What Causes Acne? Part 1- Hormones

What Causes Acne? Part 1- Hormones

Hormonal acne is extremely complicated because we're dealing with something invisible to the naked eye.

It requires you to be aware of your body's internal processes to manage the condition effectively. Here's what you need to know before rushing to buy skincare products.

How do I know if I have hormonal acne?

Your hormones might be causing your acne if:

  1. Your breakouts occur at the same time each month.
  2. Your breakouts are always in the same spot. 
  3. The pimples are deep, cystic, and painful.

Hormonal acne is usually caused by sensitivity to androgens

Our body requires a delicate balance of hormones to keep all systems running smoothly. When we experience an imbalance of hormones, the body struggles to manage its processes.

The androgen responsible for acne is testosterone. Both men and women produce testosterone and estrogen. However, women are sensitive to excess testosterone because their bodies can't use it. Therefore, the body ejects this excess testosterone.

Our skin has androgen receptor cells that receive the testosterone for elimination. From these receptors, the skin gets rid of testosterone through cystic breakouts.

Also, testosterone increases the production of sebum, which can clog pores and worsen the breakout.

How does it get to the skin?

The body transports hormones through the bloodstream, which sends the hormones directly to the skin cells. 

blood sugar

So how do hormones get into the blood?

There are three primary ways testosterone ends up in your blood supply:

  1. Increased production of hormones by the sex organs. When your blood sugar is high, this could increase hormone production by giving excess energy to your ovaries. This results in more testosterone in the bloodstream, and the body has to eliminate it. To curb this, learn about how to regulate your blood sugar.
  2. Exercise. If you work out and you experience cycle-related breakouts, you could be worsening the situation. Hormones are fat-soluble, so they're stored in the body fat. When you exercise, your body breaks down body fat to provide energy. Any hormones in this body fat can get into your blood. 
  3. Stress. Being worked up makes every bad situation worse. Stress triggers the release of adrenaline, which leads to breakouts. If you're frequently stressed and overworked, make a deliberate effort to take it easy. Take a few minutes each day to relax your mind by doing something you enjoy. 

There is hope

If you suspect your acne is hormonal, go to a doctor and get your hormone levels checked. Also, have them test your blood sugar and cortisol levels. 

Apart from medical intervention, help your body stay balanced by drinking lots of water, eating a healthy diet full of leafy greens and fresh fruit, and getting enough sleep (7.5-9 hours every day). 

With love,

​The Sole Toscana Beauty Team