If you experience adult acne, which more than 50% of women do, you have likely noticed that your breakouts are often worse around the time of your period, and maybe even the week that you ovulate.
I see it in clients all the time. Their skin is clear for part of the month, and then suddenly, they know their period of coming, not by looking at the calendar, but by looking at their skin.
It’s no wonder that the beauty industry blames hormones for these breakouts. It makes sense… The breakouts seem to be directly tied to your period, so how could it not be your hormones causing the breakouts?
The Real Cause of Acne
Believe or not, all skin conditions, including “hormonal” acne, stem from bacteria inside of an overburdened liver.
The livers job is detoxify the body. When harmful bacteria or pathogens come into the body, the liver packages them up into a chemical compound and sends them on their way out of the body. When the liver is functioning optimally, we remain in optimal health and so does our skin.
But, we go through life never really being taught how to take care of our liver, and with the way that our modern society eats, by the time we reach our 20’s and 30’s, sometimes even earlier than this, the liver becomes overburdened and sluggish (most of us have this). Once this happens, the liver unintentionally allows bacteria and pathogens to enter the bloodstream, which then travel around the body to the different organs, including the skin.
All acne is caused by a specific bacteria inside of the body, the strep bacteria. You might think, but I don’t have strep throat, so I don’t have strep. Strep causes a lot more than just strep throat. Over the years of antibiotics, most the strains of strep have become immune to antibiotics, which has turned it into a superbug. There are now hundreds of strains of it, which can be passed from person to person, or from contaminated surfaces in public places (especially public bathrooms). Not everyone has it, so this is why some people experience acne and others do not. Some of us have had it since we were children, others pick it up from other people later on in life. Once inside of the body, the strep bacteria hides inside of the liver, and during times of lowered immunity, it leaves the liver and it travels around the body, often heading straight for the skin.
Strep does not just cause acne though. It can also cause ear infections, tonsillitis, sinus problems, bladder infections, sore throats, intestinal issues, SIBO, styes in the eye, the list goes on. If you experience acne, chances are, you can relate to some of these other symptoms as well.
If you have had antibiotics throughout your life, you will especially relate to this.
How Does This Relate to Hormones?
Well, it doesn’t, which is why hormones are actually NOT the cause of your acne, as much as they appear to be.
The week before your period each month, your body is so focused on making menstruation happen, that your immune system becomes compromised. In fact, your immune system lowers by almost 80% the week before your period, as well as during ovulation. During times of lowered immunity, bacteria inside of the liver leave the liver and travel through the bloodstream. The strep bacteria leaves the liver and it heads straight for the skin. Once it reaches the skin, the skin begins producing oil to try to trap and suffocate the bacteria, but the strep bacteria is strong, so it makes its way through this oil and shows itself at the skins surface as a variety of acne, from cystic acne to white pustules and even rosacea-caused acne.
While it seems that “hormonal acne” is caused by hormones, your hormones actually have nothing to do with it. Knowing this, you now have permission to forgive your body for your “hormonal imbalances” that you despise so much. I know how frustrating it is to think that you have a hormonal imbalance and not have any idea how to begin balancing them (I’ve been there).
How to Heal Your Acne
Because acne is caused by bacteria inside of your body, it’s vital that you take an internal approach.
That’s why the hundreds of dollars you’ve likely spent on topical solutions on drug store shelves and even at the dermatologist over the years have never shown any value to clearing up your acne. Healing acne must include both an internal and external holistic approach.
Killing the Bacteria
The strep bacteria feeds off of dairy, cheese, eggs, gluten, canola oil and corn. Fruits and vegetables kill the strep bacteria, as well as certain supplements. When you cut out the above bacteria-feeding foods, you will starve the strep bacteria, and by adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet, you’ll kill the bacteria and strengthen your liver.
I know this information can cause a panic for most people. When I was healing my own body, I panicked, too. All I could think was, “what else is left for me to eat?”. There are a lot of great alternatives to the bad foods listed above, and thankfully for the internet, there are hundreds of recipes out there.
For more extreme cases of strep, it might take a little more effort on your end than simply cutting out the above foods. There are certain supplements that might be necessary, as well as some other changes that need to be made to your daily diet and routines. The strep bacteria is a stubborn bacteria that can take up to 18 months to completely clear out of the body. However, starting out by cutting out the foods above will be a great start and you’ll begin seeing improvement from this alone.
If you need some support throughout your acne healing journey, I offer one-on-one online skin consultations/coaching and would be honoured to help you along the path to clearing your skin.