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ecofashionista

Treating Hormonal Acne Naturally

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So, I'm new here and trying to figure out the best inside and outside therapy for this mess that is my face. I know my acne is connected to hormones and going off BCP and I really want to use effective natural remedies and vitamins in conjunction with other things if needed. I'd would love some feedback.

Here's my situation: I had been on and off BCPs since high school (I'm 24 now) and have had really clear skin until recently. For the last two years or so, my skin has been much less clear (like, 1-2 zits almost all the time) but totally manageable. I stopped BCP in September (because of panic attacks, mood, low sex drive, etc.) and I have experienced 2-3 months of horrible break outs that started about a month after switching to the copper IUD.

At first, I thought I'd wait it out while my hormones balance and try topicals (Murad--the lotion is good, but no clearing, gentle cleansers and moisturizers, benzoyl peroxide). I have been using Differin for about three months and it might actually be worse than it was when I started. Nothing seems to be working and my whole right cheek is one big red mark now from both acne and the healing acne.

Has anyone tried Vitex (Chaste Tree Berry) for hormonal acne? It sounds like it might be a more natural thing to get women's hormones back in balance, rather than relying on BCP or spiro.

I'd love to hear any personal experience (good and bad) with the following products I'm thinking about using...

Inside:

Vitamin B Complex

Fish Oil

Zinc

Vitex

Apple Cider Vinegar (2 T in water, 2x daily)

Very little dairy (this one is going to be hard---cheese is like a food group for me)

Lots of water and moderate exercise

Outside:

Vitamin E Oil (for red marks)

Jojoba Oil (a few drops in lotion)

Cetaphil wash

Cetaphil (2x daily)

Neutrogena On The Spot Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% (spot treatment? or all over 1x daily?)

OR Continuing up to two months longer with Differin??

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Wow. You sound very much like myself about 5 years ago. I was freaking out once my skin went crazy after going off of Birth Control. I tried, it seemed everything. Natural remedies, Pro active, cetaphil, etc... I even had gone to my dermatologist who prescribed numerous antibiotics, but I was getting sick all the time because my immune system was weak due to the antibiotics. My skin was clear when I was on the antibiotics, but as soon as I came off them, my skin went crazy again, it seemed worse than before. I hated it so bad.

Long story short, I finally found something that works. I swear by Dan's products. It took about 60 days before my skin was under control, but if you hang in there it works great (even on my sensitive skin).

As for the Inside:

I take Vit B, Vit A, Vit C, Vit E, Salmon Oil, and Zinc. I would just make sure you are taking pure and high quality vitamins. I take GNLD vitamins, what works the best for my skin is the:

-Vit A

-Vit C

-Zinc

Works great for my skin... not to mention I have more energy and the Zinc is great for your immune system and my hair and nails are stronger too!

As far as foods, I just avoid fast foods and drink a lot of water and it doesn't seem to affect my skin whether or not I have dairy or not.

As for the Outside I swear by the Acne.org Cleanser, Treatment, Moisturizer, Jojoba Oil and I just started the AHA+, it's great.

I tried using the Cetaphil but it dries out my skin too much as well as the Differin, it was a disaster- my skin was so flaky. So if i didn't have acne i had a peeling face.

So here is my daily Regimen:

Morning:

Inside:

Vit B, Vit A, Vit C, Vit E, Salmon Oil, and Zinc (make sure you take Zinc after you eat, otherwise it will upset your stomach)

Outside:

Acne.org Cleanser

Acne.org Treatment

Acne.org Moisturizer with three drops of Jojoba Oil

After my face is completely dry and absorbed the moisturizer, I put on my makeup Bare Essential Bare Minerals.

Evening:

Rinse off as much make up as possible with water

Acne.org Cleanser

Acne.org Treatment

Acne.org Moisturizer with three drops of Jojoba Oil

Every other night AHA+ before (a little bit of) Moisturizer (less than usual because there is Moisturizer in the AHA)

I hope this works for you. Hang in there though and don't get frustrated it takes at least a month to begin to see improvements.

When I first came on this site i thought it was just going to be another failed attempt for something to work and when it did begin to work i almost didn't believe it was going to last, but it has. I'm so thankful that I found this site. I hope you will find something that works for you. Maybe this will be it! :D

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I am taking chaste berry extract right now. I am 95% clear in comparison to four weeks ago. Because I'm taking it in conjunction with sooo many other things, I'm not sure if that is the solution...but I can tell you its the only thing I'm currently taking for hormone balance.

Other than that...I am taking....

Vitamin A

Vitamin E

Capsule form of chlorophyll

Vitamin B Complex (which contains vitamin C

Apple cider vinegar (2 tsps a day, also applying it topically, works like a charm) -I hold this most accountable for my clarity. Balanced my PH externally and internally like no other.

Zinc (I hear its extremely effective in preventing skin issues, and there are great reviews, so I'm trying to create a buffer just in case I fall back)

COq10

Fish Oil Omega 3 (Really recommend this for even skin tone and moisture balance)

They are all pure, natural, free of colors/gluten/common allergens etc. There are so many other benefits to the vitamins as well, aside from skin. Overall, I most recommend all the things you mentioned in your post. But your definitely on the right path!!!! I cured allll of my issues completely NATURALLY with this similar regime. I forgot to say that my diet is completely free of gluten. I limit myself from dairy, sugar and red meats. I am going to add turmeric capsules and honey/turmeric mask to my topical regime as well. The whole process is so good for your insides too (not just outside). And we all know that to make your insides better most always helps you on the outside, one way or another ;). GOOD LUCK!

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Oh by the way, I am also using jojoba oil right now, in conjunction with the apple cider vinegar on my face. It didn't break me out...but many people have the initial purge I guess. As for keeping me clear I don't know...but it seems to slowly but surely be evening skin tone and red marks. I also use the on the spot BP...which has been a godsend lately (has stopped any suspicions that may have prevented me from staying clear) but because I'm going the all natural route I think I should stop. You can become dependent on that I hear. And it is farrr from natural. Long term use dries your skin, prolongs the term of red marks and could even make you more prone to cancer. Imagine that.

My skin care aside from vitamins is....

Morning

Jojoba oil

Avalon organics vitamin c wash (really brightens and cleans skin, love it)

Neutrogena on the spot BP

Complex15 moisturizer (I'm gonna switch, don't really like it)

Night

Avalon organics vitamin c wash

Jojoba oil

Apple cider vinegar (as a toner)

Neutrogena on the spot BP

Complex15 moisturizer

Also remember to drink a lot of anti inflammatory tea (green or rooibos) and water.

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I had similiar circumstances with my acne. Started taking non dairy probiotic drink (good Belly brand) and stopped dairy. This totally worked for me. I was shocked that after many doctors and thousands of dollars, that the solution was about an imbalance with the digestive system. Not one doctor or facialist came up with this. Thank goodness something finally worked. Best of Luck to you.

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I'm also thinking about starting a new vitamin regimen and wonder if it matters if you take all the vitamins in one capsule or if they work better taken as individual pills. Naturally Clear brand makes a skin supplement that has most of the vitamins listed in this thread. I think the only one missing is the Fish Oil. I have not tried the Naturally Clear brand supplement yet, so any advice on choosing a vitamin brand would be helpful. What brands have you had the best luck with?

It's funny that the Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex) was brought up, because I have also been researching the effects of using it. I have yet to use them, but I would love to hear from someone who has had a good/bad experience with them. They seem relatively easy to use but I think it takes a long time for them to regulate your hormones. I would still prefer taking a natural supplement to regulate my hormones rather than going back to those chemical laden BC pills.

I'm also weaning myself away from gluten...I hadn't even thought about dairy being a problem. *sigh* I guess I should just stick to fruits & veggies from now on. :rolleyes:

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Hey thanks for the tips!

Right now I'm also trying a lot of new things at once. I started using Vitex last week, along with a Dermal Health blend that the herbalist recommended. It has burdock root, nettle seed & calyx, sarsaparilla root, yellow dock root, spilanthes flowering herb and ginger rhizome. Both are made by Herb Pharm. I put one dropper full of each in a glass of water 3x day. The herbalist also told me it's a good idea to stop taking the Vitex during the week of your period, so I haven't taken it for the last two days.

I am also drinking apple cider vinegar 2-3x per day (I'll start trying it on my face too) with Fish Oil, Tea Tree Oil as a spot treatment and BP as a spot treatment on anything big. I'm going to add Vitamin B and maybe A and zinc when I make it to the store. Jojoba oil seems like it would be good too.

I really think it is working well with Cetaphil cleanser/lotion. I'm not 100% clear, by any means, but everything is going away faster than normal and I'm feeling pretty optimistic about it. I'd say maybe a 40% reduction in just a week (considering it was the week before my period...that's amazing) Without using so much BP and by cutting out the Differin (I had been using it all over), it seems like the red spots are not as red and my skin is not overly dry like it was.

I am still considering cutting out dairy, but I have always had a lot of dairy in my diet...so I don't know if that will have an effect but I suppose it's worth trying if this doesn't work fully.

I'll keep you guys updated on the progress over the next few weeks. Let me know if there is anything else that might fit into this regimen (which is SO time consuming btw, but hopefully worth it).

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I broke out a lot during my period week while I wasn't taking vitex. I was also going out a lot that week for some reason, so it could also be the later nights and drinking a little more than usual. I am back on the vitex now and things look better already. After just three days back on it, I can see a difference. I also started taking a Vitamin B complex 1x day.

I am off benzoyl peroxide completely now, just using tea tree oil as a spot treatment. I started using ACV on my face as a toner at night, which doesn't seem to be doing any harm but I am not sure if it's a miracle worker yet. It smells too much to do in the morning.

Still drinking apple cider vinegar (3x day now with meals) and doing my dermal herb blend with Vitamin B complex, Fish Oil and a multivitamin.

I am looking forward to the long term results. My birthday is coming up and I'll be so happy without a bumpy face. The red marks suck but I can deal.

Are any of you seeing results with vitex or ACV too?

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Cut out as much dairy as you can, avoid non-organic meat (full of hormones that will worsen your probs) and no refined sugars, no white bread/white rice/white pasta.

ACV is great, I take a shot daily but my skin didn't like it as a topical treatment.

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Please stop eating all dairy & red meat!!! DO NOT EAT ANYTHING THAT COMES FROM A COW!! You will be amazed your skin will be completely acne free!!! I had acne my whole life and now my skin is beautiful!!! Cheese is the worst thing you can put in your body!!! Please go to the link below....Do you want to continue spending money on drugs and skin care products that don't work??? Dermatologists won't tell you its something that your eating because they just want your money and so do the drug companies! The reason you have acne is because your body is telling you it has toxins inside your body...eliminate the allergy eliminate the toxins its that easy!

sorry forgot the link...

*Moderator edit, URL removed - read the board rules. *

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When you say hormonal acne, do you mean acne that comes and goes along with your cycle? Because almost all acne is related to hormones with exceptions like allergic reactions and pores clogged by topicals and environmental pollutants.

And anyone with a lot of PMS issue or irregularity might need to consider estrogen dominance/low progesterone rather than testosterone.

And to improve either imbalance, the best thing to do is eat, exercise and sleep well to help adrenal and liver function, among many other things, so they can do their jobs balancing hormones.

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I have what I think is undiagnosed PCOS (no insurance, so who knows :rolleyes: ) and I've started taking vitex and red raspberry leaf. Over the past 8 months my cycles have gotten longer and longer (48 days is the longest) and an-ovulatory (don't ovulate, or ovulate late).

I've been on vitex for a month now, and 2 days ago, on cycle day 13, I got what felt like ovulation pain, but, it's been so long I can't tell anymore. The true test will be whether or not I get my period in 2 weeks.

Anyway... to make a long story longer, the combined symptoms I have make me think either PCOS, or hypothyroidism, or both, since the two are often related. So my new years resolution was to eat better (no dairy, unprocessed, as-natural-as-possible) food and take my supplements. And, loose weight. Excess weight can wreak havoc on your adrenal/endocrine system, which can throw your hormones out of whack.

I also take more than the bottle recommends. The bottle suggests one capsule per day, which is about 450 mg, but I take two capsules. Taking too much can actually have reverse effects, so play with your doses, but it's recommend for us big gals to start with two to start. And I take it all the way through my cycle. If you understand how vitext works, you have to. It builds up in your system and that's how it reaches effective doses. Everything I've read has said to take it every day of your cycle and not to stop it. Red raspberry, however, can be taken during your luetal phase (the two weeks after ovulation before your period) to help build a healthy endometrium lining, but there's no harm in taking it all month long, and many people have said they get better results with vitex when taken with the red raspberry leaf. In fact, many of the proprietary blends (as opposed to straight chasteberry) have red raspberry leaf in them. But for me, it was just cheaper to buy both bottles separately. The down side, of course, is taking more pills, but meh.

So before I spend the thousand dollars on blood work, I'm going to err on the side of me being too fat and eating crappy food, which is mostly likely the biggest factor. Part of getting things working again is hopefully going to be the vitex.

As a side note.. my SIL started taking vitex after I told her about it, and has gotten a period, regularly, for the first time in years (she has an autoimmune disorder and is completely an-ovulatory and doesn't cycle).

I'm optimistic. My face has cleared up about 70% since starting all this, and when I get to a healthier weight and my skin is clear, I'm going to experiment by adding in different foods and playing with my supplements to see what my triggers are and what works the best. But for now, it's working, and it's only 5 bucks a bottle for a whole month, which is a bazillion times cheaper than going to the doctor, so I'm going to give it a try!

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I have what I think is undiagnosed PCOS (no insurance, so who knows :rolleyes: ) and I've started taking vitex and red raspberry leaf. Over the past 8 months my cycles have gotten longer and longer (48 days is the longest) and an-ovulatory (don't ovulate, or ovulate late).

You should visit drlam.com for info on nutrition and supplements for estrogen dominance related issues.

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You could also look into the Zone diet or Suzanne Sommers diet which are about balancing hormones. Although the gist is the same, moderately low carb/fat with less processed foods and drinks and more nutrient dense foods.

Everything that improves glucose metabolism, digestion, inflammation, circulation, liver function and adrenal function will help. In other words, good nutrition, sleep and exercise.

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When you say hormonal acne, do you mean acne that comes and goes along with your cycle? Because almost all acne is related to hormones with exceptions like allergic reactions and pores clogged by topicals and environmental pollutants.

And anyone with a lot of PMS issue or irregularity might need to consider estrogen dominance/low progesterone rather than testosterone.

And to improve either imbalance, the best thing to do is eat, exercise and sleep well to help adrenal and liver function, among many other things, so they can do their jobs balancing hormones.

By "hormonal" I mean that it does sort of cycle with my period, but it has been fairly bad throughout the last few months. I think the real hormonal imbalance came from going off birth control pills and just being in that stage of life (22-27) where some women have a second surge of hormones (kind of like puberty...except I had clear skin during puberty).

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Here's an update on what's happenin' on my face since I started this regimen about a month ago. It is looking MUCH better than it was a month ago. Although the breakouts are still coming, they are less frequent, more manageable and definitely improved.

My forehead has been totally clear for the last three weeks and my cheeks (which were the WORST). My chin now only gets very small whiteheads (at most).

The main thing is that my skin feels much smoother and healthier than it did when I was on Differin. I wake up and it is so soft (from the ACV I think). I can wear liquid or powder makeup (clinique or bare minerals) without a bunch of bumps showing up, which is a huge plus since I am going on job interviews right now and don't want to look like a 14 year old.

My period is coming shortly, so this month I am going to take the chaste tree berry/vitex extract continuously instead of stopping for that week like I did last month. Hopefully this will help even more.

I see a few people suggested going off dairy and red meat. I very rarely eat red meat and the only dairy I usually eat is cheese (1-2 servings/day). I switched to soy milk over a year ago and eat yogurt just occasionally with falafel or something. I will try my hardest to be even more conscious of my dairy intake and see what happens!

Inside:

Vitamin B Complex

Fish Oil

Women's multivitamin

Zinc (added this last week)

Vitex (1/2 dropperful 3x day)

Dermal Health herbal blend (1/2 dropperful 3x day)

Apple Cider Vinegar (1 T in water, 3x daily) to balance pH

Lots of water and moderate exercise

Outside:

Cetaphil wash

Apple cider vinegar as a toner diluted a little with water (night)

Tea tree oil (spot treatment AM/PM)

Cetaphil lotion (day)

Neutrogena Healthy Defense with AHA lotion (night/ sometimes day too)

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I have hormonal acne too which I really hate! But I think I have finally figured out how to stop it. Estrogen dominance seems to be the cause of my acne. I have reasearched and tired every for over a year and finally found what works. I tried it all vitamins, no sugar, killing Candida, no makeup etc. but the only thing that worked was taking supplements to balance my hormones. I take:

-Black cohash

-Don Quai

-Wild Yam

-I3C (Indole-3-Carbinal)

These herbs and supplements all help to balance your hormones and get ride of too much estrogen in your body. My face used to look pretty bad and I was getting really depressed. Now my face has no zits none! I almost can't believe it.

I also recommend trying to stay away from xenoestrogens. Found in plastics, cosemetics (parabens), pesticides, red meat, poultry etc.

Dairy is also bad becasue it contains hormones.

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I've kept up my routine diligently for the last two months and have seen some improvement. My acne is not fully healed and I know there's no cure, but my skin is generally looking much better than it was in December. The right side of my face has not been breaking out much at all (just a little around my chin) and I have only had one or two breakouts on my left cheek in the last week (when compared to a whole faceful of acne, that's pretty good).

My biggest problem right now is that I am having a hard time being patient about the red marks. Does anyone have any recommendations about how to speed the fading/healing?

I don't want to put anything on my face that could cause a breakout, but the red marks look just as bad as the acne--at least they aren't as painful though. I can sort of cover them with makeup but within a few hours they are visible again.

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Your story sounds very similar to mine. I have been suffering from acne since I was a teenager (I'm now 32) and in the last few years it has worsened. I link the worsening to trying, unsuccessfully, to go off birth control in 2004. I went back on birth control and then tried all the routine treatments derms recommend--antibiotics, differin, etc. Though going back on bc helped and at times my face cleared, nothing worked as well as I wanted it to and when my skin was bad, it was really bad. Mostly, I was experiencing large, painful cystic acne--both on my face and my back. Last month I became completely fed up with prescription meds and tried the natural route. After just a few weeks, I am seeing amazing results. My skin has never looked better! I can't say the exact cause of the improvements, but here's what I'm doing:

*No gluten

*No sugar (I eat lots of fruit and cheat some with raw honey though)

*Only goat and sheep dairy products (I do cheat some with this and have cow based products on occasion)

*No coffee

*Lots of green tea

*Probiotics

*Fish oil

*Ground flax seed (I really think this has helped with all the red marks and with the incredible tone and texture my skin now has. I see no one has mentioned trying flax and I would highly recommend including it in your diet. I've read that consuming the ground seeds is most effective which is why I chose that form over the oil and capsules. Some people don't like the taste, but I do. I put 2 tablespoons in my orange juice every morning.)

I am really happy with this new regimen and the results I'm seeing. I'm planning to go off birth control in the next 6 months and am crossing my fingers. Last time I tried, the results were disastrous, but I feel like I'm now more knowledgeable about my skin and am hoping for the best. Good luck with your skin.

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Here is my unprofessional advice. Stop differin, use 2.5% BP all over everyday (after your skin has healed a few days off differin), use an alcohol free .5% salicidic acid treatment, eat natural whole foods whenever you have a choice, and check into making sure you're not sensitive to copper. Alot of people have metal sensitivities. Differin made my skin horrible - Im so anti. I agree the best is 2.5 BP all over, just like dan says, but i use nuetrogena instead. Also try a good clay mask that is non medicated and non menthol so u can use it alot without irritation. Good luck!

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Hi, I am sad that all of you are suffering like I have for so many years looking for a miracle so you can go on with your life and not be obsessed like I am with my skin all the time! I have tried EVERYTHING! Including chaste berry and so many other natural herbs and vitamins. I do believe in vitamins. I also have fasted / given up everything but natural fruits and vegtibles and only drank water and juice but still had bad breakouts. Been on every topical and antibiotic you can be prescribed by a dr and every over the counter and TV product you can buy. Birth Control ect. I am back on Accutane for the second time. Wish me a miracle! And I the same for all of you!!!!!

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I agree with bugsbunny. I stopped drinking milk last month and my acne has totally vanished. I had hormonal cystic acne which would leave tons of red marks! I have not gotten one pimple since I stopped drinking milk. I still can eat cheese, yogurt, and other dairy without problems, but everyone is different. I urge you to try giving up milk or dairy and see if it works. The excess hormones in the cow milk is what causes the break outs in MANY people.

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i haven't been drinking milk for a long time. i actually bought my first 1/2 gallon in a year at the grocery store last week (to make bran muffins) so i don't think that dairy is my problem. i wish it were!

i had nearly the same diet before the acne started to get really bad--unfortunately, i don't think anything is aggravating it except for my post-BC hormone wackiness.

i'm feeling a little discouraged right now because i had a medium level breakout before my period again. i'm wondering if it's worth going through all of this trial and error (and money) when i could just go to planned parenthood and go back on birth control and say goodbye to bad skin that easily...i really don't want to do that but this is not just good.

i feel you, ClaraB. i am so tired of being fixated on my skin. i honestly feel more vain now than i did when i actually had a pretty face! that vanity is almost worse than the bad skin itself. i hope you find what works for you.

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I agree with bugsbunny. I stopped drinking milk last month and my acne has totally vanished. I had hormonal cystic acne which would leave tons of red marks! I have not gotten one pimple since I stopped drinking milk. I still can eat cheese, yogurt, and other dairy without problems, but everyone is different. I urge you to try giving up milk or dairy and see if it works. The excess hormones in the cow milk is what causes the break outs in MANY people.

You're a smart person.

It isn't just hormones, MILK is PASTEURISED, meaning its heated to kill bacteria and in the process kills GOOD bacteria needed to digest milk PROPERLY, Dairy is linked to so many illnesses/allergies.

Including the fact that hormones are added to it to last longer on shelves, etc.

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