We know that acne isn’t the easiest thing to overcome. It takes time, patience and (often) dedication to get it under control and put you on the road to recovery! We hear from Radiant Rebels, all the time, about their challenges, and one of the main topics we see all too frequently is chin and jawline (C&J) acne. Most often, the people we hear from have an awesome skin care routine in place, but they’re missing the bigger picture when it comes to this type of acne.
The good news is there are things you can do to really give your body the ability to tackle these breakouts!
BUT, before we get into the heart of “what to do“, we need to take a look at common causes of C&J Acne. Most commonly, acne located in these areas is connected to your hormonal health. Depending how far up your face the acne breakouts tend to travel, there may also be some emotional and digestive issues involved as well.
LADIES: this if why we often see breakouts in these areas when our friend comes for their monthly visit! To provide you with a visual understanding of what we’re talking about, Batty illustrates this point in our Skin Mapping Resource.
Now that we know there’s a strong chance that hormones are behind those annoying bumps, let’s talk about ways to tackle them! Here’s eight common mistakes people make when trying to get rid of C&J Acne:
Mistake #1: Ignoring your dairy addictions
Dairy foods are often REALLY high in sugar. These sugars lead to an increase in inflammation in the skin, which eventually leads to acne breakouts. To understand this relationship, have a read through The Inside Scoop on Insulin.
Most often, when dairy is a trigger of acne, you’ll see it on the chin and jawline. It’s one of those triggers that never fails to show up in the same place over and over again. If it’s already shown up on the chin and jawline, and you haven’t let up on your dairy consumption, it often spreads to the cheeks. For some folks, it shows up on the cheeks just as much as on the jawline.
Note: Your skin is part of your elimination system (in fact it’s the BIGGEST organ in your elimination system). When your body needs to get rid of substances from an excess of mucous-forming foods (dairy being the biggest offender), it calls in the skin for help, which can result in cystic acne.
Mistake #2: Believing sugar has no effect
Essentially, our bodies (more specifically our pancreas) creates insulin when it senses a spike in our blood sugar. This production of insulin is paralleled with a secondary production of androgen hormones. This specific type of hormone results in an increase of the sebum (oil) manufactured and released through our skin. Too much oil leads to congestion, inflammation and breakouts!
If you haven’t taken the time to read the above link (The Inside Scoop on Insulin), now is the time to do so! This type of breakout is, again, most commonly seen along the lower jawline and front and center of the chin.
Mistake #3: Not gearing up for “monthly” breakouts
If you have breakouts that (without fail) happen around the time of your period, start prepping your system to handle those surges of hormones gracefully. How do you do that? Here’s a checklist you can use to beat acne to the punchline:
- Increase your probiotic & zinc the week before “cycle breakouts” usually show up
- Drink roasted dandelion root tea (roasted tastes best) like it’s going out of style, and don’t skimp on the Skin Support Tea. Batty drinks dandelion root tea all day and then Skin Support Tea in the evenings. Just be sure to stop an hour before bed time, or you’ll be waking up all night to expel that tea!
- The week of your monthly friend, be especially careful with your diet. Since Batty has A.S. (an inflammatory, degenerative bone disorder), inflammation just makes her systems worse – and, around her period, inflammation levels in her body are at an all time high. Since she knows what her food sensitivities are, she’s able to avoid foods that also increase the inflammation. If you’ve never had your levels tested (IgG testing), no worries! Just start with avoiding the biggest & most common offenders of inflammation: sugar, dairy, and wheat.
- Don’t skimp on Batty’s “Cystic Acne Mask in the shower” trick. Basically, she applies the mask immediately after washing her hair and before applying conditioner. That way, by the time she’s done with washing, shaving and maybe even singing a tune or two, the mask has had time to work some magic. Being in the shower also ensures that her pores are open and ready to accept the goodness she’s providing to her skin. The benefits are absorbed quicker and easier.
Mistake #4: Skimping on Essential Fatty Acids
The word “essential” was included in the name for a reason! Our body needs Essential Fatty Acids, as they are a pertinent component in helping to reduce inflammation in the body (among many other benefits including a natural blood thinner and required ingredient in building cell membranes in your think tank). Inflammation, if left unattended, will most likely result in breakouts.
EFA’s also help remove the excess of sex hormones in the body, helping to prevent inflammation before it starts. PLUS it also promotes the generation of GOOD hormones. The two EFA’s our body’s need are Omega-3 and Omega-6. Most people can get enough EFA’s through their daily diet (fish, flax seed, hemp seed, leafy greens, etc.), but for acne sufferers, a supplement is recommended. Batty’s two favourites are Primrose Oil & Sea Buckthorn Oil.
Mistake #5: Not giving a DIM supplement a try
A DIM (diindolymethane) supplement may just provide your skin with the relief it needs when it comes to hormonal acne. This is because estrogen hormones basically end up at a fork in the road in our bodies. One path produces GOOD, and healthy results for our bodies, the other – not so much. A DIM supplement’s job is to basically trick the estrogen into taking the good direction, like a big flashing neon sign pointing them down the right path. This works especially well when an excess of hormones is present, by helping to metabolize them faster and in a healthy way to restore balance.
If you decide that a DIM supplement is right for you, you’ll also want to make sure that you include a liver support in your daily routine too. This is due to the fact that the DIM is only half the solution for many people. Once the DIM is able to redirect the estrogen, it goes through a second process of detoxification by passing through the liver, and eventually expelled via the bowels. In order for the liver to keep up with all the additional hormones it’s processing, it needs a little boost. That’s where the liver support steps in.
To find out which DIM supplement and liver supports Batty uses and recommends, have a read through a Q&A we did a little while back entitled Discouraged by a New Type of Breakout.
Mistake #6: Not having a personalized, acne-soothing skin care routine
Skin care is often seen as a one-size fits all type solution, and most mainstream products are marketed in this exact way too. If there’s one thing we know around the Batty Blvd., it’s that skin care NEEDS to be personalized. Everyone’s causes and triggers are different and need to be dealt with in a way that makes sense for their skin and their body.
The most common mistakes we see all the time include:
- Using too harsh of a cleanser that only irritated and encourages the problem to persist
- Being too afraid to moisturize the skin (often seen in people with oily skin, when they think adding oils to the skin will only add to the problem)
- AND MOST OF ALL- Not hydrating the skin!!! In fact, this is the #1 mistake and hole in most routines. Your skin needs both oil and water to find balance (they aren’t one in the same), and can be the topical culprit behind a lot of conditions.
Does all this have you wondering if your skin care routine may need some reassessing? Well, there’s great news for you. Hop on over to our Routine Builder resource, for a fully guided builder that will help you create a skin care routine built just for you and your skin’s needs.
Mistake #7: Relying on birth control to solve your acne problems, when in fact, it could be causing it
If your birth control is keeping your acne at bay… we’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but it’s really just a band-aid. Once you’re off of that birth control, your acne will still be there (and likely you’ll have a GREAT hormonal imbalance to deal with too). Start taking proactive steps (like the ones we’ve talked about in this article) to start solving the ROOT cause of your acne, so that if and when you come off of your birth control, things aren’t completely chaotic.
NOTE: Coming off your birth control is never easy on your hormones... but neither is putting synthetic hormones into your system. Be patient with your body while it gets back to a balanced state, especially if you’ve ditched birth control for acne specific purposes. In THIS VIDEO, Batty talks about how to ween yourself off of birth control if you’re using it for its acne fighting properties.
Now, most “on the market” types of the pill are estrogen based, but there is another type of birth control “drug” that isn’t talked about as much- progesterone based. Some progesterone based birth controls include the Depo-Provera needle, Mirena IUD, Mini-pill and Micronor (just to name a few). Progesterone is similar to the molecular makeup of testosterone, and testosterone hormones increase the amount of sebum (oil) that our bodies generate. This type of birth control can actually be a trigger for your acne, or cause it to worsen, as the oils become too much for your skin to handle. Not sure if your birth control is estrogen or progesterone based? Just ask your Dr!
Mistake #8: Thinking stress in your life has no effect on your acne & not taking steps to reduce it
It may not be an obvious correlation, but yes it’s true- stress can be an acne trigger! How you ask? Well, when the sense of stress is present, it triggers our bodies to produce Cortisol (our body’s main line of defense in stressful situations). When Cortisol is produced, hormones are also created as a bi-product. Even under normal conditions of non-stress, Cortisol is being generated (and the hormones that come along with it), but at a level that our bodies are able to handle. When the stress functions are activated though, these hormones can be produced anywhere for 2 – 5 times as much. Thus resulting in a breeding ground for acne.
Sometimes stress isn’t avoidable. Things happen, and our bodies will react in the way it needs to in order to ensure its protection and survival. These things happen and aren’t usually within our control. What you want to do, is take the time to really reflect on the thing you CAN control, whether it be school, work, home or other stresses.
So here’s some recommendations you can try when you find yourself in a stressful situation:
- First and foremost, take the time to get to know your body. Get a feel for what your body does when it’s stressed so that you can recognize it when it’s happening. Things you may experience include: inability to sleep (or on the opposite end, needing a LOT of sleep), body aches and pains, headaches, fast heart beat, upset tummy and much more. Make note of these symptoms, and the next time you find them happening, ask yourself if they’re due to stress.
- Ask yourself if it worth the stress! Unhealthy relationships are a GREAT example of this. Relationships play such a crucial role in our human nature, and sometimes they’re hard to let go of. However, many times they aren’t worth the time and energy they steal from us. Really take the time to evaluate the health of your relationships and their effect on your stress levels.
- Keep your diet in check! Yup- the foods you eat can affect the way your body reacts under stress. Certain foods will help prepare your body for it, while others only augment the damage it has on your body.
- Foods to include in your stress-busting diet: basically anything nutrient rich that will help keep your energy up throughout the day (think: wholefoods!)
- Things to avoid: caffeine, drugs, alcohol, sugar and other mood-altering foods. You also want to avoid things that are high in saturated fats, as they will hinder your energy levels
- Keep moving! Staying active will not only produce endorphins that help combat stress but will also ensure your body is in the best shape it can be to handle stress’ toll. In fact, it has actually been proven to mentally help prepare your senses by generating a clear and collected space in the mind. Your brain has a better start to dealing with stress when it’s not cluttered up by a million thoughts, so taking a regular stroll, visiting your yoga mat a few times a week or doing a few laps in the pool can really boost your anti-anxiety abilities.
- Be social! If you’re feeling stressed, one of the quickest and easiest ways to see immediate results is by engaging in a social setting. Your body reacts to the protection and comfort it feels when surrounded by other humans. Communicating your thoughts also helps you to sort through them faster. Whether it’s saying a simple hello over the phone to your bestie, or heading down to your fave local cafe, don’t avoid social interaction.
- Change up the scenery! In a situation where you’re left feeling uncomfortable, on edge and jittery? Find the exit and alter the environment. Remember there are things you DO have control over!
Solving hormonal based chin and jawline breakouts is twice as hard (and close to impossible) without finding ways to reduce the amount of stress that you’re feeling. if you’re feeling it, your hormones have already taken notice and are reacting. Be sure to make the time to knowledge and deal with your stress.
Well, that was a LOT of information to take in, but we hope it helps paint a clearer picture in terms of hormonal acne, and why topical treatment is just the start in really getting to the root of the issue.
If you want to learn more about hormonal acne, head over to our Skin Care 101 page for a crash course in natural skin care solutions.
Have the internal stuff figured out but aren’t sure if your skin care routine is on point? We can help with that! Head over here for access to simple, straight-forward resources for building a customized, targeted routine.
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