Beauty 101

Control Acne Delete: Combatting Hormonal Acne

Rachel Gibbons Beauty Expert
Control Acne Delete: Combatting Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne- what is it? Well it is exactly what it sounds like- acne which syncs with fluctuations in your hormonal levels. These fluctuations in hormones aggravate acneic issues by increasing sebum production which in turn increases the clogging of pores as well as increasing the number of acne-causing bacteris called Propionibacterium acnes. Although it is most common during puberty it can also still affect adults with 50% of women ages 20 to 29 and and 25% of women ages 40 to 49 suffering from it. During puberty, hormonal acne can be seen around your T zone, in adults it is more commonly found at the bottom of the cheek region and the jawline. It can appear as whiteheads, blackheads or cysts. 

Below are some key things to note when dealing with hormonal acne!


If your hormonal acne is mild, you may be able to use topical retinoids as they help to unclog pores. Remember to apply sunscreen daily as retinoids increase your sensitivity to sunlight. 

Tea tree oil

This has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It helps to relieve acne symptoms such as redness, swelling, and inflammation.

Alpha hydroxy acid

AHAs can help remove excess dead skin cells which clog your pores. As with retinoids, AHAs can increase your skin’s sun sensitivity, so ensure you wear sunscreens.

Green tea

The main antioxidant in green tea — epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) — reduces sebum production, fights inflammation, and inhibits the growth of the bacteria P. acnes.

Salicylic acid

Works by unclogging blocked pores and breaking down oils like sebum. It also decreases the skin's sebum production, leading to fewer breakouts.

Foods high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids

Diet is key! The major antioxidants such as vitamin C and E are usually found in colorful fruits and vegetables, especially those that are purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow in colour. Examples include berries, mangoes, kiwis, sweet potatoes, peppers, broccoli and spinach. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, seeds and nuts. Try limiting your intake of sugar, dairy, refined carbs and red meats.

Stress less

When you are stressed or anxious, your body increases hormones like cortisol and testosterone which can lead to excess oil production which can trigger a breakout.

Skincare routine + hygiene

  • Wash your face at least twice a day
  • Apply no more than a pea-size amount of any acne product. Applying too much can dry out your skin and increase irritation.
  • Wear sunscreen every day.
  • Use only noncomedogenic products to reduce your risk of clogged pores.
  • Shower immediately after exercising- avoid sitting in your sweat!
  • Change your pillowcase at least once a week

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