I wanted to use this opportunity to share with you my candid skin story on female hormone acne and how the journey has inspired me to launch this venture.
My skin story and how I cure hormonal acne naturally
From the ages of 13-19, I was hit hard by severe, cystic acne coupled with an extreme case of hirsutism that completely hindered my social life, affected my confidence and forced me into an isolated shell that is far far from who I am naturally.
I still feel today that if I hadn’t been plagued with the debilitating skin disease, there are so many opportunities I would have gone after, and my life would be a different tale for the better. I remember being extremely self conscious of my skin to the point of always wanting to crawl into bed and just sleep my life away. Every time I stared in the mirror, I would just cringe, cry and wish I was never born.
It was very difficult for me to maintain conversations with people without being paranoid about what thoughts ran through their head. I also hated going out during the daytime or being outside during bright and sunny days which I felt was very unforgiving to every flaw and crevice on my face. This deeply affected me because naturally I love the outdoors. I was teased in school, always known as the girl with the really bad skin and usually stayed to myself covering my journals with thoughts of depression. I have to admit, although I have come along way from the pubescent days, it created a lot of emotional complexes that I still fight today.
When I finally had the opportunity to wear makeup, since my parents were very adamant that young girls didn’t need makeup, I would not want to leave my apartment without piling on the cover up. I felt abnormal, my skin and my appearance constantly ran through my mind.
I envied those with clear skin who I felt could just exist without having to think about their face, have normal conversations without the anxiety that the other person or persons were judging their appearance or could just walk outside their house barefaced.
Even as I write this it pains me so much to reflect on those experiences because so many of youthful years were spent being extremely depressed and lonely. I was miserable and I tried everything I could to remedy the situation but the more I tried, the worse it seemed to become.
I went as far as enrolling in Esthetician classes while a high school student to gain deeper knowledge about my skin and why it acted the way it did. I saw several dermatologists and doctors and the first resort was to put me on a commercial drug.
I was placed on different medications: birth control for female hormonal regulation, antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide and a slew of other drugs. I visited a plethora of med spas and plastic surgeons for peels, microdermabrasion and lasers. I have spent thousands on all kinds of skin care creams and procedures and none of those things were successful in the long term treating my female hormonal acne.
In my late teens, I picked up a book by Paula Begoun, “Don’t go to the Cosmetic Counter Without Me” and I credit the author with educating me on cosmetic ingredients and how the products we are using to treat our skin could be the very culprit or accelerator of our skin condition.
I began studying cosmetic ingredients extensively and the more I learned the more frustrated I became. I realized that the beauty industry is filled with unethical companies selling products labeled as non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic when in fact their products are filled with pore clogging ingredients that worsen the condition.
These products varied from low priced drugstore items to high end, expensive skin care lines. Even more frightening is the fact that many commercial cosmetic products are filled with controversial toxins that are suspected to penetrate into the bloodstream and possibly create health problems after prolonged use.
I was 21 when I finally decided to get off birth control. I started reading scientific studies relating to women’s health and studying herbal remedies extensively. I began to see skin care and beauty from a holistic perspective. From the books I read, I realized that my symptoms of female hormonal acne and hirsutism was due to excess male hormones. The overproduction of androgens in women leads to hormonal imbalance that triggers the onset of many health problems, it is also one of the major indications of PCOS.
I had a hormone blood test conducted and the results showed that I had higher than the normal levels of testosterone. Seeing the results was actually a huge sigh of relief for me, because it confirmed everything I’d suspected. I began to focus my research on natural ways to control androgen levels and get my system in balance.
Beauty starts from the inside- what you put in shows
Once I understood the synergy between my health and the condition of my skin, I realized that beauty really starts from the inside and I had to be very careful about what I put into my body.
I adopted a plant based diet that consists of mostly leafy greens, whole grains, lean meats, healthy proteins and little to no processed and junk foods. It took some trial and error of different diets, skin care regimen and fitness regimen. The big lesson that I acquired from the journey and the biggest takeaway I hope to pass on is to focus on the process and not the results. In other words lose the fad diets and focus on creating a lifestyle.
In this day and age of instant gratification, this is a difficult pill to swallow, but it is reality. It is much easier to see long term results if the focus is on developing a healthy regimen versus trying to see results quick. Throughout my experience I focused on learning and understanding. I made sure to listen to my body very closely noting what worked and what did not. Natural remedies unlike drugs usually target the cause of the problem versus masking symptoms, therefore it takes time to see results.
So what has worked for me to cure my female hormonal acne?
I am proud to say that I never went on Accutane, the only known cure for acne but not without its side effects. I was too scared of the long term effect on my health, and after hearing from others who had taken the drug, I knew it wasn’t for me. My focus was on finding a way to fight my hormonal acne naturally. After years of researching on herbal remedies, I knew there were alternative options. I believed that once I resolved the cause of the imbalance, my skin problems will follow.
What has worked for me is basically a combination of maintaining a healthy diet, regular detox protocol, supplements, staying active and a simple skincare regimen.
Every morning, first thing I do after waking up is drink water with lemon and cucumber. Your body has been working all night long to clean and rid itself of waste, drinking this water helps to flush the waster out. I am a firm believer that our skin problems starts in the gut and a good detox or cleanse should be a precursor to any treatment. I also love a green smoothie in the morning for breakfast. A simple way to help your system detox itself.
My diet for female hormonal acne:
My goal is to eat a balanced diet rich in greens, live and nutritious foods. I spread out my meals 6 times a day and aim for 300-350 calories per meal.
My current supplement regimen for female hormonal acne:
Updated regimen as of 11/2023 – I change up my regimen every several months to give my body a break from any one supplement.
My updated routine:
- Asana by Ladies Balance capsule 1x daily
- NAC 600mg capsule daily
- Spearmint BB Tea 1x daily to help with hirsutism and androgen excess
- GLOWY Supplement for Hair, Skin & Nails
- GLOWY Tea 1-2 a week and daily when I experience increased breakout or during my monthly cycle.
Additional Herbs I take
- To support my mood and cognitive health, I make a hot chocolate cocktail which I take in the morning sometimes with coffee, it includes shatavari root powder, Ashwagandha root powder, maca root powder, lion’s mane powder, reishi powder, cinnamon powder, ginger root powder and carob powder.
- To help me get to the sleep fast and stay asleep I take Sahara Dreams Herbal Tea. If need something stronger, I take the Sleep Drops tincture with melatonin, a couple of drops under the tongue and I am off within few minutes.
So far I am loving this regimen and my skin is the healthiest it is has ever been. After years of trial and error, I believe I have found a combination that works for me. Everyone is different and it may take time to find a beauty and lifestyle regimen that works for you. Consistency and patience is also key, I know we live in a fast paced world and crave instant results, however it doesn’t often work that way. Natural methods take time. Your body needs time to correct the imbalances and return to a normal state.
My skincare regimen for female hormonal acne
The first thing I did was scan through all my beauty products for comedogenic and acnegenic ingredients. If you’ve got acne prone skin, you pretty much have to become an ingredient detective. Unfortunately we cannot rely on beauty companies to have the best interest of our skin.
Over the years I’ve learned the simpler my skincare regimen the better for my skin. I’m happy to say that I rarely get breakouts anymore and now just working to address the aftermath of acne scars with only botanicals. Here’s my facial skincare routine
- To make sure I have gotten all the makeup off, I use the The Jelly Pre Cleansing Balm prior to washing my face. This gives my skin a deep cleanse. The science behind this is that oil attracts oil and pull dirt to the surface. I apply the balm all over my face, then activate with water before going in with my cleanser. I typically just use this at night or when I need to get makeup off.
- I cleanse in the morning with African Black Soap Liquid Cleanser, and Brightening Liquid Cleanser at night. I alternate between the two because in the morning I like to keep my skin products light and use actives at night when the skin and body is in deep repair and rejuvenate mode.
- Next I use the Pore Detox Toner, which is an alcohol free, very gentle witch hazel based toner. I like to keep in the fridge so that its nicely chilled and refreshing to use. The refrigeration is not necessary. I apply the toner to a cotton pad and swipe my face to remove any left over impurities and balance the skin.
- Then my favorite part, is the spray the Glow Water hydrating mist. This leaves my skin feeling super hydrated and with a nice glow.
- Next I immediately follow with the moisturizing step, it is important. In the AM, I use the CHIOMA Miracle Beauty Serum only. It is a light herbal infused oil, nutrient and vitamin packed, excellent as a natural moisturizer, non comedogenic acne prone friendly and extremely nourishing to the skin. Very light and absorbs beautifully into the skin. Don’t let the fact that it is oil based scare you. Contrary to popular belief, oily and acne prone skin need moisture as much as any other skin types. This stuff has been amazing to my skin and I’ve noticed it has healed my acne scars tremendously. I apply the oil immediately after using the mist to damp face and it leaves my face glowing. Interestingly since I started using the concentrate, I’ve noticed a huge reduction in how oily my skin gets throughout the day. At night, I apply the CHIOMA Facial Creme over the serum. I have very oily skin so in the morning, the Miracle Beauty Serum is enough for me but night time, there’s a lot of healing that happens with the skin so I like to use the face creme because it has shea butter, beta carotene and other emollients that help to heal, nourish and repair the skin. Note* All of these products are also available in the Good Skin Facial Kit for one low bundle price.
When you use harsh treatments that deprive your skin of its own natural oils or avoid moisturizing, you could actually be encouraging your skin to produce more oil.
Skin Care regimen summary
- Cleanse with African Black Soap Liquid Cleanser
- Pore Detox Toner
- Glow Water Hydration Mist
- CHIOMA Miracle Beauty Serum
- The Jelly Pre Cleansing Balm to get all the dirt and makeup off the skin
- Cleanse with Brightening African Black Soap to cleanse, help fade acne scars, discoloration and brighten the skin.
- Glow Water Hydration Mist
- CHIOMA Miracle Beauty Serum
- CHIOMA Face Creme
- Weekly treatment:
- First, I cleanse with my normal routine products.
- Then I do a steam treatment to decongest the skin. Fill a bowl with hot water and add in the Poreless Facial Steam Herbs, then hold my face over it with a towel over my head.
- Next I use the African Mud Detox treatment to deeply cleanse and exfoliate the skin.
- Then I follow with toner, hydration mist and miracle beauty serum as I normally would.
For my body, since I do tend to get breakouts on my chest, back and inner thighs, I put effort into taking care of the skin on my body as well.
- Cleanse with Brightening Body Soap and sometimes alternate with the Clarifying Body Soap if I am experiencing breakouts.
- I also use a Hammam style loofah most at night to ensure that I exfoliate all the dead skin cells. Once a week, I’ll incorporate the Silky Smooth Body Coconut Sugar Body Scrub.
- Shea butter is hands on the best natural moisturizer for the skin. After cleansing and exfoliating I use the Silky Skin Body Butter, for my acne prone skin I use either the Tea Tree or Lavender.
- All the products are made with organic products, no artificial ingredients, no fragrances and no additives. This I believe is the best for healthy, radiant skin and body. I stay away from fragrances in skincare, if you want a smell good spray a perfume or light a candle.
Oftentimes when I complain about skin blemishes, I will get a comment that the issue is only cosmetic and there are worse problems in the world. I have to say I do agree to an extent, yes it is a cosmetic issue, however dealing with skin blemishes can be an emotionally crippling struggle that can affect our social lives.
If you are currently battling female hormonal acne, it is important to know that you are not alone. Acne is a very common ailment so most people can relate. Being candid about your experience with friends and family can be extremely healing. One of the biggest mistakes I made earlier on was keeping all my feelings inside and not expressing it to those who could have motivated and supported me. Having a strong support system is crucial to your emotional health.
Acne is also not the end of the world. How silly it is to let something like a skin blemish hold you back from living and enjoying your life. What I’ve realized is that at the end of the day no matter what your skin looks like, if you treat others with love and respect, the people that matter will come to appreciate and love you for who you are. So stop staring in the mirror or stressing and go enjoy your life. Not only does stress and worry worsen the situation but you only live once!