Written by: Dr. Rachel Alioto
A shocking 45% of people over the age of 21 have acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, most being women. There are many causes for adult acne including lifestyle, diet, stress, family history, side effects of medications and hormone imbalance, but how can you treat acne naturally?
First, lets look at a few common causes for adult acne.
Stress: We all have stress in our lives, some more than others, but how do we cope with the stress? When under chronic stress there is an increase in androgens like cortisol and testosterone. Research shows that cortisol and testosterone increases acne and breakouts. Incorporating stress-relieving strategies into our daily life can help maintain normal androgen levels which is important for sleep, skin, mood, and so much more.
Exercise: Your metabolism increases during and after a workout which helps rid the body of excess sebum production that causes acne. On the other hand, hormones can become stagnant with a lack of exercise which leads to hormonal acne. Maintaining an exercise routine at least 3 days per week can help prevent adult acne. Your pores open during a workout so be sure to rinse off as soon as possible to prevent them from filling with sweat and bacteria and causing a breakout!
Diet: Conventional chickens and beef are given hormones that large-scale companies use to increase size and output of animals. These same animals are also given antibiotics to prevent infections that spread rapidly in small living spaces. The hormones and antibiotics end up in the meat and milk we consume if we are not careful. If your acne is hormonal in nature, it may be caused by the animal products you are eating or drinking. To prevent this, purchase your meat locally from farmers who do not use hormones and let their animals graze. Look for grass-fed beef and free range chickens that are hormone and antibiotic free. As for dairy, choose organic and/or switch to a plant-based milk like almond or coconut milk.
Additionally, be wary of the types of oil you use. Peanut and vegetable oils are highly processed and could be contributing to your breakouts. Cook with olive oil or avocado oil instead, or even sauté in water or broth instead!
If meat or dairy is not be the cause of your acne, gluten, nuts or other food sensitivities may be the culprit. Whatever we put into our body will affect the outside of our body too.
Here are a few suggestions for naturally avoiding acne and breakouts:
- Eat a balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, fish and humanely raised lean meats. Choose organic when possible and try out plant-based milks.
- Exercise! Yoga, walking, swimming all help boost your metabolism while allowing you to de-stress your body and mind. Find something you enjoy and then do it at least 3 days per week.
- Be sure to have a good cleansing regimen both mornings and evenings. If hormones are causing your acne, balancing hormone levels naturally is crucial.
- If you aren’t sure what is causing your acne, book an appointment with Dr. Rachel or Dr. Katie. We can help determine what foods or hormones may be causing your acne.
Dr. Rachel and Dr. Katie are Naturopathic Doctors in Edina and Woodbury, MN. We offer natural treatments to your health issues. Call us today for your complimentary 15 minute consultation 612-564-2218. We hope to hear from you soon!