Can Maca Root Help with My Acne? Depends on Your Acne Type
It has not been proven and or shown in any studies that maca is to blame for acne explosion, or that maca is responsible for acne cure.
But, there is indeed different kind of reports and claims found on the Internet related to maca and acne. To some maca does help to cure acne and to some, it does not. Reasons for that are almost simple. We take maca daily as our regime. So we wanted to write our thoughts on using maca as a treatment for acne.
It is a fact. Maca does improve overall well being (it has already improved health in both men and women for centuries). It puts your entire endocrine system into balance, your hormones and so on (for more on maca benefits for men and women see here). However, whether or not you will have more or less acne when using maca will depend mainly on you, your skin type, what type of acne you have. You are different from your friend, and your friend is different from a third person. Each has a different way of living, varied diet, various physical and or daily mental habits, each taking a different kind of supplements and or medications. You get the point.
What is the Most Common Cause of Acne?
There are a few factors that can trigger acne, but the number one and the most common factor is hormones, such as rise in androgen (male) levels. Acne happens when oil (sebaceous) glands are activated at puberty, stimulated by male hormones in both boys and girls. (1)
Do You Have Hormonal Acne?
Hormonal acne sucks. They might occur during puberty due to hormonal fluctuation, and they can be a problem for a long time. The often occur around the jawline, chin, and lower mouth area. But teenagers are not alone. Also, adults of any age can be affected by hormonal acne. One reason why is due to a hormonal imbalance affected by a medical condition, or by using some supplements, which can affect hormones directly. Other factors which can cause hormonal imbalance are stress, unbalanced diet, and poor skin hygiene.
A lot of people, primarily women, report that maca has been working for them. While I never had acne problems, my partner did have deep, painful and inflamed acne, especially when a teenager. After taking maca (as an adult) it took one month to notice positive results, I’d say almost 50% was gone. After two months, there was no more acne present, except for small red pimples and blackheads here and there.
In our opinion, maca could easily help people get rid of acne especially if these are hormonal acne. How? Well, as an adaptogen, maca will bring the necessary healthy balance to your hormones. So if you have too much estrogen levels (which may cause acne to occur), maca will not increase or decrease this specific hormone. It will only give your body what it needs to bring hormones back into balance. So maca helps:
– Down-regulate hormones
– Supports body’s natural production of hormones
– Reduces stress levels
Perhaps maca alone could have been enough for us, but to speed up the process, in addition to taking maca, we also did a few changes externally.
Chemical in Your Kitchen
Anything from the food you are eating to medicines you are using to how you store your foods can cause a hormonal imbalance. For example, there are harmful environmental toxins present in plastics, which could be causing hormonal imbalance that leads to acne. These are called Xenoestrogens, and they act like estrogens in the body. If our body cannot filter them out, they can create estrogen dominance.
When we peeked into our kitchen more carefully, we realised it needed a good overhaul. So we did small steps and changed the way we store our food. Nowadays, we use glass gars when possible. We buy Manson gars; they are inexpensive, and they come in different sizes and are super practical for storing different sort of food from liquid to solid. Also, they will not retain the smell of foods with strong aromas such as garlic or onion. And, we avoid as much as we can to use plastic water bottles, Ziploc bags, saran wrap, and so on.
However, if we do sometimes use the plastic containers (who does not), we not to heat these and not leave them in the sun.
Saying no to refined sugars, processed foods, carbs and junk food.
If you really want to find out what kind of effect maca has on your acne: avoid using sugar, coffee, alcohol and starch, exercise (sweating and perspiring is good for your skin), reduce animal products intake and avoid, or eliminate for a while cosmetics rich in chemicals and if possible hormonal birth control. These are anyways essential healthy habits for making your skin look radiant and acne free. Allow your skin to breath.
After realising that our skin colour improved and it now looks more vibrant, plus my partner skin issue finally resolved, we went on a two-week alkaline diet and then continued with a high whole food diet and little or no carbs or sugar. Alcohol, coffee, and black tea were also out from our menu (oh, I missed so much my delightful, friendly cup of coffee in the morning).
One speculation is that when people with a lot of toxins in their body start to use healthy food, the body begins to dump waste out, often through the skin. So, it could be possible (not proven) that due to detoxification or cleansing process one get acne for a short period or until the body has dumped all the waste out.
Our results were excellent. Not only the skin on our face and our body cleared but we also improved on our elimination, which is, by the way, one significant factor in causing you to have acne.
Quite often, a reason for many illnesses as well as acne is found in the gut (there is a link between gut health and skin health). It is true that a clean gut will not bring the same results for everyone. But regular elimination will keep your body clean, disease free, and possibly acne free. This is why we engaged in the two-week alkaline diet. Almost 100% of that diet was veggie smoothies. If something, we felt more energetic, lighter, more focused and yes, the skin was (is) perfect.
I Want to Take Maca. How Much Do I Take It?
– Get the gelatinized kind. It went under a process where most of the starch was removed, making it much easier to digest and absorb the healthy nutrients.
– Start small and let your body get used to this powerful supplement
– Start with 1/2 a teaspoon daily and work your way up to one tablespoon
– The easiest way to eat maca is to add it to your favorite smoothie
So, one way to find out whether or not maca helps clear acne (or it does not) is to buy your maca and try it yourself. Maca is food, used for a long time by people in Peru and there have not been any reports which show that maca can make someone’s face look worse or better from acne. It is possible that maca might help you with acne by putting your hormones into order, but it might need your support. So if possible when planning to take maca, do make sure you do follow the basics (consume mainly whole foods and have regular elimination). Also, reduce your supplement intake (check what nutrients maca has, no need for duplicates) for a while and make sure that medication you take (if you take any medicines) can be combined with maca (ask a doctor if needed).
- Maca is a good and healthy food but still, start with a small dosage. You can quickly work your way up from there. So, be patient, before drawing any conclusions.
- Why should you buy gelatinized maca? Raw maca may not be suitable for you especially if you do not tolerate starch. If that is the fact, buy gelatinized maca, it is easy to digest and benefits are the same.
- Also, if you have acne because your male hormones are elevated, then maca might stimulate more male hormones and make it worse. Ideally, consult your health practitioner.
- Another critical factor to have in mind, avoid maca it if you’re pregnant. And be careful if you’re on HRT, or are on thyroid medication.