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I beat hormonal acne: My 6 powerful little secrets

Recently I opened up about my year long struggle with hormonal acne. And while that felt liberating I know that many acne sufferers are more interested in how to actually beat hormonal acne. So today I want to share six actionable things I am doing do keep my skin in check!

6 powerful tips that helped me beat hormonal acne.Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Secret 1: Beat hormonal acne with Spearmint Tea

Every month from ovulation I drink 2 cups of spearmint tea* for 5 days in a row. Spearmint tea fights DHT, which oftentimes is the biggest driver for hormonal acne in women. By starting to drink it during ovulation, I prevent the monthly hormonal breakout from happening.


Secret 2: Beat hormonal acne by avoiding potatoes

Avoiding potatoes, especially during the “PMS week”. I used to think that potatoes are kinda healthy. Only when my boyfriend started getting a little bit into bodybuilding I discovered that for a female with hormonal acne, potatoes are the worst, actually. In order to help with growing muscle, bodybuilders want to increase DHT – the enemy for hormonal acne sufferers. And guess which food is recommended to increase DHT? Potatoes!

Secret 3: Beat hormonal acne with supplements

To help my skin and my hormones I take Shatavari* and Omega-3* supplements. While I have taken and tried others, those are the two I am sticking with, because they work for me. If you are interested in a little more background on the herbs and vitamins I tried, I recommend you read my post about How to balance hormones naturally.


Secret 4: Beat hormonal acne with a specific diet

Yeah, I am sure you can’t hear it anymore. “Eat healthy.” That is very generic advice and can mean very different things to different people. For my specific goal to beat hormonal acne, the following things were essential:

Low Glycemic Index (GI) Diet

If I stray from this, I still break out. Mildly and not comparable to what happened before, but this is so important! Limit or cut out any rice, white bread, sugar and potatoes. (There are the potatoes again!)

Getting all necessary Vitamins&Minerals

To make sure I have a healthy diet and everything I need, I follow the checklist of Dr Greger’s daily dozen. When I adopted that habit, it gave my skin healing speed a serious boost. People even commented on how much finer my pores were! I assume that was because of all the added greens, beans and berries.

My diet before was okay, I guess. But if you want to beat hormonal acne I really recommend using Dr Greger’s checklist as a guide for your meal planning.

Secret 5: Beat hormonal acne with cardio

Working out is not a problem for me. But I was never a cardio type. I liked short “muscle” sessions, pushups or something like that. And I thought that cardio was boring. But during my research about healing acne naturally I kept reading that cardio is the best exercise ever to balance your hormones. What can I say, it works!

So now I make sure to sit for 10 to 30 minutes on my stationary bike* a few times per week. It has a table on it, so I can put a book or my laptop there and not get too bored.

Secret 6: Beat hormonal acne with BPO, salicylic acid and AHA

Of course there has to be a mention of face products. I put those last, because I have been using those for a long time now and they couldn’t heal me. They can just support the healing process and prevent the spreading of bacteria and scarring.

BPO for acne

BPO is short for Benzoyl peroxide and one of the greatest helpers for long term acne sufferers. It works only topically on the skin and kills bacteria. The best thing about it is that you cannot become “immune” to it like with antibiotics. I personally use a BPO gel* over night.

Salicylic acid for acne

Salicylic acid works as a chemical peeling. Any mechanical peelings or treatments from a cosmetician made my skin much, much worse. But salicylic acid has been my trusted helper for years. I am using Dermasence products from the pharmacy, as they have been recommended to me by my dermatologist. Unfortunately it is pretty impossible to get them outside of Europe, but I’ll link them just for information.

I use the Dermasence Mousse* as a cleanser and the Dermasence cream soft* as a moisturizer.

AHA for acne

This is the last acronym, I promise. AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid and like salicylic acid promotes exfoliates of the skin chemically. I do not use AHA on my skin, but on my neck. As you can see in the breakout pictures of my hormonal acne, that is where the cystic acne hit me hardest. In order to speed up the healing and getting rid of the scars, I started using Dermasence AHA body and face lotion* on my neck.


So these are my 6 most important things I did to beat hormonal acne. Do you have similar ones? Different ones? Let me know in the comments!

I tried several hormonal acne treatments. But it took me years to figure out how to control it. These 6 steps here helped me heal my hormonal acne. I hope this can help someone else, too!

*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

How to easily improve your diet with Dr Greger’s daily dozen

Easily improve your diet with Dr Greger's daily dozenImproving your diet by adding things instead of taking them away sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Well, that’s exactly how Dr Greger’s daily dozen worked for me! You could say, it is a gamified way of living healthy and eating well. But first let’s start with some background information for you.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

What is Dr Greger’s daily dozen

Dr Greger’s daily dozen is a list of things to eat daily. But Dr Greger didn’t just pick those things randomly. In his New York Times Best Seller Book “How not to die”* , he investigates the fifteen leading causes of death in America. He cites masses of research that shows how nutritional and lifestyle changes can sometimes help more in preventing those causes of death than pills, surgery etc. To make his findings actionable, Dr. Greger provides a checklist of the foods we should eat everyday “to not die”.  For more background information check out his page nutritionfacts.org.

The how not to die checklist

This is Dr Greger's daily dozen checklist. Using this every day will make healthy eating super easy- you simply won't have time or hunger for other foods anymore. #healthyeating #habits

Notice how there are no meat, cheese or eggs on the list. Dr. Greger’s list ist completely plant-based. This doesn’t mean you have to go vegan to follow it. It simply invites you to prioritize the foods on the list and then add whatever you like.

For more information on the serving sizes I recommend you download the Daily Dozen app. Find it on the app store here for iOS and here for Android.

Another thing that might catch your eye is the “exercise” checkbox. Exercise is no food, but if we are planning on not to die, adding a “serving” of exercise every day is a great idea!

The vitamin check boxes at the end might or might not be relevant to you. This depends on where you live and what you eat. If you have a vegan diet, supplementing vitamin B12 is a good idea. If you eat meat, fish, eggs and milk products you most likely don’t need any additional B12.

Vitamin D should be supplemented when you live in an area where you cannot get enough of it through sun exposure. Or if you never go outside during the day. I personally supplement Vitamin D all throughout winter and make sure to get at least 20 minutes of sun every day between April and September. A couple of years ago I had a serious vitamin D deficit and I plan on never going there again.

How does Dr Greger’s daily dozen help you to improve your diet

So why exactly is it so easy to improve your diet with this checklist? I will give you two reasons.

The first reason is that everyone loves a good checklist. Checking items off a list is just so satisfying! The concept of gamification works in our favor with the Daily Dozen app: We want to “finish” it! By wanting to finish it, we keep eating things off the list throughout our day. And that brings me to reason two:

While you go through the list of daily foods, you will probably have to introduce some new foods. For me berries never were on my meal plan before I started using the app. I also had to add greens and cruciferous vegetables. By doing that I had to find new recipes, centered around the daily dozen. And this automatically meant leaving out other foods, that weren’t quite as healthy. Healthy, hormone balancing foods will make your cravings for junk food stop. Dr Greger's daily dozen really helps with that.

Especially adding all that salad into my diet I often find it difficult to eat everything on the list, let alone additionally eating junk food. This healthy stuff is really filling!

Seriously, just try this for two weeks or so. I saw difference in my skin (hormonal acne) pretty quickly. If you happen to want to lose some weight, I am very sure that this is gonna help as well! In fact, I struggled a bit in the beginning to get to my required daily calorie intake. If that happens to you, just top off anything with olive oil or sugar free and additive free peanut butter.

(The best peanut butter I could find right now was this one*, but it still contains salt. At home I have 100% pure peanut butter where the only ingredients are peanuts. I strongly recommend to look for something like that!)

Daily dozen meal plan for a day: An example

As I said, to check off all items from Dr Greger’s daily dozen, you might have to introduce some new recipes. Michael Greger published the “How not to die cookbook”* with more than 100 recipes, but I decided to make my own meal plan. This way it is adapted to what I like and can easily find locally.

So this is what one of my typical “Daily dozen meal plans” for one day could look like:

Breakfast

Quinoa porridge with banana, apple, raspberries, a handful of nuts and a spoonful of linseed flour. The linseed flower makes it almost pudding like. If I did my workout before breakfast, as I usually do during my morning routine, I can already check off 8 of the 24 servings. One third by breakfast! Not bad, huh?

Adding the two glasses of water and one cup of decaf makes 11 boxes checked.

Lunch

For lunch these days I like eating a mung bean salad. Adding avocado, tomatoes, bell pepper, leafy greens and a spice mix with turmeric. This allows me to check off 6 more boxes, putting me at 17 out of 24.

Dinner

Now I have to mix a little more, seeing which check boxes are still open. So I boil some lentil pasta, add some broccoli and a handful of leafy greens. Adding avocado for creaminess. Whew. By now I will also have had at least two more glasses of water throughout the day. 23 of 24.

What is left now is one whole grain checkbox. As it is evening anyways, I simply make some popcorn! Using a popcorn maker that doesn’t need oil*, to not clog my arteries unnecessarily.  And that’s it! 24 out of 24!


Now tell me: Have you tried eating Dr. Greger’s daily dozen? How has it worked for you? I am absolutely convinced by the concept, but I know that experiences can vary. I would love to hear your feedback in the comments!

Do you sometimes wish you had a simple checklist of which foods to eat daily? Dr Greger's daily dozen offers that and makes improving your diet incredibly easy!

*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Being vulnerable: My painful struggle with hormonal acne

I have been dealing with hormonal acne for years. There, I said it. Whew. And I will even go a step further. I will share pictures. Real pictures, still painful for me to look at. And difficult to share.I have been dealing with hormonal acne for years. There, I said it. Whew. And I will even go a step further. I will share pictures. Real pictures, still painful for me to look at. And difficult to share.

Why am I still doing it?

First of all, I don’t want to be ashamed, made small, put into a corner by my acne. Second of all, I know there are so many people suffering from it as well. I want to tell them that they are not alone. And that there is hope. My hormonal acne as of today is mostly under control. You will be able to see the progress in the pictures.

My third reason for writing this is that I firmly believe that my hormonal acne has taught me valuable lessons. In a weird way it has had some very positive effects on my life.

What is adult hormonal acne?

Before I get into my personal experiences with adult hormonal acne, let me give you some background on this condition. We all have seen examples of hormonal acne in teenagers. While it’s still not entirely clear how all those hormones play together to make acne in some people and not in others, the connection between hormones and acne is clear.

Adult hormonal acne is much meaner than that. It is not linked to a certain phase in your life. So the comfort of “It will be over soon” doesn’t work. Second of all it is incredibly hard to find a general “therapy” for it. The mechanisms behind it can be so complex that the standard western medicine approach often cannot work.

Unless you happen to see a holistic practitioner, you will most likely be sent from doctor to doctor. I got sent from the dermatologist to the O.B. gyn and from there to the cosmetician. None of them checked for the cause. All of them treated symptoms. And I get why. The current state of research is too unclear. And they don’t have the capacity nor the go-ahead to experiment on us, the acne patients.

My history with adult hormonal acne

Since I hit puberty, my skin had never been great. It tended to be oily in the T-zone and I would get the occasional pimple. Such horror, being an insecure teenager! A classmate recommended some face cleanser to me, I started using it and that kept everything not good, but under control.

The older I got, the less problems I had with my skin. Stress would always show, but generally it was okay. Not super clear, but okay.

During university, I pretty much forgot about the topic. The occasional pimple would still stress me out like crazy, but I didn’t think much about it. I always simply used the face products I could afford.

Growing angst and hormonal acne introducing itself

Towards the end of my studies, something changed. Not only on my skin, but for me, as a person. I was full of anxiety, because I had no idea what to do after graduating. And my lifestyle at the time didn’t contribute to my mental health either. My skin started getting worse than usual.

This is the start of my journey with hormonal acne. Breakouts on my cheeks, chin and neck.I would spend days at a time not leaving my apartment, eating some junk food and working on my thesis. No real contact with people, no direct sunlight. Only me and my growing anxiety about the future.  My skin started breaking out like I hadn’t seen it before on myself. Trying tips and tricks I found from googling around only worked to increase inflammation.

I got severely depressed. Spending several days at a time just laying in bed, feeling unable to move. Doing anything felt impossible. My whole face got inflamed. Everything was red and burning. It felt like my depression was coming out through my skin, for everyone to see.

My whole face is red and inflamed and there are painful cysts everywhere. Hormonal acne in full bloom.I felt absolutely defeated. Facing the outside world seemed more impossible than ever. For anyone having dealt with severe facial acne, “facing” anything is a true act of courage. I was supposed to finish my thesis and start applying for jobs. All I could think was that no one would hire me anyways looking like that.

Going to a dermatologist seemed impossible. Just going across the street to get groceries was such a fight. Sometimes I would just not eat.

To get out of my unhealthy routine, I went to visit my sister in another city. No need to leave the house there, unless I felt up for it. Real human connection and someone who knew me pre-acne. It gave me enough strength to get back on my feet mentally.

Seeing a doctor about my hormonal acne

So back home, I finally made an appointment with a dermatologist. Anxiety levels where through the roof, but I had a mission!



The dermatologist was very clinical. He took a magnifying glass to look at my skin and then told me that it was really bad looking. Like I didn’t know. For some reason, that comment really hurt. I didn’t feel like he was telling my that I had sick skin. I felt like he was telling me that I am worthless, looking like that.

He asked me a few questions about my skin care, my diet and my lifestyle. According to him, it was pretty impossible to know why my skin had started acting like that. I simply had acne. No further investigation. He recommended me some acne skin care products and prescribed a topical antibiotic. Once that was used up, I should come back and we would re-evaluate.

Hormonal acne improvements and taking my life back

The antibiotic was awesome! Yes, my skin was red and flaky and I couldn’t go into direct sunlight. But it peeled everything off! All that hot, inflamed, painful skin, that I hated with a passion. I was so happy!

While using an antibiotic for my hormonal acne, the skin is peeling off. My whole face is red and flaky.This also had a great effect on the rest of my life. Feeling like there was something I could do. During my depressed phase I had read a lot of others experiences with acne. And I kept stumbling on thelovevitamin.com. Unlike the doctor who basically told me there wasn’t much I could do, this gave me hope. And insight into what a holistic lifestyle could do for me.

So I started working out. Used my slim student budget to eat the healthiest way I could afford. Researching Ayurveda and other holistic topics. Yoga and meditation became a big part of my life.

But then the antibiotic ran out. And my acne instantly came back as if nothing had happened. I waited impatiently for the next derm appointment, feeling a little bit like a junkie. What if I couldn’t get my life saving antibiotic again? Obviously it wasn’t done working!

I did get the antibiotic again. But for the last time, to avoid any resistance to antibiotics. The dermatologist said, he couldn’t do any more for me. I was one my own once again.

After the treatment my skin was finally okay. I had quite a few scars and kept getting way more pimples than I had before. But the cystic breakouts seemed under control.

No more cysts on my neck after using the antibiotic!My life was back on track as well. I found a great entry level job in my preferred industry. And most of the good new habits I developed stayed with me. Having slight acne became part of my identity. Knowing how bad it could be, I was grateful for it being mild. Easy to cover up with make up.

A new flare up and some more learning

Last year the acne came back. With a vengeance! It all started with an emotional stressful phase beginning of last year. My skin started getting gradually worse and I decided to try cutting out dairy and sugar at the same time. NOT a good idea!

Don’t get me wrong, eating less dairy and sugar is absolutely recommended. But take a slow approach and don’t change everything at once! My hormones went crazy. Like, seriously crazy. Erratic periods, skin as inflamed as never before, dry eyes, depression, insomnia… I have to admit that I was quite a sugar junkie before and taking it out completely made my body think there was some kind of emergency.

My OB gyn just told me that this could happen after lifestyle changes and to sit it out. In the meantime she recommended to see a cosmetician about the skin issues.

I did. Afterwards I looked like this.

Hormonal acne-skin after a visit to the cosmeticianNot unexpected, the treatment hurt like crazy. But my skin didn’t heal afterwards. It got seriously infected and I had the worst and most painful breakout in my entire life.

A huge flare up of hormonal acne. Cysts and pimples on neck, cheeks and chin. A lot of inflammation.It was devastating. Everyday it took me tears and a lot of mental preparation to just go outside and be seen by people. Feeling judged. Feeling like everyone can see how “wrong” I am. While writing this and remembering, I still have a lump in my throat.

A planned approach to finally defeat hormonal acne

It was enough. Something needed to happen and so far no doctor or cosmetician seemed to be able to help.

Luckily, I had help. Resources like acne.org, where people share what works for them and what doesn’t. My awesome fiancé, who is incredibly good at researching and remembering which chemicals do what in our bodies and how to influence that.

Together we created a plan to finally manage my acne – and it was quite some trial and error.

What I learned through my hormonal acne

I learned how to balance hormones naturally. Working out. Not eating certain things at certain stages of my cycle. Taking certain supplements and sometimes avoiding others. Figuring out which skin care products work for me.

It was serious work. But this is what I look like today:

Some scars, but otherwise no more signs of hormonal acne on my face.(No make up, no filter, no special light, just standing close to the window. I took these pictures right now, while writing this. No preparation. I mean, look at those eyebrows…)

Yes, I still have scars. No my skin is not suddenly without pores or perfect in any way. But to me, this is a miracle!

I certainly hope my acne doesn’t come back. But in a weird way, I am grateful for it.

My hormonal acne taught me to not give up, even when it looks like there is no way anything could change. It taught me a healthy new lifestyle. One that has had so many positive effects on other aspects of my life! I also learned how to be brave and hold my head high even when I feel so ashamed of my face.

I don’t wish hormonal acne on anyone. But if you, reading this, should be dealing with it as well:

It is okay.

You are okay.

And it can get better!

(Update: In case you are dealing with hormonal acne right now, I published a more actionable post on How I beat hormonal acne with the 6 things I think made the biggest difference for me.)

I struggled with hormonal acne for years. Always wondering how to get rid of it. After a lot of trial and error, I managed to get it under control.

There are millions of acne remedies out there. None of the skin treatments worked for me. It took me years to figure out, how to really control hormonal acne. Spoiler: It was not a cream!

How positive affirmations help you become the person you want to be

We all have a thing or two we want to change about ourselves. Same goes for our life. And positive affirmations are a very powerful instrument to help us with that.

Positive affirmations: Woman smiling at herself in the mirror

What are positive affirmations?

To understand how positive affirmations can help us become who we want to be, we first need to know: What are positive affirmations?

“Affirming” something is the act of validating or confirming a fact, according to Merriam Webster. Basically every time you say a sentence that is not a question, you could call that an affirmation. Saying “I am cold” would affirm to yourself and others your feeling of being cold.

Even if you just think sentences like that, your brain uses those thoughts as an affirmation of facts.

Now I don’t know how aware of your thoughts you are. You might know that many of the things going on in your head are not necessarily positive. And this is where the concept of “positive affirmations” comes in.

So what is the positive in positive affirmations?

Positive affirmations are selected statements of a positive nature. Rather than just saying a fact, you make it a point of saying a positive statement. You would repeat those to yourself in order to plant a certain belief, attitude or value in your mind.

What are positive affirmations picture: Thinking bubble with a lightbulb inside It is important to note that not only the topic of the statement will be positive. For example love, wealth, happiness… Also the wording should avoid negative formulations. Instead of saying “I am not sad today” you would say “I am happy today”. This is important, because your brain actually likes to ignore words like “not”. So in order to not affirm sadness to yourself, you would use the second variant.

How affirmations work

Now that we have established what positive affirmations are, let’s have a look at how affirmations work.

Do affirmations work?

First of all we need to ask the question if affirmations work at all. The short answer is yes, they do have an effect on your thought patterns. Especially if you use them regularly.

The longer answer is: Affirmations do something to you. But they might not work exactly as you hope they would. While there are numerous studies on affirmations and their effects, their exact mechanism of working is still unclear.

Positive affirmations and the brain

We do know though, that the effect of using self-affirmations can be measured in our brains. According to another publication on how affirmations work, people who had used affirmations showed more activity in certain areas of the brain. (Compared to people who hadn’t used any affirmations.) Specifically brain regions that have to do with “self-related processing” and reward were more active.

How Affirmations work: The power of affirmations

So how powerful are positive affirmations? How affirmations work: Woman showing thumbs upAccording to a publication by Geoffrey L. Cohen and David K. Sherman “affirmations can decrease stress, increase well being, improve academic performance and make people more open to behavior change”. Quite a mouthful, right?

They are basically saying, that affirmations can change our life for the better in quite a few ways. In their abstract they also mention that those benefits sometimes last for months or even years. Powerful stuff.

As with any good thing, there has to be a word of warning as well though. Another psychology paper found affirmations to be harmful under certain circumstances. In their study, people with low self-esteem actually felt worse than before, after repeating the statement “I’m a lovable person”.

And I can see how that makes sense. If I am convinced that I am not lovable, saying that statement would make me feel horrible. And make me think of all the reasons why I am not. In that case, my first step should be to work on my self-esteem.

So using affirmation to improve your life can work. Just make sure to not use affirmations going against your own deeply held beliefs.

Find the right positive affirmations for your goal

In order to successfully use positive affirmations for personal development, you first need to figure out what your goal is. Who do you want to be? What should your life look like?

List of positive affirmations

For many topics there are already long lists of affirmations out there. To give you an impression of what they look like, I am gonna list a few affirmation examples for common topics here.

positive affirmations for anxiety

Disclaimer: Anxiety is a special topic. While I am going to give a few examples for affirmations for anxiety, I want to make something very clear. Like I wrote above, affirmations can help, but they can also be damaging. And they are certainly not a replacement for professional care. If your anxiety is a clinical condition, please get professional advice.

Some examples for affirmations that could be used to help states of anxiety:

  • I’m in charge of my breathing, and I can slow it down.
  • I am calm and mindful.
  • I am solution-driven.
  • I look forward to new challenges.
  • I am curious what life has in store for me.

I personally very much recommend the last one. Changing my attitude to curiosity the moment I start feeling anxious has changed things for me! New things become less threatening and more playful.

beauty affirmations

Beauty affirmations can simply be “I am beautiful” affirmations. But they can also go on a deeper level and focus on inner values and attitude.

  • I radiate beauty.
  • I have great posture.
  • I am confident.
  • I find it easy to think positively.
  • I am healthy and attractive.
  • I am beautiful exactly the way I am.

positive affirmations for kids

Yes, even kids can already successfully use affirmations. Making it a fun and playful exercise, it can help them shape positive attitudes.

  • I am loved.
  • I enjoy learning.
  • I make friends easily.
  • I am perfect just the way I am.
  • I like myself.

For a huge list of affirmations for children, check out this article on “Planet of success”!

affirmations for depression

Disclaimer: Depression, like clinical anxiety, is not simply “fixed” by using affirmations. Like I wrote above, affirmations can help, but they can also be damaging. And they are certainly not a replacement for professional care. Please make sure to get professional advice!

  • I find and enjoy the simple pleasures life is offering right now.
  • I am good enough.
  • I choose to forgive myself for the mistakes made and learn from each one.
  • My depression is separate from me.
  • I am resilient and getting better.

affirmations for happiness

Happiness can mean many things to different people. So these example affirmations are rather general. They’ll still work!

  • I choose to be happy every day.
  • I deserve happiness.
  • I spread happiness to others and get happiness back.
  • I am grateful for my wonderful life.
  • Being happy comes easy to me.

healing affirmations

Healing affirmations can be used together with medical care to support the healing process. Please do NOT use them as a replacement!

  • I am healing.
  • I am getting better every day.
  • My body is strong.
  • Every atom of my body does what it’s supposed to do.
  • Peace flows through me like a healing stream.

health affirmations

Same as above. Health affirmations will work great to support your health. What we think directly influences our body chemistry, after all. Still, health affirmations cannot replace a healthy lifestyle.

  • I am healthy.
  • It’s easy for me to choose healthy habits.
  • I enjoy healthy food.
  • I love moving my body.
  • I give my body what it needs to keep it healthy.

love affirmations

Love affirmations: Giving your heart to someone elseLove and relationship affirmations can help a great deal with your attitude in your close relationship and love life.

  • I am love.
  • I find it easy to love myself and other people.
  • I attract positive and healthy relationships into my life.
  • My heart is open to love.
  • I give love to people around my and I get lots of love back.

money affirmations

Money, wealth, abundance and prosperity affirmations are a very common topic in the world of positive affirmations. And it makes sense. Especially women often have trouble asking for money for their products or business services. A first good step to help with that is to change our mindsets regarding money.

  • I am worthy of making money.
  • Money flows to me easily.
  • I am surrounded by abundance.
  • I deserve prosperity.
  • I am open and receptive to all the wealth life offers me.

motivational affirmations

Need a little push to get that motivation back? Try these examples of motivational affirmations.

  • I am motivated.
  • I am a go-getter and I will keep pushing until I reach my goal.
  • I love taking advantage of opportunities.
  • I am full of energy and inspiration.
  • I easily motivate others.

affirmations for strength

No matter if you want to affirm physical or mental strength, the following affirmations fit both cases.

  • I am strong and getting stronger every day.
  • It’s alright to be strong.
  • I feel strong in all circumstances.
  • I feel the strongest I have in a long time.
  • I breathe in strength.

positive affirmations for stress

I admit, this headline is a little confusing. Obviously the following example are not positive affirmations for stress, but to help with stress.

  • I am relaxed.
  • I will be okay.
  • I am letting go of my worries.
  • I release all tension from my mind and body.
  • I am finding it easier to release excess tension and worries.

affirmations for success

Who doesn’t want to be successful?

  • I believe in myself and my ability to succeed.
  • I am committed to achieving success.
  • I attract successful people who encourage me into my life.
  • I focus on success.
  • Small successes build up into large successes for me.

positive affirmations for work

No matter if you work for yourself or if you are employed, positive affirmations for work can help you get your job done.

  • I’m excited about my job.
  • My work day is going to be productive and fulfilling.
  • I look forward to getting things done today.
  • Work gives me a sense of fulfillment.
  • I am a reliable and responsible worker.

morning affirmations

Morning affirmations: A cup on stone in front of a foggy valley.Any of the affirmation examples listed here can be used in the morning. If you want specific morning affirmations, find a few ideas here.

  • I wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
  • Today is going to be a great day.
  • I am grateful for this new day.
  • I cannot wait to see what this day brings.
  • I am full of love and happiness this morning.

affirmations for self esteem

If you want to boost your confidence generally or for certain situations, positive affirmations can help.

  • I believe in my abilities and skills.
  • Confidence is my second nature.
  • I approve of myself.
  • I am capable and confident.
  • I am courageous.

weight loss affirmations

Losing weight can be quite some work. So why not use some weight loss affirmations to help you get there?

  • I love getting physically fit.
  • My body is getting healthier and stronger every day.
  • I deserve to be healthy and happy.
  • I can achieve my weight loss goals.
  • Eating healthy comes naturally to me.

How to write affirmations

In order to have your own set of affirmations, you might decide to write your own affirmations. Awesome! Let’s go over a few tips on how to write affirmations!

How to write affirmations: Empty sheet of paper with a pen

1. How to write affirmations: Use positives

I already touched on this briefly in the definition of positive affirmations. Always say what you want, not what you don’t want. Why would you want to repeat a negative every day? Exactly.

2. How to write affirmations: Keep it short and specific

As you will want to repeat your affirmations daily, keep it short and simple. If you feel like now you have to leave something out, no problem. Just make two affirmations out of it!

3. How to write affirmations: Pull your wish into the present

Okay, it might not be entirely clear what I mean by that. In other words: Write down a sentence that states your wish as a present time fact. Still not quite clear? Maybe an example helps. If you want to become wildly successful, your affirmation would be: “I am wildly successful”. State it as a fact. In present tense.

Make sure to use the positive affirmations regularly

Now that you figured out the perfect affirmations for yourself, it’s time to use them! Probably the most important aspect of using them is consistency.  For many people, simply thinking of them once is not enough to get into the habit of using positive affirmations regularly. So let’s look at some possible helpers.

daily affirmations app

Apps can be perfect little helpers for so many things. Why would positive affirmations be an exception? You can find daily affirmation apps for iOS just as much as for Android devices. I personally haven’t used any so far, so I cannot give you a specific recommendation. But judging by the numbers of downloads, those apps seem to help huge amounts of people!

audio affirmations

Audio affirmations are great for when you are in your car, in public transport… Pretty much any time you can listen to something. You can buy audio affirmations on various websites.

But my favorite version of audio affirmations are affirmations I recorded myself. I don’t know how it is for you. But my inner voice, the one that starts nagging be about everything, it sounds like my normal voice. So recording my normal voice with positive messages and listening to that has a huge impact on me.  You can easily try it by recording your own affirmations with your phone and listening to them for a few days. See how that feels.

affirmation books

Another help in using positive affirmations regularly are books. There are myriads of them out there. Some have specific topics, like affirmations for success. Some just generally list positive affirmations. Either way, they can be very helpful if you prefer something physical to hold in your hand.


positive affirmation cards

Similar to affirmation books, but a bit more lightweight. Unlike a book, you can easily carry your daily affirmation card around or put it in an easily visible place. For example on your desk or next to the mirror.


affirmation meditations

Probably my favorite affirmation helpers are affirmation meditations. I like using them as part of my morning routine or to listen to them before going to sleep. There is a Youtube channel called “The honest guys” and their videos just always work for me. So when I look for affirmation meditations I will always start with theirs‘. Absolutely recommend!

printable positive affirmations

In the wondrous wide web you can also find countless printable affirmation resources. Something I found very cute are the printable affirmation cards from Maria over at tinselbox.com. You can download the printables and then follow the instructions to make some really cute cards.


Regardless of which version you pick, if you want to successfully use affirmations to make a difference in your life, make sure to use them regularly. Implement them in your routines. Also put a reminder on the coffee machine. Give it a real chance and you will notice changes in your mindset.

Now as usual, I would love to hear your experiences. Have you used positive affirmations before? If yes, how was it? If no, what held you back? Let me know in the comments! And if this article was helpful to you, why don’t you share it with someone?

Have you heard about using positive affirmations for changing your life? I wrote a detailed article about what affirmations are, how they work and included a list of affirmation examples. Read more about how affirmations can help you become the person you want to be!

Something special happened: I got the Sunshine Blogger Award!

The logo of the sunshine blogger awardExciting (and surprising) news for me! MamaRae nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you again for this!

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award that is given out by bloggers to other bloggers, who inspire others writing about positive and happy things. As writing inspiring content is exactly what I set out to do, this nomination makes me really happy.

Every blogger can nominate 11 other bloggers for the award and asks them 11 questions. The nominated ones then answer those questions in a blog post. So here are the questions I got from MamaRae.

1. Why did you start blogging?

Blogging seemed like a perfect way for me to reach people with information that I thought might help them, because I enjoy sharing things that work for me. At the same time blogging allows me to be my very introvert self and enjoy a lot of privacy.

2. What is your favorite blog post and why?

My favorite blog post is usually “the next one” as I think about what I want to write for a bit before I actually start writing it. The one I am most proud of at the moment is my post on how to balance hormones naturally as it is full of information and I really put some hard work into it.

3. Do you have children? How old? if not do you want kids?

I do not have any children and I am not 100% sure children are in the books for me.

4. What is your biggest obstacle in blogging?

My biggest obstacle is probably self-doubt. This starts with topic selection and promotion and also has a lot to do with my writing. As I am not a native speaker, I can never be sure if my message comes across the way I want to.

5. What is your favorite way to relax?

Meditation, Yoga, breathing exercises, a bath, relaxing music, taking a nap in the sun… Do I really need to pick just one?!

6. What is your favorite part of blogging?

This is closely related to the reason why I started blogging. I love being able to reach many people with (hopefully) helpful content from wherever I happen to be.

7. If you could have a conversation with anyone dead or alive who would you pick and why?

At the moment I would probably want to meet a Tibetan monk to ask anything about their philosophy, their way of living, their perspective on “modern phenomena”. And also because I imagine it being a very relaxed atmosphere.

8. What do you do in your free time?

Reading personal development books, watching Ted talks, singing on Smule or with my fiancé and exploring all the interesting things Berlin has to offer.

9. Do you have any rituals with writing your blog…like do you have to have a coffee or soda with you?

Hm, I constantly have a cup of decaf next to me when I am at home, but this applies to anything I might be doing, not only blogging. So, no, no real rituals so far. I’ll keep this in mind, maybe I’ll build one!

10. What are your future plans for your blog?

So much more content! If I could write and research as fast as ideas for topics and articles come to me, I’d probably already have 2000 articles!

In all seriousness, I am just starting out. I hope to reach more and more people along the way. And I hope to improve and adapt what I write about along the journey, so that my blog can become a resource for others.

11. What is your favorite thing to do in spring?

Finally getting out again! Visiting parks, cafés, walking by the river, feeling the sunshine on my face! I looove spring!

 

So, those were my answers. Now comes the fun part: I get to nominate 11 other bloggers. In order to make it clear for them what needs to be done, let me state the rules first.

The Sunshine Blogger Award rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you by linking their blog in your post.
  • Answer the questions at the bottom of this post in your own blog post.
  • Nominate 11 blogs with 11 questions.
  • List the rules, as well as the Sunshine Award Logo, on your post.

My Sunshine Blogger Award nominees

The 11 questions for my nominees

  1. What is (or was) your profession other than blogging?
  2. What is your favorite way to cheer yourself up when you need it?
  3. How would the people closest to you describe you?
  4. After being frozen for 100 years, what would be your first question waking up ?
  5. What is the best thing that has happened to you?
  6. What blogging stereotype do you completely live up to?
  7. When do you feel truly “alive”?
  8. What would be your spirit animal?
  9. What are you looking forward to on your blog in the coming months?
  10. What do you wish your brain was better at doing?
  11. If you could convince everyone in the world to do one thing at one point in time, what would that thing be?

I am looking forward to your answers! Do let me know when you publish them, I want to read them all!

How to fix your posture for an instant confidence booster

Recently I went to see the movie “Black Panther” – a movie full of beautiful images and colorful impressions. But there was one specific thing that impressed me. There is a scene where King T’Challa enters a nightclub, accompanied by his two sidekicks Nakia and Okoye. Those two women simply beam pride and confidence, even though they are just seen from the back. I instantly thought “I want to feel and look like that!” and that know-it-all little voice in my head replied “Well, fix your posture!”

Woman doing Yoga: One way to fix your posture

Confidence and posture are closely related

Everyone knows what a confident posture looks like. People who are confident seem to always have good posture. They stand straight and tall and keep their head high. And the same can be said the other way around. When you imagine someone shy and timid, what do they look like in your head? Hanging shoulders. The whole body kind of ducking, as if they expect something to come down on them.

What if I told you, that you don’t have to be super confident to have great posture? What if I told you that it can actually work the other way around? When you fix your posture, you actually get an instant confidence booster!

By now there are many studies about how how our posture influences our confidence and can even ease symptoms of depression. Improving your posture is basically the quick version of “fake it till you make it”.

For example, the next time you sit in the dentist waiting room, sit as if you were deeply relaxed. You will feel automatically feel less anxious. And the next time you feel insecure about something, stand as if you were wearing Superman’s cape.

Woman with great posture exuding confidence

Where does bad posture come from?

Unfortunately, poor posture does not only stem from low self esteem. In fact, our lifestyle today encourages us to slouch, round our shoulders and  push our neck and head forward.

How do you usually look at your phone? You hold it down in front of you, right? Neck bent, your whole upper body  curling down on that magic device.

Or how do you sit when you work on your computer? Most people I know pop their head forward. And the upper back and shoulders are rounded. A friend of mine calls this position lovingly “the turtle”.

If you look like this turtle: Fix your posture!So all that sitting and using electronic devices is clearly not helping with our posture. But what is worse, it directly affects our mood and confidence. Oftentimes without us noticing.

So what does the perfect posture look like?

Posture types (vertebral column) classification by Staffel
via Wikimedia Commons

Everyone who has taken a Yoga class has heard the term “alignment”. Yoga teachers always want you to stack everything. Hips over ankles, shoulders over hips, ears aligned with the shoulders. Then they tell you to slightly pull the lower belly “in and up” and “point the tailbone downwards”. And just like that, they made you fix your posture. Well, for the moment. Unfortunately, this usually is a focused effort and the posture goes back to what it was as soon as we stop paying attention.

If you look at the graphic above, you can probably think of a person for any of these postures, right?

How can you fix your posture?

So if we can just listen to the instructions of our Yoga teacher to get into the right position, that means we just need to remind ourselves of those instructions regularly and we’re good, aren’t we?

Unfortunately, fixing your posture might not be quite that easy. While that approach could technically help a lot, I see two difficulties with it.

One: Let’s be honest. We are not gonna remind ourselves of our posture several times a day for a minimum of 30 days to make it a habit.

Two: Depending on what is off with our posture at the moment, we might need to strengthen or stretch some muscles first. This way, our body is actually able to get into perfect posture without strain.

The body is a very adaptable and sophisticated machine. It adapts to what you do all the time. Looking down on your phone for example. And it tries to avoid strain if possible. So if your hip flexors are super tight from sitting all day, your body is not gonna stretch those. It’s gonna give you anterior pelvic tilt instead. Congratulations! (By the way: If you feel insanely stressed – as crazy as it sounds, maybe you just have a tight hip flexor. You really want to stretch those!)

Exercises to improve posture

So we already determined that you might have to work on building or stretching some muscles. But which exercises are the best for straightening your posture? As usually, it depends.

Compare yourself to the posture graphic above and ask yourself: Which one are you? If a body part pushes forward more than it should, that means the muscles pulling it forward are too strong or the ones holding it back are too weak or tight or both.

Whichever seems to be your “biggest problem” regarding posture might be a good first step to work on. But be warned. The whole skeleton is interconnected. If you want to fix your posture, you need to get everything into balance.

Youtube Channels like FitnessBlender have whole playlists on building better posture. If you want to start smaller, have a look at the most common posture problems and an exercise for each.

correct forward head posture

“Forward head posture” looks exactly what it sounds like. A very easy exercise to improve this is to stand with your back to a wall. Make sure your butt and shoulders are firmly pressed against it. Then lengthen your neck and touch your head against the wall as well. (Just tilting the head back is cheating and will not help.) Assuming your wall is straight, this is correct posture. Just keep coming back to this position regularly. This way your muscles and your brain get trained for correct head position.

fix shoulder posture

If you happen to sit at the desk a lot, hunched over your computer, you might want to correct your shoulder posture as well. An easy way for which you don’t even have to get up is to clasp your hands behind your back and straighten your arms as much as possible.

Improve anterior pelvic tilt

“Anterior pelvic tilt” simply means that your hip tilts forward and your belly and butt stick out. Yes, that might make your butt look bigger and rounder. No, you do not want this posture. It puts a lot of strain on your body, especially your lower back. This is where the famous hip flexor comes into play. Yoga poses like that cobra stretch those.

The Cobra Yoga pose: Fix your posture by stretching your hip flexorsSo now that I told you all my findings about how you can fix your posture, let me tell you how I will proceed. I still want to stand tall and proud like Nakia and Okoye. And I want to feel confident all the time, not only when I accidentally remember to straighten up.

So putting this into action it is! Are you gonna do the same? Let me know in the comments!

Did you know that posture correction can actually help with insecurity? If you are interested in improving your posture or your confidence, read my article about the connection between the two. And maybe join me in my 30 day posture challenge! Did you know that posture correction and a confidence booster can actually be one and the same? If you are interested in improving your posture or your confidence, read my article about the connection between the two. And maybe join me in my 30 day posture challenge!

Damaged hair: a simple way to prevent it while sleeping

Damaged hair can be super frustrating. We all want shiny, healthy tresses. But mechanical damage to our hair from blow drying, brushing, rubbing on our clothes, styling and dyeing it often get in our way. Then we walk around with dry, damaged hair and all we want to do is hide it – or cut it off!

Being sad because of damaged hairDisclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Preventing damaged hair

Luckily, there are numerous steps we can take to prevent hair damage in the first place. For example we can use wooden combs* instead of plastic brushes. We can avoid heat while styling our hair and wash them less frequently. We can use organic hair oils* to make sure our hair stays well hydrated. And we should also regularly remember how to stop split ends. But my favorite way to avoid damaged hair is a pretty passive one. You could say I use it in my sleep. Plus, it makes me feel like a princess.

My favorite “preventing hair damage solution”

A pillow?! Yes. Well, actually, the important thing here is the pillow case. The material it is made of. You probably guessed it by now: my favorite way to prevent damaged hair is sleeping on a silk pillow*.

You have probably heard of silk pillows being THE thing to prevent wrinkles and dry skin. Well, surprise surprise, they also prevent your hair from drying out over night.


What the structure of silk means for your hair

Less damaged hair on a silk pillowAnother advantage silk has over cotton is the structure of the fabric. Cotton is kind of rough. This means that your hair can get stuck to it. (Not like in “glue stuck”, think a little more on fiber level.) Every time your hair gets stuck and you then move around – rip. This tears the fine hair fibers and you end up with damaged hair.

Silk on the other hand has a much finer structure than cotton. Sleeping on it will not only prevent further damage to your hair. You will also see a difference in your “bedhead” directly on the first morning after using a silk pillow. Your hair will look less tousled.

My conclusion so far

I have been using silk pillows for a few years now and the difference is huge. My hair is rather dry and curly by nature and breaks easily. But since I started sleeping on silk*, the split ends and hair breakage have reduced significantly.

Resting my head on a fancy pillow every night also makes me feel pretty spoiled. In a good way. That might not be important to everyone and it definitely wasn’t the reason why I decided to go for it. But nothing wrong with having a daily little princess moment.

I hope my very effortless way of preventing hair damage helps someone out on their way to healthier hair!

How do you prevent damaged hair? Do you put in a lot of active effort? Or are you even one of the lucky ones whose hair never breaks? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments!

Damaged hair repair is your topic right now? If you feel like all the other tips are way too much hassle, check out my favorite way to prevent damaged hair. You can do it in your sleep!*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

How to balance hormones naturally: everything you need to know

Anyone who has suffered from a hormonal imbalance has probably wondered at some point how to balance hormones naturally.

Personally, I have struggled with this for a long time. I suffered from hormonal acne for years  and had visited various doctors and none of them had any input for me on how to deal with my problems.

So I started reading a lot about the topic. One by one, I implemented changes in my life to get my hormones back to balance. Today, my acne is under control and I feel better than I have in a long time. (For a list of 6 actionable steps I took read my post about how I beat hormonal acne.)

For that reason, I want to share the things I learned about how to balance hormones naturally. I hope this will help some people as it helped me.

That being said, I am no doctor. All the things written here are to the best of my knowledge, but none of the con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, is intended or should be con­strued as med­ical advice. If a reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

What is hormonal imbalance in women?

So what is hormonal imbalance? Many people think of hormones as “that stuff that makes teenagers wild”. But hormones are so much more than that.

What hormones do in our bodies

Actually they are responsible for thousands of tasks in our bodies. Hormones are responsible for how we feel, for the quality of our sleep, regulating blood sugar levels, our immune system and even cell growth. It is safe to say that in everything you do or feel, those little chemicals play a part.

The simple answer to “What is hormonal imbalance?”

In order to deal with that many tasks, the human body uses about 50 different hormones, created in various glands all over the body. (See the info graphic for details.) And they not only affect you in pretty much anything, but they can also strongly affect each other. This can change the “perfect” hormones ratio to a less desirable one. It really is as simple as this. This is what is hormonal imbalance.

Info graphic about hormones in the human body and where they are produced[sgmb id=”1″]

Now there are no hormones that are generally good or bad. Especially when it comes to hormonal imbalance in women, there are misconceptions. We often read about a lady having too much of a male hormone. This can create the impression that women shouldn’t have those. Instead the opposite is true. Male hormones like testosterone play a very important role in the female body as well. In fact, one extremely common female hormone imbalance is estrogen dominance. This means there is too much estrogen (THE female hormone) in relation to other hormones. In a nutshell: We need all hormones, both male and female. What matters, is how to balance hormones naturally.

Causes of hormonal imbalance in females

There are many causes of hormonal imbalance in females. As explained above, we have a big variety of chemicals in our body. All of them interact with each other and we influence them with what we eat, do and even think! Still, there are some reasons for hormonal imbalance that are more common than others in today’s world. Let’s have a look at those.

Common causes of hormonal imbalance in females

1. Stress

Many people know that there is such a thing as a “stress hormone”, also known as cortisol. When we are stressed, our body gets flooded with cortisol. Now you might wonder why your body has this built-in function if cortisol is not good for it. Again, there are no bad hormones. Cortisol is vital for many important body functions. It regulates metabolism, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation and helps with our memory, to just name a few.

But when there is too much stress, the body starts using up progesterone to make more cortisol. So now there is not enough progesterone. Which again has an effect on other hormones… And there we go, our hormones are out of balance and the chain reaction starts.

2. (Natural) Hormonal changes

Puberty, pregnancy and menopause. While those stages of life are all natural, they seriously impact our body chemistry and its’ balance. This makes at least two of them unavoidable causes of hormonal imbalance in females. In puberty new hormones join the party. In pregnancy, our bodies create a very different hormone-cocktail than usual to grow new life. And in menopause some chemicals just leave the mix.

3. Illnesses, Disorders, Tumors

As our body is a very detailed and finely tuned machine, any changes or “defects” in it affects our hormonal balance as well. So if any of our hormone producing organs gets sick, we have another chain reaction of hormones doing all the wrong things at hand. A typical example is hypo- or hyperthyroiditis (or under- or overactive thyroid). But also tumors and diabetes will greatly change the hormonal balance.

4. Diet

As you can see in the info graphic above, many of our digestive organs do work themselves when it comes to producing hormones. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that our diet can be a huge factor when it comes to hormonal imbalance. Very generally speaking, there are three main ways in which our nutrition can throw us off balance hormonally:

– We eat food that badly influences internal hormone production. For example a diet that regularly provokes huge insulin spikes. High insulin levels in turn can cause the ovaries to make too many androgen hormones. And this can definitely cause trouble for females!

-We consume food that already contains hormones, thereby sending confusing signals to our body. From cow milk to tofu, many foods contain hormones. And while so-called “phytoestrogens” or plant based estrogens can help with hormonal imbalance, they can also cause them. Your body could think “Oh, okay, we have enough of this stuff. Let’s just stop producing it, we got enough to do already!”

– We simply don’t eat balanced enough to get all the nutrients our sophisticated body-machine needs. This means, it cannot produce all necessary chemicals in the right balance.

5. Lack of sleep

While we sleep, our body uses the rest time to level out and organize plenty of things. It metabolizes stress hormones, trains new cells for our immune system, produces melatonin and growth hormone, adjusts reproductive hormones and many more things. And what do you think happens to those tasks when we don’t get enough shut-eye? Exactly, they don’t happen. Or only very insufficiently. So it is safe to say that sleep is critical for hormonal imbalance.

6. Medication

Last but not least, medication is one of the common causes of hormonal imbalance. Most substances we take as medication can throw our hormones off balance. In many cases, this is the lesser of two evils. After all medication saves lives! But there are also cases in which we take pills that might solve an inconvenience, but have very strong effects on our hormones. Yes, I am looking at you, contraceptive pills! Hormone drugs can confuse our natural hormonal production for years, even after not taking them anymore.

Info graphic: 6 common causes of hormonal imbalance in females[sgmb id=”1″]

Common hormone imbalance symptoms

There are countless hormone imbalance symptoms. And while they are usually not distinct enough to give a clear diagnosis, it is hard to miss the signs and effects of hormonal imbalance. Let’s look at some common symptoms of unbalanced hormones a little more in detail.

Hormone imbalance symptoms: Hot flashes

Surely one of the best-known side effects of hormonal imbalance. Many people think that hot flashes are only happening during menopause. But anyone with an estrogen dominance has a high chance of experiencing hot flushes as well! So far it is not known what exactly causes them.

Hormone imbalance symptoms: Hormones and weight gain

Weight gain also belongs in the list of the better-known signs of hormonal imbalance. Similar to hot flashes, hormonal weight gain usually comes from an estrogen dominance. High levels of estrogen can lead to higher insulin levels. This makes you store more fat and negatively affects your thyroid and sleep. All of those factors lead to weight gain. As a result, people suffering from this imbalance and wanting to lose weight can feel discouraged. It can seem as if it doesn’t matter what they eat. Luckily, that is not true.

Hormone imbalance symptoms: Hormone imbalance weight loss

The exact opposite, but nevertheless one of the symptoms of unbalanced hormones can be weight loss. Losing weight despite normal to increased appetite and normal calorie intake is usually related to an imbalance of thyroid hormones. Although sometimes people jokingly say they’d wish to have this problem, weight loss due to hormonal imbalance is no joke. We are not talking losing those few extra pounds here! This kind of weight loss is a symptom that something is seriously wrong with your hormones. And this along with the accompanying side effects is certainly not desirable.

Hormone imbalance symptoms: Hormonal imbalance acne

Acne is not only one of the signs of hormonal changes like puberty. It can also be a symptom of hormone imbalance during other phases of your life. Hormonal acne is one of the hardest to get rid of, but I can personally vouch for it being possible! After years of suffering from severe hormonal acne, I finally found out how to balance hormones naturally. My acne was not the only symptom that disappeared, but certainly the most noticeable for friends and colleagues.

Hormone imbalance symptoms: Hormonal imbalance hair loss

Another pretty disheartening signal of a hormone imbalance, not only for people with long hair like me. Additionally the hair loss due to hormones is easily visible to everyone else. Unfortunately it can be caused by not only one, but several hormonal issues. Estrogen dominance, excess testosterone, insulin resistance and thyroid issues all can lead to hair fall. Hormonal hair loss is also common after a pregnancy. Luckily, in that case it usually dissolves by itself.

Hormone imbalance symptoms: Psychological effects

Our hormones don’t only affect our outward appearance. They also have a huge effect on our psyche. So naturally among the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance there are a wide range of psychological issues. Mood swings and depression, anxiety, low libido, fatigue and insomnia are common signs that your hormones might be out of balance.

Hormone imbalance symptoms: Menstruation issues

Anything that might be off with your menstruation means that whatever is bothering your body is hormonal. Irregular cycles, not getting your period at all anymore, very heavy bleeding, painful periods… All of those are clear signals that it is time to get your hormones checked!

Common hormone imbalance symptoms females[sgmb id=”1″]

How to get your hormones checked for imbalances

If you suspect something might be off, go get your hormones checked for imbalances. While you might feel certain about having a specific imbalance after reading things online, don’t rely on that. Our body and especially our hormones are an incredibly complex system. So make sure you get a proper diagnosis. Even if you read everything there is to read about how to balance hormones naturally. Really.

See a doctor for hormonal imbalance

Your next item on the agenda should be to see a doctor for hormonal imbalance. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a “hormone doctor” right away. The important thing is that you get your hormones checked for imbalances by a professional.

If you have a general physician that you see more or less regularly, it can be a good idea to go there first. Your general physician knows you and your physical state. This could already help a lot with the diagnosis.

If you want to go directly to a doctor, who specializes in conditions related to hormones, visit an endocrinologist. Or if you are having symptoms that are period related, your OBGYN will know what to check.

Get a hormone test done

Once you picked a doctor, the next step will be a hormone imbalance test. There are different types of hormone level tests. Depending on the specific hormones the doctor will have you take a saliva or blood/serum test.


While there are various hormone level tests available online*, those cannot replace seeing a qualified doctor! As said before, hormones are a complex topic and the interpretation of hormone test results is too.

How to balance hormones naturally

As varied as the reasons for hormonal imbalance can be, as varied are the ways in which you can treat it.

Medicine for hormonal imbalance

Depending on what your doctor finds, they might give you hormone balance pills or even hormone replacement therapy. I personally don’t have any experience with this, as my doctors always told me that in my case artificial hormones would just imbalance my hormonal system even more. So I stayed away from hormone imbalance medication and instead focused on finding ways how to balance hormones naturally.

Let me tell you about which things I tried, what worked for me and what didn’t.

Hormone balance supplements

There are thousands of supplements out there, promising to improve all kinds of things. Naturally, there are also quite a few hormone supplements on the market. The two main groups of supplements I focused on where herbs and vitamins.

hormone balancing herbs

When looking at natural remedies for any problem, there will always be some herbs on the menu. So far, I tried the following herbs to balance female hormones: chaste berry, spearmint, saw palmetto, milk thistle and shatavari.

I drank chaste berry, milk thistle and spearmint as teas. While you can argue about the taste, I could definitely tell effects on my skin and my cycle. Unfortunately, not all of them were good… Chaste berry specifically seemed to disturb my hormones more than to balance them, so I stopped drinking it altogether.

My favorite hormone balancing herb so far: Spearmint

Spearmint on the other hand really helps in minimizing that monthly breakout I have been suffering from for a few years by now. It is effective against androgens which are responsible for the bad skin before your period.

Something important I had to learn here, too, was that dosage matters a lot! First I just started drinking spearmint tea* every day. (I really wanted to get rid of that acne!) But soon, my cycle seemed to be even more out of whack. So I realized that I might be overdosing on this herb.

According to studies, drinking spearmint tea only twice a day for 5 days a month will already significantly improve your hormone mix. Therefore I started drinking spearmint tea only 5 days per month. And with a little trial and error I found which days work best to not even get a breakout anymore. Nowadays I start drinking the tea when ovulation happens and then just do it for 5 days. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be a lasting effect (yet). Once I skip a month, I get the usual breakout.

Saw palmetto, milk thistle and Shatavari

On those three I don’t have a clear opinion yet. I have been taking Shatavari* daily for a few months now and couldn’t see any negative effects. On the other hand, I am also not sure how much of my hormonal improvement I can attribute to it. Like all the other lifestyle changes I did, Shatavari will work over a longer period of time. Therefore it is harder to track.

Milk thistle* is something I just stopped drinking, because I simply didn’t like the taste of the tea much. And saw palmetto* is my newest herb. I will try replacing the Spearmint tea with it, as they are supposed to have very similar effects. But the saw palmetto is simply better studied. That makes me more comfortable taking it.

vitamins to balance hormones

Ideally you get all the vitamins and nutrients from the food you eat. But we all know we are not living in an ideal world. Plus, once you developed a vitamin deficit, it will be hard to impossible to fill it with food only.

Vitamin D3

When I started my mission of finding out how to balance hormones naturally, I first had a detailed look at my blood results from the doctor. Most of the values were okay, but one of them really stood out: Vitamin D. The sun hormone.

Now, as someone living in the more Northern part of Western Europe, it is normal to have too little Vitamin D. In my specific case, it was so low, that if would’ve affected my bones, had I not started taking supplements in high doses.

Subsequently, I saw a huge improvement in my mood, my sleep, my appetite and many more things. I was happy and recommended taking Vitamin D* to all my friends.

But again, I had to realize that dosage and timing matter! After getting rid of my deficiency, I kept taking lower doses of vitamin D throughout the winter. Soon enough I started getting breakouts. Those miraculously stopped when I wouldn’t take the vitamin anymore. So I did a little more research on the topic.

Important to know, Vitamin D is not really a vitamin. It is a hormone. Meaning, it directly affects our other hormones. Specifically, it is part of making testosterone in our bodies.

So for someone with hormonal acne like me, it is important to not push my male hormones too much on the wrong days of the month. I started taking vitamin D only in the first half of my cycle, when the female hormones are naturally “stronger”. Since then, I didn’t have any more problems with my skin and could still make sure to keep my vitamin D level in check.

Omega-3

Omega-3 is important for so many things! And not only does it matter that you have a healthy Omega-3 intake. It is also important to get a good ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6. If you manage to get those in good balance, it will definitely also help with your hormonal balance. It is not by accident that Omega-3s are one of the first things popping up when one researches how to balances hormones naturally.

For me personally that wasn’t doable without taking Omega-3 supplements*. I don’t eat fish and couldn’t make up for the amount needed with walnuts etc. And while I cannot directly prove how it helped me, I am sure, that Omega-3 supplements were one of the major factors in regulating my hormones and eventually healing my acne.

Hormone balancing foods

Another important factor for getting back to balance are hormone balancing foods. “You are what you eat” might be overused. Still, this sentence is absolutely true and cannot be stressed enough. Especially when it comes to hormones, you have to look at your diet.

general diet advice To Balance Hormones

Find balance. Make sure, you get all your nutrients. Cook fresh and leave the artificial wanna-be meals in the supermarket. There is no way to heal your hormone imbalance while sticking with a bad diet.

Minimize sugar and fried stuff. Enjoy your food. An upset gut equals upset hormones. Our digestive system is a major player when it comes to hormone production and balance. Plus, most of the “happy chemical” serotonine (about 90%) is produced in our digestive tract.

Another thing to look out for are hormones in food. Avoid cheap meat, eggs and milk. Instead, go for the organic option. If you have a plant based diet, make sure to not overdo it on soy products. Or any other foods that contain big amounts of phytoestrogens.

What helped me improve my diet a lot was Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen app. (Available for Android and iOS.) It is basically a checklist with things you should eat every day. Using it daily for a while showed me where I could improve. And my diet upgrade made a huge difference to not only my skin and hormones, but also to the rest of my life!

Specific foods that help to balance hormones naturally

Next to general healthy diet habits, there are some foods that are really active in healing hormonal imbalances. During my healing process, I’ve tried a few of those hormone balancing foods.

Maca

Maca* is quite well-known as a way to push your libido. But the Peruvian root can also boost energy and stamina. Sadly, for me Maca didn’t work well at all. My cycle became very irregular and I had several symptoms that indicated it wasn’t helping me at all.

I’ve read that this happened to other people as well, but there are also many who swear by it’s effects. Everyone’s different.

Ginger

I used to not like eating ginger very much. Hot and spicy is simply not my favorite flavor. But after finding out how ginger not only boosts your immune system, but also can help with hormonal imbalance, I got over myself.

First, I started drinking ginger tea. (Made from fresh ginger, mind you!) But apparently it is not that easy to get a high enough dosage of ginger this way. So my approach for the past few months has been to put grated ginger into my morning porridge or various sauces for lunch. I can often hardly tell it’s there. But behind the scenes it’s working!

Ginger is something I would absolutely recommend among the  hormone balancing foods, as it has so many health benefits.

Still, don’t overdo it. At the  moment the recommended maximum dose of ginger is 4 grams per day. This is the studied dose at which no side effects were observed. And for females it is important to note that ginger can increase bleeding. Just pause on consuming it during that time of the month.

Kurkuma

Kurkuma* is the Indian/southeast-Asian sibling of ginger. So you can expect similar benefits, but also similar warnings.

While ginger is still not my favorite taste, Kurkuma has a really nice savoriness to it. It is one of my must-have spices at this point.

Lifestyle for hormonal balance

To heal your hormonal balance, it is important to also look at your lifestyle a little more in detail. Generally saying, all things that are good for you will be beneficial for your hormonal balance as well.

Use exercise to balance hormones

Exercise. Everyone knows it. It is good for body and mind. But did you know that exercise or the lack of is also very closely related to hormonal problems?

Now, when it comes to hormones, things are not quite as black and white as with other topics. For some hormonal disorders, you might actually make things worse by training like a beast five days a week! Depending on what is off balance, high intensity workouts might not be for you.

But you cannot go wrong with making sure you move your body regularly. For example planning a 30 minute walk each day. This is very light cardio and at the same time you might get some actual, real daylight! (Yes, daylight is also very important for healthy hormone production in humans!)

Sleep to heal a hormonal imbalance

We already talked about the importance of sleep when we looked at reasons for hormonal imbalance. So how to improve sleeping habits? There are many tips and tricks for that and those alone could fill their own article.

What is most important is that you get enough sleep. Whatever is holding you back from getting that, tackle it first!

If you don’t seem to have the time, make sleep a priority. It is just as important in your calendar as finding time to eat!

Make sure your bedroom is as dark and quiet as possible. Ban electronic devices and any other disturbances. If you have trouble falling asleep start a soothing evening routine.

De-Stress regularly to balance your hormones

This goes without saying. People are very different and what is relaxing for one person, can be crazy stressful for another. Make sure you are not sucked into doing things that stress you, because “people do it”.

Find your own way to relax and make yourself a priority regularly. Maybe meditation is not for you, but driving across the highway for a while, alone with your thoughts.

Maybe you need to spend the whole weekend just sitting on the couch and wondering what penguins think. Or maybe you need to dance the night away.

The more you make your personal de-stressing a part of your schedule, the better you will know what works for you. Watch yourself with the kindness of a parent watching their child. You don’t have to give in to any bad craving you have, but you also don’t have to only work. You will find balance.


Are you interested in more input on how to balance hormones naturally? Download my “Cycle Optimization Cheat Sheet” for free! It contains suggestions for exercise, diet and ideal schedule during the 4 menstrual phases.

How to balance hormones naturally

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How to prepare your lips for matte lipstick

Do you love the matte trend, but have wondered many times how to prepare your lips for matte lipstick? I’ve been there. As I am preparing for my wedding, I keep trying different lipsticks. All of them are matte, most of them are liquid lipsticks. They look awesome and I love how long lasting they are. But they seriously dry out my lips! And applying matte lipstick to already dry lips – well, I am sure you know what that looks like. So I invented a little program to make sure my lipstick can look as good as possible.


Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Step 1 on How to prepare your lips for matte lipstick: Gentle exfoliation

How to prepare your lips for matte lipstick: Starting with a lip scrubAs a first step, I prepare a little DIY lip scrub to exfoliate my lips and make sure that all excess skin is removed. As we all know, lips are very sensitive. So not only do we want to peel, we also want to soften and nourish them at the same time. To achieve all of those goals, I use the following ingredients in my little lip scrub:

– Sea salt (for the peeling effect)

-Olive oil (for smoothing and nourishing the skin)

-Honey (for it’s moisturizing and healing properties)

You really need just a tiny little amount of everything. Just so you can imagine how little: I usually mix the ingredients together in a spoon. Afterwards just take little by little off the spoon and start rubbing it veeery gently on your lips. It doesn’t taste very good, so I recommend  keeping your mouth closed for the time being. Do this little massage for a bit and then simply leave the mixture on for a little longer, without massaging. (Make sure nothing will drip though!) Once you’ve had enough, you can simply wash everything off with some lukewarm water.

Step 2 on How to prepare your lips for matte lipstick: Creaming it Up

How to prepare your lips for matte lipstick: Use some lip creamNow that the scrub is washed off, you can gently pat your lips dry and take the next step to prepare for you beloved matte lipstick. In order to keep the softness we just created and to get a “sleek surface” for the lipstick to go on, it’s time to put on some lip balm or cream.  That can be really any lip balm you have around. In my case, it most often a very simple solution: pure Shea butter*.  As you can see in the picture, I really slather it on. Don’t worry, it will not make the lipstick bleed. We will take care of that in the next step. For now, really give your lips some lovin’!

Step 3 on How to prepare your lips for matte lipstick: Less is more

Okay, if you followed the steps so far, your lips should be kinda greasy by now. This means it’s time to find the balance between two things. Goal number one is to “oil up” our lips to protect them from drying out and creating a sleek base for our lipstick. And goal number two is to still be able to put on our matte lipstick without it bleeding. So grab that cotton pad and dab off all that excess lip cream or lip balm that has not been absorbed by your skin by now.

How to prepare your lips for matte lipstick: Gently dab off excess care productsAfterwards your lips should still be very soft, well moisturized and slightly shiny, but definitely not feel greasy anymore. And now you can get started! Whip out that lip liner and your favorite matte lipstick and enjoy the perfect lip look – no more dryness!

I hope you enjoy trying out my little program. Do you have other tips on how to prepare your lips for matte lipstick? Let me know in the comments!

You love matte lipstick? But dry lips stand in your way of proudly wearing it? I have a little program to prepare lips for matte lipstick. Not only does it stop matte lipstick from drying your lips as much, it also really pampers your lips. Read more about how to get smooth lips and prepare lips for matte lipstick! You love matte lipstick? But dry lips stand in your way of proudly wearing it? I have a little program to prepare lips for matte lipstick. Not only does it stop matte lipstick from drying your lips as much, it also really pampers your lips. Read more about how to get smooth lips and prepare lips for matte lipstick! You love matte lipstick? But dry lips stand in your way of proudly wearing it? I have a little program to prepare lips for matte lipstick. Not only does it stop matte lipstick from drying your lips as much, it also really pampers your lips. Read more about how to get smooth lips and prepare lips for matte lipstick!

*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

How to stop split ends: The only way that works

My winter braid after homemade hair mask for dry hairSplit ends and hair seem to be one of those unlucky pairs everyone would like to finally break up for good! But if you happen to want to grow your hair long, you will encounter the following dilemma: How to stop split ends without losing all your length? What is the best treatment for hair breakage and split ends? Luckily there is a “long hair hack” for this specific problem and today I want to tell you exactly how to do it.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

How to stop split ends

What if I told you you can cut out the split ends without sacrificing everything? And what if I also told you that it’s not even hard to do? You can stop split ends in front of the TV or while enjoying the sun on the balcony.

Hair split ends reasons

Our hair has to endure a huge amount of physical strain throughout it’s life. The longer your hair, the older and vulnerable your tips are. Just think: hair
grows on average 1-2 centimeters (0.4 to 0.8 inches) per month. That means if your hair is at waist length, your tips are several years old! You can do a lot to protect them from damage and splitting! (I will write more about that in future articles.) But it is inevitable: at some point, some hairs will give in to the stress and split.

Hair treatment for split ends

Despite of what many  shampoos and conditioners promise, there is no way to “heal” hair that has split. There are no products that can stick split hair back together. No perfect treatment for hair breakage and split ends. The only way to get rid of the damaged hair is to cut it off. And you should get rid of it! Not only for the looks, but also to protect the rest of your hair from further damage. Split hairs have a tendency to tangle easily with other hairs. This forces you to put more effort into detangling, which again is going to be more mechanical stress for your hair. More mechanical stress means more split ends. A vicious circle? Yes, but you can do something about it.

How to Stop split ends at home

So how to get rid of those mean little broken tips without losing your length? The trick is to not going to a hairdresser. Hairdressers do know a lot about hair, but their time can be pretty expensive. And what you mostly need for this approach is some time. And some hair scissors! Do yourself a favor and invest in a good pair*. They are certainly worth it. And cutting any hair with nail clippers or your good old household scissors will damage the hair tip. Guess what that means? Exactly, more split ends!


So once you have gotten your hair scissors, make yourself comfortable and detangle your hair thoroughly. Afterwards part it in smaller strands and start searching for split hairs. Ideally you have a good source of light nearby. Having sun would be perfect, but a lamp will do as well. Anytime you find a split tip, simply cut it off with your hair scissors. You will notice, that in most strands, there are only a few split hairs and the rest is okay. So by cutting off only the single “sick” hair and leaving the rest, you keep your length while also improving the overall health and look of your tresses.

Some more tips On How to stop split ends

1. Depending on your hair type the split hairs will be found best with two different techniques. You can either wrap the strand you are working on around your finger like this.

how to stop split ends: wrapping a strand of hair around my finger and then cutting them offOr you can twist the strand around it’s axis to force the ends to stand out.

how to stop split ends: twisting a strand of hair around it's axis and then cutting them off2. All this searching and cutting will take a while and you most likely will not go through all of your hair in one sitting.  So take mental note of where you start and where you leave off. This way you can do another part next time.

3. Another good idea is to do a cassia for hair treatment after doing this “split ends hunting session”. This is recommended as Cassia can seal the freshly cut tips. Would be a good idea to prevent the newly healthy tips from splitting again, right?

Thank you for reading and do let me know if you are trying this tip! Good luck!

Split ends are a major bummer when trying to grow long hair. I have been wondering how to stop split ends at home and came up with a solution. So if you are looking for a split ends remedy, check out my split end treatment! Split ends are a major bummer when trying to grow long hair. I have been wondering how to get rid of split ends and came up with a solution. So if you are looking for a split ends remedy, check out my split end treatment! Split ends are a major bummer when trying to grow long hair. I have been wondering how to stop split ends and came up with a solution. So if you are looking for a split ends remedy, check out my split end treatment!

*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.