The Link Between Acne, Hormones And Liver That Very Few People Know About

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To under­stand acne, it always helps to under­stand what our skin was meant to do in the face of a par­tic­u­lar con­di­tion, and then sup­port it in going back to that level of functioning.

Generally speak­ing, the pur­pose of our skin is:

  • To pro­tect our body from the external col­on­iz­a­tion of microbes
  • To keep us hydrated and warm (pro­tect our internal organs)
  • To allow us to release heat through sweating
  • To help us to pro­duce vit­am­ins on the skin surface
  • To pro­tect us from the sun
  • To pro­duce oil (through our sebaceous or oil-​producing glands) that not only pro­tects the skin bar­rier, but has the cap­ab­il­ity of drown­ing bac­teria on our skin surface
  • To detect poten­tial stress—nervous sys­tem cells detect stress—and dir­ectly inter­face with our hor­mone sys­tems through cortisol (our stress hormone)!

Where can these methods of protection work against us?

  1. Overactivity of our sebaceous glands (glands that pro­duce oil in the skin). The sebaceous gland has enough enzymes and essen­tial fats within it that cho­les­terol can pro­duce testoster­one, which in turn pro­duces more oil.
  2. An inab­il­ity of the skin to pro­tect us prop­erly against microbes on the sur­face, res­ult­ing in infection.
  3. Excessive inflam­ma­tion.
  4. Over-​response to our hor­mone systems.


Knowing these things, what does this have to do with our digestive tract?

Our digest­ive tract is cap­able of pro­du­cing bac­teria in the digest­ive tract that dir­ectly influ­ence the skin and its own colony of bene­fi­cial bac­teria. These bac­teria are cap­able of redu­cing inflam­ma­tion, sup­port­ing immune defense, and absorption/pro­duc­tion of essen­tial nutri­ents and vitamins.


Vitamin D

We know that there are immune molecules in the digest­ive tract that influ­ence the total amount of vit­amin D in our body. Vitamin D, when not absorbed strictly through the skin can be ingested and is able to boost the skin levels of vit­amin D.

Vitamin D increases cer­tain molecules called catheli­cid­ins in the skin sur­face that act like immune boost­ers, and dir­ectly increase immune cells which kill cer­tain bac­teria. This is important for acne as the bac­terium P. acnes is known to col­on­ize sebaceous (or oil-​production) follicles, which can lead to infec­tion and the hot, sore break­outs that are more cystic in nature.


Eating The Proper Foods

As much as we all love dairy products, and they are import­ant for cal­cium and as a pro­tein source, they are known to worsen acne. Dairy products con­tain ster­oid hor­mone pre­curs­ors to testoster­one that drive sebaceous gland func­tion­ing, includ­ing other growth factors.

If you think about it, it is milk from an animal used to help nur­ture and grow their infant (cow, sheep, goat), and as a res­ult it will have hor­mones that can influ­ence your own hor­mone path­ways. Insulin growth-​factor 1 is elev­ated when milk is con­sumed through an elev­a­tion in blood sugar and insulin levels.

This is most pre­val­ent in teen­age years when ster­oid hor­mones are more act­ive. Cortisol, a stress hor­mone, is dir­ectly involved in the increase in insulin, and so not only is milk or milk products affect­ing hor­mone pools in gen­eral, but add in a pinch of stress and things really get going.


Sugar loves to induce inflammation

Sugar always makes acne worse. It basic­ally per­mits inflam­ma­tion to increase and run freely.


How To Reverse These Processes?

1. Reducing inflam­ma­tion through­out the body.

Fish oil is an essen­tial fat, mean­ing if you do not get get it through your diet, you will not have it! Fish oil is anti-​inflammatory, work­ing in the same path­way that can Advil. With time, a reduc­tion in the num­ber of break­outs as well as red­ness and swell­ing in the area of the gland is facilitated.


2. Increasing the num­bers of good bac­teria through probi­otic therapy

This will not only facil­it­ate immune bal­an­cing and bene­fi­cial immune cells, but also ensures we are hav­ing adequate bowel move­ments daily. Our skin is an organ that does elim­in­ate wastes (through sweat); if the digest­ive tract is not mov­ing reg­u­larly this does impact the skin.


3. Balancing our hor­mone system

Many herbs can assist the endo­crine (hor­mone) sys­tem to become more bal­anced, with the guid­ance of your doctor.


4. Keeping the harmful bac­teria under check

Echinacea spe­cies are known to sup­port the growth of good immune sys­tem factors at the same time as redu­cing inflam­ma­tion. Studies are show­ing that with con­tin­ued use it can act sim­il­arly to an anti­bi­otic in redu­cing the infec­tion num­bers at the skin surface.


5. Supporting liver health in the digest­ive tract

Mommypotamus puts it like this:

“Caffeine, alcohol, processed sugar (fruit and honey are usually okay in moderate amounts), etc. damage our digestive tracts, which are our first first line of defense when it comes to deactivating toxins and pathogens. Eliminating problem foods may not be enough to heal holes created in the gut lining (called “leaky gut”).

If steps are not taken to repair the holes, proteins and other food substances will pass into the bloodstream in their undigested state. The liver will be overwhelmed and the body, who doesn’t recognize these proteins in their whole forms, will launch an attack (create antibodies) against these proteins. This kicks off a domino effect which can lead to eczema, asthma, ADD, and other [skin] problems.”

With all skin con­di­tions, the true trig­gers for each per­son are unique. Patience is undoubtedly one of the most import­ant vir­tues in get­ting acne under control.


This article is shared with permission from our friends at (in partnership with


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About Sara Ding

Sara Ding is the founder of She is a certified Wellness Health Coach, Nutritional Consultant and a Detox Specialist. She helps busy men and women identify their health issues at the root cause, in order to eliminate the problems for optimum physical/mental health and wellbeing.


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