Acne in your 30’s or even 40’s? This shouldn’t be a thing! The days of acne should be long gone. You shouldn’t be struggling at this age with pimples.
Let’s get to the root cause of your acne, so you aren’t contemplating, “Am I the only woman with acne in my 30’s??” First, off let me tell you that you aren’t the only one asking yourself this question. Many women are experiencing the same thing as you.
Not only is it embarrassing for us women at this age, but acne can also be a huge hit to your self-esteem and contribute negatively to your mental health. But ladies, I don’t want acne to interfere with you living your life confidently and joyfully! Let me explain why you may have acne popping up and how you can treat adult acne naturally.
Acne vulgaris is the type of acne that shows up usually in the t-zone on your face (forehead, chin, nose, and cheeks). The pimples are your usual mix of redness, whiteheads, and blackheads.
Cystic acne, on the other hand, is larger red bumps that are harder under the surface. Most times these don’t change into actual “pimples”. This kind of acne is the type that makes your eyes water when you accidentally bump them. It seems like the cyst is layers deep into your skin! This kind mostly shows up around your jawline, neck, back, and shoulders.
Are you one of the MANY women who were put on birth control for acne at a young age? You were told that it’d “treat” your acne. Sadly, that’s not the truth. It’s only a band-aid. The issue is, when you get off of the pill (because you want to get pregnant or because you are having other side effects from the pill), those acne symptoms will come right on back. That’s because you aren’t getting to the root cause!
Also, when you come off the pill, your androgen hormone secretion becomes elevated. Since the pill suppressed your androgens, now the elevated levels overstimulate your sebaceous glands, causing acne.
For many, acne is a result of imbalanced hormones. The reason women get put on birth control is that they think it will regulate their hormones, and will therefore fix their acne. When in reality, the pill just inhibits your hormones from fluctuating. When you come off of it, hello imbalanced hormones again.
Maybe you didn’t just come off the pill, but have been continuously struggling with acne in your 30’s or even 40’s (way past the time of normal hormonal shifts as a teenager). You could still have imbalanced hormones- estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol… you name it.
If you look up symptoms of elevated estrogen (estrogen dominance), or elevated testosterone, you’ll see acne pop up time and time again. So how do your hormone become imbalanced in the first place? Poor diet, stress, environmental toxins, and even poor gut health are some main contributors that I see with my patients.
Yes… my favorite subject to chat about- gut health! Your gut health and acne are incredibly interconnected. When your gut isn’t happy, many times your skin is the thing that tells you. Signs of poor gut health show up as acne, redness, rashes, itchiness, rosecea, or even cysts- ouch.
As we look deeper and deeper into the root cause, we may find that your acne, is a result of poor gut health. Often times dysbiosis and candida are to blame.
Gut damage can be caused by:
Hidden toxins in your beauty products or household cleaners
Environmental toxins in your food or water supply
Inflammatory foods and an unhealthy diet
Holding onto major stress
chronic or long-term use of antibiotics or NSAIDS
Dysbiosis (imbalanced gut microbiome)
Underlying chronic infections such as parasites
Sometimes getting to the root cause isn’t so simple. All of these contributors could be interconnected. One factor could exacerbate another, making matters even worse.
BUT, when you focus on living an all-around healthy lifestyle and participating in healthy behaviors you’ll see an improvement in gut health and acne.
This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect all the time. Even as a functional medicine healthcare provider, I still like to enjoy my french fries and clean wine from time to time.
Food allergies, intolerances, and food sensitivities can all cause inflammation, and damage the gut, which ultimately leads to breakouts. Finding unknown food sensitivities is where I see an opportunity to address your acne in your 30’s. Since food sensitivities aren’t as apparent as food allergies, they can be hard to pinpoint.
But by eliminating common food sensitivities, like dairy and gluten, women have seen their acne clear up just with that simple diet shift. If eliminating those foods, for the time being, doesn’t help your acne, you could have another hidden food sensitivity that could be picked up from functional lab testing (I run these labs with most of my health clients during their health journey with me).
Instead of relying on creams or medications for a band-aid approach, you can use natural remedies to get to the root issues and be done with it once and for all. And you’ll boost your overall health in the process!
Since most acne is from an underlying hormonal imbalance, it’s important to focus on balancing those hormones right from the start of your acne treatment. You can include hormone-balancing food to help those hormone levels. These foods include cruciferous veggies like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and arugula.
But the best diet for hormonal acne is really just to stick to an organic whole foods diet with an abundance of anti-inflammatory foods and lower glycemic foods. One study found that people who consumed an abundance of carbohydrates and higher glycemic (sugar) load (aka the bad carbs) had greater insulin resistance and more acne.
Dairy (especially with all those added hormones & steroids in conventionally raised animal products. It can increase androgen production (male hormones) and lead to acne.
Food with added sugar
Check out my blog, How to Balance Your Hormones Naturally for more tips
Manage stress with yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises (be patient. These practices take some time to get used to if you’re new!)
Enhance liver detoxification: this can rid toxins (like estrogen-mimicking chemicals) and your hormones will thank you for it!
Prioritize gut health
Don’t use harsh face washes that eliminate your natural oils. This will just tell your body to produce even more oil!
If you have acne in your 30’s or even 40’s, there’s most likely some underlying imbalance in your body that is contributing to it. Balancing your hormones naturally, tossing toxic products, and healing your gut are three of the best things you can do to help your skin. If you’re ready to say goodbye to your acne once and for all, work with a functional medicine provider to help you!
If you need access to a stool test, a gut health expert, and personalized protocols, the Get Your Gut Right program might be the right fit for you. This is a comprehensive health reset program that also focuses on nutrition, detox pathways, the nervous system, clean environment, and more. Click HERE to learn more.
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