Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
In part I of a discussion on safety of acne treatments, we
discussed how when we find ourselves suddenly experiencing acne
breakouts, or when we suffer a long battle with acne and nothing seems
to help, we may be willing to take any prescription acne treatment our doctor prescribes.
We may also reach for the first over-the-counter
treatment we lay our eyes on or just look for what seems "the
strongest." Again, what we often forget about is to consider both
short-term and long-term health consequences. Whatever the choice is,
it will affect not only our skin but our entire system. So become an
Read on to learn more about your over-the-counter acne
treatment and whether or not it's safe for you to keep using. And if
you're using prescription acne treatments, don't forget to check out part 1 of this discussion.
Why We Use Them:
Phytoestrogens are nature-made chemicals that can mimic the action of a
woman's sex hormone, estrogen. It is important to note that there are 3
sex hormones produced in the human body by both women and men:
estrogen, testosterone (androgens) and progesterone. Obviously they are
produced in different amounts, with higher levels of androgens
circulating in men. Phytoestrogens can be friends to our skin and body
or, if inappropriately used, may be a foe.
Phytoestrogens can be found in food, herbs, and in pills or capsules. The following foods are rich in phytoestrogens:
You may rightfully assume that you may safely eat more
phytoestrogens-containing foods and restrict your intake of
phytoestrogens to dietary intake; however, caution needs to be taken to
avoid consumption of phytoestrogens that are isolated and concentrated,
sold in pills or as part of other products. Use of
excessive amounts of phytoestrogens changes the equation from protection
to potential side effects such as promoting cancer or other health
Why We Use Them: Prescription and over-the-counter topicals do not treat acne, but rather try to address the outward manifestation of acne (the pimples themselves). Most
topicals are relatively inexpensive and easy to find at the local drug
store. They are also heavily advertised, which makes them more widely used without actual consideration of their efficacy and safety.
Many people mistakenly believe that they can treat their acne using only a topical cream, gel, cleanser, etc. Unfortunately it is a myth. Acne is an internal problem and therefore can only be treated from inside.
Many people end up coming to us after they've tried everything and want a safe and natural treatment that breaks the acne cycle. We hope you're one of the many that do the same!
With a Promise of Clear Skin,