"What's with the breakouts?" I asked myself early last week. I always had pretty good skin except for the odd pimples on my nose and forehead in my teens and a little bit in my pregnancies.
Six months ago I had a contraceptive device inserted and things had been rolling along quite nicely with little side effects. However two weeks ago when I stopped breastfeeding, I really started to feel bloated, tired and my skin went crazy on my lower jaw line. And they weren't just small blemishes either, my skin has become quite oily and unbalanced. It seems I am in the midst of a hormone imbalance and my body is responding to this by breaking out!
Until this settles I have been using the Decongest + Clarify Mask every second day, mainly just on the lower jaw line to try and rebalance the skins natural oil production in this area as well as draw the congestion from the pores.
I have also increased my water & green tea intake as well as steering clear of processed foods.
Here is an outline of where breakouts can occur and how it relates to lifestyle factors.
Poor circulation means reduced blood flow to the skin and therefore less nutrients being brought in and toxins being removed.
Puberty sees overactive sebaceous (oil) glands which leads to clogged and infected pores
Stress elevates hormones which induces acne in some people.
Coffee magnifies your stress response which boosts your stress hormones.
Alcohol changes your hormone levels and creates an imbalance of testosterone or estrogen levels.
Bacteria from your mobile phone. Do you know that a mobile phone has 18 times more bacteria than a public restroom? ( source: phonesoap.com)
Touching the face is a bad habit as it spreads the bad bacteria which clogs and infects pores.
Smoking slows down the body's natural immune response and so increases inflammation as well as reducing blood flow to the skin.
Dirty Pillows house dirt and oil from the skin and hair. Washing your face everynight and changing your pillow case regularly, will help prevent breakouts .
CHIN, JAW + NECK
Candida yeast which is found on the skin and in the gut. It can go into overgrowth which produces toxins and leads to a range of things as well as skin issues.
Processed Sugar and a poor diet won't help the skin to fight inflammation. A diet high in fatty acids, vitamins and anti-oxidants keeps blood sugar regulated and the skin clear.
Hormones are to blame for many unwanted changes to our body. When there is a shift in the levels of estrogen or testosterone, our bodies respond in many different ways including weight gain, increase in body hair, mood swings and those damn break outs! While your doctor can advise on treating the cause of the imbalance, managing breakouts can be as easy as applying a good natural clay mask such as Cosmetic Clays Decongest + Clarify Mask and keeping clear of drying astringents which can cause even more irritation.
Gluten should be eliminated as it causes a surge in insulin which increases the production of testosterone. This leads to an increase in oil production that attracts acne-promoting bacteria.
The lifestyle factors outlined in this article are well known triggers for break outs however we advise you should seek medical advice if symptoms persist.