How to treat Hormonal acne naturally with Ayurveda
What is hormonal acne?
Hormonal acne, as the name indicates, is a result of an imbalance in the hormones. This typically occurs in women in early adulthood or even during menopause.
An increase in the male hormones, especially testosterone and a drop in estrogen levels can result in acne vulgaris.
Factors causing Hormonal acne
1. Menopause or pregnancy
Menopause and pregnancy are when the hormones in a women's body go for a toss and hence result in various changes in the body like mood swings, drop in energy levels, changes in sex drive, and hormonal acne. Research shows that a sudden fall in estrogen leads to acne breakout.
2. Birth control medications that could alter the hormone secretions
Acne is a potential side effect of birth control pills. The oral contraceptive Pills that contain Progestin may actually worsen or trigger an acne breakout.
3. Condition like PCOD/ PCOS
Hormonal imbalance is the first visible symptom in women with PCOD/PCOS. Women complain of increase facial and body hair growth, jawline hormonal acne, hair fall and irregular periods.
4. High Sugar diet
Intake of sugary drinks and other food products containing artificial sugar spikes up the insulin levels in the blood. This sudden insulin spike causes the skin's oil glands to produce more sebum, resulting in acne vulgaris.
Does stress cause Hormonal Acne?
Researchers have found that stress and acne are related. In response to stress, our bodies produce cortisol that elevates the secretion of androgens. Androgens stimulate the sebaceous glands that open onto the hair follicles in the skin, causing acne. Reducing stress plays a vital role in hormonal acne treatment.
Any of the causative factors mentioned above can lead to oily or greasy skin due to increased sebum production, which is present at the root of the hair follicle. The overproduction of sebum leads to a blockage resulting in clogged pores called comedones. These comedones are made worse by new skin cells or local bacterial infection. The presence of black or whiteheads is also evident at the tip of the comedones.
Simple acne, commonly known as pimples, becomes pustules when they become infected and filled with pus. They may continue to grow and becomes nodules and cysts due to infection.
How do you identify hormonal acne?
1. You experience acne in the jawline or in the side buns of the cheeks.
2. You are not anymore in your teenage years.
3. Your fall in the age group between late 20-50 years.
4. You have a history of irregular periods, PCOD or any other hormonal imbalance related issues.
5. You have a history of using birth control medications in the last 6 months.
6. You consume junk food and sugary drinks more than thrice a week.
7. Your breakout has a pattern appearing once a month at a specific time of the menstrual cycle.
8. You are seriously stressed.
What does Ayurveda say about hormonal acne?
According to Ayurveda, the vitiation of Vata, pitta and Kapha doshas and the blood tissue (Rakta dhatu) is responsible for the formation of hormonal acne. Also known as "Mukhadushika", these may range from mild, moderate, to severe facial lesions. The aggravation of vata dosha causes hyperkeratinization of the skin, pitta results in inflammation, and Kapha causes the excessive secretion of sebum.
The acne breakouts are also considered to be a result of diminished Agni or the digestive fire. The power of Agni gets reduced by intake of incompatible diet and drinks, stress, irregular sleeping patterns or even lack of exercise.
While acne at all stages can be distressing and can lower one's appeal and self-esteem, they are categorized into three types:
Mild acne that presents as simple whiteheads or blackheads. This form of hormonal acne does not require medical intervention. Simple changes in your skincare routine and diet pattern cures the problem.
Moderate acne involves both inflamed and non-inflamed lesions. Some of these also may leave a scar on the skin. The presence of moderate acne on the skin gives a prominent pinkish to reddish tone to the acne spots and causes itching, pain or irritation.
Severe acne involves inflammation and infection of the skin and has visible pustules or cysts that leave a dark or pigmented scar once treated.
Some simple herbs for Hormonal acne
Rubia Cordifolia is the best blood cleanser, according to Ayurveda. Manjistha has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-androgenic abilities that prevent and treat acne. Manjistha purifies the blood tissue (rakta dhatu) by cleansing the aggravated pitta in the body. Manjistha can be taken internally or can be applied to the target spots.
Known as the mother of all Ayurvedic medicines, Triphala combines three fruits: hared, baheda and Amla. The cleansing action of Triphala makes its use inevitable for almost all diseases in Ayurveda. Triphala powder can be taken internally to cleanse the gut and balance the doshas. External application of Triphala on the cystic acne dries it within a day or two.
Ashwagandha is a powerful herb to tame the Vata dosha. Internal or external use of Ashwagandha clears hormonal acne permanently by reducing the hyperkeratinization in the skin, lightens the lesions and helps in hormonal acne treatment.
Asparagus racemose is known to contain Phyto-estrogens that prevents hormonal imbalance in women. The application of Shatavari also rejuvenates and tones the skin.
Neem is a cooling herb and balances the pitta and vata. It is a cleanser and rejuvenator for the gut and skin that can prevent and cure hormonal acne. Neem is also known for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that prevent local skin infection.
Diet for hormonal acne
1. Stay hydrated
Drinking 3-4 litres of water in a day improves metabolism, flushes toxins from the body, and positively affects skin health.
2. Fresh veggies and fruits
Fresh vegetables and fruits are loaded with micro and macronutrients that nourishes the skin and hair follicles. The inclusion of fruits and vegetables rich in zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and antioxidants make some skin-friendly food choices.
Remember to include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet. Oranges, Apricots, sweet potatoes, tangerine, Carrots, Beetroot, Spinach, tomatoes, legumes, papaya and Peaches helps in the rejuvenation of skin cells
3. Whole grains
Consumption of whole grains containing complex carbohydrates and fibre is beneficial to balance the hormones in your body. Choose from a range of whole and fibre-rich wheat, millets, quinoa and brown rice.
4. Seeds and nuts
The inclusion of a small portion of seeds like pumpkin seeds, Aliv seeds, flax seeds, almonds and cashews in a minimal quantity gives the right amount of good fats need for your body.
Food to avoid
1.Avoid all kinds of sugary, aerated drinks and consumption of alcohol.
2. Stop "eating out of a packet" This is a habit that cures a lot of your health woes. Anything packed (including your biscuits, fruit preserves, chips, noodles, the list of long) is filled with preservations and chemicals that diminish your digestive ability and harm your hormones, skin, and hair.
3. Cut down on Caffeine. Switch to green tea instead.
4.Avoid refined flour.
5.Cut down on dairy products like sour cream and cheese.
Lifestyle changes to cure hormonal acne
1.Follow a regular sleep routine. You're mistaken if you think you can catch up over the lost night's sleep. Sleeping in the night helps in the secretion of melatonin that can positively affect stress and other sex hormones.
2.Follow a regular skincare routine to prevent and cure jawline hormonal acne outbreaks.
3.Wash your face after exercise or playing to prevent infection due to sweat. Tea Tree, Neem and Basil Foaming face wash is the best face wash for acne that cleanses and fights acne and scars.
4.Wash your towels, pillow covers regularly.
5.Sanitize your mobile phones that may act as a carrier to infection
6.Treat dandruff or any infections of the scalp. Avoid hairstyles with hair touching your face in case of any scalp infection.
Skincare routine for Hormonal acne-prone skin
Treating hormonal acne does not involve trying random products but identifying the right ones best suited for your skin type. It encompasses careful cleansing, exfoliation and nourishing the skin. A simple routine of washing your face with Tea Tree, Neem and Basil Foaming Facewash. This Tea Tree is the powerhouse of anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and detoxification properties. Bundled with Neem and Basil, this clear skin combo with foaming face wash and tea tree serum helps conquer acne and breakouts. The application of Manjishta and Gotu Kola with Alpha –Arbutin Day cream lightens the scars, even skin tone.
Supplements for Hormonal Acne:
Now, to answer the most vital question, what supplements to take for hormonal acne. Below is a list of Vitamins and minerals that would make a big difference in your appearance:
Consuming Vitamin A reduces inflammation caused by hormonal acne. Topical medications containing Vitamin A is used in hormonal acne treatment. Vitamin A also prevents damage to the skin caused by sun rays.
Vitamin B6 keeps the hormones that affect pimples in check by regulating estrogen and testosterone levels. Also, it reduces the effects of DHT hormone that causes hormonal acne.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that builds collagen and repairs the skin from free radicals. It strengthens the epidermal barrier and improves overall skin health.
Vitamin E is a skin vitamin with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that protect the skin from damage due to UV rays, pollution, dust and ageing.
5.Zinc, Magnesium and Selenium
Zinc and selenium are known to balance hormone levels while regulating oil secretions. It arrests Hormonal acne by preventing the growth of acne-causing bacteria like the Propionibacterium.
How to get rid of hormonal acne? You know the solution.