Adult acne: 5 ideas on how to be rude about it

People seem to feel compelled to give good advice to people who as adults “still have acne”. As someone who developed the skin condition in her twenties, let me tell you a few things to not say when you meet someone with adult acne.

1. Did you consider taking the pill?

Woman recommending the pill as a solution to adult acne.

My first issue with this question: Of course I have considered everything. I am a grown up, my face is in full bloom and it also hurts, by the way. Yes, I have considered everything from taking medicine to shaving my skin off. Secondly, the pill is not going to really help balance my hormones. It’s going to make it much worse in the long term. And that’s only one of the reasons why I wanted to learn how to balance hormones naturally.

2. Just try this cream/cleanser/tonic.

Woman recommending a tonic as a solution to adult acne.Unfortunately adult acne rarely can be solved that easily. It is usually a health problem, not an inability to figure out better skin care. Telling me to “just” try something else downplays my problem and makes me feel a little patronized. Not in a good way.

(It took me years and trying out countless acne remedies to finally beat hormonal acne!)

3. It’s okay, everyone has a pimple every now and then.

Sorry, but this doesn’t work. Those are not pimples, they are acne cysts and they are here to stay. I am glad not everyone has those every now and then, but I would really appreciate if you wouldn’t pretend like this is normal. Let’s rather not talk about it at all.

4. Well, you gotta stay off the chocolate. And burgers.

A burger with a skull to symbolise that it's a reason for adult acne.

Again, if it was this easy, no one would have adult acne. Yes, a clean and hormone balancing diet can help lots and lots! But assuming that I brought this onto myself simply by eating loads of chocolate and burgers is a little… insulting. Don’t you think I would’ve realized the connection and taken steps to get better? This stuff really hurts!

5. I never heard of adult acne. I thought acne is only for teenagers.

This one stings. A lot. I know many people think that. I know, because when I have a breakout I get treated differently. Like people can’t take me quite as serious. But I am an adult, with all my adult feelings. And I cannot tell myself that it’s gonna be over when I “grow up”. Dealing with my hormonal acne has been a very painful struggle, mostly emotionally.

Everyone dealing with adult acne has probably heard these 5 things at least once. And what can I say, they are not really all that helpful... #acne #pleasedontsaythis


I am aware that the tone of this post is quite sarcastic. Please don’t take it the wrong way, rather imagine it with a wink. I am absolutely aware that people saying these things mostly have the best of intentions. With my list I simply want to show the other side of the coin and raise awareness for how this can make people suffering from adult acne feel.

Have you heard any of these things before? Let me know in the comments!

Sleep solutions: 8 things that will help you sleep better

You surely know that good sleep is literally vital. You probably also know that the modern lifestyle often gets in the way of deep and healthy sleep. As someone who struggled with sleeping soundly as a child already, I have researched countless sleep solutions over the years. A few have stood out and help me to go from restlessly rolling around in bed to peaceful sleep. I wrote them down, because I hope that those sleep solutions can help you as well. Enjoy!

These 8 sleep solutions will help you get better sleep! 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.

Sleep solutions: Items to help you sleep

The quickest way to improve your sleep situation without changing your environment or your lifestyle. These products will improve your sleep and all you need to do is getting and then using them.

Dark curtains with sound proofing effect*

One of the best purchases I made in the last years were some dark, heavy curtains* for the bedroom. Not only do they do an awesome job at keeping the street lights out, they also limit street noise a little.

The light blocking is the really important thing though. Having your brain exposed to light constantly does not only confuse your sleep rhythm. By disrupting your circadian rhythm it also might make it way more difficult for you to lose weight!

As I wrote in my article on “How to balance hormones naturally“, sleep and hormones are super closely connected. And hormones affect really everything in our bodies: From mood to weight to how symmetrical our faces look.

A Sleep mask

 For all those times when I am not sleeping in my bedroom, for example when traveling, I love my sleep mask*. To be completely honest I got it once just to feel fancy. (Don’t they look fancy to you? Somehow?) But by now I am really using it regularly and I am extremely grateful for it. Annoying street light outside your hotel room? No problem, I got my fancy sleep mask!

For vanity reasons I recommend you get a silk sleep mask*.  Silk is very gentle to your skin and will keep it hydrated. (It can help you prevent damaged hair, too, but that’s another topic.)

A headphone headband

 Ohhh, headphone headbands*! I think this invention is so genius and simple at the same time! When insomnia strikes I often like to listen to guided relaxations or sleep meditations. And more often than not, I do fall asleep. …Only to wake up a few minutes later, because my clunky headphones get in the way of me rolling on my side…

Enter “Sleep headphones*“. I stumbled upon this one night, when I couldn’t sleep. Of course. As soon as I have a reason to treat myself, I will definitely get them! (And update with my experiences here.)

For the time being, I cannot recommend them to you, as I haven’t tried them yet. But the idea is so cool, I had to share it!

Sleep solutions: Sleeping habits

While buying some little helpers to improve your sleep will definitely help, you should also take a good look at your sleep hygiene. Improving your evening habits will go a long way for better sleep!

Go screenless 1 hour before bed

This is the one thing EVERYONE and their mom tells you about better sleep. For a good reason. So I am not even going to explain to you why you should go screenless. Just do it. Non negotiable. Ideally, your phone never even enters your bedroom.

If you have strong separation anxiety regarding your phone, I recommend Mel Robbins’ 4 tips to detach from your phone. That lady simply knows what’s up.

Have a soothing evening routine

During your screen free hour, you will all of a sudden have way more time. (That’s how screen addiction works. I know. I am very guilty!)

Use this time to form new good habits to calm yourself down and prepare for sleep. Get out pen and paper and write down all things that come to mind. All the tasks that still keep your brain buzzing. Next decide what to do with them.

This will release the “cognitive burden” you are experiencing because of the so-called Zeigarnik effect.

The Zeigarnik effect describes the inability of your brain to stop thinking about something unless it is completed. Once you write down the task and what you will do with it next, you can let it go.


Eat a light dinner

Another thing that I need to keep telling myself. Get your bigger calorie load earlier in the day and keep dinner light. If your body is working hard on digesting your evening meal, sleep will not come lightly. And it won’t be as restful either!

Sleep solutions: Foods that help you sleep

Other than keeping dinner light, there are also a few selected foods that will support your night rest!

Indulge in any foods that are high in melatonin. A few examples are tart cherries,  broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, grapes and olives. Walnuts and flax seeds also work.

Check out these foods to sleep better! Is it only me or does this read like and excerpt of Dr Greger’s daily dozen? Seems like his diet recommendations really are the cure for everything.

Sleep solutions: Sleep techniques

Now your diet might be great, your room might be dark and you haven’t looked at a screen in two hours. Still, your brain is buzzing with thoughts and unrealistic, but very dramatic scenarios.

If this sounds familiar to you, it’s time to make your brain shut up – by using breathing techniques. Or as a Yoga teacher would say: “Out of the mind, into the body.”

The “4-7-8 breathing exercise”

A breathing technique that got famous for its’ effectiveness is the “4-7-8 breathing exercise”.  If you have 5 minutes watch the explanation by the inventor himself:

If you don’t have 5 minutes, these are the steps:

1) Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
2) Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
3) Hold your breath for a count of seven.
4) Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
5) This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.


What are your favorite sleep hacks? Did I forget something important? I love to learn, so please leave me a comment with your experiences.

Sleep tight!

*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.

5 foods that make you happy

You probably know that you can become a happier person by increasing happy hormones in your body. For example by working out and experiencing positive things. But did you know that you can basically eat yourself happy? To get you started with that, I wrote this list of foods that make you happy!

Feeling a little low? If you are in need of a #moodboost, try these 5 foods that make you happy! #healthyeating #lifehacks

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 we eat has a huge impact on who we are. Like those berries! Did you know they can make you happier? Read more in this list of 5 foods that make you happy!

Foods that make you happy: Quinoa

I personally went from mistrusting quinoa to very much liking it for its’ versatility. No matter if I have my favorite quinoa breakfast or if I use it as a rice replacement – quinoa works! It also happens to contain quite concentrated amounts of certain flavonoids. And guess what? Those have found to have antidepressant-like effects!

Foods that make you happy: Avocado

Foods that make you happy: avocadoI don’t know about you, but I can eat avocado all. day. long! When I bite  into anything with avocado I am overcome with sweeping happiness. So it didn’t come as a surprise to me that avocado actually has an impact on brain chemistry. This is because of the amounts of tryptophan avocado contains. Your brain uses tryptophan to produce serotonin and serotonin makes us happy!

Foods that make you happy: Cacao nibs

 Cacao is a brain booster. The Aztecs already drank it for added strength. If you want to increase your serotonin levels without ingesting the sugar inevitably found in dark chocolate, simply go for organic cocoa nibs*. They aren’t as processed and will increase your serotonin levels in your brain and your gut. (Your body makes about 90% of its’ serotonin in your gut!)

Foods that make you happy: Berries

Foods that make you happy: berriesThere is a reason berries have their own checkbox on Dr Gregers Daily Dozen and are not just clustered under “fruit”. They win when it comes to preventing diseases and maintaining your health. They also contain folate, which helps you produce serotonin.

Foods that make you happy: Green Tea

 Okay, technically Green Tea is a drink, but bear with me. Not only does this hot drink contain powerful antioxidants. It also contains theanine, which increases your serotonin and dopamine levels. So what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite cup and some green tea* and boost your happiness!


 

Keep in mind that even though food is certainly awesome, it will not work like a drug. Drugs will instantly change your body chemistry, while healthy food helps your body produce more of the things that are good for it. This means you have to stick with foods that make you happy for a while. Eating them once will most likely not change much in how you feel.

If you are impatient and cannot wait for the effects to kick in, I recommend reading my post on  “How to be in a better mood“. The 5 brain hacks mentioned there will work immediately!

*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.

Want to know how I make my super healthy Quinoa breakfast?

If someone would have told me two years ago that my favorite thing to eat in the morning would soon be a quinoa breakfast, I would’ve probably laughed. Or snorted. Less elegant, but I am being transparent here.

It wasn’t until I came upon Dr Greger’s daily dozen that I actually started putting quinoa into my diet. (With the recipe that I’ll share with you today, you can check off 7 of 24 checkmarks!)

One of my favorite sweet quinoa recipes is this breakfast quinoa porridge. Not only is it super healthy, it's also quite quickly made and tastes creamy and fruity. #quinoa #breakfastrecipes #healthyrecipes #healthyeating

Are you looking for quinoa breakfast recipes? Then this quinoa porridge recipe should be right up your alley! Not only is this a vegan breakfast, it also is a super healthy recipe!

My Quinoa breakfast porridge

I used to be a big fan of oatmeal porridge for breakfast. But at some point, my stomach decided we simply do not like oats all that much anymore. So I needed a replacement. My boyfriend suggested quinoa, because of its’ numerous health benefits and it being low glycemic index. (Super important for treating my hormonal acne.)

So I first asked myself:

Can quinoa be used as porridge?

As I quickly found: Heck yeah! Quinoa can be used for anything, really. From quinoa chocolate cookies to a side dish for your bean chili – quinoa works.The second, also very important question that came to mind was:

But what does quinoa porridge taste like?

I remembered quinoa as having a weird taste. So naturally I wondered how to get to all the health benefits without having to go through tasting that every morning. Luckily there is a super easy solution on how to make quinoa porridge taste good. Simply cook it together with anything else that has a taste you like. It will absolutely overshadow the quinoa taste. Oh, and wash the seeds thoroughly before you cook them. If there is any doubt on how to prepare quinoa, remember this. Always. Wash it. Thoroughly.

Okay. Time to cut to the chase. Let’s get to:

How to make quinoa porridge with coconut milk

Yes, with coconut milk! The creaminess… But I’m getting ahead of myself. You will need the following things for my vegan quinoa porridge.

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup quinoa
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup coconut milk (not the milky part, rather the watery one)
    • 1 banana
    • 1 apple
    • 1 Tablespoon of ground cinnamon (Ceylon!)
    • 1 Tablespoon of ground flax seeds/flax seed flour
    • 1 pinch of Vanilla
    • a handful of berries you like (I love raspberries for this!)
    • a handful of nuts you like

Chopped up apple and a spponful of cinnamon for the quinoa breakfast

Time to make our quinoa breakfast!

I already told you how to prepare quinoa – simply wash it. For like a minute or so. Once that is done, put the quinoa and the cup of water to boil in a pot on full heat. Not too small of a pot, you will add all the other ingredients a little later.

Next mash you banana and mix it with the cinnamon, the flax seed flour and the vanilla till it’s one gooey mass. (It will be way more appetizing soon, I promise!) Now you can add the coconut milk and mix everything very well again.

Clean the apple and cut it in smaller pieces. If you use fresh berries, those will need a wash, too. I admit, I mostly have them in my freezer, so I skip that step.

Mixing the quinoa breakfast together in a pot.The next step should happen when the quinoa to water ratio in your pot is pretty much 1:0. Almost all water should be soaked up or evaporated. Then it’s time to just drop everything into the pot and lower the heat to about half or even lower, depending on your stove.

To not forget anything: You now put the gooey mass, the apple, the berries and the nuts into the pot. Leave it on for about 5 minutes and make sure to mix it regularly! This can get messy quite quickly if you don’t watch it. Speaking from experience here.

Possible variations

As I have been eating this quinoa breakfast for many months by now, I have also experimented a little with it. Some variations I recommend you try are those:

  • Add some cocoa. I don’t think that needs explanation, does it? I do recommend organic cocoa powder, of course.
  • Mix things up with a little peanut butter. From my experience it should really only be a little though. Otherwise it only tastes like peanut butter and nothing else. Which doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Just saying.
  • You can completely leave out the coconut milk and either use another milk or simply water. I do that when I ran out of coconut milk or really don’t feel like that much fat.

Soooo…Try it! It really is a healthy and tasty breakfast. And as usual, if you try it, I would love to hear about it!

And if you liked it, I’m sure others would also love to hear about it, so don’t hesitate to share this recipe.

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 breakfast 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 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! Many of the foods that are good for you are also foods that make you happy. No surprises there!

If you feel a little lost where to start improving your diet, I really recommend using Dr Greger’s daily dozen as a starting point!

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

There is no talking about how to balance hormones naturally without talking about sleep. We already considered the importance of sleep when we looked at reasons for hormonal imbalance. So how to improve sleeping habits? There are countless tips and tricks for that.

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.

If sleep is a topic for you, consider checking out my 8 sleep solutions to help you sleep better.

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”.

The best way to find out how to balance hormones naturally is to 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. Perhaps my tips on how to be in a better mood work for you.

It could be that you need to spend the whole weekend just sitting on the couch and wondering what penguins think. Maybe positive affirmations are your way to go. 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

*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.