A shocking 45% of people over the age of 21 have acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, most of these people being women. There are many reasons why people have adult acne, including lifestyle, diet, stress, family history, side effects of medications and hormone imbalance. I will address a few reasons here and offer some simple natural strategies to avoid outbreaks.
Stress: We all have stress, but the problem with acne arises when we are under constant stress. Research has shown that stress increases acne and breakouts because our bodies produce more androgens in response to increased stress hormones like cortisol. The excess hormones tend to congest the liver, which is the organ that metabolizes and clears hormones from the body, and acne results.
Exercise: A lack of exercise can also contribute to increased breakouts. When you work out your metabolism increases, which in turn, among many other things, helps to rid the body of the excess oil production that causes pimples. Exercise also helps to metabolize hormones that may be sitting stagnant in the body and causing hormonal acne. So, you can bet on exercise to help prevent adult acne. But be sure to rinse off as soon as possible so that the pores you have just opened don’t close with sweat and bacteria in them from your workout and cause a breakout!
**Special offer – $50 off a new patient visit when you book with Dr. Alioto before February 28!**
Diet: Consuming conventional meat and dairy increase acne due to the hormones that large-scale companies use to increase size and output of animals, as well as antibiotics used to avoid infection that spread rapidly in small living spaces. These hormones and antibiotics do not go away when animals are slaughtered. When we eat the meat and drink the milk from these animals, we increase hormones and toxins that come from the environment, which leads to acne on the face and other unwanted side effects. If you are a meat-eater, try switching to consuming humanely raised, organic meat without added hormones. As for dairy, choose organic and/or switch to a plant-based milk like almond 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. Try cooking with olive oil or avocado oil, or sauté in water or broth instead of oil altogether!
Meat or dairy may not be the cause of your acne, it may be gluten or nuts or something else entirely, but if you’ve tried a lot of other avenues to combat your acne, you may want to think about your diet. It makes sense though that what we put into our bodies is going to affect the outside of our bodies.
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 and allow you body and mind to de-stress.
- Be sure to have a good skin-cleansing regimen both morning and evening. If hormones are causing your acne, balancing hormone levels naturally is important.
- Get a plan! Book an appointment with Dr. Alioto or Dr. ACE to get an individualized plan to help you regulate your hormones and clear your acne.