Hormonal acne can be complicated to treat, as it occurs for many differing reasons for each person.
Generally, hormonal acne (which is sometimes referred to as adult acne) is acne caused by genetic and hormonal factors that cause breakouts well past puberty. The specific hormones that contribute to this type of acne include reproductive hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Where does hormonal acne appear?
During puberty, hormonal acne often appears in the T-zone, including your forehead, nose, and chin.
Adult hormonal acne typically forms on the lower part of your face. This includes the bottom of your cheeks and around your jawline.
Symptoms of hormonal acne
- For some people, hormonal acne takes the form of blackheads, whiteheads or cysts. Developing painful cysts that feel like deep bumps under the skin’s surface, which cannot be “popped” easily or extracted.
- Increased oiliness and shininess of the skin.
- Pimples that tend to show up at the same time each month, often coinciding with a woman’s menstrual cycle.
- Pimples that develop in the same places over and over, which happens because certain pores become enlarged and prone to becoming infected and inflamed.
While you can begin treating hormonal acne on your own at home, you may want to visit a dermatologist if your condition is worsening. Your doctor/dermatologist can help pinpoint any underlying conditions that might be contributing to your breakouts, such as PCOS, high testosterone or cortisol levels, a thyroid condition, or another hormone issue.
Ways to Manage Your Hormonal Acne
Gently cleanse your skin, regularly
Even though adult acne tends to be due to hormonal factors and stress more so than unclean skin, it’s important to cleanse your face twice daily and to remove all makeup before going to bed. Our AMPERNA® Ultra Gentle Soothing Cleanser is non-comedogenic so it won’t block your pores or leave a residue on your skin. This cleanser is lightly foaming and rinses off well, leaving your skin feeling clean and refreshed.
You should also:
- AVOID cleansers that contain fragrances, refined oils and a lot of synthetic chemicals.
- Resist temptation to over wash or over exfoliate your face. This may aggravate your skin and make your acne worse.
- Also, if possible, wear no make up or limit wearing make up for special occasions only. Allowing your skin to breathe is the best thing you can do when you have hormonal acne.
Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Your diet has a big impact on your body’s overall health and hormonal balance. You should consume plenty of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods that help support hormone balance, immune function, and overall healthy skin, such as:
- Probiotic foods - The healthier your gut is, the better your balance of good versus bad bacteria. The probiotic in foods like yogurt, kefir and cultured vegetables, line your gut and create a healthy, sealed barrier that prevents inflammation that can trigger acne.
- High-zinc foods - Zinc supports wound healing and enzyme reactions that play a role in immune function. People with acne tend to be low in zinc, but you can boost your intake by consuming things like grass-fed beef, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and cashews.
- Vitamin A and C-rich foods - berries, greens like kale and spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers, and citrus fruits - fight infection, defend against oxidative stress and speed up healing.
- Fibre-rich foods - vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and 100% whole grains encourages colon cleansing as well as the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
- High-quality protein foods - Grass-fed beef, organic chicken, wild-caught fish, and free-range eggs are high in protein and nutrients and help balance blood sugar, a key component in the fight against hormonal fluctuations.
- Liver-supportive foods - Since hormones are processed in the liver, eating liver-supportive foods can help clear up acne. Eat more cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, as well as leafy greens and high-fibre fruits, such as berries, pears and apples.
- AVOID certain foods, such as:
- refined grains
- added sugar
- processed meats
- foods with trans fats
Manage Stress, Exercise and Get Enough Sleep
Your adrenal glands release more cortisol when you’re stressed and sleep-deprived, which affects how much oil your skin produces. Increased oil production can cause development of inflamed cysts below your skin.
Try natural stress relievers to help improve your skin, such as:
- spending time in nature
Exercising regularly greatly helps combat stress-induced hormonal acne. Exercise increases blood flow which helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Showering however straight after a workout is imperative to remove sweat and dirty from your skin.
People that have acne/adult acne may experience poor self-image, lack confidence, have low self-esteem, or suffer with anxiety or depression.
AMPERNA® founder and owner Kiri knows and understands the extent of how your mental health can be affected by the appearance of your skin, having suffered pustular acne herself.
If you are experiencing mental health issues, please seek help and talk to your doctor about ways you could work towards improving your state of mind.
Improving your feelings of happiness and wellbeing is of uttermost importance.
How AMPERNA® Skincare can Help Your Hormonal Acne
AMPERNA® can help your hormonal acne using a two-step approach.
Step 1 is working on balancing your hormones, such as eating a nourishing diet, managing stress, exercising and getting enough sleep.
Step 2 is using the right type of cleanser and topical products. That means those that help clean and soothe your irritated skin without worsening symptoms.
NOTE: If your acne is severe your doctor/dermatologist may recommend an oral medication for you to take instead. These usually are a contraceptive/anti-androgen drug. Oral contraceptives may not be an option for you if you have a history of blood clots, high blood pressure, or breast cancer.
Incorporate our Retinols into your regime
Retinols tend to be helpful for mild to moderate acne because they help remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, while also improving the overall texture and tone of skin.
- SUPERFOLIATE is a gentle leave on granactive retinoid serum which contains AZA, niacinamide, liquorice root extract and zinc and copper gluconates to help calm redness and improve the skin’s appearance
- SUPERADIENCE is our pregnancy safe retinol, the hero ingredient bakuchiol is a great plant-based retinol alternative for sensitive skin.
If you’re pregnant we recommend you use SUPERADIENCE (007). If you are starting out with using a retinol we recommend you start with SUPERADIENCE (007) and work your way to SUPERFOLIATE (006) once your skin gets used to retinol. Use only a small pea-size amount once a week, and gradually build up frequency of use to a couple of times a week.
Protect your skin
Retinols can increase your chances of sunburn, so make sure to apply sunscreen every single day.