin
Most dermatologists and guidebooks will tell you to use warm, but not hot water to wash your skin. Acne prone skin is actually an exception to this rule, simply because excessive skin oils dissolve better in hot water than they do in warm water. Acne is generally associated with oily skin, which is increased by having higher testosterone in your system and so using a gentle cleanser with hot water can help the oil to be more fully removed. Although the hot water won't actually reduce the testosterone, which is the cause of the oily skin, it will help take care of the symptom.
Spend a Little Time in the Sun
Sun exposure, and the vitamin D that sunlight helps your skin to manufacture, is highly beneficial for acne conditions. Vitamin D is actually a hormone that helps with immunity, cancer prevention, depression and of course, acne. For people who are truly deficient a supplement may be helpful, but our bodies do have the capacity to manufacture it and all we need is sunlight. There is a delicate balance between too much sun exposure, which can contribute to skin cancer, and not enough sun exposure which leads to vitamin D deficiency. The general rule is 15 minutes of direct sun exposure without sunscreen every day.