The holiday season is upon us and if you’re anything like me you know what that means? Delicious holiday foods! For many people, food is the center of joyful celebrations, sweet memories, and, of course, comfort. That said, though, there can be a downside to all the goodies of the season. Aside from weight gain, differences in complexion is another popular health concern that a majority of people experience throughout the holidays. One of the most common being hormonal breakouts.

No matter your age, it’s a bit of a concern. Because I sure don’t want all my holiday pictures filled with blemishes! Yet, I also want to enjoy my favorite holiday foods. Yes, from that savory Thanksgiving turkey and dressing to beautiful Christmas sweets. So, what’s a gal to do? Arm yourself with knowledge when it comes to how WHAT you eat can affect your skin. Well educated means forearmed!

Understanding hormonal acne.

Regardless of whether or not you resonate with an acne-prone skin type, it’s vital to identify and understand hormonal acne. It occurs since this will help you learn where it’s coming from and the best ways to treat it. So, exactly what is hormonal acne?

Well, hormonal acne is just as it sounds. It’s a type of acne that’s caused by fluctuations of hormone levels your body produces. A more prevalent skincare issue for women, hormonal acne is a common concern. This is due to the natural bodily processes’ women undergo like menopause and monthly menstrual cycles. In an online article featured on Aaptiv, leading dermatologist in New York City and founder of popular skincare line First Aid Beauty, Dr. Bobby Buka reports:

“Typically, for women, that means you’re over-producing testosterone or other androgens (sometimes referred to as ‘male hormones’). When androgens exceed certain levels, they can disrupt the body’s healthy functioning and lead to acne flare-ups.”

Unlike other types of blemishes and breakouts, hormonal acne generally forms around the chin and jawline. Generally speaking, these types of breakouts tend to be more cystic, meaning they form deep under the skin, are sensitive to the touch, and never fully rise to the skin’s surface.

What holiday foods cause hormonal acne?

Make no mistake, your hormones can fluctuate for a variety of reasons other than responding to natural bodily processes. Factors like stress, quality of sleep, and of course, your diet can all influence your hormone levels. Still, as you enter into the holiday season, it’s crucial to be mindful of which holiday foods cause hormonal acne and monitor your consumption accordingly.

Here are three hormonal acne food triggers to be mindful of throughout the holiday season:

One – Dairy Products

For every glass of eggnog, cup of ice cream, and frosted treat— there’s almost always dairy involved. Although different types of milk and other dairy products can influence the ways in which your hormones may become affected, the two main proteins that come from it—whey and casein— are usually to blame for the formation of hormonal acne.

Whey is responsible for increasing blood insulin levels, while casein works to increase a hormone known as Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This, combined with the fact that dairy is naturally a source of sugar, helps to explain why many of us experience breakouts after indulging in these types of products.

Two – Refined Carbs

Foods rich in refined carbohydrates can all be attributing factors to holiday hormonal breakouts. This includes bread, cereal, crackers, dessert, pasta all made of white flour, white rice and rice noodles. And it’s hidden, too, in what you drink. Like sodas and other sweetened beverages. This is because refined carbs are typically absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, leading to an immediate rise of blood sugar and insulin levels. When insulin levels rise, hormones like IGF-1 and androgens— a hormone that regulates the maintenance and development of male characteristics— begin to fluctuate. Thus, causing the formation of hormonal acne.

Three – Red Meat

To all the red meat lovers out there, this one’s for you! The consumption of red meats such as beef, pork, lamb, and veal can all be linked to hormonal acne. Red meats increase the levels of another “male hormone” in the body, aka testosterone. Spikes in testosterone can result in a spike in skin cell growth and sebum (oil) production in the body, meaning clogged pores and oily skin are more likely to occur.

So if you start to see these sorts of changes in your complexion around the holiday season, just know that it’s not a coincidence!

Are holiday foods affecting your skin’s health?

As the holidays get closer and closer, be sure to pay close attention to how certain foods and beverages can impact your skin. Although hormonal breakouts are a normal health issue to experience throughout this season, it doesn’t change the fact that this skin concern is serious and mustn’t be ignored.

Remember, your diet plays a significant role in the state of your skin.

If you start to notice the development of hormonal breakouts throughout the holidays? Monitor your diet and other lifestyle habits. They relate to your well-being. If you find you need help, speak to a wellness expert for healthier holiday eating tips and other possible treatment medications to combat hormonal acne.

You can still honor your holiday celebrations with your favorite treats. As with everything, being mindful of how it affects your skin can help keep hormonal acne and other bodily changes in check.

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