Supplements for Hormonal Acne and Imbalances
Despite getting 8 hours of beauty sleep, doing yoga and exercise to relieve stress, and chugging down ‘green goddess’ smoothies, pesky pimples may still make their home on your jawline and neck area - and even your 5 step skin routine may not be cutting it anymore. While we think of breakouts as a symbol of our teenage years and a villain we previously defeated, unfortunately they may appear at any time in our adulthood, whether it be in our 20s and 30s, during pregnancy, or after giving birth.
As women, this is a sign that our hormones have taken over and become imbalanced in such a way that it appears on our skin in the form of hormonal acne. This form of acne typically appears on the lower half of the face - on the jawline, chin, or even neck. This can accompany the shifts in our menstrual cycle, or may be due to high levels of male hormones (androgens) and stress (excess cortisol).
Unfortunately, we no longer live in the era our mothers grew up in, where they acquired all the nutrients they needed solely from food sources and adequate sun exposure. As GMOs and artificial substances begin to take over even our ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ foods, and cities become more polluted, our body’s store of vitamins and minerals also depletes, disrupting our hormonal balance and overall health.
While a change in diet and an effort to get proper nourishment from meals is the most preferred weapon against hormonal dysfunction, certain supplements can boost and support recovery, and deliver the body ingredients that you may not normally get a chance to eat (e.g. cod liver oil). Essentially, supplements for the skin are meant to fill in any gaps in your nourishing diet, and accompany a healthy lifestyle plus your topical skin regimen. It is important to note that results are not immediate, as most supplements take at least a month to produce noticeable effects, also considering the 28 day cycle of skin turnover. Consistency and patience are key, alongside maintaining a well balanced diet and proper skincare regimen.
Continue reading for some of the best known supplements for hormonal imbalances and breakouts, intended to provide your body the extra boost it may need, elevate the mood, and suppress fatigue. As always, consult your doctor before taking any supplement, as each person’s body and reaction is different
This nourishing fatty acid is a superstar in the supplement world and stands true to its claims - clearer skin as well as a stronger and healthier complexion, stronger hair, and nails less prone to breakage. Natural sources include flax seed, fish, and nuts, while oral supplementation is typically in the form of fish oil, cod liver oil, or krill oiI.
Research suggests that incorporating this supplement can improve acne symptoms, reduce skin inflammation and dryness, and protect against harmful UV damage. In addition, omega-3 is known to elevate the mood, support cardiovascular health, and regulate weight. All in all, it’s the full package, providing that glow from within while supporting multiple body systems (we love a multitasker!).
Zinc is a winner when it comes to combating hormonal and adult acne. Zinc plays a key role in keeping androgens at normal levels, and unfortunately, zinc deficiency is common for many women. Zinc is known to support the function of ovaries to help decrease overproduction of the potent form of testosterone (DHT), by inhibiting an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase. An excess of DHT can clog the pores and increase inflammation, contributing to pimple formation. Worry not - zinc will save the day with its anti-inflammatory and bacteria killing properties!
You’ve heard it before and we’re saying it again - a healthy gut leads to healthy, happy skin! The unique relationship between the gut and the skin is well researched and is referred to as the ‘gut-skin axis’. Your natural microbiome assists in processing and eliminating excess estrogen, thereby preventing hormonal imbalances and acne. If you have had a long course of antibiotics in the past or have been on oral contraceptives, a daily dose of probiotics may be what you need to revive the body’s supportive bacteria.
Are you experiencing bad cramps along with a case of jawline pimples? B Complex vitamins may be your solution! B-vitamins are essential for the metabolic system, and aid in skin renewal and regeneration. They are known to help with mood elevation (goodbye PMS!), coping with stress, and are crucial for efficient liver detoxification. Look for a B Complex vitamin that includes B1, B6, and B12.
Evening Primrose Oil
Derived from the seeds of the evening primrose flower, this luxurious sounding supplement is a favorite among women with PCOS. When hormones rage out and become severely imbalanced, pimples are no longer those small, easy-to-deal with white heads, but instead painful and cystic. In this case, evening primrose oil is a saviour with its anti-inflammatory properties, courtesy of the high levels of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), an essential omega-6 fatty acid. GLA is known to regulate prostaglandin production, the hormone-like chemical messengers that are involved in hormonal balance management. This is reflected in its contributions to the elasticity, moisture, and overall appearance of the skin.
Put it in your smoothies as a powder form or take it as a capsule - whichever way you choose, maca root is the ultimate endocrine regulator. This plant based supplement works to stabilize the hormones, proving especially beneficial for breakouts that coincide with your menstrual cycle, and assisting with estrogen dominance. A powerful substance, maca root also acts as an adaptogen, helping the system deal with stress and adrenal fatigue.