Hormonal acne is easy to spot: It's usually located along your jawline, on your chin, or under your cheeks and pops up right before your period. It's not easy to treat, though, at least not with topical products. If your hormonal acne isn't getting better no matter how many spot treatments or face masks you try, that's because you're treating the symptom rather than the cause.
Studies show that hormonal acne can be traced back to the amount of androgens in your blood. Androgens are considered a 'male' sex hormone, kind of like testosterone, and they spike right before your period. Cue the hormonal breakout.
It doesn't have to be that way, though! These two totally natural, safe remedies regulate androgens and eliminate hormonal acne — and give you one less reason to hate that time of the month.
Spearmint: The Hormone Hacker
Spearmint is a hormonal woman's best friend: if you're suffering from breakouts or cystic acne at any point in your cycle, this where you should turn. That’s because spearmint regulates the androgens in your blood, keeping your skin from going crazy during that time of the month. It's also anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, which can help with nearly any type of skin freak-out.
Sip on spearmint tea once or twice a day. In order to see the best results, be consistent. Don’t just reach for it when you’re on your period or PMSing — make it a part of your daily routine to keep your hormone levels steady throughout the month.
DIM: The New Pill
When I was 15, my OB-GYN put me on birth control to manage the hormonal acne that had taken over my face. (You too?) If only I had known that there was a better pill back then: DIM. DIM is short for dimethylglycine, a plant nutrient commonly found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale. In a nutshell, DIM helps balance hormones due to the fact that it’s structurally similar to many of them, and has anti-androgen properties as well. In addition to getting your monthly cycle on a regular schedule, a daily intake of DIM can knock your breakouts out completely and regulate the skin’s oil production.
Of course, the best way to take vitamins and nutrients into the body is straight from the source — but nobody has the time to be chomping on cruciferous vegetables all day. You can get more DIM in your system by taking daily capsules.
Obviously, regulating your body's hormone levels isn't just a one-and-done kind of thing. It requires nourishing your body with the right foods and supplements all month long. For more on how to do this, I suggest reading Woman Code by Alisa Vitti — it completely changed my cycle.