One thing that still surprises us in the letters you write to us is how many women come to us because they are suffering from adult acne and cannot seem to find any relief. You know the ones: that grow beneath the cheekbones, along the jawline and around the mouth, and threaten to stick around forever and scar your face.
While the reality is that hormonal acne doesn’t just go away, we can give you some tips so that you do not have to see these pimples again.
First: Identify The Shape, Size, and Appearance
Hormonal acne is large, lumpy and sensitive to touch. It may be painful even when you’re not touching it. This kind of acne is likely to leave a scar, especially if you make the mistake of trying to squeeze it. Sometimes, it does not respond to topical acne products.
Second: Understand Why Does Hormonal Acne Even Happen?
As our levels of estrogen and progesterone decline towards the start of our period, testosterone (the male hormone) become more ‘dominant’ and testosterone tends to stimulate increased production of oil from our oil glands. Oilier skin tends to attract unwanted bacteria and combined with the dead skin cell and dirt increases pimples just before your periods.
Cortisol, our stress hormones, increases testosterone, which triggers the chain reaction of more oil secretion from our oil glands. One reason why the chin area is prone to acne from cortisol is that the hormones directly affect the oil glands and hair follicles, specifically of the chin area. In addition to appearing on the chin and jawline, these hormonal pimples may also show up on the back and chest.
Underlying Health Issues
As ugly as it looks, pimples tend to be a great initial indicator of what’s happening inside your body and you should take steps to address the underlying issue.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one common hormone disorder that causes pimples to grow along the lips and chin. Besides acne, the notable symptoms of PCOS are irregular periods, weight gain and thinning hair. If you have adult acne that does not go away, and other symptoms that point towards PCOS, do visit a physician for a professional health check.
We will give you a few tips for how to get outsmart hormonal acne.
Even though hormonal acne comes from within, how you care for it on the outside is still extremely important.
Use natural cleansers that do not strip away your natural oil
Contrary to popular belief, anti-grease cleansers make the skin oilier, when you remove too much oil from the skin, the skin balances this deficiency by producing more oil than before. This makes the skin oilier and creates an even more favourable environment for bigger and more acne. Mild, cream type cleanser like bSoul’s Hydra Milk Cleanser, contains Sage and Thyme extracts that act as an antiseptic which helps to keep the bacteria spread at bay, and oil rebalancing ingredients such as Argan and Mosqueta Rose oil help to blunt the excessive oil production on the skin.
Add natural, lightweight facial oils to your daily routine
Acne skin then to highly susceptible to dehydration, especially when the skin’s barrier has been compromised from harsh cleansers, prescription anti-acne products and over-the-counter acne creams. Not all facial oils are made equal, and some may cause pimples to become worse off. When choosing a facial oil for hormonal acne skin, find a formula that features lots of anti-oxidants and uses high-quality botanical oils. One of our editor’s favourite is bSoul’s Essential Fatty Acid, because it contains clinically proven, enzyme activated oils (OLEOSOFT®) that are rich in natural anti-oxidants that help the skin to repair and reduce acne scarring.
Use noncomedogenic makeup
Although it is best to not apply makeup over acne, we understand the need to cover the annoying zits. Avoid makeup that clogs up the pores and uses a certified natural makeup that doubles up as a skin moisturiser. A well-hydrated skin will be less oily even after a long day. Certified natural makeup is sometimes not easy to find, fortunately, we have bSoul’s Hydra BB Repair cream in our curated list of certified natural makeup.
Do not pop the pimple
We understand how tempting it is to squeeze the pimple and hope it will dry up and disappear from the face of the earth the very next day. Unfortunately, picking on the acne will worsen it and cause inflammation, prolonging its existence. Not convinced? Squeezing it tends to cause bacteria to spread and acne to multiply.
As the skin is the mirror to our health, it is important to take cues from our skin and start taking care of the inside.
See Your OB-GYN
If you suspect your hormonal acne may be due to PCOS, visiting your OB-GYN might more helpful than your dermatologist. If you are on birth control, check to make sure that it’s suitable for you and get any necessary testing done to check your hormonal balance.
Natural Alternatives to Hormonal Balance
Natural treatments for hormonal acne may take a longer time to treat the acne, but they tend to work on the root causes of the issue and are effective methods to treating hormonal acne when combined with the right outer care routine. Evening Primrose Oil supplement contains an omega-6 essential fatty acid that helps to balance hormones and provides strong anti-inflammatory action to the skin, which is excellent for reducing facial redness caused by those nasty pimples.
Meditrina Ageless Herbal Cream, containing Chasteberry, Fenugreek, Wild yam and Grapeseed extract, supports overall hormonal function within the body, is another option. You apply it like a body moisturiser and the hormonal acne symptoms can subside after 3 months. Its efficacy is proven by its cult-like following among women of all ages.
Food as Therapy
In the meantime, continue to eat lots of green vegetables, such as broccoli, bak choy and spinach. They contain inflammation reducing minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. If you tend to eat out, order more vegetables to go along with the rest of your dishes. Insulin spikes can cause your oil glands to produce more oil, cut down on pasta, white rice, white bread and white sugar will reduce unwanted hormonal acne.
Dealing with hormonal acne is a long process that includes improving skin and body health. If you need support in dealing with hormonal acne breakouts, we got you covered. Try one of the acne solutions here, and be sure to keep your skin well-hydrated.