Acne doesn’t always stop when you end your teenage years.
In fact, acne is quite common in adults, especially when you factor in hormones.
Research suggests that 50 percent of women between 20 and 29 years old deal with hormonal acne, and 25 percent of women ages 40 to 49 struggle with the same issue.
But just because you have acne and fall into these age ranges does not immediately mean you have hormonal acne.
What is hormonal acne?
The pesky pimples irritating your skin could be a result of stress, genetics, medication, and wrong product selection. So it’s important to rule out these factors before you start looking for hormonal acne remedies.
You want to make sure you have the right solutions for the right problem. And if you’re wondering how to tell whether you have hormonal acne, there are a few characteristics that point to the problem.
Usually, hormonal acne shows up on the lower half of your face, specifically along your chin and jawline.
Additionally, the pimples typically mirror more cystic blemishes and are deeply rooted in your skin than the average blackhead and whitehead.
Common causes of hormonal acne include:
- Hormonal changes in your body like an increase in testosterone
- Clogged pores because of excess dirt, oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells
- Bacterial infections that sometimes result in painful pimples
If you’ve been noticing and experiencing all of these things, then you may have hormonal acne, in which case, you’re a great candidate for hormonal acne remedies.
How to reduce hormonal acne
There are many ways to reduce hormonal acne.
You can take a natural or more medical route. The path you choose may depend on whether your hormonal acne is mild, moderate, or severe (because this form of acne is different for everyone).
However, going the natural route is best if you want to avoid the side effects of many medicinal options.
A lot of unnatural hormonal acne remedies can solve your problem, but they can also create others, so it’s good to consider natural solutions as well.
But to equip you with every option that’s available to you, here is a list of hormonal acne treatments that can help you get healthier, happier skin.
1. Over-the-counter cleansers
You always need to have a good cleanser in your life, especially if you want to root out hormonal acne. But you don’t need to pay a lot of money to get a high-quality product.
There are many over-the-counter cleansers that are cost-effective and awesome hormonal acne remedies. However, please make sure you check the ingredient list before you buy a facial cleanser.
To effectively reduce hormonal acne, your cleanser should have two ingredients:
- Probiotics: A probiotic cleanser will help manage the bacterial or microbiome and yeast environment in your skin. It will also help your skin maintain a normal pH balance. Additionally, studies suggest that some microbial strains in topical probiotics will prevent inflammation, enhance your skin’s protective mechanisms, and hinder the P. acnes bacteria that leads to breakouts.
- Glycolic acid or salicylic: Both of these ingredients help exfoliate the skin. And when you exfoliate regularly, it can prevent clogged pores, decreasing breakouts on your skin. Moreover, exfoliating can increase collagen production, leading to glowing and vibrant skin.
Having these two ingredients in your cleanser will do a lot to reduce your hormonal acne, so don’t skip the research phase when you’re looking for products. Make sure the cleanser you choose has everything you need.
2. Reduce your stress levels
Stress impacts so many aspects of your health, including your hormones.
When you’re experiencing stress, your cortisol and adrenaline face the consequences.
Dubbed the stress hormone, cortisol helps you cope with long-term stress.
However, adrenaline is responsible for giving you an energy boost to help you respond to immediate danger. It’s like your fight-or-flight hormone.
Studies have found that chronic stress negatively affects your cortisol by increasing its levels and keeping them higher than normal. When this happens, it can cause uncontrolled calorie intake and obesity, leading to unwanted belly fat.
Even more concerning, stress can elevate your adrenaline, resulting in high blood pressure, anxiety, and rapid heart rate.
If you want to balance these two hormones to reduce your hormonal acne, it’s incredibly important that you decrease stress. Studies indicate that getting a massage, practicing yoga, and meditating can all reduce stress to bring stability to your hormones.
3. Activated Hemp
You might have heard that hemp-based remedies can reduce anxiety, alleviate depression, soothe inflammation, and relieve pain.
But another great benefit of hemp is that it’s a wonderful hormonal acne remedy.
Activated Hemp, an edible form of CBD, positively influences three hormones in your body:
- Your metabolic hormones
- Your sleep hormones
- Your sex hormones
To understand this better, let’s start with the first point.
Activated Hemp can have a powerful effect on your metabolic hormones. When you include this form of CBD into your meals, it can help decrease the cortisol levels in your blood to promote less stress and deeper relaxation.
What’s also great is that Activated Hemp can significantly influence your sleep hormones. By including this ingredient into your daily life, you can jumpstart the secretion of melatonin, which is a sleep hormone in your body. After this process completes, your sleep quality can greatly improve, leading to less tossing and turning throughout the night.
However, the benefits of Activated Hemp don’t stop there. This hormonal acne remedy also impacts your sex hormones and reproductive health.
For instance, in a recent Well + Good article, Integrative OB-GYN Felice Gersh, MD. explained that hemp-derived remedies might decrease menstrual cramps, premenstrual syndrome, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis.
By bringing balance to your metabolic hormones, sleep hormones, and sex hormones, your acne can start to decrease.
Remember—hormonal acne is a direct result of fluctuating hormones. So when you bring stability back into your body, those pesky pimples will reduce.
4. Topical Retinoids
Most dermatologists will recommend topical retinoids if you’re showing symptoms of hormonal acne.
This remedy can reportedly remove dead skin cells at a more normal pace so that those dead skin cells don’t come together and clog your pores. Dermatologists also commonly recommend them because they prevent new acne in the long term.
But it’s important to know that retinoids can have harsh side effects. This is especially true if you’re using prescription ones.
When you first start taking these, you may experience red, painful, and dry skin.
If you have sensitive skin or a skin condition like rosacea, you may also want to be especially careful about using topical retinoids. This remedy may be way too harsh for you and lead to even more breakouts.
5. Drink Green Tea
Drinking green tea is an excellent way to naturally balance hormones and get rid of acne.
This soothing tea contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has a great effect on hormonal health.
For example, studies suggest that green tea’s beneficial properties elevate insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin levels in healthy people and individuals with insulin-resistant conditions like diabetes and obesity.
Another analysis that reviewed 17 studies also found that the highest-quality research indicated a link between significantly lower fasting insulin levels and green tea.
So if you’re interested in a hormonal acne remedy that’s natural, start incorporating green tea into your daily life.
6. Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has a variety of benefits, but one of those benefits centers around acne.
Tea tree oil has the power to reduce inflammation that leads to acne. In fact, a study recently found that five percent of topical tea tree oil can relieve side effects in people with mild to moderate acne.
Additionally, this beneficial oil is easy to find in many cleansers and toners. You can even include tea tree essential oil into your skincare routine as a spot treatment.
However, if you take that route, make sure to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil before you use it.
Great carrier oils include olive, coconut, and jojoba. When you pick your carrier oil, add about 12 drops of it to every one to two drops of essential oil.
Also, don’t forget to do a skin patch test before using the diluted tea tree essential oil. Rub it onto the inside of your forearm before you put it anywhere else to see if you experience inflammation or irritation.
7. Avoid sugar & refined carb intake
Two things that are terrible for your hormones are sugar and refined carbs.
Research suggests that fructose increases your insulin levels and promotes insulin resistance. Fructose also makes up half of most types of sugar, so it’s hard to avoid if you’re not careful.
Keeping all of that in mind, it’s imperative that you focus on your diet if you want to balance your hormones.
What you eat affects your hormonal health—it’s plain and simple.
If you want to reduce your hormonal acne, you need to eat whole foods and use low- or moderate-carb diets. This hormonal acne remedy will get your insulin levels back on track.
For ideas on which foods to get, here’s a quick list:
- Chicken Breast
- Activated Hemp
These hormone balancing foods will work wonders in creating peace in your body. In fact, these types of foods can influence various hormones and reduce insulin levels in overweight and obese people with insulin-resistant conditions and prediabetes.
8. Oral Contraceptives
Oral contraceptives like birth control are typically recommended as a hormonal acne remedy because they contain ethinylestradiol and the following ingredients:
All of these ingredients work together to target the hormones associated with acne. Oral contraceptives can be especially beneficial during peaks in your hormones like ovulation.
However, if you have a history of blood clots, breast cancer, or high blood pressure, oral contraceptives may not be the best option for you.
It’s also important to keep in mind that oral contraceptives have several side effects, including bloating, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, gingivitis, weight gain, weight loss, and increased or decreased appetite.
9. Antiandrogen drugs
Androgen is a hormone that men and women both have, but too much of it can lead to acne.
By increasing oil production and interfering with hair follicles that regulate your skin cells, androgen can cause hormonal acne.
However, antiandrogen drugs like spironolactone—which is commonly used for high blood pressure—can help reduce the levels of androgen. By bringing this hormone back into balance, your acne can start to clear up.
10. Alpha hydroxy acid
While anything with the word “acid” in it may sound scary, this hormonal acne remedy is a plant acid that typically comes from citrus fruits.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) can be a great treatment because they help remove excess dead skin cells that clog your pores. Additionally, AHAs may assist in reducing the appearance of acne scars.
You can usually find AHAs in creams and OTC masks. But similar to retinoids, AHAs can make your skin sensitive to the sun, so make sure you always wear sunscreen when using a product with this ingredient.
Bottom Line: You have many options
You don’t have to live with hormonal acne forever. There are plenty of ways to alleviate the issue. You just have to find the right treatment for you.
Of course, natural hormonal acne remedies are always a great first step. They don’t come with any side effects, and plenty of studies back up their benefits for hormonal health.
But take your time researching the best solution for you, and go into this process knowing you may need to test several ideas. Everyone’s skin is different. What works for one person may not work for you, so keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid to test multiple remedies.