If you ask any teen about hormones and acne, you’re likely to encounter a bit of hostility. Acne, is the ruin of a hormonal teenage existence. But even after the teen years, the angst around acne may continue. “Hormonal acne” is a term used to identify adult women who are still battling with breakouts far beyond puberty. Most are between the ages of 20 to 29; however, acne can raise its ugly little heads again at perimenopause. Go figure.
Are periods at fault? Well, to a certain degree, the answer is, “Yes.” The hormonal changes that take place right before your period does affect your skin. One specific hormone, testosterone , present in both men and women, causes sebaceous glands of the skin to fill with fatty secretions that plug up the pores. Breakouts tend to show up in the T-zone, around the forehead and jawline.
Other acne culprits include stress that comes from big life changes, including pregnancy and menopause. Understanding how hormones and stress cause acne breakouts doesn’t make it any easier to deal with but it may provide the ammunition you need to find the solution that fits you best.
For some women, the right birth control pill comes with a dual benefit—protection against an unwanted pregnancy and clear skin. Birth control pills, however, are not always the solution because they add yet another layer of hormones that weren’t there before. If taking birth control pills was the panacea for all things acne, women would be flocking to get some, just for that reason alone. While a few birth control pills, such as Yaz or Estrostep, do reduce testosterone in the bloodstream, others like Norgestrel contain a type of progestin that may boost unwelcome acne breakouts.
Acne tends to have a strong genetic component, so while keeping your skin clean is good practice, it doesn’t guarantee an acne-free face, as many can attest. Typical over-the-counter (OTC) acne remedies include salicylic acid , benzoyl peroxide gel , and topical retinoids , all of which have varying results and which can cause dry skin. These OTC solutions can be too strong for those who have sensitive skin.
If after trying OTC remedies, your acne is still not cleared, you may consider a trip to the dermatologist. Severe acne in adult women may be caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) — a serious hormonal imbalance in which the ovaries produce more male sex hormones, (called “androgens”), than normal.
While severe acne can have devastating effects on self-esteem, the once go-to drug for serious cases of acne was Accutane. Accutane causes birth defects and has been implicated in causing “inflammatory bowel disease, suicide, and depression.” Today, dermatologists can provide a wide range of treatments for acne that do not include Accutane. Going to a dermatologist, can be the first step in helping you to determine how to solve your acne issues.
For those who want to try a drug-free approach to treating hormonal acne, hemp seed oil, may be the solution. While hemp seed oil has not been heavily studied as a treatment for acne, it is safe to ingest and to use topically.
Hemp seed oil, is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These essential fats are good for your skin, but they are also good for your brain, nerves, and heart. Hemp seed oil is also good for digestion. Often your skin reflects your gut health, so this is an added benefit. You can use organic, cold-pressed hemp seed oil directly on your skin or drink about a tablespoon of the oil once a day. Hemp seed oil has a pleasant, nutty taste and you can use it in salad dressing. Cooking with hemp seed oil isn’t recommended because heat can destroy its therapeutic properties. For freshness, keep the hemp seed oil refrigerated.
Acne sufferers use hemp seed oil topically after washing their face in the morning and evening. Hemp seed oil is an effective moisturizer and will reduce acne quite dramatically when used daily. Gamma-linolenic acid found in hemp seed oil helps to regulate hormone levels and may decrease acne breakouts. It absorbs quickly and, unlike common OTC acne medicines that are very drying, hemp seed oil moisturizes the skin and keeps it healthy. Any skin irritation, including psoriasis and eczema, can benefit from the healing properties of hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil contains antioxidants that can help heal acne scars and slow aging.
In addition to Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, hemp seed oil contains other healthy ingredients such as vitamins A and E. It also contains traces of zinc, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which support healthy skin, and which provide cardiovascular benefits if taken internally. No, hemp seed oil does not contain THC, the ingredient in the cannabis plant that produces a high. Although hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the Cannabis plant, you can’t get high when taking it.
You may be surprised at how many common beauty products contain hemp oil. It can be found in body lotions, shampoo and conditioners, the ever-popular Dr. Bronner castile soap and so much more. Why? Because the moisturizing properties of hemp oil and its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have no equal.
For more information, read Everything You Need To Know About Acne And CBD Oil for its Treatment .