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Why Do I Still Have Acne as an Adult?

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

Are you in your 30s, 40s or even 50s? And still experiencing acne? Are you wondering why this is happening? Do you feel like at this age you shouldn't be struggling anymore with pimples? Are you thinking, am I the only one with acne in my 30s?

First of all, let me tell you that you're not the only one asking these questions. Many women are experiencing this and it can be a huge hit to your self-esteem and make you not even want to leave the house, but you're not alone!

Types of ACNE

Acne vulgaris shows up on the T-zone of your face which includes the chin, forehead, nose and cheeks. These pimples are a mix of redness, whiteheads and blackheads.

Cystic acne are larger red bumps that are bigger and more under the surface. These often don't actually change into pimples. They mostly show up on your jawline, back, neck and shoulders.

Acne can show up for many reasons. What may be surprising to you is that most of the causes are internal.

Let's talk about the actual skin first.

The first thing you can do is toss away shampoos and face cleansers that have toxifying ingredients which eliminate your natural oils. They will just tell your body to produce more oil. Make sure you use a natural moisturizer to keep the skin in the right balance. It is also good to choose a free and clear natural detergent to wash your sheets in so your face is not reacting to anything on your pillow.

Let's move into gut health.

Your gut health and acne are incredibly interconnected. When your gut is not happy, many times it's your skin that tells you signs of your gut health imbalances. These can show up as:

  • Acne redness

  • Rashes

  • Eczema

  • Rosacea

When we look deeper into the root cause, we may find that the result is poor gut health. Often, it shows up as Dysbiosis or Candida yeast infection. A healthy microbe that often shows up low in people with acne is Akkermansia muciniphila. We know there is strong connection between Akkermansia and acne. One way you can boost Akkermansia muciniphila in your gut is by incorporating red polyphenols into your diet.

Red Polyphenols include food like cherries, grapes and cranberries.

Gut damage can also be caused by hidden toxins in your beauty products, environment, food, water and other inflammatory foods.

Other factors can be an unhealthy diet, significant stress, chronic use of antibiotics, or an underlying chronic infection, such as a parasite. Common inflammatory foods for acne include dairy, gluten, processed foods and foods with added sugar.

Cleaning up your diet and increasing your use of fiber or prebiotics can help lessen your acne problems. It is good to see a functional medicine practitioner to discover your personal imbalances further.

Our Mighty Hormones

Hormones are also a key factor in acne problems. So many women were put on birth control pills at a young age for acne. Many acne problems went away while on birth control pills, but in fact it only bandaids, the acne. When you get off the pill, those acne symptoms will just come right back. That's because you're not getting to the root cause of why you're experiencing it.

When you get off the pill, your androgen hormones become elevated. This is because birth control suppresses your androgens, and as they are reactivated, they can overstimulate your sebaceous glands and cause more acne. Androgen dominant acne usually shows up as cystic acne on the chin or chest.

Acne also often shows up because of an estrogen imbalance. This happens when estrogens are higher than the progesterone levels. It can happen for many reasons, including poor diet, environmental toxins, stress, poor gut health, obesity, and exposure to xenoestrogens in our environment.

One simple step you can take right now is to reduce xenoestrogens in your environment including:

  • Solvents- nail polish remover

  • BPA- plastic

  • Glyphosate- Roundup

  • Oxybenzone- Sunscreen

  • Triclosan- toothpaste, soap

This will help reduce your estrogen exposure and bring your estrogen and progesterone levels back into balance. Hormones are always about balance for harmony. Clear skin is part of a balanced hormonal system.

You should always test, not guess, when it comes to hormones. If you think you're experiencing hormonal imbalances that are causing your acne. It is best to see a practitioner to look further into it. The most comprehensive hormone test on the market currently is the Dutch test from Precision Analytical. This is a great test to look at overall hormone balance and detoxification of hormones.

If you would like to look into the root cause of your particular acne, schedule a free consultation. In my Functional Medicine practice I offer free consultations to look deeper into your roots!

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