7 Signs of Hormonal Acne

Period pains aren't the only thing getting us down during that time of month. Many of us experience acne during our period cycles, which can be caused by estrogenic factors. It is also usually a great tell-tale sign your period is coming.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a regular breakout from other breakouts that are caused by our menstrual cycle hormones. How do hormones cause acne? Changes in hormone levels over this monthly cycle increase the production of oils that clog our pores! Grab your favorite organic acne treatment and get to know the seven signs of hormonal acne.


Women in their 20s and beyond who have acne are typically suffering from hormonal breakouts or even hormonal cystic acne. If you’re past your teen years, learning how to get rid of hormonal acne can be super helpful to a decrease in blemishes. We don’t work so hard on our skincare routines for nothing!

Hormone Fluctuations

If you are pregnant or going through menopause, hormonal fluctuations are even more intense, often leading to an unwanted change in complexion. These natural changes in the life cycle are likely tied to acne development. 

Body Location

Hormonal breakouts often have a distinct pattern that will have you searching how to get rid of acne fast. These blemishes, which can take the form of blackheads, whiteheads or cysts, typically affect the chin, jawline, neck, chest and upper back. 

Cystic Blemishes

Hormonal acne is more likely to result in cystic blemishes. These lesions can be large, sore, red and painful to touch! Avoid touching or squeezing a cyst (we know it’s tempting), since scarring often results and trust us when we say, it’s not worth it. Some cysts become chronic and require treatment by a dermatologist.


If you have hormonal acne, you’ll notice a definite pattern. Pimples tend to appear or worsen during the week before your period and clear up the week after your period each month. Some women also notice breakouts around the time of ovulation. You might even notice that you get a blemish in the same place with each cycle.

Treatment Response

Does your acne seem to be totally resisting topical treatments? If your usual cleansing routine isn’t clearing your skin effectively, hormones may be the ones to blame!

Stress Level

Women who are under great emotional stress are more likely to experience hormonal acne. Stress increases levels of the hormone cortisol, which is associated with oil production and breakouts, so always remember to take care of your mental and physical wellbeing first!

How do I get rid of hormonal acne? 

Ok, now that you know the symptoms of hormonal acne, let's get into treatment. Although oral contraception is often recommended for hormonal acne, women who do not want to take birth control pills should really seek a face wash with natural ingredients. For best results, cleanse your face 2x a day, in the morning and at night (but you already know that). Follow with a toner and either a moisturizer with SPF during the day or night cream if you’re heading to bed! A gentle mask or spot treatment can be used to fight existing blemishes and also because they’re just super fun.

Look for products that incorporate green tea, alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), tea tree oil and other bacteria-fighting botanicals. Probiotic cleansers balance the good and bad bacteria on the skin to create a less livable home for breakouts. Mechanical exfoliation methods, such as a gentle scrub, can encourage the removal of dead skin cells that lead to breakouts without damaging your skin with all those harsh chemicals.

Lifestyle changes may also result in the improvement of hormonal acne. Make sure you drink enough water, exercise regularly and eat a variety of healthy foods! Don’t skip out on those diverse fruits and veggies. Healthy fats, such as salmon, avocados and nuts, have rejuvenating skin benefits too. Take steps to manage your stress level, such as meditation or yoga. You deserve it.  


Ready to end the skin cycle struggle? Check out our ultimate hormonal acne fighting bundle!