For years, I took my clear skin for granted. I never wore concealer and rarely wasted time examining my pores. I assumed I was blessed with a great complexion until one fateful day four years ago when I stopped taking my birth control pill.
Within weeks, my face was covered with zits. And not just tiny red dots, easily disguised by makeup. Oh no. These were painful, epic cysts. They covered my chin, cheeks, and forehead.
I spent hours in front of the mirror, obsessively thinking about ways to heal my skin and quite a few nights crying because I felt too self-conscious to go out and be social. I never understood how emotionally challenging adult acne was until I experienced it for myself.
Feeling desperate, I tried countless topical treatments, from harsh washes to holistic oil cleansing, with little improvement. Once I realized that the underlying cause of my breakouts was a hormonal imbalance and began to treat it as such, my skin cleared within a few months.
Healing hormonal acne is an inside-out job. Eating a nutrient-dense, balanced diet with an emphasis on healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants was essential to balancing my hormones and clearing my skin.
Here are five foods that helped me to clear up my hormonal breakouts for good:
Gelatin is a flavorless substance derived from collagen, which helps to fight inflammation and reduces stress in the body. It's a pure protein, and protein is an essential building block of our hormones.
Gelatin’s protein content helps to balance blood sugar while the amino acid glycine helps to regulate insulin, which are both essential for hormonal health. With its amazing healing properties, it also improves the quality and appearance of skin, from stretch marks to cellulite to acne and more. High-quality gelatin will assist in hormone regulation and production.
I always purchase the cold-soluble and grass-fed gelatin, which doesn’t require any heating. This way I can enjoy it cold, blended into my favorite green smoothie, or warm, added to a frothy matcha latte.
Eggs are a hormone super food: their yolks contain valuable vitamins and minerals for hormonal health, including vitamins A and D and selenium. The selenium in eggs helps to support the thyroid, while the vitamins are essential to balancing hormones. Eggs are affordable, simple to prepare, and ridiculously versatile.
Scramble a few eggs for a hearty breakfast with greens and roasted sweet potatoes, or as a quick dinner on top of lentil salad. I recommend purchasing organic eggs to avoid added hormones, toxic pesticides, and contamination, which are disruptive to our hormonal balance.
Dark leafy greens enhance digestion and help your liver to metabolize estrogen. Not only does properly metabolized estrogen help you achieve a balanced hormonal state, but it also increases collagen, which keeps skin smooth and firm. Be sure to eat your greens with some kind of fat, which allows your body to absorb all of the fat-soluble vitamins.
I love to blend spinach into a smoothie with almond butter or sauté it with a little coconut oil and sea salt.
4. Grass-fed butter
High-quality fats support healthy cholesterol, which is vital for hormonal synthesis. Not only do healthy fats like grass-fed butter promote hormone balance, but they also keep skin looking supple.
It's important to ensure that the butter you consume is grass-fed, as it contains higher levels of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), vitamins A, K2, D, and E, and omega-3 fatty acids than the grain-fed alternative. Grass-fed butter also has other nutrients and minerals that are healthy for hormones, such as iodine, selenium, and magnesium. Magnesium helps your body absorb fat and proteins, which are hormonal building blocks. Our bodies require fat for proper hormone function.
Try cooking eggs in 1 tablespoon of grass-fed butter or blending a spoonful into a mug of hot organic coffee.
Gut health is intimately related to hormonal health, so ensuring proper absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is essential. Kimchi is a Korean dish made of fermented vegetables, and due to the fermenting process, it is an excellent source of LAB (probiotic lactic acid bacteria), which helps to rebalance gut bacteria and normalize digestion. The probiotic properties boost skin health from the inside out.
You can make your own at home or purchase it from most grocery stores. It is incredibly flavorful when enjoyed alone or added to any savory dish.
What we eat has the power to enhance and transform our health, and proper nutrition is essential to healing hormonal breakouts. Feeding your body a nutrient-rich diet ensures that you'll have the necessary foundation to reach and maintain hormonal balance and achieve the clear skin you desire.