Is hormonal cystic acne making you feel like you want to hide? You’re trying one hormonal acne treatment after another, and another – your acne’s always around the same area and breakouts just keep coming back again and again, month after month.
You’re shouting – how do I beat my hormonal acne?
I hear your call my friend. I’m about to show you how Dalia healed over 10 years of hormonal cystic acne in just 6 months – naturally.
Many of the amazing women I work with feel like they’ve tried all the things to get rid of acne and nothing’s working. I’m incredibly honoured to share Dalia’s acne journey with you today because Dalia’s proof – even if you’ve tried acne medications like Spironolactone or Accutane – your skin can heal and you can feel confident and beautiful again makeupless. You can, you can, you can.
Hormonal Acne Treatment: Spironolactone, Accutane
When I first meet Dalia over Zoom she tells me, ‘I want to feel beautiful with just bare skin’.
“My acne is literally only on the bottom third part of my face. Not too severe, but bad enough to cause me to want to hide it which aggravates the situation. I took Accutane in my 20s which helped at the time. At 32 when I delivered my daughter, I started acne all over again, mainly around my ovulation and period. It’s been 4 years of this. It got better with Spironolactone but I had to stop it as I’m trying to get pregnant. Would love your help to go with a more natural way to heal my skin permanently (hopefully).”
Typical breakouts for Dalia;
Have you heard of Spironolactone and Accutane before?
Spironolactone (Spiro) works to block a group of hormones called androgens. Androgens are most commonly linked to causing hormonal acne.
Both hormonal acne treatments can clear up acne for some women temporarily. However as Spiro and Accutane aren’t treating trigger causes of your acne – neither’s a long-term acne cure. If acne medications like Accutane or Spiro work, acne often comes back just months or sometimes a year or so after stopping.
Exactly like Dalia was experiencing.
I knew Dalia would be amazing to work with because she told me, “I’ve heard on one of your podcasts that acne may signify other potential health concerns in the future and it’s our body’s way of communicating that something is up. So I’d love to get to the root cause and get healthy from within.”
My hormonal acne treatment strategy: is not about trying to get rid of acne, it’s about making your skin and body so healthy you resist hormonal acne naturally.
By shifting our healing focus we work with your skin’s natural biology so you get clear for good.
Sprio and Accutane are like acne plasters on a high heel shoe rubbing blisters into your ankle. When you take the plaster off, your heel still rubs and you still get blisters.
We’re here to find your skin’s perfect fit 🙂
How to Heal Hormonal Acne Naturally
The first and most important acne healing tool is to support your skin’s natural biology.
Dalia tells me in our first 1-2-1 call: “I’ve done a lot of research on skincare products. It’s been my life for the past 2-3 years trying to find a cure. I saw a derm 3-4 months ago who prescribed a salicylic acid wash, I’m meant to be using every morning. I haven’t been using it consistently since I heard your podcast. Now I’m doing it on and off because I’m worried about stripping my skin, it’s been feeling a bit dry and too harsh on my skin.”
Acne healing secret: if you’re using skincare that works against your skin’s natural biology [hint – dry, tight feelings are a sign] you will struggle to build resilience against breakouts and you’re going to be feeling like acne’s always coming back again and again – often in exactly the same places.
The simple, unassuming face wash can be destroying your skin health. Especially if it’s an acne face wash.
Fact is: face wash often zaps what us scientists call your skin’s acid mantle.
Psst, your skin’s acid mantle helps stop acne bacteria from overgrowing.
It’s proven in published science papers that reacidifying your skin’s acid mantle can help prevent breakouts.
Peek at this science quote;
Studies have shown that lowering the pH reduces the inflammatory response and quickens barrier function recovery, thereby preventing epidermal hyperproliferation.J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017 Jul; 10(7): 33–39.
Don’t worry if this sounds gooky – I’m explaining more…
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition so any change you make to lower inflammation levels can help heal your acne. Hurrah.
Oh and that super sciency word – hyperproliferation – think of it like skin thickening inside your pores making them prone to clogging and breakouts – I show you how to heal this hyperproliferation inside my online acne healing video course, Acne Warrior.
And science has proven;
The phenomena of acidifying the skin surface can help reduce the number of inflammatory papulopustules in skin affected with acne.J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017 Jul; 10(7): 33–39.
Yay – so to reduce breakouts, it’s important to stop washing your face so much and avoid skincare that causes dryness. Short term you might see fewer breakouts but then a few months later it’s going to feel like your new holy grail skincare has stopped working. That’s because your skin pH level is too high (less acidic).
Re-acidifying your skin only to deplete it over and over again with face wash – it’s like you’re trying to run a marathon with your shoe laces tied together. Something’s holding you back big time.
I start Dalia off on a new skincare routine that supports her skin’s natural biology and is supporting her acid mantle.
Psst, if you’re using acne skincare working against your skin’s natural biology you can see some swift healing here – you can be saying – I feel like my skin is smoother, and my acne has not flared up as much this week 🙂
How to Heal Hormonal Acne Naturally: Step 2
Next, I dive into Dalia’s diet and supplement routine.
Dalia’s eating really healthy foods and is a regular gym goer.
Psst, it’s very normal to feel like you’re doing all the right healthy things, and yet if anything your acne’s getting worse. The acne healing secret: healthy foods can cause breakouts too – which can make healing acne alone, so hard.
Don’t worry – I’ve got your hand now and I’m here to help you get the clear skin you deserve 😀
With Dalia I talk through;
- How to lower androgens naturally with diet – psst – some foods can support hormonal bliss – we cover this inside Acne Warrior
- Healthy traps that can spike androgen hormones – I see quite a few in Dalia’s food tracker
- How hyperproliferation inside pores (which can cause pore clogging and breakouts) can be caused by too much protein (this was a key healthy feature on Dalia’s food tracker)
- How to encourage estrogen production with some carefully selected supplements (psst, estrogen is on the other side of the see-saw to androgens – estrogens can help quieten your acne hormones – yay)
Dalia starts seeing some amazing healing of her acne;
“My skin health already feels much better. It feels much more hydrated and balanced. My breakouts are definitely less. I usually get 1-2 big cystic pimples around my ovulation. I was waiting for the dreaded pimples to emerge during ovulation but I only got one small-ish pimple that heeled fast.”
Important: the most effective, natural hormonal acne treatments are not about ‘avoiding this one food’ or ‘just stop eating sugar’ – an effective hormonal acne treatment is about understanding how your diet overall can trigger acne hormones – and then making educated changes (having a tool kit of changes) that help turn acne hormones down.
You can pick and choose from this toolkit so that food is still fun and super yummy – and your skin is clear and glowy.
From Breakouts to Breakthroughs
“I’ve literally gone through a full cycle (ovulation & period) with not a single pimple. I don’t want to jinx it but I’m so happy 😄”
A few months in and we’re starting to see consistency and resilience. The happy place where worrying about breakouts starts to be a thing of the past.
Then a month later I open my inbox to find an email from Dalia.
She’s seeing a flare-up. All the emotions of uncontrollable breakouts are waving back.
I investigate and discover Dalia had some facial treatments at a skin clinic.
I explain, some skin treatments can cause inflammation/irritation and strip away layers of your protective skin barrier.
As acne is an inflammatory skin condition – irritation itself can cause breakouts. Then when your skin barrier is poorly, acne bacteria find their way into deeper layers of your skin causing a big immune respsone. You see this as big raised, red and angry cystic acne.
Dalia swears off facials and a month later she writes telling me, “BTW, my skin has been doing fabulous since the last time I wrote to you where I had severe breakouts after some facial treatments. I’ve sworn off extreme facials for now and my skin has been happy.”
Psst, I thought it really important to share this like acne healing bump with you. Healing your skin from acne in the first 3 months can come with some ups and downs as we identify your acne triggers and as we rebuild your skin’s natural biology to get yummy resilience in your skin.
A few ups and downs in the beginning are normal. It’s about trusting the process, understanding the why behind your acne healing and looking for those long-term changes (plus avoiding the temptation to hyper analyse breakouts on the daily).
6 months later and Dalia is clear 😀 consistently clear and feeling awesome in herself again. Here’s Dalia now, sharing all about her acne journey and the hormonal acne treatment that finally worked;
“I first reached out to Cheryl because of the fact that I had these big inflamed cystic pimples, on the lower part of my face that are very much, hormonal driven. Prior to that, I had honestly tried everything from topical treatments, to certain pills. Visiting multiple dermatologists, but nothing really solved my problem.
I luckily stumbled upon one of Cheryl’s podcasts and then immediately reached out to her, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I was able to completely clear my acne, within a period of, four to five months… and already started seeing improvement from the third months.
Working with her was such a joy. I think what differentiates, the way she works is that she honestly works with you as an individual to see what is driving your acne personally for you.
It’s about going into the root cause of things as opposed to just having a bandaid solution, which I truly, truly, loved.
[Cheryl’s] a very sweet person, very knowledgeable, and the fact that she completely cleared my acne… I would honestly recommend her to anyone who’s struggling with acne”
Dalia no longer has to rely on hormonal acne treatment like Spironolactone or Accutane. Dalia now has naturally clear skin and loves her bare face again.
Isn’t she awesome 🙂
If you would love to finally get the confident, clear skin you deserve – join me inside my online acne healing video course, Acne Warrior.
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist, skin health expert & award-winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. Through her 1-2-1 services and video courses she’s here helping you get healthier, happier skin you feel comfortable, confident and like the freakin’ awesomesauce you are in. Select the option which best describes your skin health here to see and hear the amazing transformations you could be getting.