In a nutshell I have had breakouts since age 13. I have never have full blown cystic acne but it's always been bad enough to warrant daily foundation and concealer. I am now in my early thirties and have had enough.
I have started this blog to track my progress and try and see if there is a link between diet, hormones, lifestyle and my skin.
I definitely believe there to be a link between diet and acne and I think it comes down to common sense, for example eat as many fresh foods in their natural form as possible and as little as possible of refined and processed foods so as not to overload your system. I've had gestational diabetes twice now and found that a low GI diet focusing on natural foods and fresh vegetables really cleared my skin up!! I have recently stopped breastfeeding my baby and have been slack with my diet and my skin is horrible right now.
I have read that Vitex works on the pituary gland (in the brain) to regulate hormones thus helping with hormone related problems. (it does not contain any sort of hormone however) Unfortunately it hasn't directly improved my skin but has shortened my period cycle from 37 days down to 30.
I am going to continue taking Vitex but plan on going back to my low GI diet and cutting out sugar. I also drink spearmint or peppermint tea as it is supposed to be antiandrogenic. Some supplements I plan on taking shortly are: zinc, b6 vitamin, licorice extract, ground flaxseed, vitamin E. I just started back on th bcp pill today (yasmine) and currently take fish oil supplements (cold pressed alaskan salmon), vitex, iron tabs with vitamin c and magnesium.
I personally think my hormones are to blame though I have never had them tested and believe my skin problems are further exacerbated by my diet.
I biggest vices are coffee (about 3-4 cups per day) and chocolate but I don't think I can stop and don't really want to stop!!
Some known supplements/herbs that have shown antiandrogenic properties OR help to regulate hormones:
- Black Cohosh
- Saw Palmetto
- Peony & Licorice, especially when taken together for some reason
- Spearmint Tea
- Peppermint Tea
- Ground flaxseed (at least 3 tblsp per day)
- Red Raspberry Leaf
- Evening primrose oil
- EMU Oil
- Dong Quai
Vitamins and Mineral necessary for good liver function remembering that the liver helps keep normal hormonal levels by flushing out excess.
- Vitamin E
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