Our skin is a dynamic organ that can be a – sometimes frustrating – visual indicator of our overall health, and that includes our gut and hormones. So, when you see those nuisance pimples pop up, it’s worth doing a little investigating. Here’s what you need to know.
While there are a number of other causes of acne and other skin troubles outside hormones, we’ll be looking into the unique connections between hormonal imbalances and skin inflammation. For instance, the following are known contributors to acne:
- Dietary Factors: Consuming high-glycaemic foods (sugars and refined carbohydrates) may contribute to acne. Dairy products, especially skim milk, have been linked to acne in some studies. On the 8-Week Program, we show you how to enjoy REAL, whole foods that boost the collagen in your skin and strengthen that skin barrier for a smoother, healthier complexion. From homemade bone broths to hearty curries, you won't be short of tempting recipes!
- Stress: High-stress levels can trigger hormonal fluctuations, leading to increased sebum production and, consequently, acne.
- Poor Skincare Habits: Using harsh or comedogenic skincare products can clog pores and contribute to acne.
- Not cleansing the skin regularly can lead to the accumulation of dirt and oils.
- Environmental Factors: Exposure to pollutants and certain climates can impact skin health.
- Friction from hats, tight clothing, or leaning on objects can exacerbate acne.
- Genetics: A family history of acne may increase the likelihood of experiencing acne.
- Bacterial Infections: Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria on the skin can contribute to acne development.
- Occupational Exposure: Certain occupations that involve exposure to oils, greases, or industrial pollutants may increase the risk of acne.
- Smoking: Smoking has been associated with an increased risk of acne, possibly due to its impact on blood flow and skin health.
But we’re here to talk about hormones! So, let’s look into the imbalances that affect our skin.
Oestrogen and Collagen Production
Oestrogen, a primary female sex hormone, plays a crucial role in maintaining collagen levels. Collagen is responsible for skin elasticity and firmness. As oestrogen levels decline, typically during menopause, collagen production may decrease, leading to sagging skin and wrinkles.
Androgens and Acne
Androgens, including testosterone, can stimulate sebum (oil) production in the skin. Excess sebum, coupled with dead skin cells, can clog pores and contribute to acne development. Hormonal fluctuations, especially during puberty, menstruation, or hormonal disorders, can exacerbate acne.
Cortisol and Skin Sensitivity
Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, can impact skin sensitivity. Elevated cortisol levels may contribute to skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Chronic stress can also impair the skin's ability to recover from damage, leading to a compromised skin barrier.
Thyroid Hormones and Dry Skin
Imbalances in thyroid hormones, particularly hypothyroidism, can result in dry and rough skin. The thyroid regulates the body's metabolism, and when thyroid function is compromised, it can affect skin moisture levels, leading to dryness and flakiness.
Melatonin and Skin Repair
While primarily known for its role in regulating sleep, melatonin also possesses antioxidant properties. Adequate sleep, during which melatonin is released, supports the skin's natural repair processes. Sleep deprivation can hinder these repair mechanisms, contributing to premature ageing and skin problems.
Managing Hormonal-Related Skin Issues
- Kale + Cauliflower Curry Puffs
- Raspberry Breakfast Muffins
- Prawn + Mango Tacos
- Swede + Cannellini Bean Soup
- Minty Salmon Brain-Boosting Bowl
- Savoury Crepes
- Spiced Sicilian Stew
Who knew quitting sugar looked this good? Muffins, pancakes and tortes are all a part of our fun 8-Week Program.
Understanding the hormonal factors influencing skin problems is a crucial step toward effective management. Adopting a skincare routine that addresses specific concerns, maintaining a balanced diet, managing stress levels, and ensuring sufficient sleep can contribute to healthier skin despite hormonal fluctuations.
But there are a few ways you can start putting your hormones first – starting with what you put on your plate. Add these foods into your diet to combat inflammation.
Fatty Fish: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines can help reduce inflammation and support overall skin health.
Avocado: Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, avocados contribute to skin hydration and provide vitamin E, an antioxidant important for skin health.
Broccoli: Broccoli contains compounds like sulforaphane, known for their anti-inflammatory and detoxification process, which benefits skin health.
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds provide essential fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin E, promoting skin hydration and reducing inflammation.
Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are rich in antioxidants, helping protect the skin from oxidative stress and supporting collagen production.
Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, essential for skin repair and protection.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from sun damage and promotes a healthy complexion.
Green Tea: Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, benefiting overall skin health.
Dark Chocolate: High-quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content contains flavonoids that may improve skin hydration and protect against sun damage.
Probiotic-Rich Foods: Yoghurt, kefir, and fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut support gut health. A healthy gut can positively impact hormone balance, potentially improving skin conditions.
Need a little help committing to a healthy lifestyle? That’s what we’re here for. We’ve put in the hard yards so you can enjoy the benefits of an extensive, wholistic program that covers everything from learning how to manage nutrition and mental health to social situations. When you join us for the 8-Week Program you’ll have exclusive access to expert guidance, nutritional planning and support every step of the way. Take a peek at what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- A range of exclusive recipes, including sugar-free desserts, snacks and all the old favourites.
- Community forums to share and discuss your experience.
- Expert support to guide you through each week – from world-renowned chef Sarah Glover to yoga teachers, nutritionists and naturopaths.
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