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Ask the Esthetician

Our CAP Beauty estheticians are here for you. Send your questions to thethinkingcap@capbeauty.com and be ready to learn as Cara, Crystal and Amity share the love. From massage to picking products, they’ll cover it all. Learn their tips and at-home tricks for achieving and maintaining clear, vibrant, dewy skin. Their doors are open, so take advantage.

I use 100% natural products and eat a healthy diet free of dairy, gluten, soy and refined sugar. I still get some breakouts and am not sure why, but have a feeling it may be due to a hormonal imbalance. Do you have any suggestions for this? What to do when you’ve tried it all and still not seeing results? Also, to pop or not to pop. Should you drain pimples or is it best to leave them alone?

“There are many factors that contribute to healthy glowing skin: eating a plant-based diet full of leafy greens and fresh fruit, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep, to name three. If something is out of balance in your body, it can often present itself on your skin. Hormonal acne appears in the same spot and time each month, usually around your chin or jaw area. They are usually cysts, deep, painful red bumps that never come to a head. If it is hormonal acne, many traditional acne products will not help and can actually increase the inflammation or irritation. Instead, look for skincare products that help bring down inflammation to reduce redness and soothe. A retinol serum will also help. If you suspect a hormonal imbalance, an excellent resource is women’s health and hormone expert Alisa Vitti and her book “The Womancode.” Her website can pinpoint dietary changes or guide you to the right doctor. I also like Dr. Sara Gottfried MD, a Harvard-trained physician and gynecologist who treats the root cause of women’s issues. Acupuncture can also be very helpful with hormonal issues. I suggest seeking out a naturopathic doctor with your concerns and getting a comprehensive blood test that measures hormone levels, blood sugar and cortisol levels. Add in some stress-reducing activities into your daily life, and seek out supplements that help keep skin clear skin: Omega 3s (like fermented cod liver oil), Magnesium with calcium, Zinc, B vitamins like B-complex that’s high in B6, and nutritional yeast.

When you shop and cook, seek out foods rich in the vitamins and minerals that help keep skin healthy. Call it your clear-skin grocery list:

– Zinc in seeds, nuts, seaweed, coconut and spirulina

– Sulfur in greens, cruciferous veggies, radish, hemp seeds, bee pollen, blue green algae and maca

– Antioxidants in green tea and matcha

– Vitamin A in carrots and spinach

– Vitamin C in oranges, grapefruit, mango, berries, pineapple and papaya

– Vitamin E in sunflower seeds, avocado and almonds

– Silica in green beans, burdock, romaine lettuce and bell peppers

– Fats in avocado, coconut and bone broth.

You’re on the right track with foods to avoid: gluten, dairy, processed foods, sugar, alcohol and night shade vegetables. You can heal hormonal acne naturally. It just might be a longer road filled with lots self-discovery. But the benefits will affect not only how you look but also help get your whole body back in balance.

And in general I advise clients not to pop or pick their skin at home. It can push the bacteria deeper into the skin and could cause permanent scars. Sometimes when you start picking at your skin, you can’t stop. So put away those magnifying mirrors! That said, if you are unable to come in for a professional treatment with a highly trained esthetician, there are times when you need to rid yourself of a pimple. I like to use a warm compress, which can bring down inflammation and feel good on a sore breakout. Apply the compress for 15 minutes on a spot a few times a day. You can also apply a spot treatment or a clay mask overnight. Spend the time you would be otherwise picking at your face and give yourself a luxurious face massage or apply a nice detoxifying mask instead. Treat yourself with selflove!” – Amity Speigel