My Skin Journey and Hormonal Health
Back in May of this year (2021), my skin went from clear to breakouts in a matter of days. It persisted like this for a couple months, and still to this day it has not gone back to normal, but it’s a heck of a lot better now than it was in May. I’m not sure what caused the hormonal imbalance, or what caused my skin to break out but after doing research on my own I discovered that I must of had some sort of hormonal imbalance. I’ll dive deep into what I was experiencing a little later.
After doing a ton of research online, reading books, talking to hormone gurus, I found a few solutions that helped me a ton. I discovered things that I was doing in my day to day that weren’t ideal for your hormones, and I switched up my skincare routine to help clear the acne that popped up. I also want to always be 100% transparent with you guys as well and mention that back in May I also had COVID, so this could also be a correlation into why my hormones when from normal to abnormal. There isn’t a ton of information on it yet that I could find, but my doctor did mention that because my body was in such distress that it could have cause a hormonal imbalance.
Three months later i’m still dealing with the ramifications and trying to get my hormones and skin back to where they were before all of this happened. So let’s dive deep into hormonal health, please note this is my personal journey, I am not a medical professional or am I qualified to give out medical advice, but i’m sharing my own journey to maybe help anyone that may be experiencing the same problems. Always seek out your own information and do your own research!
As I mentioned back in May my skin went from clear to breakouts over the course of a few days. I noticed a few large underground pimples forming around my forehead and neck, I didn’t think much since my period was starting the following day. But then the breakouts continued, and my skin was abnormally oily. I could feel the sebum coming from my head, back, chest, and all over my face. I knew then that something was going on within my body and it didn’t have anything to do with my topical products that I was using, after all, I don’t wear makeup much since I am home all day.
After two weeks of continuous breakouts, I decided that I needed to figure out what was going on, so I started with a google search and ended with reading a few books and seeking out information from hormone gurus. I did have COVID around the same exact time that this was happening, the day I recovered from COVID (so 14 days after first symptom) was the same day that I started my period. So i’m not sure if there is a correlation there, as there really isn’t a ton of information online that shows the affects COVID can have on a women’s hormones, but my intuition is telling me that there is. I also went to the doctor to get a physical and get labs done to ensure that everything came back normal, and my doctor did mention that there could be a correlation between the two. COVID can put your body into distress, and then when I started my period around the same time, my hormones just went awol.
Luckily, there are supplements that I’ve been taking, lifestyle changes that I’ve been doing and products that I’ve been using that have all seemed to help.
Journey with birth control
I started taking birth control when I was 17 years old. I went with one of my girlfriends to planned parenthood and we both received a one year supply of the pill. At the time, I had no idea what side effects birth control had on the body, nor did I really care honestly. I thought that it was something every women had to get on, it was just part of life. I was on it for a few years, then took about a year off before getting back on it again, which then I stayed on it for another six years before finally decided back in October of 2020 that I wanted to quit for good.
Being in the health and wellness space now I realized how horrible birth control really is for your hormones and your body. I didn’t know the side effects that comes with it, i didn’t know that I wasn’t actually having a period for all those years, nor was I ovulation. I quit cold turkey back in September without doing much research, after all, doctors have always said that you can just stop when you want. But that’s simply not the case, there are measures that you’re supposed to take before quitting cold turkey. Your body is deficient in so many vitamins and minerals so it’s important to feed your hormones months prior to quitting birth control. I didn’t find this information out until May of this year when I started learning about hormones.
Each person is different, but from what I’ve gathered it can take anywhere from 6-12 months after quitting birth control that your hormones can start to regulate on their own. This puts me about the same timeline that I had this major hormonal imbalance, along with having COVID and getting my period. It was a huge shift that month.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Balance Hormones
EATING breakfast before working out AND before drinking coffee- working out on an empty stomach can cause more stress on your body, which in turn can cause breakouts. Before, I would wake up, drink lemon water and workout right away before eating anything. I liked getting my workouts done first thing in the morning, however, now I understand that my body needs fuels before I put it through a workout. It needs energy to burn otherwie my hormones are going to be in distress, i’m doing more harm on my body than good. So now I eat a small breakfast in the morning before I workout. Lately i’ve been loving oatmeal, banana with nut butter, avocado toast, or yogurt and granola.
Also, eating breakfast before drinking coffee also helps lower your stress levels. Your cortisol levels are highest in the morning, so if you drink coffee right away (which raises your cortisol already) then your hormones are going to be high sprung, so having something to eat before balances everything out. Again, I used to wake up and drink coffee before anything else, now I don’t drink my first cup until about 9 or 10am after I have eating breakfast and worked out.
FOOD– Food is fuel and making sure I eat enough throughout the day is key for happy hormones. You should be getting enough fiber, fruits, veggies, etc throughout the day. Also, I’ve been making sure that I am eating balanced meals 3x a day is huge for your hormones. a happy stomach = happy hormones. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and I snack in between on healthy snacks such as nuts, fruit, veggies, etc!
Supplements I’ve been taking
Again, PLEASE seek out medical advice from your doctor before taking any supplements, what works for me may not work for you!
ASHWAGANDA– I never realized how stressed out I was until I started really managing my stress levels. I’ve noticed a big difference when I started taking ashwaganda daily, which helps with maintaining stress levels, which in turn helps your hormones. The brand that I’ve been taking daily is from You Theory. Research that I’ve found says that most breakouts around the neck area are caused my stress, which is the area that I’ve been struggling with most. Running your own business comes with it’s own freedom but also set of risks. I thought that I was managing it well, but these past few months have shown me that I can do a better job. I’ve been having better work boundaries with myself, and making sure I get enough “me” time to take care of myself.
ADRENAL SUPPORT– taking an adrenal support supplement has helped with energy levels and maintaining stress. The one I take is from ProbiomeRX and it’s an adrenal restore that is made with 10 adaptogen superfoods and herbs. Adaptogens are SO good for your hormones and your body just overall.
MAGNESIUM– Most of us are deficient in magnesium and this mineral is key for hormonal health. Magnesium is magic for your hormones. It is a foundational support to all hormone functions in the body – without it you will not produce hormones at levels you need, and ovulation will become irregular- found on Flo Living
ZINC– Most of us are also deficient in Zinc, which helps balance hormones and promote a healthy ovulation. A healthy ovulation means a healthy period.
Products I’ve been using
Before May I was sticking to a pretty simple skin care routine, I washed my face with a cleaners, toned and then moisturized. I’ve since then adapted to a much more intense skincare routine which has been helping me get my breakouts under control.
I’ve been washing my face with Shea Moisture African Black soap for nearly 7 years now and it’s been the only thing that helps with maintain my skin and breakouts. I have oily since to begin with, so this helps a ton. I still use this to wash off any makeup or oils that I have on from the day, then I cleanse with Cetaphil using my Peppy and Co exfoliator brush.
After I double cleanse, I use Drunk Elephant serums and moisturizers, these are my favorite:
T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum (every other night)
Protini™ Powerpeptide Resurf Serum (every day)
T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial– once a week (OBSESSED)
Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil (used with baby facial once a week)
C Firma Day Serum– every day
Other products that I use:
Chlorophyll detox mask from CocoKind, I use this once a week.
Every few days I used Peppy and Co light therapy mask which does wonders for your skin! I use the blue light which is great for killing acne bacteria, I always see smoother cleaner skin after I use it.
Resources that I’ve used along my journey
There’s power in knowledge and I’ve learned a ton from hormone gurus online, reading books and doing my own research. Here are a few resources that I encourage you to check out on your own!
ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW
I’ve learned a ton from my girl Maddie Miles who is a hormone guru, she had dedicated her life to studying women’s hormones and she shares so much free knowledge online. Maddie also just came out with a hormone balancing supplement which I’ve been taking for the past two weeks now, so i’ll update you all on my experience after a few months, but I already know this product is going to be amazing.
Also, @yourhormonebalance on instagram has a ton of great information and resources, I love following and learning from her posts! Her daughter Jess also came out with a couple great latte products that are made with adaptogenics which in turn help support happy hormones- she has a matcha and cacao flavor- both are so good!
BOOKS TO READ
I’ve been recommended a ton of great books for resources which i’m looking forward to reading, but for now I’ve finished Period Repair Manual which was a really great place to start for those that are considering quitting birth control or have and want to figure out where to start in balancing your hormones.
All in all, I don’t know everything, but I know a heck of a lot more now than I did before. I encourage you to always seek out your own information and talk to a professional before taking and supplements!
Thanks for reading, if you have any of your own tips, questions or comments, leave them below and i’ll be happy to get back to you!