Hormonal Acne Treatments: Options Products And More
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Acne breakouts can stem from changing hormone levels. These can increase the amount of oil that the skin produces. The oil can build up and clog pores, causing breakouts. Treatments for hormonal acne can include cleansers, gels, face masks, and oral or topical medications.
Over-the-counter treatments, such as cleansers and masks, can suit different skin types and contain ingredients that soothe the skin while tackling oiliness and bacteria.
This article gives an overview of hormonal acne, discusses different treatments, and provides a list of products available to purchase online.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Hormonal Acne
The human body runs on hormones, which affect everything in our bodies from our metabolism and appetite to our stamina, fertility, etc. Hormonal imbalances are considered to be the primary cause of acne, though factors like medication, diet, and lifestyle can also trigger or worsen the condition. Since women experience hormone fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone more often, they are more susceptible to this type of acne, and acne prone skin in general.
Hormonal acne is extremely common during puberty when the body produces androgens at a higher rate. The sudden influx of testosterone causes an increase in sebum production, which can clog your pores and lead to breakouts and even cystic acne. The androgen release often coincides with your period, so if you have ever wondered why your skin inevitably breaks out around that time, now you know.
Unfortunately, hormonal acne can follow you out of puberty and well into adulthood. As annoying as it is, youre not alone in this. Studies have found that approximately 50% of women in their 20s and 26% of women in their 40s struggle with adult acne. From menstruation and menopause to medical conditions like PCOS, which causes excess production of androgens, there are several leading causes of hormonal acne.
The Science Behind The Best Moisturizer For Acne
Whether your acne came out of the blue in your 40s or its a chronic condition thats been following you since your teen years, chances are youve been using topical therapies formulated with potent ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids maybe even an oral medication prescribed by your doctor. While these are all effective acne treatments, they dont come without dry skin, photosensitivity, and irritation.
Research has found that dryness or skin irritation may cause barrier disruption of the stratum corneum leading to increased transepidermal water loss and production of inflammation. With that said, many skincare experts recommend using a moisturizer as an adjunctive acne treatment. Evidence suggests that moisturizers can contribute independently to improving signs and symptoms of acne.
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How We Selected Products
The products we recommend for people with hormonal acne include several dermatologist-approved ingredients. We searched the Internet top to bottom for the most effective and highly rated acne treatments that feature these scientifically-tested actives.
One ingredient we prioritized in our selection process was salicylic acid. Also known as beta-hydroxy-acid , it’s one of the most highly-recommended ingredients for mild-to-moderate acne. Per NetDoctor, salicylic acid is oil-soluble, meaning it dissolves easily in oil-based substances. Salicylic acid goes deep into the skin’s pores, clearing out any oil and debris. This makes it especially suitable for oily, congested skin a common PMS symptom that leads to acne .
Some of the products we recommend contain alpha-hydroxy-acid , which not only helps reduce acne but also aging and hyperpigmentation. Easily one of the most powerful anti-acne ingredients available over-the-counter though is adapalene gel. Adapalene is a potent retinoid that promotes cellular turnover, sloughing off the mixture of oil and dead skin cells that tend to clog pores.
Of course, it’s easy to overdo the anti-acne actives. Personal discretion is advised in selecting which acne-fighting ingredients and products you want to incorporate into your routine. Make sure to go easy with acid-containing products, and avoid using them simultaneously with adapalene gel, as Differin notes.
Best Moisturizer For Acne: The Bottom Line
Whats the Best Skincare Product for Acne treatment? Overall, we suggest Carrot & Stick The Acne Spot Treatment.
While there are copious over-the-counter and prescription treatment products to keep acne under control, sometimes whats not in abundance is education. Just because youre targeting breakouts doesnt mean you should neglect the rest of your skins needs.
While it may not seem logical to use a moisturizer, its vital if you want to achieve a balanced, healthy, and acne-free complexion. Its precisely what you need if youre treating your acne with products that contain drying, irritating ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or a prescription treatment for severe acne.
The best moisturizer for acne-prone skin should also be a non-comedogenic moisturizer, meaning it wont clog your pores. Its not uncommon for pustules, pimples, and nodules to become red and inflamed. In this case, you need a moisturizer for sensitive, acne-prone skin. The best cream for acne balances oil production and helps counteract any dryness from potent treatment products.
Whats the best moisturizer for acne, in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below!
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High Beauty High Five Cannabis Facial Moisturizer
Not every product in a hormonal acne-fighting routine need to contain powerful exfoliants and pore-cleansing ingredients, especially when it comes to your moisturizer. Pamper your skin with a nourishing nutrient-rich formula like the High Beauty High Five Cannabis Facial Moisturizer, a cannabis sativa seed oil-enriched moisturizer that is packed with skin-healthy omega fatty acids and antioxidants designed to balance, calm, protect and deliver rich, lasting hydration.
How Long Have You Been Battling Hormonal Acne
Valerie: As a teenager, I never suffered from terrible acne. However, as I turned 30 last year, I started suffering from Hormonal acne. At first, it was only a couple of pimples around my jawline. But then the breakouts started spreading all over my cheeks and jawline, and they were now very sore to the touch.
What have you found works best for your skin?
Valerie: I have tried so many different products from expensive exfoliating peel pads to at-home DIY masks. Nothing was working. Then I discovered the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo +, and it changed my skin for the best. Having such amazing results with this one product, I decided to use the La Roche-Posay skincare range to heal my skin.
We know we all experience acne for a whole host of different reasons, but what did you find were the causes of your hormonal acne?
Valerie: As someone battling with PCOS for more than a decade, my hormones have always been all over the place. In the last year, I have learned that coffee, lack of sleep, and long strenuous workout routines were putting a lot of stress on my body, resulting in an increase in my androgens hormone level. The high androgens level in my body has caused my usually dry skin to get extremely oily, which in turn, resulted in clogged pores and inflamed skin.
There are times where yes, you want to conceal acne, so what tips do you have for those wanting to cover-up blemishes?
Technique 1 for covering up blemishes
Technique 2 for covering up blemishes
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Exfoliate With Salicylic Acid
The best concentration of salicylic acid is up to two percent when you’re choosing an over-the-counter product. You want to look for a product that unclogs pores and reduces inflammation, Jeanine Downie, MD, New Jersey-based board-certified dermatologist, says. She especially likes Benzac for adult hormonal acne. In addition to pore-clearing, skin-exfoliating salicylic acid, the line also contains East Indian sandalwood oil, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties without being harsh or drying.
Try these acne treatment pads from First Aid Beautythey contain maximum strength two percent salicylic acid meant to minimize inflammation in existing acne flare-ups and also keep new ones at bay.
Over Scrubbing Or Exfoliating
Mir said teenage skin already sluffs dead skin cells on its own, so he discourages the use of apricot scrubs or scrubs containing beads, because they can be abrasive and irritating. Gohara also said scrubbing is a big no-no. Sometimes, teens think acne is from dirt and they start to scrub it, but scrubbing is bad, she said. Gohara recommended teens use a gentle, alcohol-free exfoliant once a week, in the form of glycolic pads.
Heres a product Gohara recommends:
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Best for: acne/acne scars oily skin
This is one of the best serums for acne-prone and oily skin as it contains powerfulingredients that have been shown to be effective in improving skin quality. Niacinamide is particularly great for brightening your skin and reducing redness while zinc helps control sebum production.
I absolutely love this serum and I found it to be really good for acne scars and discoloration. However, I highly recommend using only small amounts and introducing it to your skin slowly. Its also not recommended to combine it with products containing pure vitamin C so be careful with your other skincare choices.
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
Best for: acne inflammation
Similar to benzoyl peroxide, you can also use salicylicacid as a spottreatment for your acne. Ive already described its benefits for acne-prone and oily skin but bear in mind that this substance is sometimes poorlytolerated by many individuals.
Besides other salicylic acid-containing products I like The Ordinary Salicylic acid 2 % Solution to use as a direct acne treatment. It doesnt contain any alcohol, fragrance, oils or other irritants and you only need smallamounts. I find it slightly more gentle than benzoyl peroxide.
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What Were Looking For
Active ingredients and their concentrations: When dealing with cystic acne, its important to know which active ingredients youre putting on your skin especially if youre already using a prescription acne treatment or tend to be sensitive to certain ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Weve listed the active ingredients in each recommended product as well as their concentrations when available. Another thing to know is that while high concentrations can sometimes translate to a more effective product, they can also lead to more irritation. In any case, before adding an active ingredient into your routine, you should patch-test it on a small area of your skin before slathering it all over.
Consistency: Acne-prone skin is particularly sensitive to thick, rich formulations because they can be pore-clogging and leave skin greasy. Our experts recommend opting for lightweight formulas, which hydrate and treat without sitting heavily on top of the skin.
Price: Cystic-acne treatments are available at just about every price point ranging from a pricey serum to an affordable light-therapy wand. Weve noted the cost per ounce for everything mentioned, so you can pick which products work best for your budget.
A Simple Skincare Routine For Hormonal Acne
Let us just start by saying, there is no good or bad skin. Weve all gone through stages of life where weve experienced bouts of acne, have experienced the frustrations of not knowing why youre getting it, and the anguish of finding a treatment that works for you! But experiencing acne, and everything that comes with it is normal!
In Australia, approximately 90% of Adolescents experience acne, but as we get into adulthood, that number drops down between 10-20%. Valerie from @Marielou.Makeup is one such individual. So we caught up with her to chat through everything from how long shes been battling acne to her simple skincare routine that helped her clear it up!
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Take A Look At Your Food
I knowthis is nobodys favorite topic. But if your meals currently consist of pizza and cookies and shredded cheddar cheese straight from the bag, all washed down with multiple glasses of wine, you should know youre not exactly helping your hormonal acne situation. The sugar found in sweets can actually spike acne-causing hormones, Dr. Zeichner has said. Think: a spike in insulin, which can cause a hormonal cascade that leads to inflammation and breakouts.
Same thing goes for dairy: Dairy has been shown to have an effect on testosterone levels, according to studies, which can trigger excess oil production that leads to hormonal acne. If you wanna see if your favorite foods are making hormonal acne worse, cut out all dairy and significantly reduce your alcohol, sugar, and refined carbohydrate intake for two full weeks to see if your skin seems at all calmer.
Best Moisturizers For Acne
BEST OVERALLCarrot & Stick The Acne Spot Treatment, $50A potent, yet gentle treatment serum targets blemishes. Formulated with 2% blemish-fighting Salicylic Acid along with soothing and redness-reducing Chamomile Flower and Green Tea Leaf Extract. This topical treatment serum will reduce the appearance of redness and inflammation while it gently exfoliates the area, whisking away dirt and bacteria.
FULL LISTBest Moisturizer for Dry Acne-Prone Skin:Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel, $44Yes, oily, acne-prone skin can also be plagued with dryness, but this moisturizer for acne targets both concerns. Hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates while salicylic acid exfoliates and refines pores for a balanced, non-greasy finish. Korean red pine extract helps stop quorum sensing, a process known to cause microbiome imbalance and irritation.
Best Moisturizer for Sensitive Acne-Prone Skin:Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream, $39This soothing, lightweight moisturizer provides lasting hydration without clogging pores. Since the combination can also be sensitive due to inflamed acne lesions or dry, irritated patches on the cheeks, banana, chia seed, magnesium, turmeric, and cica help calm any redness irritation. Its genuinely a non-comedogenic moisturizer thats suitable for all skin types, though its a relief for those struggling to treat oiliness and dryness simultaneously.
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Are There Any Side Effects To Treatment
âLike with any new treatment, when you start a new topical acne product, start off slow and follow the instructions on the label or one provided by your doctor ,â says Dr. Hartman. âYou may see some increased dryness or redness on the skin, so make sure to moisturize your skin, and always use sunscreen â especially since some acne medications can make skin extra sensitive to UV light.â
Fundamentally, all acne is hormonal. However, the below six dermatologist-approved products can correct your current routine to prevent it and keep hormonal breakouts at bay.
We only include products that have been independently selected by TZRs editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
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Allies Of Skin Promise Keeper Blemish Sleeping Facial
This nightly treatment cream was specifically formulated for skin thats prone to hormonal breakouts, making it a must-have for your skin care routine for hormonal acne. It contains silver and manuka honeywhich both have antibacterial propertiesto neutralize acne-causing bacteria as well as niacinamide to help regulate oil and reduce redness.
The Best Salicylic Acid Serum For Hormonal Acne
Get two products in one with this Bliss Clear Genius Clarifying Toner + Serum. Also vegan and cruelty-free, and enriched with brightening niacinamide and acne-fighting salicylic acid, this formula is enhanced by soothing cica, which will help with inflammation and redness, witch hazel to refine and deep-clean skin, and zinc PCA, which helps control excess oil production. Its a new product from the beloved spa brand, and Amazon reviewers are particularly thrilled by the unique, pump-top bottle, which cuts down on mess. One person commented, The toner is thicker than expected, a combination of a clarifier and a softening serum. My skin actually felt velvety and silky, almost like satin. One of the absolute best products I have ever tried. Truly amazing.
Even Celebs Have To Deal With It
@zendaya / Design by Dion Mills
In This Article
This is how the hormonal acne story unfolds: Just when we think puberty’s passing took unsightly teenage acne with it, we’re introduced to a new wave of pimples in our 20s. Right around the time of our periods, acne flares up along our jawline, cheeks, forehead, and between the eyebrows , adding insult to injury. Looking on the bright side, though, you have options when it comes to helping quell hormonal acne. But let’s first dive into how to identify them.
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Best Spot Treatment For Hormonal Acne
If you feel a pimple coming on, apply a dab of Kate Somervilles EradiKate Acne Treatment with a clean cotton swab to stop it in its tracks. This spot treatment is made with oil-controlling zinc oxide, salicylic acid, and 10% sulfur. Dr. Hartman says that sulfur has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. He explains, It clears bacteria from pores that would otherwise lead to acne and helps prevent new bacteria from manifesting on the skins surface it reduces sebum production and helps to dry out surface of the skin leading to less oiliness and it helps to unclog pores by drying out dead skin cells. Dip a Q-tip right into the bottle dont shake it!