Chances are, you've come across many different ingredients and skincare products that claim to help treat acne but might seem strange at first. You've probably wondered: how could this ever have any effect on my acne? But, desperate for a solution, you might have decided to try it out anyway.
The compound called diindolylmethane (DIM for short) is a prime example of that. But what is DIM really, and can it actually help?
DIM is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. Scientists claim these vegetables help protect the body from various cancers, including breast, colorectal, uterine, and prostate cancers.
This particular substance contains a myriad of benefits for the skin and overall health. It also plays a significant role in combating estrogen dominance and regulating estrogen levels. But not only that - it stimulates cellular detoxification, removing harmful toxins.
DIM has become a famous compound to treat hormonal acne within the online community, especially for women with too much estrogen in their bodies, as it can balance hormones. Depending on your goals, you can take DIM supplements or eat more DIM-rich food.
But first, let's see how it affects acne.
Androgens are often referred to as "male hormones," the imbalance of which can lead to increased sebum production, which causes more hormonal acne breakouts. Since DIM has antiandrogen benefits, it works as a great acne treatment. It will help decrease sebum production caused by excess testosterone. It also prevents bad estrogen pathways from forming and reduces hormonal imbalance by providing a balanced level of estrogen and testosterone.
This component can also inhibit the production of mTORC, which also causes hormonal breakouts.
While we're on the subject of hormonal acne, it's important to distinguish this specific type of acne from the rest. This will make diagnosis and treatment easier.
Unlike other forms of acne caused by genetics, diet, and external factors, hormonal acne appears primarily around the same time each month, either before you get your period or during. This acne is usually located around the jaw, chin, and cheeks. They aren't your typical pimples but are usually painful, deep, and even cystic.
Sounds familiar? Then you might be experiencing hormonal acne and could benefit from DIM supplements.
Doctors will often prescribe birth control pills to treat hormonal acne. Birth control can also lighten heavy periods, provide shorter menstrual cycles, reduce cramping, and affect other factors. However, the side effects of birth control for acne are many, including weight gain, headaches, fatigue, and more.
It's important that you know it is hormonal acne you're suffering from and not another form like inflammatory or cystic acne, as treatments may differ, and doctors will recommend different prescription medications.
It's also still important to look after your skin when suffering from hormonal, inflammatory, or cystic acne. A good skincare routine is crucial, even if you're on birth control pills, taking dietary supplements, or trying other treatments.
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DIM is declared a substance that's likely safe for children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women when consumed in small amounts. When it comes to adult acne, research has shown that it can have a positive effect on both men and women.
This dietary supplement works as a natural estrogen blocker, making it appropriate for those seeking higher dosages. In addition, its extra-strength formula also contains vitamin E and BioPerine, which enhance its bioavailability, making it easier for the pills to be absorbed properly in the body and improve hormonal acne.
These pills are vegan and vegetarian-friendly, as well as gluten and GMO-free.
This DIM supplement contains 300 mg of DIM per capsule. Moreover, it has other ingredients, like black pepper and BioPerine, which increase its bioavailability and lead to better absorption.
These capsules are appropriate for vegetarians.
Smoky Mountain's all-natural estrogen-free DIM is probably one of the best supplements out there. It will keep your hormones at bay while helping your body absorb all the goodness DIM has to offer, thanks to the other added ingredients like BioPerine and vitamin E.
It's vegan-friendly, soy and GMO-free, and appropriate for both men and women. The supply will typically last you for two months. The only problem with this supplement is that some customers have complained of headaches, bloating, and gas, probably due to the veggies it's derived from.
This particular supplement is unique because although its dosage is low, its DIM quality and purity are off the charts. It's primarily aimed at women who're going through menopause, helping to support healthy estrogen levels.
One capsule contains 100 mg of DIM. It's targeted at those wanting a supplement with a lower but pure dosage.
Supposedly, the smell and taste are pretty nasty, so you might want to reach for a glass of juice instead of water to swallow them down.
The capsules contain gelatin, which means this product isn't vegetarian or vegan.
This is best for people who want pure DIM without any other ingredients. It contains 100 mg per capsule. It will balance estrogen levels, helping with hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and other menopausal symptoms, including hormonal acne.
The capsule is made from gelatin, which isn't appropriate for vegans or vegetarians.
Zhou DIM Active supplements contain 250 mg of DIM, making it a great option for those who want something with more potency. On top of DIM, it also contains broccoli seed extract and vitamin E, which provide additional nutritional benefits.
Opt for this kind if you want more vitamins and better absorption of DIM. However, if you want something that contains pure DIM, this might not be the best option for you. Go with some of the ones mentioned above.
Olympian Labs helps with skin health, bone health, and weight loss. One capsule contains 150mg DIM and other ingredients like rice flour, plant fiber, ascorbyl palmitate, and silicon dioxide.
The capsules are vegetarian-friendly and have a pleasant taste of citrus.
Important note: Since there's a possibility of a cross-reaction with this one, tell your doctor about all the medication or supplements you're taking. In addition, some customers have complained about an increase in headaches due to taking them.
DeFormula's DIM has 100 mg of DIM per capsule. Since this dosage is a little on the low side for some conditions, you'll likely have to take more than one capsule daily.
In addition to DIM, it also has BioPerine, which helps the body absorb the supplement better.
The supplement works by processing estrogen, which makes it ideal for women who want to use it to keep their premenstrual cycle in check and prevent hormonal breakouts.
One downside is that the dosage is particularly low. So unless you want to treat it for the reasons mentioned above, you're better off finding one higher in DIM.
Besides pure DIM, it also has some veggie isolates from sources like cabbage, broccoli, and spinach.
One capsule of Solaray DIM Supreme contains 100 mg of DIM, which is slightly on the lower side. However, it contains other ingredients that can aid absorption, like broccoli seed extract and bioflavonoids.
This particular supplement is targeted toward women's health, and its specific formulation helps improve estrogen function in the body. It's an amazing option for women who want to balance their estrogen levels, cure hormonal acne, and support their breast health.
Besides DIM, the formula contains lecithin derived from soybeans, vitamin E, and BioPerine to maximize its absorption powers.
Not only does this one have an alluring name, but it's also made with 100% natural ingredients. As a result, it balances out your hormone levels and ensures fewer symptoms of menopause.
In addition to DIM, this formula also contains BioPerine, so you get better absorption.
It's vegan-friendly, GMO, and gluten-free.
The right dosage of DIM for you depends on several different factors: your age, your medical history, and general health. Unfortunately, there's still not enough research to suggest a universal dosage.
When it comes to DIM-rich food, there's generally no harm in eating a large number of veggies. However, you can always overdo it, so make sure you're eating them in moderation.
When taking supplements, read the instructions on the label and follow your doctor's or pharmacist's advice. Generally speaking, DIM supplements shouldn't be taken on an empty stomach since they will likely cause headaches and other symptoms.
Many people see results after the first doses. Others might have to switch the dosage if they don't notice any significant improvements in their hormonal acne over a longer period of time. Consistency is crucial, so you should make taking supplements a habit - or start incorporating more veggies that contain this substance in your diet. Once you start doing this regularly, the results will come on their own.
Many people give up on this treatment for this reason. They either forget to take it regularly or are too eager to see results, so they give up.
Other than using DIM for acne, there are other benefits that come along with it. As more research is done on this topic, the list of benefits seems to be increasing. Not only can it work as an excellent acne treatment, but DIM can also repair and aid many other processes in the body, such as:
We touched on this briefly above, but one of the best things about DIM is that it can prevent estrogen-enhanced cancers and other types, including breast and prostate cancer.
DIM is considered harmless when consumed from food at around 100-200 mg per day. Even though DIM supplements are generally safe for consumption, high levels of diindolylmethane or an improper dosage may lead to the following symptoms:
The above symptoms are normal for any detox. They're mostly harmless and short-lived. Since DIM acts as a natural detoxifier, they're an important step in the process. If you're concerned about these symptoms when using DIM to treat your hormonal acne, talk to your doctor. Keep in mind that DIM offers fewer side effects than other hormonal acne supplements.
Because many people testify to the benefits that come with increased consumption of DIM, it's totally worth trying. You can start slow by incorporating more cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower into your diet. Be patient because those results won't come overnight!
If you start seeing an improvement in your skin condition, consult your dermatologist about potentially taking DIM for acne as a part of your treatment. However, be careful with the brand and type of DIM supplements you try since not all have the same dosage and effect on your body.
Remember, DIM won't just help clear hormonal acne - it'll also prevent estrogen cancers and prostate cancers, as well.
Hormonal acne can be nasty and painful. It may seem like it will never go away, but there are many different treatment options you can try. So give diindolylmethane a shot!
This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.