I don’t have to tell you how confidence-shattering it is to always have cystic acne on your face.
I never missed a step in my skincare routine – I double cleanse and always put on sunscreen even when indoors.
Despite all that, I still have these painful, cystic acne on my face.
Over time, I grew tired. Month after month putting on topical medications or serum that just did not work. And I realise it’s because skincare does not cure the root cause of these acne.
Do you resonate with these symptoms too?
✅You are a woman and no longer a teen
✅You break out once a month.
✅You are dealing with deeply embedded painful cysts.
✅You typically break out around the chin and jawline.
✅You’re always stressed.
✅You crave sugar all the time.
These are actually telling signs that your acne is HORMONAL. If you are a MAN, what I am about to share can be useful for you too.
Upon realising that I had hormonal acne, I started to explore natural ways to regulate and balance my hormones, as I did not want to consume medication.
One method I tried is taking herbal teas for hormonal acne (yes, you might have seen some trending on TikTok and I’m here to tell you that they really do work, at least for me) so let me share some of these useful tips with you!
TL;DR: 10 Herbal teas that treat hormonal acne
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Best for: Reducing oil sebum production.
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First, I would like to briefly address the female menstrual cycle. It mainly involves three main hormones – progesterone, oestrogen and also testosterone.
Read more to see how their levels contribute to hormonal acne flare-ups:
1. Irregular fluctuations of progesterone and oestrogen
For women, the hormonal imbalance that causes acne is often due to the fluctuations of oestrogen and progesterone throughout the menstrual cycle.
While these fluctuations are necessary and important for the menstrual cycle, there are times when the fluctuations are higher or lower than usual, it can result in hormonal imbalance.
Progesterone works to prevent testosterone from converting to its potent form which increases oil buildup in the skin. So low levels of progesterone are contributors to acne flares.
Besides that, both having too much and too little oestrogen may contribute to hormonal acne.
So, the levels of these hormones are crucial to be regulated to prevent acne.
2. Elevated testosterone levels due to fluctuations of progesterone and oestrogen
The progesterone and oestrogen fluctuations will also affect women’s testosterone levels, which can also result in hormonal acne.
Testosterone is known to promote oil sebum production, which may result in clogged pores and oily skin.
Here are two more hormonal triggers that increase testosterone levels.
Read on to find out how.
3. Excessive stress can take a toll on your skin health
If you are always stressed, it is highly likely your cortisol levels (a stress hormone) is high.
Cortisol too increases oil sebum production. If you have chronic stress, elevated levels of this hormone can really take a toll on your skin health no matter how much money or effort you put into your skincare routine.
4. Do you resort to sugar when stressed? You might develop Insulin resistance
When stressed, many of us tend to look to sugary food for comfort. This is because our brain releases dopamine (a type of happy hormone) when we eat them.
This temporary high is what we look for when stressed but we must be careful. This habit may lead to insulin resistance.
Insulin is used to move sugar into cells for energy. So the more sugar you consume, the higher the insulin levels in your body.
However, if your blood sugar levels are always high and your body keeps on producing insulin, at one point when your cells already receive enough sugar for energy, they would stop responding to insulin.
Hence, blood sugar levels remain high, but the body will continue producing insulin to regulate the blood sugar levels but cells are not converting sugar to energy. This is called insulin resistance.
And if your insulin levels remain high, it makes androgen hormones (a group of sex hormones which includes testosterone) more active, thus boosting sebum production.
9 Herbal tea recommendations for hormonal acne
Notice how everything ties into lifestyle and such affect your hormone levels?
Controlling acne breakouts is a lifestyle thing… Just like losing weight. Sometimes, your hormonal acne issues can be compounded by bacterial infections as well.
So a healthy diet and lifestyle is key to addressing your hormonal acne breakouts.
And as a start, why not take some herbal teas? They are easy to brew and are dense with benefits that can help you with acne.
It is good to mix it up with teas that can balance your hormones but also have antibacterial properties.
Do remember that you can only see positive results when you have incorporated these drinks into your daily lifestyle. It’s best to be taking them for more than 30 days to see results!
1. Spearmint Tea
Spearmint tea has anti-androgenic effects. This means that it has properties that are able to reduce the levels of androgens (like testosterones) that may be responsible for acne in women.
Increased levels of testosterones in the body may cause overproduction of sebum that leads to cystic acne breakouts.
2. Rooibos Tea
I can go on and on about how amazing Rooibos tea is.
Focusing on skin related concerns, Rooibos tea is rich with powerful antioxidants that can control your blood sugar levels. It is helpful to prevent or reverse insulin resistance in your body.
On top of that, rooibos tea has high levels of zinc and alpha hydroxy acid that can help fight wrinkles and other signs of premature ageing!
3. Green Tea
I don’t have to say much about green tea.
Being rich in an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, green tea also has anti-androgenic effects.
Thus, reducing oil excretion in the skin!
4. Dandelion Root Tea
Dandelion roots are known for their positive effects on the liver. It helps with hormone balance through better detoxification in the liver, which also includes the detoxification of oestrogen.
For example, if your oestrogen levels are high, dandelion roots can help support the liver to produce more bile to flush out ‘extra’ oestrogen in your body.
Some say it is a good replacement for coffee if you drink for taste only!
5. Licorice Root Tea
Like other herbal tea, licorice root tea offers all-over antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties.
But what makes this tea different is it contains an active compound called liquirtin that controls excess melanin in the skin. This can be really helpful if you suffer from dark spots and dark acne scars from cystic acne.
Liquorice root tea works by blocking melanin production. It also has other active compounds that can help lighten the skin. This can also improve your overall skin appearance in general!
6. White Peony Tea
White peonies are often mixed with licorice – this is a traditional chinese medicinal mix for women suffering with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
It has properties to regulate oestrogen production and lower cortisol levels. Both of these benefits control excess production of androgens.
7. Nettle Tea
Nettle tea helps the body process and flush away toxins. It has chemicals that work to remove excessive toxins in your bloodstream and indirectly allow your skin to more effectively cleanse itself.
This is best used as a prevention step. However, it still plays an effective role as a part of a holistic treatment regimen.
8. Turmeric Tea
The gold in this golden drink is actually curcurmin.
Curcurmin is an active compound present in turmeric that has potent anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is widely used for arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease too.
9. Ginger Tea