If your face is red, it could be due to adult acne, one of the most embarrassing and least well understood skin problems out there. Adult acne can be caused by lots of different things, but it’s rarely treated by addressing the root causes. One of those root causes can be low thyroid — and there is something you can do about it!
If you’ve ever noticed that your acne comes and goes with your menstrual cycle, or been told you have “hormonal” acne, you may have been treating it by focusing on the wrong hormones! Lots of women believe that if their acne is linked to their cycles, it must be the estrogen or progesterone that are to blame — but not so.
Since your thyroid is basically the boss of your endocrine system, it’s basically in charge of your metabolism. When you are deficient in thyroid hormone, the body can’t turn cholesterol into the steroids pregnenolone, progesterone and DHEA. Progesterone is the one of this group involved with healing your acne — and only thyroid hormone plus vitamin A will make sure your body is making enough.
So why not just take progesterone? Well, you can, but that’s just going to make your overall hormone balance even more out of whack. It’s better to treat the underlying causes.
If you’re treating your hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s, you’re already on the right track to improving your acne, but there are other treatments you can use to help combat the symptoms while your overall health improves.
Homemade Acne Treatments
You don’t need a bunch of harsh chemical washes and creams to treat your acne. In fact, those chemicals can do more harm than good when they build up in your system over time. Instead, why not make your own acne treatments with these three super simple recipes? They’re good enough to eat (though they might not be so tasty…) with natural ingredients including:
- olive oil — a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial agent, and anti-inflammatory
- honey — another strong antibacterial agent with lots of soothing anti-inflammatory properties
- cucumber — cucumbers have the same pH as your skin, so they can help you stay balanced
- baking soda — a mild exfoliant
- apple cider vinegar — kills bacteria and restores the proper pH to your skin
- parsley — speeds up skin’s healing and reduces redness
Sulfur has been used to treat acne for thousands of years, because it kills acne bacteria on contact. It also moisturizes your skin. The only drawback is the smell — but if, like me, you’ve tried just about everything, you may not mind!
I recently went to Orr Hot Springs and after putting the hot springs water on my face and watching my acne disappear, I decided to look into how sulfur could help. Now, I wash daily with a sulfur soap.
Sulfur is most effective on Asian skin types, but even if you’re not Asian, you may see benefit. Fair-skinned people may find that sulfur helps pimples come to a head so that they drain more quickly, and those with dark, oily skin may see sulfur help shrink the size of pimples and treat blackheads.
Sulfur can cause redness in some skin tones, so test a patch of skin on your forearm first before trying it on your face. You may notice some slight itchiness in the first week, but that should go away quickly.
DIM is a substance found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and is thought to be one of the reasons they are so good for us. There’s some early research showing DIM can act as an anti-androgen. Androgen is the hormone most often responsible for acne problems.
I contacted BioResponse to find out if there were any negative thyroid effects associated with DIM — because cruciferous vegetables also contain goitrogens, which are damaging to the thyroid — and the CEO wrote back and assured me that DIM is an entirely different compound and safe for patients with thyroid problems.
He also sent me a link to a study showing a promising link between DIM and healthy estrogen metabolism, which could also be beneficial in treating acne. Of course, as with any supplements, you should consult with your doctor or health practitioner before starting a new supplement regimen.
By treating the root cause of your acne (thyroid problems) and addressing the symptoms with these natural remedies, you could be spot-free for summer!
Have you tried a natural acne remedy that worked for you? Come share it over in the Facebook community!
- 1/2 tbsp Olive oil, organic
- 1/2 tbsp Honey, raw, organic
- 1/4 Cucumber, organic, diced
- 1/4 cup Baking Soda, non-aluminum organic
- Put olive oil and honey in a small bowl
- Add cucumber, then baking soda
- Blend until smooth with an immersion blender or standard blender until smooth
- Use a few tablespoons to wash face
- **Store at room temperature or refrigerator. Will last at least 2-3 days. This is a food based products, toss after 3-5 days.
- Special Equipment: Immersion (hand) blender or standard blender
- 8 oz of filtered water, boiled
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Mix apple cider vinegar with boiled water
- Place into a small ball/mason jar or small glass spray bottle
- Apply toner with cotton ball (or spray light layer of toner) to clean face
- Special Equipment: Ball/Mason Jar or Small Glass Spray Bottle (you can usually find these at Whole Foods or other natural foods stores)
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1/4 cup organic parsley, chopped
- Heat water to almost boiling
- While water is boiling, chop parsley and place in tea strainer
- Pour hot water into mug, add tea strainer and steep for 5 minutes
- Remove tea strainer and drink (1 cup max/day)
- Special Equipment: Tea strainer
- *If you are pregnant or nursing, do not drink this tea.