Spots – we have all had them and they are every teenagers worst nightmare. Surprisingly more 20 and 30 somethings are having the same breakouts that they experienced as teens – surely it is something we grow out of, right? Well that depends on a multiple of factors.

I used to have awful skin. I had one of those awful antibiotic roll on solutions from the Doctors that bleached everything in sight. My poor pillow cases looked like they had been on a series of ‘Art Attack’ I know how debilitating it can be to have blocked pores, spots and dull lifeless skin.

Acne is the most common skin complaint and can totally undermine someone’s confidence. There are different degrees of acne but if you find you are suffering with acne or breakouts, you may want to read on to join the dots (or should I say spots!) together and uncover why this is happening.

Causes and solutions of breakouts and acne

There are many factors to consider when looking at acne and breakout causes. Hormones, diet, environment and lifestyle are the 4 main points to consider. Over the next few weeks I will be going into more depth on these four factors, so you can truly learn to love your skin and get that gorgeous glow back.

HORMONES – Those pesky little messengers that fill our bodies can sometimes be more trouble than they are worth! When they are all in balance like a fine tuned symphony, your skin will look great, you will have energy galore and will be so happy that you will be skipping through the fields like …from The sound of music. When they are not in balance you may be a little more like Grumpy from the 7 dwarves with a big zit right in the middle of his forehead! The effect of hormones on our skin is huge and this is why, typically teenagers whose hormones are raging suffer with acne the most. The release of testosterone triggers the production of sebum and keratin. This is another reason why boys suffer with acne more than girls – although girls still produce testosterone. Sebum is basically oil that lubricates the skin and keratin is a strong protein which controls what can and can’t go into the deeper layers of the skin. An excess of keratin can block the pores as can an excess of sebum. When a pore becomes blocked it becomes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria which normally lives on our skin minding it’s own business to run rampant and cause mass hysteria. This particular bacteria’s ideal breeding ground is one with no air and LOTS of sebum to munch on. This will then cause inflammation in the skin and can spread through to deeper tissues of the skin.

Hormones

TOP TIPS TO BALANCE HORMONES

Support the liver as with lots of leafy greens, B vitamins, antioxidant rich vegetables, quality protein and avoid the obvious liver villains like smoking, alcohol, medications and environmental toxins like herbicides, pesticides and plastics in bottles. Always filter your water or buy bottled (in glass bottles) spring water. Increase liver supporting herbs like milk thistle, dandelion, artichoke and nettle. I cannot stress enough how important your liver is when it comes to hormone balance.

Avoid contraceptive pills where possible as they will always alter the hormone balance in the body. There are so many effective alternatives on the market to choose from so do some research.

Eat a diet that will regulate your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is yo-yoing up and down all day it will send your hormones out of whack. When blood sugar rises quickly, it drops dramatically soon after. When this happens you produce more of the stress hormone cortisol to pick your blood sugar back up which in turn increases the hormone insulin. This causes fat storage and fat produces oestrogen which means all of the sex hormones will go out of balance including testosterone. Women who suffer with Polycystic ovary syndrome have an excess of testosterone which is why they often suffer with acne. Working on liver health and blood sugar balance can really support this condition which in turn will help the skin.

Start the day with lemon in warm water. This helps the liver function and stimulates digestion. I like to add freshly grated ginger into mine too, which is also a good source of zinc which is necessary for good skin.