Here's How You Can Reduce Inflammation to Curb Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne typically flares up during menstruation. Often manifesting on the jawline, this kind of acne can be extremely painful and all-around frustrating to deal with. So, how can we stop it? Or at the very least, help reduce it?

Strict skincare regimens and prescription medication can only do so much, and can oftentimes even worsen acne. Thus, it’s most important to heal your body from the inside-out, and that begins with reducing inflammation in the body.

Regulate your insulin levels

More research has been showing that high insulin levels lead to the production of a hormone called IGF-1. This hormone directly increases androgens in our body that ultimately create acne. Of course, it’s important to see a trusted healthcare provider before diving into something like a low-insulin diet, but eating a balanced diet of all the necessary food groups will help you in the long run.

Do your best to “detox” your body

While your liver does most— if not all— of the work in detoxing your body, it never hurts to help it move along. This means avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, or getting screened for viral liver infections such as hepatitis.

You can also do more by eliminating toxins from environmental factors. Start by ditching single-use plastic or choosing a sunscreen with the help of this non-toxic ingredient guide.

Focus on balancing your microbiome

The skin and the gut are very closely linked because, well, the microbiome exists both in the gut and on the skin. The little ecosystem of microorganisms keeps your skin healthy and in good condition to fight off potential threats. Remember, your skin is your first line of defense for your immune system, so treat it right!  Stay away from harsh skin products like chemical peels and excessive retinoids that can strip your skin.

Check out our other post, 5 Realistic Ways To Help Your Gut and microbiome, to learn more.

Manage your stress in healthy ways

Yes, this is easier said than done. However, when you experience stress, there is another hormonal pathway being created that directly leads to acne. Sometimes, it's better to let some things go. Schedule a tea break. Take a walk. Exercise!

Consume a nourishing diet

Don’t eat foods that contribute to inflammation in your body! This includes fried and overly-processed food, sugar, red meat, and dairy products. Read more about what you can eat instead.

Maintain a skincare routine that is gentle on your skin

While skincare isn’t the primary solution for hormonal acne, it’s definitely important. It needs to be effective enough to cleanse away dirt and impurities, but gentle enough to keep your skin’s flora intact. Read more on how you can clean up your beauty products for a more gentle routine.


To read more about hormonal acne, check out our dedicated section to the topic on our blog, Period Matters.
Curated and edited by Jean Lin, this post expands on topics covered by Stacey Shillington featured in episode 12 of Food Period's IGTV Women's Health Experts Series. After going back to school to learn how to heal her own skin from the inside out, Stacey has now made it her mission to help other women “get rid of their acne for good.” To learn more, check out her Instagram @naturopathicbeauty and her website Naturopathic Beauty.

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