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Acne If Nothing is Working Try This

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 02/27/2024

Acne hormonal treatments have become a popular topic in recent years as more people recognize the significant role of hormonal imbalances in acne development.

This blog post will examine the intricate connection between hormones and acne, highlighting the numerous aspects contributing to this frequent skin disorder.

We'll explore how stress can trigger hormonal imbalances and discuss the impact of androgens and DHT conversion on skin health. Additionally, we'll cover natural remedies for treating acne, such as saw palmetto, stinging nettle root, black cohosh, cruciferous vegetables, DIM supplements, and milk thistle.

Hormonal Imbalances and Acne

Hormonal imbalances, such as spikes in androgens or estrogen, can significantly cause acne. Stress can provoke a surge in cortisol, which prompts increased androgen synthesis. Addressing these hormonal issues may help alleviate persistent acne problems.

Stress and Acne

Stress has been demonstrated to harm our well-being, including hormone imbalances linked to acne flare-ups.

When stressed, our body secretes cortisol, which boosts the amount of androgenic hormones such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High androgen levels, triggered by cortisol due to stress, can cause an overproduction of sebum that leads to clogged pores and inflammation - thus resulting in acne.

Learning how to manage stress through practices like deep breathing exercises, walking in nature, or gardening can play a crucial role in reducing hormonally-driven acne.

The Impact of Hormones on Acne

As mentioned earlier, higher levels of androgens contribute significantly to developing acne due to their impact on sebum production within hair follicles. This excess oil, combined with dead skin cells, blocks pore openings where bacteria thrive before eventually forming pus-filled spots commonly associated with pimples and acne. 

One type called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) has been found especially potent at triggering outbreaks since it binds more readily to receptors located inside the glands in the skin than other forms of androgens, such as testosterone.

Studies have shown that reducing DHT levels through natural remedies can help control acne breakouts, especially for those genetically predisposed to higher androgen sensitivity or acne.

Hormonal imbalances can be a major acne trigger, and it’s essential to identify the underlying causes to utilize efficient remedies. Let’s look at how certain herbs and supplements may help reduce hormonal imbalance and acne symptoms.

Acne and homemade ingredients

Natural Remedies for Acne Treatment

Specific natural remedies can help regulate hormones responsible for causing acne.

Herbs like saw palmetto, stinging nettle root, and black cohosh are beneficial for balancing testosterone levels, while cruciferous vegetables and DIM supplements assist with estrogen regulation. Milk thistle is another potent remedy that helps normalize liver function, crucial in hormone balance. 

Herbal Extract Benefits

  • Saw Palmetto inhibits the conversion of testosterone into DHT, thereby reducing sebum production, which may prevent acne breakouts. You can find saw palmetto in supplement form or as an ingredient in topical treatments for acne-prone skin.

  • Stinging Nettle Root can help regulate hormonal imbalances by inhibiting the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT. It's widely available as a supplement or can be enjoyed as a tea.

  • Black Cohosh is often used to alleviate symptoms of menopause as it has been found effective at regulating estrogen levels - making it particularly useful when dealing with acne linked to menstrual cycles. 

Cruciferous Vegetables & DIM Supplements for Cystic Acne

Eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale can help balance estrogen levels due to their high content of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a compound that promotes healthy estrogen metabolism.

Additionally, diindolylmethane (DIM) supplements derived from I3C have been shown to improve hormonal balance and reduce cystic acne caused by estrogen dominance. 

Milk Thistle's 

Milk thistle is a powerful liver-supporting herb that aids detoxification and regulates hormones. By improving liver function, milk thistle helps your body process hormones more efficiently, thus reducing hormonal imbalances that may contribute to acne breakouts.

Consider adding a milk thistle supplement to your daily regimen if you're looking for natural ways of addressing persistent skin issues linked to hormonal imbalances.

Utilizing natural methods to address acne can be an effective way of managing breakouts and flare-ups. In addition, avoiding sugar, lowering carb intake, and limiting processed foods can help to manage acne symptoms. 

Dietary Changes to Combat Acne

Specific dietary changes can significantly improve skin by reducing insulin and estrogenic foods.

Cutting out sugar and refined carbs will lower insulin resistance, which contributes heavily to PCOS-related symptoms, including hair loss and skin issues such as acne. 

Reducing Sugar Intake & Avoiding Refined Carbohydrates

Sugar and refined carbohydrates cause spikes in blood sugar levels, which lead to increased insulin production. Hormonal imbalances resulting from high insulin levels, particularly in PCOS sufferers, have been linked to acne formation.

To help regulate these hormone fluctuations:

  • Avoid sugary snacks like candy bars or soda drinks.

  • Avoid refined food products that include white flour (e.g., loaves of bread and cakes), hydrogenated oils, and trans fats.

  • Follow a nutritious low-carb diet like Healthy Keto®.

  • Consume a diet rich in low glycemic index (GI) foods, such as vegetables, legumes, and nuts.

  • Incorporate intermittent fasting into your daily routine. 

By making these dietary changes and monitoring your skin's response, you may be able to identify specific triggers that contribute to your acne breakouts which helps to make informed decisions about the best course of action for managing your hormonal acne.

Essential Nutrients & Lifestyle Factors

Ensuring adequate intake of essential nutrients like zinc can be crucial in resolving chronic skin conditions associated with zinc deficiencies, such as acne.

Studies have shown that zinc can help reduce inflammation and regulate sebum production, making it a valuable remedy for acne symptoms. To boost your zinc levels, consider incorporating foods rich in this mineral, such as oysters, pumpkin seeds, and beef, or take a high-quality supplement.

The Importance of Zinc Supplementation

  • Zinc helps to reduce inflammation and regulate sebum production.

  • Zinc has been found to lower the risk of skin issues, including acne. 

  • Foods rich in zinc include oysters, pumpkin seeds, and beef.

  • A high-quality supplement can also be used to increase daily intake.

Benefits of Cod Liver Oil for Acne-Prone Individuals

Cod liver oil is another essential nutrient for individuals prone to acne breakouts. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and the vitamins A and D, cod liver oil can help promote skin health while aiding hormonal balance.

The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s found within this natural remedy work wonders on inflamed skin by reducing redness caused due to excess oils being produced at higher rates than average when hormones fluctuate wildly (such as puberty). Furthermore, research has indicated that vitamin A plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin cells, ultimately leading to clearer complexions.

  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A & D for improved skin health.

  • Anti-inflammatory properties help reduce redness and inflammation.

  • Vitamin A promotes healthy skin cell maintenance for clearer complexions.

Cod liver oil offers potential benefits for individuals prone to acne by providing essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and D, which may contribute to reduced inflammation, improved skin health, and a potential decrease in acne severity.

Fluoride's Effect on Acne

In addition to ensuring proper nutrient intake, avoiding fluoride exposure from tap water or dental treatments may improve skin health.

Some research has proposed a possible association between fluoride consumption and acne outbreaks, although further investigation is necessary to verify these claims. To minimize your fluoride exposure, consider using a water filter that removes this chemical from your drinking water and opting for non-fluoridated toothpaste when brushing daily.

Avoiding Fluoride Exposure

  • Use a water filter that removes fluoride from tap water.

  • Opt for non-fluoridated toothpaste during daily oral care routines.


Managing acne can be challenging. However, managing and reducing breakouts with the proper knowledge and approach is possible.

Stress management techniques such as deep breathing and walking in nature can help balance hormones, while natural remedies like saw palmetto and stinging nettle root can alleviate symptoms. Avoiding sugars and carbs, and following a nutritious low-carb diet like Healthy Keto can help reduce acne symptoms and flare-ups. 

In addition, essential nutrients like zinc and cod liver oil have been shown to improve skin health in individuals prone to acne. Lastly, avoiding fluoride exposure may also play a role in managing hormonal imbalances that contribute to acne development.


1. What Treatment is Best for Hormonal Acne?

The most effective treatment for hormonal acne involves dietary changes, natural remedies, and essential nutrients. Key steps include reducing sugar intake, consuming cruciferous vegetables, and supplementing with zinc.

In addition, incorporating herbs like saw palmetto and milk thistle can also help balance hormones and reduce acne severity.

2. How Can Zinc Help With Hormonal Acne?

Zinc can help with hormonal acne by reducing inflammation and regulating sebum production. The supplementation of zinc, whether through foods like oysters, pumpkin seeds, and beef or high-quality supplements, can lower the risk of skin issues, including acne.

3. Why Does Hormonal Acne Occur?

Hormonal acne occurs due to an imbalance of hormones triggering increased oil production and inflammation in the skin. Factors contributing to this imbalance include stress, dietary choices, exposure to environmental toxins like fluoride, and a genetic predisposition.

Addressing these factors through lifestyle and diet modifications can significantly improve hormonal acne symptoms.

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