natural remedies over pills

The Top 5 Natural Alternatives to Isotretinoin for Hormonal Acne

Category: Hormonal Acne

Isotretinoin, aka Accutane and Roaccutane, is a vitamin A medication and a favoured acne treatment of dermatologists. But it is a strong hormonal acne medication with many possible side effects and its acne-clearing effects are often not permanent. Because of this we have found that many hormonal acne sufferers now want something less toxic, with fewer side effects (headaches, depression, dry lips and birth defects to name a few), and gives a permanent acne result.

We’ve lost count of how many of our patients have tried isotretinoin, once, twice, three times or more, and still their acne returned. This is because most acne is driven by hormonal imbalances, and because Isotretinoin isn’t a hormonal acne treatment their acne breakouts return.

We’ve noticed that more and more women, just like you, want a natural and sustainable alternative to the acne treatment options doctors recommend, such as isotretinoin, retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, the birth control pill and antibiotics.
Now the great news is there are natural hormonal acne solutions that are safe, that are effective and are permanent. We use them day in and day out in our clinic, and we have now helped more than 1000 women successfully clear their acne naturally so that they can enjoy picture perfect skin.

The natural alternatives we use regularly range from herbs to vitamins, to minerals, to essential oils, to probiotics, to diet, to lifestyle changes.

The Importance of Natural Alternatives

If you’re reading this article it’s because you’ve discovered that you need a natural solution rather than a synthetic solution to have any chance of a hormonal acne cure.

While your doctor and dermatologist don’t seem to be able to get their head around the fact that isotretinoin, birth control pills and antibiotics are just Band-Aid fixes, and won’t provide a long term solution, many women have.

And you are one of them.

Drug treatments that use synthetic chemicals don’t ever fix the root cause of acne. They work by shutting off natural bodily processes such as ovulation, androgen hormones, female hormones, and sebum production, rather than re-regulating them.

Natural hormonal acne remedies work by rebalancing your hormones, rebalancing your skin bacteria levels and rebalancing sebum production from oil glands. They don’t take over or shut off these processes but restore optimal function by fixing the root cause. And it’s because of this fact that natural treatments give a sustainable holistic long term solution.

Our natural, alternative, hormonal acne treatment fixes the root cause rather than just masking the symptoms.

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Top 5 Natural Alternatives to Isotretinoin

Herbal Supplements


Helps hormonal acne by regulating oil production, reducing inflammation, and promoting skin healing. Its antibacterial properties also combat acne-causing bacteria, helping to clear breakouts.

Saw Palmetto

Helps hormonal acne by inhibiting the production of hormones that trigger oil secretion and breakouts. Its anti-inflammatory properties also reduce swelling and redness of pimples.

Licorice & Paeony Combination

Licorice reduces the levels of the adrenal androgen DHEA. The plant also reduces the sensitivity of androgen receptors which prevents androgen hormones from triggering acne.

Peony is an “Estrogen Modulator” meaning it targets estrogen receptors in the body and regulates prolactin reducing acne flares during ovulation. Peony is Progesterone’s best friend. Not only does Peony work on estrogen levels, but it works to increase Progesterone over time, which prevents an over production of sebum and pre-period acne.

Licorice and Peony together reduce testosterone production as they both reduce androgen levels, which in turn decreases testosterone and clears your acne. This is our natural alternative to spironolactone.


Is great for managing hormonal acne because it regulates hormonal imbalances, particularly related to estrogen and progesterone. This regulation helps decrease androgens and the frequency and severity of acne breakouts. However, some women can experience the opposite and vitex makes their acne worse. This is the reason it’s best to work with us rather than self-prescribing supplements because we have the expertise to pick the right supplements for you.


Helps detoxify excess hormones and is a mild anti-androgen. It works by blocking the entry of androgens such as testosterone & DHEAS into the cells so that you minimize the acne causing effects of these hormones. It also helps to stop the conversion of testosterone into its more potent form called 5α-dihydrotestosterone or 5α-DHT for short.

Vitamin A

Helps hormonal acne by regulating skin cell turnover and reducing sebum production. Less sebum, less whiteheads and less pimples. Vitamin A’s anti-inflammatory properties also diminish redness and promote faster healing of acne lesions.


Essential Oils

Tea tree oil

Is effective against hormonal acne because of its powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It penetrates the skin to disinfect pores, kill acne causing bacteria and dry out pimples and blackheads, helping to prevent further breakouts. Regular application can also reduce redness and swelling associated with acne lesions.

It is great to use as a spot treatment, but because it doesn’t have any hormonal effects, it doesn’t fix your underlying hormonal imbalance.

Rosehip oil

Is beneficial for hormonal acne due to its high content of linoleic acid, which helps regulate sebum production in the skin. This reduces clogged pores and breakouts. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties soothe irritated skin, and its antioxidants help heal acne scars and improve skin texture.

However, as with tea tree oil it doesn’t have any hormonal effects and so it won’t fix underlying hormone imbalances.

To fix hormonal acne you need to fix your hormones so you need to get your hormones tested and use herbs that rebalance your hormones.

Dietary Adjustments

Low glycemic index (GI) diet

The best hormonal acne diet because it helps stabilise blood sugar levels and reduces insulin spikes. Lower insulin levels decrease sebum production and inflammation, which are linked to acne development. This diet emphasizes whole grains, legumes, and fresh fruits and vegetables, promoting overall skin health.

Eliminating dairy (cow, goat and sheep milk, yogurt and cheese)

Helps reduce hormonal acne as dairy products contain compounds that stimulate acne causing hormones such as IGF-1. IGF-1 can exacerbate hormonal imbalances in the body. These hormonal changes can increase sebum production and inflammation, leading to acne. Additionally, many people find dairy to be inflammatory, which can trigger or worsen acne symptoms.

Eliminating sugar

Always an essential component of an acne diet as eliminating sugar helps manage hormonal acne by reducing insulin spikes and inflammation. High insulin levels can boost sebum production and worsen acne. Sugar also aggravates inflammation, contributing to redness and swelling associated with acne. Reducing sugar intake can thus lead to clearer, healthier skin.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Can be sourced from fish, flax seeds and algae. These oils help reduce inflammation and skin irritation, regulate sebum production and minimise acne scarring.



Probiotics and fermented foods are beneficial for managing hormonal acne due to their ability to improve gut health, which is directly linked to skin conditions. These gut-based natural remedies enhance the gut microbiome, fostering a balance of beneficial bacteria that supports the immune system and reduces systemic inflammation. This reduction in inflammation can consequently lower the incidence of inflammatory acne lesions.

Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut contain live cultures that can help digest food more effectively, absorb nutrients, and eliminate toxins, all of which can influence skin health. The improved gut flora also helps regulate hormones such as insulin and androgens, which, when imbalanced, can trigger excess sebum production and clog pores, leading to acne.

Incorporating probiotics and fermented foods into the diet can thus strengthen the body’s natural defences against the bacteria responsible for acne, reduce inflammatory responses, and promote a healthier, clearer complexion.

Stress Reduction Techniques

Yoga, breathwork, and meditation are holistic practices that can significantly help in managing hormonal acne by addressing stress, a known trigger for acne outbreaks. Stress stimulates the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol, a hormone that can increase sebum production in the skin, leading to clogged pores and acne. By reducing stress, these practices help balance hormone levels, subsequently reducing acne.


Promotes physical health by enhancing circulation and reducing inflammation, both of which are beneficial for skin health. The physical postures of yoga can also aid in detoxification, which improves skin clarity.


Contributes by improving oxygenation of the blood, and supporting cellular health, including that of the skin. It also aids in managing stress and balancing the autonomic nervous system, creating a more favourable environment for skin healing.


Helps lower stress levels by fostering a state of relaxation and mindfulness, which has been shown to decrease the production of stress hormones. Regular meditation practice has long-term stress management benefits, contributing to healthier skin and reduced acne flare-ups. Together, these practices provide powerful tools to enhance overall well-being and directly impact the severity and frequency of hormonal acne.

How to Implement These Alternatives

Here are our three steps for implementing natural isotretinoin into your life.

Step 1

Test your hormones

To fix hormonal acne you need to know which of your hormones are out of balance because if you don’t know, you won’t know what supplements you need to take. We find many people have skipped this step and just started taking supplements based on guesses or recommendations they’ve read or heard about but may applicable to them.

This is why our motto is… test, don’t guess!

We test the hormone levels of all our hormonal acne patients before we recommend supplements. We start the process the same way with everyone. Firstly we have an initial consultation with you to thoroughly go through your acne situation and then refer you for saliva hormone testing.


Step 2

Remove possible trigger foods

Testing has to be done at a specific time of the menstrual cycle, 5 to 7 days before a period. This usually means there will be some time waiting to do the test, and then time waiting for the results to be finalised (2 to 4 weeks). This waiting period provides an opportune time to eliminate common acne triggering foods like dairy, sugar, processed food and gluten foods.

Now, not everyone reacts to these foods, but to determine you are sensitive to them or not you need to remove them to for at least a month. If you are sensitive to them, then your acne will improve after you eliminate them.

Step 3

Start a test results based supplement plan

Once we get a patient’s test results back, we then have a consultation with them to explain their test results so they can see what their hormone imbalances are. Then from their test results we prescribe them a personalised supplement and lifestyle plan.

Their test results clarify what specific supplements they need and the best way to manage their lifestyle.

Ready to Remove the Band-Aid?

Now if you’ve decided that you’ve had enough of medical acne treatments that are just Band-Aid fixes, and you want a natural alternative, then as you’ve just read, there is a way. It’s not a single magic bullet but a holistic application of dietary changes, stress management and natural supplements.

But the real secret to success is to test your hormones so that the treatments implemented are personalised to you. And we can help you with this.

We are the natural hormonal acne solution specialists. We have helped more than 1000 women break their reliance on isotretinoin, the birth control pill and antibiotics and fix their hormonal acne naturally. Get your hormones tested and your hormones balanced so you can have picture perfect skin. To get started contact us today by calling 61 29524 2471 or click here to book your initial consultation online.

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