Do you have hormonal acne? Find out what to avoid!

What is hormonal acne?

Hormonal acne is a type of acne that is caused by fluctuations in hormones, particularly androgens such as testosterone. These fluctuations can cause an increase in oil production in the skin, leading to clogged pores and the formation of acne. Furthermore, it is most commonly seen in women during their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. However, it can also affect men. Typically, treatment involves targeting the underlying hormonal imbalance like PCOS.

A picture showing the distribution of hormonal acne


  • This type of acne may be associated with an oily skin
  • Typically, it appears on the lower part of the face, such as the jawline and chin.
  • Pimples may include blackheads, whiteheads, which are not usually painful
  • Cystic or nodular lesions, which are large, painful, and deep-seated.
  • Flare-ups that occur at the same time each month, often around the time of menstruation.
  • Persistence of acne despite using over-the-counter or prescription topical treatments.

How to know if your acne is hormonal

Hormonal acne is often associated with fluctuations in hormone levels, such as during adolescence, pregnancy, or menopause. Additionally, people with hormonal acne may experience deeper, larger, and more painful cysts or nodules than with non-hormonal acne. To determine if your acne is hormonal, it is best to consult with a dermatologist, who can examine your skin and possibly perform tests to measure hormone levels.

When does it peak?

A woman bursting a pimple on her face depicting hormonal acne

Hormonal acne typically peaks during puberty and can continue into adulthood, particularly in women during their menstrual cycles or during menopause.

Natural treatment for hormonal acne

There are several natural treatment options for hormonal acne, including:

Diet: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Herbs: Herbs like saw palmetto, green tea, and chamomile can help balance hormones and reduce inflammation.

Probiotics: Taking probiotics can help balance the bacteria in the gut, which can in turn help balance hormones.

Exercise: Regular exercise can help reduce stress and balance hormones.

Stress management: Stress can trigger hormonal acne, so practicing stress management techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can help reduce acne.

It is important to note that these remedies may not work for everyone. Hence, you may need to visit a dermatologist who may prescribe a combination of topical and oral medications. They may include retinoids, antibiotics, and hormonal contraceptives.

The important vitamins

Vitamins A, D, and E have been shown to be beneficial for clearing acne. Vitamin A acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps to unclog pores. Additionally, Vitamin D helps to regulate the skin’s immune response and can reduce the production of sebum, which contributes to acne.

Food sources of vitamin D useful in hormonal acne
Food ssources of vitamin D

Also, Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help to reduce the damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to acne. However, It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Food sources of vitamin E useful in hormonal acne
Food sources, of vitamin E

Best skin care routine for hormonal acne

A good skincare routine for hormonal acne should focus on keeping the skin clean and reducing inflammation. This can include the following steps:

Cleanse: Use a gentle, oil-free cleanser twice a day to remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup. The Neutrogena oil-free acne wash does this well.

Exfoliate: Gently exfoliate the skin once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores.

Treat: Apply a spot treatment containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to target individual pimples.

Moisturize: Use a light, oil-free moisturizer to hydrate the skin and prevent over-drying. Cera ve daily moisturizing lotion is a good option here.

Sun protection: Wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day to protect the skin from UV damage and prevent further breakouts.

It’s also important to note that diet, stress, and other lifestyle factors can also play a role in hormonal acne. So, it may be helpful to address those issues in addition to following a skincare routine. Consult with a dermatologist for personalized advice and treatment

What to avoid when you have hormonal acne

It’s important to avoid the following, when you have this condition.

  1. Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, which can increase oil production in the skin.
  2. High-glycemic-index foods, such as white bread and sugary snacks, which can increase insulin levels and lead to acne.
  3. Processed foods and snacks, which can contain added sugars and oils that can worsen acne.
  4. Skincare products that contain pore-clogging ingredients, such as mineral oil and petrolatum.
  5. Touching or picking at your face, as this can transfer bacteria and oil from your hands to your skin, leading to breakouts.
  6. Over-exfoliating (more than twice per week) or over-cleansing your skin. This can strip your skin of its natural oils and leave it dry, irritated, and more prone to acne.

How to balance your hormones naturally

A picture showing foods that help to balance hormones naturally
  • Eating a balanced diet that is rich in whole foods, including fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Exercising regularly at least 30 minutes a day. This may help to regulate insulin and other hormones.
  • Managing stress through techniques such as yoga, (click to learn yoga for beginners.
  • Getting enough sleep and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Avoiding processed foods, added sugars, and excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption.
  • Considering taking natural supplements that can help balance hormones like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, magnesium, and probiotics.
  • Consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.

What to expect

It’s important to note that some cases of hormonal acne may be resistant to treatment, and may require a combination of multiple approaches to manage the symptoms.

Till next time, stay healthy and be blessed!