Why does it feel like we get only three to five days of good skin days? Hello to hormonal acne. According to dermatologist, Dr. Zenovia, hormonal acne (also known as adult acne), “fluctuates with the menstrual cycle and commonly appears around the jawline and chin area. Females are more susceptible to hormonal acne since we experience fluctuations in female sex hormones including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, monthly with our menses.” So how do we cope?
Below are a few recommendations of skincare products, diet changes, and supplements I highly recommend that can assist in controlling hormonal acne.
The key to skincare is to be consistent with your products and routine. Find a system that works for you and stick with it! When treating hormonal acne, simplicity is key.
Morning: Wash your face with a mild cleanser, or no cleanser at all to ensure you are not over-stripping your face. Apply an oil-free moisturizer with a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30.
- Evening: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Apply a topical retinoid at night after cleansing. Retinoids do a lot of great things for acne, such as inhibiting inflammation, regulating skin turnover, and increasing collagen and elastin production. I recommend finding a high-quality acne serum (non-drying and alcohol-free) containing salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is known for its quick penetration and ability to clear pores of acne-causing bacteria. Skin expert, Renee Rouleau, recommends using a quality BHA serum for three nights and then switching to a Skin Correcting Serum ($47) that is rich in brightening agents like vitamin B3. After you apply your serums, layer on moisturizer.
Gut health is a hugely necessary step in skin health. How to treat hormonal acne has a lot to do with your diet. Hormonal acne can be triggered by overconsumption of sugar, dairy, and/or caffeine. I highly recommend cutting these out to see if there is any improvement in your skin. I can almost guarantee there will be. Especially dairy and sugar!! Let’s be real, some of us need at least one cup of coffee to feel human. Focus on eating foods that help balance your hormones such as salmon, grass-fed butter, avocados, kale, broccoli, arugula, chia seeds, walnuts, and more.
Mineral supplements I recommend including in your treatment plan include vitamin D, fish oil, vitamin C, probiotics, and B vitamins.
Vitamin D: Low Vitamin D levels have been linked to various skin diseases. This vitamin’s powerful immune-regulatory properties can help reduce acne symptoms.
Fish Oil: A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids reduces total body inflammation. Fish oil supplements are positively associated with improving acne severity, especially for individuals with moderate to severe acne.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C assists with wound healing and collagen remodeling, thanks to its antioxidant properties.
Probiotics: Probiotics help restore a healthy balance in the gut, reduce inflammation, inhibit bacterial growth, restore the skin barrier, help balance hormones, and improve overall skin health. ALL women can benefit from taking a probiotic, but they are especially helpful for individuals facing inflammatory skin conditions.
- B Vitamins: B complex vitamins assist in enzyme activation and play a role in hormone production and balance. Vitamin B supplements help reduce dryness and flakiness associated with acne-prone skin. Nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, has been found to be effective at reducing acne symptoms.
Hormonal Acne Is Perfectly Normal...
If you don’t recognize any slight changes or experience increased breakouts, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. All of us go through hormonal changes, some which commonly lead to battling pesky hormonal acne. There is nothing to feel ashamed of. You are beautiful!