Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Does Retinol Help With Hormonal Acne

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Best For Minimizing Irritation: Skinceuticals Retinol 05 Refining Night Cream

How I Cured My Adult Hormonal Cystic Acne Naturally (no accutane)

The manufacturer claims this cream may reduce discoloration, blemishes, and the appearance of pores.

This night cream uses 0.5% retinol. It also includes bisabolol, a derivative of chamomile, and boswellia serrate extract. These may soothe the skin and reduce the irritation retinols can cause.

SkinCeuticals states that this product may suit people experiencing skin discoloration, acne, and signs of aging.

A 1 fl oz tube costs $80.

PCA claims this serum may reduce discoloration and improve a persons overall skin tone by exfoliating the skin and combatting the buildup of dead skin cells.

It contains 0.5% retinol, salicylic acid, and bakuchiol.

The company states that this serum addresses acne scarring, whiteheads, and blackheads and may suit people experiencing acne and hyperpigmentation.

A 1 fl oz tube costs $115.

What Dosage Works Best For Treating Acne

OTC retinol creams, gels, and serums typically contain between 0.25 and 1.5 percent retinol. The overall strength that youll need depends largely on your skin type.

If you have sensitive skin, consider starting off with a lower dose first. If you dont experience side effects, you can always increase the dose.

In addition, keep in mind that not all pro-aging products with retinol are formulated to treat acne too. Youll want to avoid ingredients that might aggravate acne, like certain fragrances and oils.

How To Clear Up Hormonal Acne With Clean Products

Every product is curated with care by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Slather on all the products if it makes you happy, but for most of us, a few well-formulated products are more than enough. During the healing process, I majorly paired back the products I was using and kept things simple for months. Thorough cleansing, moisture, consistency, and a little extra time have made a world of difference in clearing my skin. I honestly didnt need anything too crazy intense to clear things up. I started with what I had then slowly tweaked a couple products that werent working for me.

My core skincare routine includes one of each: an oil cleanser, gentle cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.

Here are the clean products that have worked well for my skin to soothe, clear, and hydrate without creating congestion and breakouts.

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What Is Hormonal Acne Anyway

First, its important to understand the difference between hormonal acne and good old-fashioned pimples. Hormonal acne is intrinsically linked to your hormones, resulting in cyclical breakouts that usually coincide with a persons menstrual cycle, Joshua Zeichner, M.D.2, board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, tells SELF. It can also match up with other hormonal shifts in your life, meaning your menopausal acne or postpartum pimples could be hormonal.

One important thing to note: Hormonal acne is technically not a medical term, board-certified dermatologist Ife J. Rodney, M.D.3, founding director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics and professor of dermatology at Howard University and George Washington University, tells SELF. However, when a person tends to get very specific types of breakouts around the time of their period or when their body is experiencing vast hormonal shifts for other reasons , dermatologists generally describe it as hormonal acne.

Can Food Or Other Things Cause Cystic Acne

The Do

According to Dr. Braue, the foods that are often associated with acne havent been scientifically linked to cystic acne.

Sugar, chocolate and fast food always get a bad rap, but I havent seen any great scientific data that links them to cystic acne. So, I cant say that if you eat fast food three times a week or eat too much chocolate, your acne is going to be much worse. There isnt enough proof that these foods are direct causes.

However, if you notice that your acne flares up when you eat certain foods, your healthcare provider or dermatologist might encourage you to avoid them.

The one thing that Dr. Braue has noticed is a connection between acne and skim milk.

From the available data that we have, there seems to be a link between the severity of acne and the ingestion of skim milk. I do always ask patients if theyre drinking a lot of skim milk or if theyre taking whey protein. If they are, I counsel them on finding an alternative.

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What Else Does Tretinoin Treat

Topical retinoids like tretinoin are also used as an anti-aging treatment, targeting fine lines, dark spots or hyperpigmentation.

In fact, many people only think to use retinoids, like tretinoin and retinol, for their anti-aging properties.

Luckily, tretinoin is effective for a whole host of skin conditions, from acne to anti-aging and beyond.

However, tretinoin is not a good treatment option for certain skin conditions, especially dry skin, psoriasis and eczema.

For these conditions, seek professional advice from a dermatologist, who can prescribe an alternate medication for your symptoms.

What To Do If You Have Hormonal Acne

The best thing to do if you think you may have hormonal acne is to meet with Dr. Green to have the cause of your acne diagnosed. In some cases, what may look like hormonal acne may indicate a more severe issue, such as severe hormonal imbalance or a thyroid condition. If you are suffering from hormonal acne, Dr. Green will be able to curate a treatment plan that can help you to treat breakouts, lessening the risk of acne scars and helping you to restore your healthy, clear complexion. Dr. Green can prescribe specific spot treatments, skincare routines, cosmetic treatments and/or oral medications that can all work to eliminate the appearance of hormonal acne.

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He Should Consider Switching Toners For Something Less Drying

“I would recommend switching the glycolic acid toner out for a salicylic-based one, as it is a main ingredient for acne and is anti-inflammatory to oil glands,” Mark said.

In addition to swapping out his toner, Gebrael should reconsider if retinol is the right exfoliant for him. Retinol can be great for chemically exfoliating the skin by stripping the top layer, but can cause irritation and swelling for people with sensitive skin.

“Overall, Gebrael’s routine is good as long as it’s working, and he’s tolerating all the products. However, if he’s getting red at all then he should stop using the Differin Gel adapeline gel 0.1% because it is a retinoid and can be irritating,” Mark said.

What Is Menopausal Acne

Is Tretinoin the BEST Treatment For Acne? | Dr Sam Bunting

Menopausal acne is when acne appears in women in their 40s and 50s. The cause of menopausal acne is a decrease in estrogen levels or an increase in androgen hormones like testosterone in menopause. Some of the hormonal treatments for menopausal symptoms can also cause hormonal acne. This is especially common in women taking a progestin.

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Retinol Vs Other Retinoids

Retinol is a type of retinoid, so the two have similar qualities. The main difference between retinol and retinoids is that the latter is stronger.

Retinol is a weaker version of retinoid and can be found OTC in many skin care products. These products plump the skin to minimize wrinkles, prompt collagen production and fade dark spots.

They can also deeply exfoliate pores and regulate oil production to reduce the risk of acne breakouts. And by clearing pores, they enable other prescribed topical medications to better absorb for greater efficacy.

As these products have low concentrations of retinol, they cause less irritation to skin but require longer use to see results. As an acne treatment, they would be suitable for mild-to-moderate acne symptoms.

Retinoids are powerful medications that are prescribed for skin conditions such as skin cancer, psoriasis, pigment disorders and moderate-to-severe acne. There are several types within this class including adapalene, tretinoin, isotretinoin and tazarotene.

How Long Before Tretinoin Clears Acne

Tretinoin may be the miracle drug of the skin world, but it doesnt work its magic overnight.

Ever heard the parable of the tortoise and the hare? Tretinoin is the tortoiseslow and steady wins the game.

  • Users can begin to see improvements as early as four weeks.

  • In one study, the percentage of inflammatory lesions in acne continued to decrease for up to 12 weeks.

  • In another study, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation continued to lighten and decrease for 40 weeks.

You wont see results immediately, but your skin will start improving after a few months, and it will continue improving if you keep using tretinoin, ultimately preventing acne in the future.

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Best For High Dose Retinol: Paulas Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Paulas Choice claims that this lotion may help fight uneven skin tone and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Ingredients include licorice and oat extract to soothe the skin and reduce redness and vitamin C to brighten skin tone.

This lotion contains 1% retinol, making it more potent than many similar retinol products. This may suit people who have experience with using retinol. However, beginners or people with sensitive skin may prefer lower-dose options.

The company recommends a person only use this product up to 3 times a week when first starting. It warns that reactions such as redness, flaking, tenderness, and dry skin as possible signs of an early reaction.

A 1 fl oz bottle costs $60.

Tretinoin Side Effects: What You Should Know

Is Retinol Cream Good For Acne

Tretinoin is available with a healthcare professional or certified dermatologists prescription. And while its effective in the treatment of acne, it does come with its own list of potential side effects.

One, in particular, is called the tretinoin purge.

Many people experience skin irritation within the first few weeks or months of use, especially if they have sensitive skin.

This irritation may include dryness, itching and peeling, but is classified as mild to moderate and limited to the outermost layer of skin.

Once your skin gets used to the medication, this irritation usually subsides. Tretinoin can also cause UV sensitivity, so its important to avoid direct sunlight for extended amounts of time or wear sunscreen when using it.

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Build A Lil Skincare Sandwich

Pretend your moisturizer is the bread and your retinol is the filling. At night, first apply a thin layer of a gentle moisturizer , wait a minute or two, apply a thin layer of retinol, and then seal it all in with another thin layer of the same moisturizer, says Dr. Love. The bread here creates a buffer that slightly dilutes the retinol, making it more tolerable to your skin during those initial few weeks.

Skin Care Ingredients To Avoid When Using Retinol

Since retinoid is an active ingredient, there are some ingredients that you shouldnt use in conjunction with it to avoid irritation if you have sensitive skin, Torosky said. These ingredients include:

  • Anything thats going to stimulate exfoliation think AHAs and BHAs like lactic acid, salicylic acid and glycolic acid
  • Willow bark, a natural source of salicylic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide, which can make retinoids unstable and reduce their efficacy

If you have more sensitive skin and want to combine a retinoid with benzyl peroxide, Honet suggested trying a low percentage benzoyl peroxide cleanser like this highly rated one from CeraAve. added benefit of a peroxide effect without the side effect of dryness, she explained. Honet advised using the benzoyl peroxide cleanser separately from the retinol to further reduce any risk of irritation.

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Exfoliate With Salicylic Acid

As your menstrual cycle starts to roll around, consider adding a salicylic acid-powered product into your routine. Salicylic acid is an excellent pore-clearing ingredient because it exfoliates the surface of the skin and penetrates into pores to remove oil. This helps to prevent pores from becoming clogged and can help remove clogs that have already formed, explains Dr. King. This chemical exfoliation will dissolve the bonds that hold dull, dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and reveal smoothing brighter skin underneath. Dr. Zeichner adds that salicylic acid is also great when delivered via a spot treatment, as it can dry out angry, juicy pimples.

Treat and prevent with this gold star serum. It calms breakouts and inflammation, while also helping skin stay clear in the long run.

Does Hormonal Acne Ever Go Away

ANSWERING COMMON ACNE QUESTIONS: Hormonal Acne, Acne Cleansers, Purging?

Many patients search for different methods to treat hormonal acne. Though a regiment of proper facial hygiene and over-the-counter products can be useful, most patients turn to Dr. Green to help with the reduction and prevention of hormonal acne. In general, patients experience fluctuations between clear skin and hormonal acne flare-ups, a cycle that can unfortunately last for years. In order to quell these unwelcome zits and acne breakouts, targeted skin care products, spot treatments, cosmetic procedures, and oral medications can make a huge difference.

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What Is Hormonal Acne

Acne is caused by a combination of changes in your skin such as enlargement and clogging of your sebaceous glands, bacterial proliferation, inflammation, and hormonal factors. Hormonal acne occurs when there is an imblance in your hormone levels.

If you’re dealing with hormonal acne, you should know that you’re not alone! Hormonal acne is very common and affects 50% of women between 20 – 29 and 25% of women between 40 – 49. While not as prevalent, hormonal acne is also seen in teenagers, peri-menopausal and menopausal women.

What Are The Best Products & Ingredients For Acne Scars

A combo of preventative and restorative products are necessary so make sure you are adequately armed from the get go.


You dont need us to tell you, but Dr Fabusiwa is here to remind you again how important it is to wear suncream. Daily SPF is imperative in preventing hyperpigmentation. Make sure your chosen protector is oil-free and ideally one formulated for blemish-prone skin so it doesnt cause new breakouts.


Is there anything retinol cant do? Put simply, no, not really. If you are unfamiliar with all the wondrous ways it can improve your complexion read this. If you cba, in a nutshell, you need it. Dont wait until the scars have already formed, if you are battling breakouts you should already be applying retinol regularly. Retinol or vitamin A prevents acne and the scarring, says Dr Fabusiwa. It does this by increasing cell turnover, which in turn removes the buildup of dead skin and bacteria from pores. This process of exfoliation helps brighten your complexion and fade any darkened areas.

Exfoliating acids

Think of these as a less severe version of an in-salon chemical peel, which you can safely administer yourself in the comfort of your bathroom. Again, it makes sense to be using these during, after and even before blemishes rear their relentless head, so you might as well invest in one now.

Professional treatments

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Does Retinol For Acne Work

Retinol is effective in treating all forms of mild-to-moderate acne, even hormonal.

However, as acne is notoriously difficult to treat, it is typically managed with a combination of complementary drugs such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or antibiotics. Choice of therapy is influenced by severity and type of lesions.

Topical retinoids are considered a mainstay of acne treatment because of their comedolytic and anti-inflammatory qualities. As well, they offer preventative effects by resolving these noninflammatory lesions precursors to inflammatory lesions.

Clear pores reduce the risk of dead skin cells accumulating with residual oils, dead skin cells and acne-causing bacteria to trigger acne breakouts and infection.

What Skin Care Ingredients Dont Pair Well With Retinol

How to Use Retinol Products According to Someone With Hormonal Acne ...

There are a few skin care ingredients that dont work well with retinol. Being aware of them is a great way to help you cater your routine to help you get results.

For instance, pairing retinol with alpha-hydroxy acids is often too much for delicate skin. Retinol is an exfoliator, just like AHAs are. When you pair them together, they can strip too much of the natural oils away from the skin. That can lead to a compromised skin barrier, which also can cause damaged and dehydrated skin.

The same goes for beta-hydroxy acids, or BHAs. Both are especially useful for people with oilier skin or those prone to acne, but using them together can also be too stripping and irritating for the skin.

If youre absolutely adamant about using both retinol and an AHA or BHA together, make sure that youre separating them out. You can either use them on separate days, or at least include them in different parts of your routine, such as applying one in the morning and the other in the evening. Youll also want to make sure that you use a supportive moisturizer or hydrating cream consistently.

Gentle ingredients like glycerin, ceramides and hyaluronic acid are safe to use alongside retinol and some may even help boost its effects.

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How Does Tretinoin Reduce Acne

Tretinoin helps reduce acne by increasing skin cell turnover. Often, those with acne have a slower than normal skin cell turnover rate which can contribute to clogged pores and breakouts.

Tretinoin works to clear out clogged pores, kills acne-causing bacteria, reduces inflammation, and regulates sebum production. It also helps to keep clogged pores from happening in the first place. With consistent use, it can help clear acne and keep it clear.

This topical medication pushes clogged pores up to the surface and then acts as a comedolytic, preventing clogged pores from forming.

Tretinoin can also help reduce the appearance of leftover acne scarring or hyperpigmentation from past breakouts. It also reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Topical solutions like tretinoin are an effective acne treatment option. However, treating symptoms without treating the root cause might make for an uphill battle.

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