Adult hormonal acne is traumatic, both emotionally and physically, and on the rise in women. It can trigger desperation, anxiously Googling for a solution we somehow missed, asking for advice from strangers on the internet. I’m all too familiar with the scenario from my own personal experience! Sometimes you find an answer and thanks to those nights falling down the rabbit hole, I found a natural alternative to spironolactone that actually works.
Taking a prescription drug for my breakouts wasn’t a decision I took lightly. As an esthetician, I knew what my options would be and I wasn’t thrilled with any of them. Even as a longtime cystic hormonal acne sufferer, it took years of frustration to finally cave and visit my dermatologist for a cure.
There were three choices: a round of antibiotics, Accutane, or spironolactone.
Seeing as to how the connection between gut and skin health is vital in maintaining an acne-free complexion, antibiotics were out. Take Accutane and destroy my body from the inside out, fingers crossed it might correct a textbook hormonal issue? No thanks.
Then there was spironolactone, a diuretic that’s used to treat high blood pressure but magically helps control androgen levels. Androgens are actually a male hormone that’s found in both men and women and a common culprit of hormonal acne when we have too many present. When our body is producing high androgen levels it sends a message for our oil glands to overstimulate with excess oil and alters the development of skin cells that line hair follicles in our skin. The result is angry breakouts.
For a year and a half, I committed to spironolactone, nervously at a low dose. I always felt dehydrated, never feeling like I could drink enough water in a day to keep up. I was mostly paranoid about my potassium intake since the drug is also used to treat those with low levels of the vitamin. The nurse simply told to avoid bananas… like what? Don’t I need a list of foods to avoid? Shouldn’t I be more concerned?
Worst of all it never consistently kept my skin clear, a couple of months in a row at best.
Then one day while chatting with estheticians online about my acne DIM came up. Other skincare professionals were using it to naturally treat their clients who suffered from hormonal acne and with success! Intrigued, I began researching this under the radar supplement and scheduled an appointment with my derm. Not that I don’t trust my fellow estheticians, but I wanted an official opinion from someone with a deeper understanding than my own.
I didn’t know what to expect from my doctor since she had never offered a natural option in the past. Was I going to look like a nut case coming in with my internet research? Was I going to be labeled “one of those people”? I was so wrapped up in worrying about what she would think I was caught off guard when she eagerly agreed: DIM is a fantastic natural alternative to spironolactone.
Happily validated, I skipped out of the doctor’s office with visions of blemish free skin and ordered my first bottle!
I know you’re wondering… what’s the deal with DIM? What makes it so special?
Completely plant-based, DIM is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and other leafy greens but it’s nearly impossible for us to eat the necessary amount to balance our hormones through diet. You would literally need to consume multiple pounds a day. Being able to take it as a pill is a blessing instead of having to force feed your way to clear skin! In addition to balancing estrogen, when taken at a high enough dose, DIM has the ability to block androgen receptors. In normal people speak, this means it can stop the hormones process of causing acne.
For those who are curious, I specifically used DHT Blocker for high testosterone and androgen levels, whereas Estroblock is good for excess estrogen. Both contain a blend of herbs with DIM for specific hormonal imbalances.
I’m happy to report that after religiously taking the supplement I saw a significant decrease in my cystic acne! Within six weeks my skin was more clear than ever before and with continued use, my skin stayed clear far longer than when I was taking spironolactone. Eventually, I did an elimination diet, cutting out gluten, dairy, and sugar, allowing my body to heal and now I rarely experience breakouts anymore.
Fair warning though: when starting a supplement with DIM it’s common to purge for a few weeks while your body detoxes, and I wasn’t spared the experience. It was bad before it got better but the results were beyond worth it!
If you’re looking for a resolution to your hormonal acne consider giving it a go. What’s there to lose when regaining your skin confidence is on the table?