Hormonal Acne: Causes, Treatment and More

Hello wonderful ladies! I think most of us has experienced period acne or hormonal acne that comes every month without a fail. The majority of us women know how does it feel like. Some of you may know it as acne vulgaris.

Girl with hormonal acne on chin area

Now, many of you had puberty acne, I would like to add puberty acne are different from hormonal acne and puberty acne occurs in the T-Zone that includes your forehead, nose and chin area.

What is a hormonal acne?

Just like its name hormonal acne means acne associated with fluctuations in hormones, either due to your periods or other underlying hormonal changes.

There are mixed opinions in modern science and holistic medicine for acne cure, keep reading to know both and choose the best for you.

How do you know if your acne is hormonal?

As earlier I said hormonal acne is linked to your hormones estrogen and progesterone, which both vary widely through the menstrual cycle. Women get period acne especially a week before their menstruation and few of them encounter acne during the menstruation.

Here are few typical features of hormonal acne:

  1. Acne or pimples pop up around your jawline or upper neck, shoulders, chest and back.
  2. You have a monthly breakout
  3. You are dealing with a lot of stress
  4. Acne is painful and comedogenic
  5. You are not a teenager anymore

What hormones cause acne in females?

The main hormone behind all this cystic acne or acne vulgaris is ‘Testosterone’ which is a male hormone that is present in abundance in women.

And the other hormone ‘Estrogen’ can also cause acne due to a decrease in levels near menstruation or menopause.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is again a leading cause of acne these days as it involves multiple hormonal fluctuations.

Fluctuations in these hormones can worsen acne by increasing:

  • Overall skin inflammation
  • Excessive production of oil (sebum) in pores
  • Skin cells locked in hair follicles
  • Production of acne-causing bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes

How to treat hormonal Acne?

Treating hormonal acne is a little tedious job because otc products do not work effectively alone. You need additional treatment to get back on track.

There are multiple types of treatment and you have to make your cocktail by combining topical products with medications and natural supplements.

What medicine treat hormonal acne?

Your dermatologist or gynecologist may recommend the following medicines to you that can help you heal from the inside out and treat acne:

Oral Contraceptive Pills:

OCPs targets hormones that can contribute to acne. These can be helpful during hormonal surges.

Ethinylestradiol comes in combination with one of these drospirenone, norgestimate or norethindrone.

Avoid OCPs if you have a history of blood clots, high blood pressure, breast cancer, or if you smoke.

Anti-Androgenic Drugs:

Anti-androgenic drugs reduce male hormones as too much male hormone is a causative factor for acne.

Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a diureticmedicine primarily used to treat high blood pressure, it has anti-androgen effects. It can stop your body from producing more androgens or male hormones and allow your hormone levels to settle.


If you have mild hormonal acne then you can simply stick to a topical treatment. Retinol are very effective in clearing acne and scars. You can use retinols in any form like cream, gel or lotion.

Always remember if you are putting on retinols during the day then you must layer it with sunscreen, as retinol can increase the risk is sunburn.

Apart from these medications, there are much more treatment regimens like oral antibiotics or surgical care that your dermatologist can recommend according to the severity of your acne.

Natural Treatment

Fighting hormonal acne is a big challenge and you should have a basic hygienic skincare routine to master it. You can also add few remedies like tea tree oil as a spot treatment or spearmint tea to your daily routine to reduces androgen levels naturally.

If your hormonal acne is due to PCOS then a few herbal remedies can help in bringing the hormones back to normal levels,

What are the don’ts in hormonal acne?

You must be already knowing that antioxidant-rich food can help in reducing acne and may help in restoring hormones. So you can include any plant-based antioxidant of your choice in your diet.

Now, be careful while you binge on unhealthy food, it can be a major cause to aggravate your existing hormonal imbalance. So try to limit the following:

  • Sugar
  • Dairy products
  • Refined carbs
  • Red meats

Best products for hormonal acne

Now you will be curious about this part. Because everyone who suffer from hormonal acne, also suffer from depression and low self-esteem because of painful acne and those big scars or dented skin.

Well here are some really good products that you can use to clear off the acne and acne scars. Make sure you discuss it with your healthcare provider before putting your hand on it.

1. TruSkin Tea Tree Serum*

This serum is pumped with tea tree essential oil, retinol, vitamin C, salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid. You can use this serum as a spot treatment or apply it thoroughly. It works amazingly when applies 2-3 times per week.

2. ProactiveMD Acne Kit*

It is a retinoid acne treatment, a gentle and effective combination of deep cleansing and exfoliating acne face wash and treatment cream. This one is my favourite, it will take 4 weeks to change your skin completely. If you have severe acne, this is worth trying.

3. CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser*

This satisfying lathering, fragrance-free face wash contains benzoyl peroxide that kills acne-causing bacteria and pampers skin with nourishing ceramides and hydrating hyaluronic acid to stave off your moisture.

4. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Back and Body Acne Spray*

It’s not uncommon to find breakouts making their way onto our arms, chest, back, and more. Paula’s Choice Clear Back & Body Acne Spray is formulated with 2 percent salicylic acid to clear clogged pores and the spray format is incredibly easy to hit all those hard-to-reach areas, makes it super easy. Plus, the soothing blend of licorice, allantoin, panthenol and glycerin replenishes moisture and reduces redness.

5. Differin Adapalene Gel*

Not only was Differin’s Adapalene Gel Retinoid Acne Treatment the first retinoid gel approved for over-the-counter use to treat acne, but it also won three Best of Beauty awards under its belt. The water-based, no-frills gel contains an acne-fighting retinoid called adapalene, which treats clogged pores and inflammation and helps prevent new blemishes from forming deeper in pores. It eventually restores the texture and tone of your skin even with continued use – just be patient and don’t give up, as the recommended time frame to see results is 12 weeks.

I hope this article was of great value for your time and helped you in your search of fighting acne vulgaris. You can send your queries and leave a comment below with your feedback. Be sure to sign up for my free newsletter to be the first to get new posts! You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Thanks for Reading!!!

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