Hormonal acne is exactly what it sounds like – acne that is tied to fluctuations in your hormone levels. I hate hate hate this type of acne, it comes all at once and as if it’s not bad enough that you’re bleeding out and cramping constantly. For me they arrive thick and fast during my period and they take forever to heal.
Acne is typically associated with puberty, however hormonal acne can affect adults of any age. So in this post I will explain what it is and how I deal with it.
It is notably common in women as a number of factors may contribute to this, including menstruation and menopause. Hormonal adult acne typically forms on the lower part of your face. This includes the bottom of your cheeks, your chin and around your jawline.
Personally I suffer with hormonal acne on my chin in painful cyst-like bumps. These cysts form deep under the skin and don’t come to a head on the surface, trust me – they hurt like a mofo and I never get just the one at a time.
For some people, hormonal acne takes the form of blackheads, whiteheads, and small pimples that come to a head. Lucky sods.
Hormonal acne may be caused by a wave of hormones from:
- polycystic ovarian syndrome
These hormone fluctuations may aggravate acne issues by increasing:
- overall skin inflammation
- oil (sebum) production in the pores
- clogged skin cells in hair follicles
- production of acne-causing bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes
What You Can Use To Treat Hormonal Acne:
- Tea tree oil – this works by decreasing inflammation that can contribute to acne. Tea tree is found in many skin care products such as cleansers and toners. You can also use tea tree essential oil as a spot treatment.
- Over-the-counter retinol or vitamin A can have an exfoliating, slightly antibacterial effect on skin.
- Clays – usually in the form of overnight masks or spot treatments, they can treat oil, dead skin cells and left on overnight, can fight bacteria to some degree.
- Witch hazel or any non-alcohol toner can serve as a mild exfoliant that helps to unclog pores and deposit a bit more treatment ingredient, like tea tree oil or salicylic acid
How I Treat My Hormonal Acne:
I know it’s super hard, but try not to pick and scratch at your hormonal acne. I usually use a couple of really good drawing masks and pastes to draw out the liquid in cyst spots.
To begin with, I normally scrub my face with Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Charcoal Face Scrub, it is a deep cleansing facial scrub that contains antibacterial Tea Tree Oil and skin calming Witch Hazel. It also contains activated Charcoal to keep your skin clear and healthy by gently cleansing and drawing out deep down impurities and excess oil without over-drying. I’ve found that this really helps to reduce the appearance of blemishes and frequency of outbreaks.
I also love to use Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Night Gel it is a night treatment that I use before I go to bed. It works by fighting spot-causing bacteria whilst you sleep plus it is moisturising and cares for your skin without blocking pores and creating more spots.
I also love to use the Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions range. My personal favourites include the Oil Control Mask that does an amazing job at drawing out any liquid in a cystic spot. You can use this all over your face or just use as a target spot treatment for those nasty bumps that need reducing. Drawing the liquid can really make cystic spots less noticeable and a LOT less painful.
The Clinique Clarifying Lotion is a great little potion that clears dead surface cells and reduces excess oil that can lead to breakouts. It unclogs pores so well, even after cleansing there’s always some dirt from my skin on the pad with this product on. It’s oil-absorbing powders eliminate shine, soothes irritation and reduces redness. I love how clean and clear my skin feels after using this.
Something I picked up in Walmart in Florida was Smile’s PRID All Natural Drawing Salve. Yes it smells horrendous but salves really do work on cystic spots. They’re old-school, but they work to help balance the skin by keeping it moist and not drying out the spot to cracks like some spot treatments can. While it might seem that something so thick and tacky would clog pores more and make matters worse, salves actually help soothe the skin, protect wounds and draw out any infections lurking within. It really helps to reduce the pain in the spot too. I usually put a thick layer of this over the zit and leave it on over night. (I only use this when Myles is on night shifts, the smell would put him off kissing me forever).
So that’s my hormonal-cystic-evil-spot control method, I also up my water intake drastically during my time of the month and try to keep my face as oil and dry skin free as possible. Usually with my methods they clear in a few days, when I used to wait them out before, they could last weeks!
As usual in my skincare posts, I would like to point out my love for Keihl’s skincare products. The Ultra Facial Cleanser always gets rid of every last bit of makeup residue and the Midnight Recovery Concentrate really does make my skin look and feel fresher each morning.
How do you deal with hormonal acne?
Do you suffer with cystic, under the skin spots?
Have you tried any of the above products?
Let me know below in the comments!
Thanks for reading,