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Hormonal Acne - what you need to know

Your skincare guide to hormonal acne

As teens, one of the things we all look forward to is clear skin. There’s this common belief that the day you turn twenty, all of your acne woes are solved and you finally get that glowing, flawless complexion that you see all over Instagram and in every beauty magazine. Why, then, do those pesky pimples always seem to pop up around our noses, chins, and cheeks around that certain time of the month?


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Hormonal acne is just another possible side effect of a menstrual cycle. One study, conducted by the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, found that up to 60% of participants struggled with hormonal acne. So if you find yourself with a new breakout that always seems to appear right around your menstrual cycle -- good news! You’re not alone. And there are lots of ways you can reduce those breakouts and keep them from causing you stress. Let’s talk about it!

What is hormonal acne?

While acne is usually caused by bacteria and inflammation, it can also certainly be influenced by changes in hormones. When your body is especially sensitive -- like during a menstrual cycle -- hormones can trigger excess oil production, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. These breakouts are usually on the lower third of your face and even down the neck. They usually flare up before or during your period. Doctors often prescribe birth control pills as a solution for hormonal acne. But if you’re happy with your current birth control solution and are still experiencing hormonal breakouts, there are several ways you can treat them at home.

How to treat hormonal acne at home

Topical Fixes

It is recommended by most dermatologists to gently cleanse your skin twice a day. Look for cleansers that are free from harsh chemicals and that are formulated specifically for sensitive skin. Some favorites include our Healing Face Cleanser, which has natural plant enzymes to gently exfoliate the skin topically without irritation, and Yucca & Lavender Cleansing Bar, which is free of fragrance and essential oils and has natural healing properties to soothe the skin. 

After cleansing, you may want to consider a topical acne treatment. A product containing benzoyl peroxide is effective due to its antimicrobial properties, but it can tend to dry out the skin. If you already have dry skin, you may want to consider a milder treatment. Be sure to discuss this with your dermatologist if you have any questions.

black woman, clear face

Always make sure your skin is getting the right amount of moisture. We recommend our Nourishing Lightweight Face Moisturizer, a lightweight moisturizer that provides the right amount of nutrients and hydration to sensitive skin, leaving natural oils balanced and prevents pores from clogging. Also, it is all-natural and suitable for all skin types. 

Lifestyle Changes

Ensuring that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day is a huge priority when it comes to naturally protecting your skin. Water promotes skin hydration and flushes out toxins that may cause acne. 

Consuming good bacteria can definitely help keep your skin clear. Taking a probiotic supplement, drinking kombucha, or eating yogurt, kimchi, or other fermented foods is a really great way to boost your gut health, which can affect your skin.

Making sure to eat clean, especially around your menstrual cycle, is also a commonly recommended tactic for supporting skin health. Limiting dairy, sugar, and overly processed foods can lead to clearer skin and fewer blemishes.

Exercising regularly increases your circulation, which helps reduce inflammation. It is also known to help reduce stress, which can also play a big role in hormonal breakouts. 

Remember to talk to your doctor or dermatologist if you’re experiencing chronic hormonal acne. There could be underlying causes that indicate health concerns, and you won’t know if you don’t ask. 

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As always, our most important tip for someone struggling with hormonal acne is to love yourself! Confidence never goes out of style, and even with blemishes, you are beautiful and worthy of love.

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