While experts have yet to reach any kind of agreement when it comes to diet and hormonal acne, research and countless personal testimonies have strengthened the theory that dietary choices contribute to the health of our skin and the balance of our hormones.
For example, dairy is widely accepted as an ingredient to be avoided, at least in the week or two leading up to your period. White bread, breakfast cereal, and potato chips are all on the “no-fly” list for their proven reputations of being inflammatory and triggering hormonal changes. By contrast, foods that are known to positively balance hormones include avocados, quinoa, salmon, eggs and any dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli or chard.
Coffee (GASP!) increases stress hormones which can have a negative impact on your skin. Antioxidants in red wine, on the other hand, are said to have positive effects on the skin.
Because stress can have a major effect on our bodies and our skin, mindful management of stress and anxiety are key steps in maintaining a healthy overall balance. Regular exercise, such as walking, pilates, and yoga can all reduce stress and anxiety. If you needed an excuse to spend some quality time with a bubble bath, here’s one: Relaxation practices like taking a warm bath, deep-breathing, or aromatherapy can have a soothing effect on mind, body, spirit – and skin!
When meeting a patient with hormonal acne, one of the first things a dermatologist will address is emotional stress levels. The link between the two is very real and very scientific. The skin and the brain both create stress hormones that lead to break-outs and inflammation. So, take it easy. It’s Doctor’s orders!