Disclaimer - This may not work for everyone, but I have been suffering from hormonal acne for about 20 years now and have FINALLY managed to clear my skin, so I wanted to share with people what has worked for me in the hopes that it might help someone out there struggling with the same problem.
The following is a detailed description of my multi-structured approach. Feel free to chime in if you have questions. Also note that there is nothing here that is super expensive. All the things I do amount to probably less than $20 a month. So all of those bogus pyramid schemes to try and steal your money are completely false and unnecessary. Ive also included a photo of myself below so you can see where I'm at. I still have some hyper pigmentation on the left side of my face and one cycstic spot on the right temple but for the most part I'd say I'm 98% clear. For the first time in 20 years no new acne, so I must be doing something right.
Clean up you diet. The first thing to do is eliminate these trigger foods -
1. SUGAR 2. DAIRY 3.CAFFEINE 4. ALCOHOL.
I know that's a BIG ASK but ask yourself if its worth it finally having clear skin. I think it is, so fuck those foods.
I also limit SOY and FRIED FOOD as these can be problematic is large amounts. I would eliminate soy completely but I'm a vegetarian due to IBS, so it can be difficult to get protein. If you're not veg I recommend taking out soy completely as it has the potential to really mess with your skin.
This next one is HUGE-
I drink about A GALLON of water per day.
This was the KEY I was missing for years and years! And so SIMPLE. Get yourself a nalgene canteen and measure how much water you take in per day. If it's not a gallon try to hit that target. This flushes out all the toxins in your skin. It's been working like a charm for me.
I take only 2 supplements and they're both super cheap and available on Amazon.
1. Smoky Mountain Nutrition DIM $17 on Amazon for a 2 month supply - This is an extract found in cruciferous vegetables that blocks excess estrogen. Totally safe and extremely useful for hormonal acne. I take 1 per day
2. SLO-NIACIN 250mg $15 on Amazon for a 3 month supply- This is the flush free niacin that doesn't make your skin red. I take this 3x per day, can be taken on an empty stomach. Its really useful that I dont have to worry about the Niacain flushes. Those are horrible.
If people want I can share pictures and links to these. Also note I am not being paid or compensated by these companies. This is just what worked for me.
3. TOPICAL SKIN REGIMEN
THIS IS GOING TO SOUND RADICAL BUT I DO NOT WASH MY FACE. I have super oily skin (I'm Italian) but my skin is also super sensitive so any and all cleansers either dry my skin out or leave it extremely red-- like for days. Even those cleansing oils. So I use a very basic and gentle approach. I do this regimen twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening.
1. Witch Hazel on a Cotton swab gently over face - I do this about twice until the swab comes up clean with no particles on it
2. I spray my face with rose water as a toner
3. Moisturize. During the day I use basic moisturizer that I got at CVS for $10. I think its called Shea naturals and is made with coconut oil. At night I do 1 pump of Acure Rose hip / Argan face oil. I got this at whole foods for $12. You can use any moisturizer of your choice though as long as its not giving you a reaction or clogging your skin. Up to you.
4. Spot treatments - For spots I do different things depending on the type of spot. If its a normal zit I use this Desert Essence roll on blemish stick , this is the only thing I've found that wont irritate my skin or cause it to turn red or give me a chemical burn. If its a cystic acne I will use Benzoyle Peroxide but in SUPER SMALL AMOUNTS -- as I've had horrible chemical burns from this in the past. Seriously less is more with the Benzoyl peroxide.
Also if I happen to pick at or pop a zit , which is a habit I'm trying to kick , I use these neato Korean clear COSRX zit stickers that draw out all the sebum overnight . These work great and don't leave any kind of irritation or chemical burn. You can buy them on Amazon or at Target for about $12 for a pack for 4 of them
5. Blackheads - I use those Biore pore strips once per week to take out black heads.
This is a big one , and is also gonna sound extremely radical but hear me out please -
IF YOU ARE IN A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP -- GET OUT!!!
Nicole Simpson had horrible acne. I noticed in my past that when I was in a bad relationship that's when my acne would flare up the worst.
I 100% believe exposure to toxic people triggers acne and can cause it to escalate and get worse. Do yourself a favor and clear out any toxic individuals from your life. Anyone that may be using you or just anyone that doesn't treat you with love , care and respect. This could be a partner, parent, old friend, or relative . These people are not entitled to a spot in your life. If they're not treating you right then get rid of them. Trust me not having to deal with the emotional turmoil a toxic person will wreak o your life will CLEAR YOUR SKIN. AND IF YOU CAN'T GET SAID TOXIC PERSON OUT OF YOUR LIFE (MAYBE ITS A PARENT or BOSS ETC) THEN LEARN TO SET VERY STRONG BOUNDARIES WITH THEM and PROTECT YOURSELF EMOTIONALLY from their toxic behaviors.
This can also apply to your career and TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENTS. If you work in a TOXIC environment or hate your job SAVE UP MONEY and QUIT ASA. Ultimately working a job you hate will poison your health, and no job is worth wrecking your health. If possible try and find a more friendly and healthy work environment where you like the people you work with and don't mind going to work. Happiness and fulfillment works wonders for clear skin.
And if you have unresolved emotional issues I would recommend trying to work on those by talking to a friend, therapist, or even journaling.
The goal with all these lifestyle changes is to try to get your emotions to a place of peace.
I know not eveyone is gonna buy that one because there's not a lot of scientific proof, but for me, anecdotally Ive heard it over and over and experienced it in my own life so I'm sticking with it.
5. SUN and VITAMIN D FOR ECZEMA
This one is for people who have ECZEMA in addition to hormonal acne. You can skip this step if you don't have eczema. (Yeah I know, I pretty much won the lottery of skin issues.)
Anyhow, allow me to explain. I live in NJ where the winters here are bitterly cold and notorious for not seeing the sun for weeks even months because its just too horrible to be outside for longer than 10 seconds . So in the winter I will usually develop eczema all over my body which is horrible and really sucks.The solution? And again this what worked for me - may not work for everyone--
You can get Vitamin D in two ways -
1. Supplement that you buy on Amazon. I have a 5000 IU one that I used to take 1x per day. This approach will take longer to clear the eczema but it does work. This works wonders on sores and rashes too.
2. Tanning Bed - I know a lot of people are gonna troll me for this one because its SO Jersey Shore, but whatever, come at me trolls. It works for me, and this is a tell all so here I am telling all -
I will visit the tan bed once per week for and sit in the tanner for 7 minutes. This has worked wonders on my eczema, and usually after 3-4 visits its totally gone. And I know from talking to the girl at the front desk that many other people visit the tan salon for that exact reason. So yeah, little known secret.
But if you are averse to tanning beds or buy into the hype that its unsafe -- And I do think over use of such a thing is unsafe-- then you can try the Vitamin D supplement route and see if that helps.
So that's what I have for now. If I think of anything else I will update it. And if people want I can take pictures and provide links of the stuff I'm using.
Feel free to shoot me any questions, constructive criticism or advice. I'm open to all suggestions . And again --
DISCLAIMER - This is what has worked for me. What worked for me may not work for everyone, but after 20 years of searching for a cure and finally stumbling on this multi-structured approach I wanted to share on here in the hopes that it might help someone.