Recommendations for Chronic Hormonal Acne
Part 3 of Healing Your acne prone Skin
The final post in the 3 part series on healing hormonal acne and acne prone skin which is a result of your questions and messages, reaching out for help achieving smoother and healthier skin. Today, I'm diving into product recommendations with my gal pal, Casey Poe-Campbell from Real Talk Casey! She is a fellow NTP and a licensed esthetician. If you haven't checked out the other two posts, be sure to read those as well!
Where did it all start for me?
It was about 6 months after a dramatic relapse that sent my Graves' disease out of remission that I started to experience huge shifts in my skin. What sent me out of remission? Back to back strep and sinus infections, stress and lack of energy that had me reaching for coffee and sweets to keep going! My adrenals were taxed and the constant hunger from having hyperthyroidism made it even worse to maintain energy levels. My type A personality to push on made it even worse, as I ignored symptoms. After all, I had to keep up with the demands of my job, but soon my body said enough! As a result, I ended up taking several days off work, slept for long hours, felt weak and had low energy all while having anxiety attacks for weeks.
What does this have to do with acne?
If you have a history of thyroid dysfunction you probably have experienced how difficult it can be to regulate your hormones. As I mentioned in the previous post, addressing hormonal acne - hypothyroidism and higher levels of testosterone often increase those nasty hormonal breakouts. The fact was at the time of my remission, I needed the prescription medicine. It was essential to lower my thyroid. But poor management of the dose from my prescribing doctor sent me into hypothyroidism. The dramatic shifts of thyroid levels can take weeks to months to rebalance. It becomes a delicate process. We want it to be as easy as 1, 2, 3. But it can be quite the balancing act! That is the reason behind the sequence of this series.
Nutrition. Digestion. Thyroid. Now what?
The impact of toxic ingredients on our skin
Let's talk about the role of environmental toxins on hormonal health. You might be eating the cleanest diet, have your digestion mastered but what about the products you use daily. Meet the common offenders and favorite terrible toxins!
Paragons: Research has found that parabens found in beauty and skincare products as well as in some food sources have been linked to decreased fertility and reduction of sperm count. 1 Parabens are estrogen-mimicking and disrupt the hormonal balance within our bodies, this can have a dramatic impact on both men and women.
“Of greatest concern is that parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity,” reports the non-profit Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC). “Parabens mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells.” 2
Phthalates: This type of chemical has been found to trigger early cell death. Especially in male reproductive systems. Our bodies are designed to eliminate old cells and promote the growth of new cells. But this known toxin speeds up the killing process. As a result, it is another factor of decreased sperm count and mobility of sperm, thyroid imbalances, and birth defects. 3
Synthetic Fragrance is considered a trade secret so companies do not have to disclose the up to 3,000 different ingredients that make up the word, “fragrance.” Fragrance can contain potential hormone-disrupting and skin irritating ingredients. Found in: all types of cosmetics
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) This toxin makes products sudsy or foam up and can cause skin irritation and trigger allergies. It is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane a known carcinogen which is toxic to your nervous system, liver, and kidneys. Again, it is found to impact the endocrine system and cause cell mutation that may lead to cancer. 4 Found in: shampoo, toothpaste, body wash, dish soap and bubble bath.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG compounds) They are used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. PEGs can be contaminated with carcinogens ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane during the manufacturing process. Found in: creams, sunscreen, and shampoo. 5
Safer skincare Routine that changed my skin
I handpicked these products because I have first hand experienced the benefits. They also are free of known endocrine disrupting chemicals which is HUGE in hormonal balance.
Primally Pure - Beauty Cream
You know I'm an NTP, non-toxic junkie, and safer beauty advocate when I see grass-fed tallow and immediately get excited and jump aboard the crazy train! Come on who else wants to put tallow all over their face? Here are the benefits. Grass-fed tallow contains a high level of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. These play an important role in the elasticity of our skin and are key antioxidants.
Real quick, vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps against oxidation (an apple turning brown) and structural support which impacts the elasticity. Vitamin D helps reduce inflammation and helps support our immune function. Vitamin E helps to heal wounds and scarring which is beneficial for acne marks. 4
The beauty cream also includes emu oil which is excellent for anti-inflammatory, making it perfect for acne or skin issues. (I use it on rash and hive breakouts too.)
How to use: After washing my face, I lightly towel dry it and apply a very small amount over my face. A little goes a long way. I especially like to use this as a night cream after washing my face with the charcoal cleansing bar but also use it under my foundation.
Beautycounter - Charcoal Cleansing Bar
This bar! Seriously, ladies. I'm a little protective over it. When it first arrived, I boldly told my husband hands off the black bar. (Although, recently I shared with him that he could maybe start using it.)
It is great at absorbing extra oil - remember that elevated testosterone means excess oil. It works well to detoxify your skin. The charcoal bar also includes antioxidants like organic green tea extract. This ingredient helps to eliminate that extra oil (sebum) from testosterone and helps to reduce inflammation.
How to use: Since this product helps to detoxify, I recommend starting out slow. Introduce it 2-3 times a week and then increase if desired. I currently use it every day and sometimes twice a day. I always am checking to make sure my skin doesn't feel tight afterward and I always apply a good moisturizer like the beauty cream (above) or the balancing oil (below). One bar has lasted me 9 months.
Beautycounter - No. 3 Balancing Mask
How to use: I use it once a week mainly on my nose, jawline, and chin. I love it because it pulls out blackheads and helps to stop breakouts in their tracks. You can use it to spot treat as well. Don't limit it just to your face, I have used it on my back and shoulders as well.
Other Go-To Products
Biotics - Aqueous Zinc
Zinc is wonderful for wound healing and is a pretty powerful nutrient. It is important for hormonal balance, fighting free radicals, fertility, and helps to support proper digestion. We can become deficient in zinc from chronic stress or leaky gut. It is a must-have in my medicine holistic remedies cabinet.
How to use: For acne breakouts, after washing my face I apply a small amount of zinc to a clean cotton ball. If I'm only treating one breakout I will hold it on that spot for 10-15 seconds. I have also used it as a facial toner. (Example: Charcoal cleansing bar, zinc on cotton ball, then beauty cream)
Primally Pure - Everything Spray "Heal and Tone"
Ladies, I found myself using this for everything including a toner for my face, my niece's mosquito bites, skin rashes, back and shoulder breakouts, and probably others. It is a great all-around product because of the ingredients. It includes organic lavender hydrosol to help calm and soothe, raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, and witch hazel to help reduce inflammation.
How to use: I used in the same way as the aqueous zinc. As mentioned, also excellent for rashes, bug bites or hives.
After my major skin break-outs calmed down, I introduced a few other products that have also been working really well to keep my skin balanced and in check!
Beautycounter - No. 3 Balancing Facial Oil
Very lightweight and makes your skin silky soft. It is made with botanical oils which absorb into your skin instead of sitting on top. It includes wild chamomile to calm and soothe skin and meadowfoam seed oil to restore balance.
How to use: Use in place of the beauty cream and follow steps previously mentioned.
Beautycounter - No. 3 Balancing Facial Mist
It helps to absorb excess oils and helps to calm redness. I would say this is an optional recommendation, as it wasn't my favorite separately. But when I combined all three items from the No.3 balancing line, I noticed dramatic results within 5 days.
How to use: I personally use it to set my makeup. Spray 2 pumps onto your fingers and then pressed into your skin. I mainly use this on my nose and cheeks where I experience excess oil.
Beautycounter - No. 1 Brightening Facial Mask
Casey's Personal Recommendation: The brightening mask is one of my personal favorites to even out skin tone. The Kaolin clay gives the skin a nice deep cleanse making it feel smoother and softer. BUT the powerhouse of the Brightening Mask is the Vitamin C. It helps to reduce inflammation, promote collagen formation to plump out scars, and also fades acne scars and dark spots.
How to use: Apply on any trouble spots. If desired you can use both the charcoal and brightening mask together.
That's it, ladies! A huge thank you to Casey for the collaboration! Continue to send any skin or acne concerns my way and I'll be happy to help you!