Yep, adults can get acne too! Womxn who struggle with pimples, blackheads and blemishes as adults are most often experiencing hormonal acne. These breakouts are associated with natural fluctuations of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that occur during your period, pregnancy and menopause. Keep reading for the scoop on everything you need to know about hormonal acne, including the best remedies from organic face wash to blemish oil and beyond!
Detecting Hormonal Acne
Womxn in their 20s and beyond are most commonly affected by this type of acne, which is associated with increased oil production that clogs the pores and causes breakouts! Often, hormonal acne flares up the week before your period starts, when you're likely experiencing other symptoms of PMS. Higher progesterone levels at this point in the cycle lead to the excess oil blamed for blemishes. This also occurs when estrogen levels drop during menopause or when you stop taking birth control pills after months or years of using oral contraception. Womxn who have PCOS and other conditions that cause elevated androgen levels are also more likely to develop hormonal acne.
Acne around the mouth, jawline and chin is a telltale sign that hormones are contributing to your breakouts, especially when pimples show up in the same place over and over again. You may also notice deeper cystic blemishes rather than small pimples and clogged pores; these cysts tend to become large, red, swollen and sore to the touch.
If you're wondering how to treat hormonal acne, you've come to the right place! Often, these lesions resist over-the-counter treatments. If you're struggling with breakouts that return month after month and don't seem to get better with your normal skin care routine, try these strategies:
- Limit sugar and dairy in your diet. Low-fat milk and simple sugars like those in white rice and potatoes, processed foods, juice, cakes and soda are most likely to exacerbate hormonal breakouts according to clinical studies. Vitamin-rich foods like vegetables, brown rice and whole grains support healthy skin!
- Switch up your routine. If you haven't had luck getting rid of acne with drugstore skin care products, consider switching to an all natural blemish treatment. Some of the best natural ingredients for hormonal acne include tea tree oil, green tea and alpha hydroxy acid. Wash your skin 2x a day and always wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors.
- See a dermatologist! They may recommend oral prescription medications, such as birth control pills to regulate hormones or antibiotics to kill blemish-causing bacteria. Common topical prescriptions include retinoids, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
- Avoid picking at your skin (we know it’s hard), but doing so can lead to infection and recurrence of blemishes as well as scarring.
- Take steps to reduce stress. It can have worsening effects on hormonal acne, but also because your mental health is so important! Try yoga, deep breathing exercises, aromatherapy or another practice that helps you feel calmer and more centered in the face of life's challenges.
When you're tired of cystic acne, and other symptoms of hormonal acne, try these simple tips for clearing your skin. Healthy living and the right products for hormonal acne treatment can help most people overcome these unwanted breakouts!