Causes Of Hormonal Acne
Conditions that affect hormone levels can trigger acne. Here are a few examples:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Increased levels of androgens
According to estimates, acne occurs in around 50 percent of the female population ages 20 to 20 and 25 percent ages 40 to 49.
A rise in testosterone levels may trigger the excessive secretion of sebum from glands in the skin. It may also change the activity of certain skin cells, leading to an infection of the hair follicles by bacteria known as Cutibacterium acnes. This can create hormonal acne.
Cut Back On High Glycemic Foods
Consider cutting back on the amount of food you eat with a high glycemic index, such as honey, rice, cereal, and white bread. These foods digest quickly, so they spike your blood sugar and insulin levels. Studies show that a low glycemic diet can help to reduce inflammation, stabilize insulin levels and positively influence sebum production, so reducing your intake of these foods can help combat your hormonal acne.
What Is Hormonal Acne
First, its important to understand the difference between hormonal acne and good old fashioned pimples. Hormonal acne is intrinsically linked to your hormones. The hormones that cause this type of acne are fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone, which both vary widely throughout the menstrual cycle month, S. Manjula Jegasothy, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Miami Skin Institute tells SELF. In addition, the ratio of each of these hormones to each other can also affect womens testosterone levels, and can also be causative in hormonal acne. Lastly, cortisol, the stress hormone, can affect all of these hormones, too.
It is believed that hormonal fluctuations, which can be menstrual or cyclical in women do cause increased oil production in the pore, says Jegasothy. This is how skincare experts believe hormonal acne starts, although the actual cause has yet to be determined.
Follow Up With An Oil
Even if you’re prone to cystic acne, you should still use a facial moisturizer regularly in order to maintain a healthy skin barrier.
“Patients who are prone to cystic breakouts should use oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizers to hydrate their skin,” Rodney says. However, she notes that noncomedogenic products wont necessarily treat your breakouts they just wont contribute to the problem. That said, choosing a moisturizer that contains ceramides, niacinamide, or hyaluronic acid can be especially helpful. “These ingredients help to reduce redness and inflammation and restore the skins protective barrier. This is important because many acne-fighting active ingredients tend to be drying and irritating to the skin.”
Dr. Dennis Gross Stress Repair Face Cream is a noncomedogenic moisturizer that contains all three. Use it after washing with a salicylic-acid cleanser.
My Clear Skin Journey: Here Are The Exact Steps I Took To Clear My Hormonal Acne
Our beauty editor shares her personal story.
My skin loved being pregnant, but around sixth months postpartum, it took a turn for the worse. While Ive dealt with mild forehead breakouts off and on since college, I never had acne or breakouts on my jaw and cheekuntil this past year. On top of that, I am generally on top of my skincare game. I never ever go to bed without washing my faceI can count on one hand the times I havent washed my face before bed in my entire life. I eat a clean and nourishing diet, use organic high-powered skincare, and put a lot of effort into supporting my health holistically.
Although it seemed like my skin should be okay, I was still dealing with hormonal acne, and my current routine wasnt working.
While Im obsessed with skincare, I dont love the idea that you have a lineup of 20 serums to get good results. In my quest to calm my skin, I had carts filled with hundreds of dollars worth of skincare, ready to pull the trigger to do whatever I could to clear my skin up. Thankfully, I took a breather and remembered that theres more to skin health than just throwing products at it. Skin is a reflection of your internal health and while yes, Ive found new products that have supported my skins health along the way, there were some major non-product-related steps that were crucial when figuring out how to clear up hormonal acne.
Scroll on for what Ive learned, both internally and topically with products.
How To Prevent Hormonal Acne Without Medication
Once you have treated the root cause of your hormonal acne with lifestyle changes, hormonal medications or antibiotics, you may start focusing on preventing hormonal acne from returning.
While it isnt possible to eliminate acne-causing hormones without disrupting essential body functions like the menstrual cycle, it is possible to establish a consistent skincare routine as a method of preventing acne flares.
Luckily, most of the treatments for hormonal acne double as prevention methods, including:
Reduce Inflammation And Breakouts
A good adult acne treatment is to reduce inflammation in breakouts and skin in general. Taking spots and pimples down will reduce redness, size and pain. Look for ingredients such as niacinamide, tea tree oil, spearmint oil and sulphur.
Products to try:
The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil, £8.50, is great for applying neat on top of cystic spots, but avoid applying to broken skin.
Gym For Your Skin’s B-Hit Vitamin B Booster Serum, £37. I recommend this niacinamide serum every day if your skin is sensitive or youre prone to breakouts.
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Luteal Phase : Calm Inflammation And Control Oil
Progesterone peaks which causes skin to swell and pores to tighten. An imbalance of testosterone can increase oil production, which gets trapped in tight pores, causing pimples to form. Cleanse with a gentle foaming cleanser or oil cleanser Use anti-inflammatory spot treatments like black cumin seed oil Use niacinamide serum to balance oil production and reduce inflammation Calm skin and breakouts with cooling clay masks
3. Seek a naturopathic doctor to further explore internal issues like hormonal imbalance.
Switching up your skincare throughout the month is an effective way to help counteract potential breakouts and side effects, but if there’s a true imbalance than that will need to be addresses to see a real change. By tracking your cycle and knowing your symptoms, youre taking the first step to stop the cycle of hormonal acne and finally feel in control again!
For extra reading on cycle syncing and hormonal imbalance caused by the birth control pill, check out the following resources: WomanCode by Alisa Vitti
Intermittent Fasting Doesnt Replace A Healthy Diet
Intermittent fasting doesnt replace the role of a healthy diet in creating clear, beautiful skin. Its not an excuse to eat junk food and load up on omega-6s. It should be treated as a tool to improve health and build on the existing positive effects of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
If youre looking for the easiest way to start eating for clear skin, check out the simple one-page GoodGlow Diet Blueprint.
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What Is Fungal Acne Vs Hormonal Acne
Fungal acne and hormonal acne are often confused with each other because both types of acne start in the hair follicles. Fungal acne occurs when excess yeast develops, whereas hormonal acne is caused by excess sebum. Fungal acne can result in whiteheads, itchiness and often becomes red, irritated and inflamed.
Kypris Clearing Balance & Calm Serum
A must-have for battling breakouts and redness, the Kypris Clearing Balance & Calm Serum works with oily and acne-prone skin types to restore balance, regulate oil production, prevent congestion and reduce the appearance of breakouts and hyperpigmentation. Rich in antioxidants, amino acids and vitamin E thanks to its zinc, lilac leaf stem cells, tea tree oil and lavender-fortifed formula, it also prevents breakouts from forming while creating a brighter, more even complexion.
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What Is The Best Type Of Facial For Oily Skin
Pearl Facial: This facial is ideal for oily skin. Helps eliminate sunburn and brighten the skin. This is followed by a deep cleaning to improve the condition of the skin. This is followed by a light facial massage with pearl cream and the application of a pearl mask. Helps retain moisture and revitalize skin.
Big pores on noseWhat causes large nose pores and what can you do? Black plugs on blackheads can enlarge the pores. While brushing the nose to remove excess sebum can help reduce blackhead formation and pore size, excessive brushing is counterproductive as it increases sebum production. Consider using a primer to hide them and make them less visible.What can I do to shrink the large
Limit Stress To Reduce Inflammation
Ever heard of a stress zit? Being on edge is not only bad for your mindset but also aggravates your skin. “Stress triggers the release of a variety of hormones that can trigger an inflammatory response in the body,” says Fenton. “Inflammation is a major part of acnethat’s what leads to those large and deep red cystic pimples. Anything you can do to reduce inflammation will be helpful for your acne.”
Staying hydrated and reducing stress are things that are often overlooked in regards to skincare, Henry adds. “Exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them healthy,” she explains because it increases blood flow.
When it comes to lifestyle adjustments, Kimberly Snyder, a holistic nutritionist, says to make sleep a priority: “Sleep fights stress and helps your body and hormonal systems function.” Additionally, she recommends upping your water intake to flush out toxins dry brushing, which is great for detoxication exercising to help manage and relieve stress and staying on top of gut health, by incorporating a quality probiotic.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
If you have mild acne, speak to a pharmacist about medicines to treat it.
If these do not control your acne, or it’s making you feel very unhappy, see a GP.
You should see a GP if you have moderate or severe acne or you develop nodules or cysts, as they need to be treated properly to avoid scarring.
Try to resist the temptation to pick or squeeze the spots, as this can lead to permanent scarring.
Treatments can take up to 3 months to work, so do not expect results overnight. Once they do start to work, the results are usually good.
What Is Hormonal Acne And Why Does It Occur
Hormonal acne typically occurs during a certain point in the menstrual cycle, often the week before your period. These breakouts usually appear on the jawline or chin.
Although a non-pregnant person can suffer from hormonal acne, it is very common when a person becomes pregnant. “In your first trimester, there is a hormonal surge of progesterone, which is a hormone that makes the uterus a hospitable environment for the baby,” says Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist. “Progesterone can increase oil production and that hormonal surge plus the sebum can start the acne cascade.”
Some hormones level out during the course of pregnancy, which can help acne. This is not always the case, though. “Often, these breakouts decrease as the pregnancy continues into the third trimester, but the response is unpredictable,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD, a faculty member at Mount Sinais Department of Dermatology who practices at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. “Many people experience no acne at all, or acne throughout their entire pregnancy.”
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At What Age Does Menopause Start And What Are The Skin Symptoms
Menopause is diagnosed 12 months after a womans last period and the average age for this in the UK is 51. At this time, the ovaries stop producing oestrogen and progesterone. Skin becomes drier, thinner and more sensitive, and becomes more reactive to external triggers such as UV, pollution, fragrance, chemicals, sweat and friction, which can cause a breakout.
Some women may have relatively high testosterone so they may break out, grow facial hair and lose hair on the top.
What Is The Best Acne Cleanser
Salicylic acid. The best facial cleanser for acne should contain this ingredient. It has been called the magic ingredient in many acne products, including face creams and lotions. This beta-hydroxy acid is ideal for products targeting acne-prone skin.
How many times should you wash your faceHow often to wash face? In general, you should wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Not more often and you can dry out your skin .How many times should I wash/cleanse my face?Wash your face twice a day. Usually the
Which Face Wash Is Best For Pimples And Oily Skin
The best facial cleanser for oily and acne skin Cetaphil DERMACONTROL Oil Control Foam Wash AcneProne Skin. Desert Essence deep cleansing for oily skin and face. Ove Beauty Perfect Complexion Acne blackhead cleanser for oily skin. OLAY A pure, foaming facial cleanser with minimal oil content. Concept Skin Oil Control facial cleanser. ArtNaturals Clarifying Facial Cleanser for oily, acne-prone or acne-prone skin.
Finding The Right Skincare
A great place to start is with gentle skincare. “I love Avène’s Tolerance line,” suggests Dr. Gohara. “That is a really great line because it has just seven ingredients in it, and no preservatives. It actually gives pregnant women a lot of peace that there are minimal ingredientsplus they are calming and soothingand no preservatives. A really gentle cleanser is important.”
Dr. Nazarian agrees that using the right skincare from the get-go is important. “Some of my favorite products include a gentle acne cleanser like the Proactiv Renewing Cleanser, which includes benzoyl peroxide, and the Differin Pore Minimizing Toner with Witch Hazel, which is a safe and gentle option even for sensitive skin,” says Dr. Nazarian. “It contains no alcohol, and has an effective combination of aloe, witch hazel, and glycolic acid.”
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Can Washing Your Face Really Prevent Acne
Wash your face twice a day and avoid acne to improve the appearance of your skin. Contrary to popular belief, acne is rarely caused by a dirty face. However, it is important to wash your skin regularly to remove excess dirt and sebum from the skin. Many people prefer a mild detergent and warm water.
Look For These Active Ingredients
Pro tip: Stick to face wash if you have sensitive skin. Leave-on masks and other products might cause irritation. Wash your face daily for the best results.
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Natural Remedies For Hormonal Acne
Certain plant-based strategies can treat mild hormonal acne. However, they may be not as effective as conventional methods, and research on the efficacy of these treatments is lacking. One of these natural treatments is tea tree oil. Although tea tree oil is generally safe, your health care provider can verify whether it will interact with any medications youre taking.
These self-care tips may help clear acne or keep it from getting worse:
- Wash your face gently, no more than twice a day, and after heavy sweating.
- Use mild cleansers or soaps and lukewarm water.
- Avoid exfoliating products or harsh scrubs.
- Dont rub, pick, or scrape your pimples since this can cause inflammation.
- If you wear makeup, look for non-comedogenic options when possible.
- Avoid humid environments, which lead to sweating.
Excessive washing and scrubbing can actually worsen acne, as it may remove too much oil from your skin and cause irritation. In response, your skin may secrete more oil, worsening the acne.
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Beyond the realms of clarifying, the best skin care products for hormonal acne also help prevent future breakouts from forming thanks to their antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which remove acne-causing bacteria from your skin. They also help regulate oil production by soaking up excess sebum, which creates less opportunities for cystic acne to form. But, its important to remember that all of this exfoliation and treatment can be extremely drying to your skin. To prevent the weakening of the skin barrier, which can sometimes result in your skins defense systems to produce more oils and lead to more breakouts, make sure to incorporate gentle products that nourish, balance, calm and hydrate your skin as well. In fact, some of the best cystic acne products arent even formulated with beta-hydroxy acids, alpha-hydroxy acids or other powerhouse ingredients.
Ready to elevate your acne-prone skin care routine? Keep reading to explore the best products for hormonal acne that will help you achieve a clearer and more even-looking complexion.
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Use Topical Remedies For Getting Rid Of Existing Hormonal Acne
Most of the time, you do not realize you are suffering from a hormonal imbalance until some pimples pop out. Therefore, getting rid of these existing hormonal acne is as important as preventing them from occurring at all. Some remedies can be applied topically to improve affected skin.
- Honeythis contains antibacterial that helps getting rid of infesting bacteria around the infected skin. To apply, use a dampened finger to massage it onto the face and rinse with warm water.
- Apple cider vinegarthis contains gentle exfoliating acids to calm acne and balance the skins PH. To use this remedy, mix a glass of water with some drops of apple cider vinegar and keep it refrigerated. In the morning and afternoon, spray the mixture onto your face to improve acne-affected skin. This remedy is not only useful for acne, but also for skin rashes and fungal infection.