What does it even mean to have hormonal acne?
Hormonal acne refers to hormonal fluctuations that are tied to acne. This is why you’ll sometimes experience more acne during your monthly cycles. Or when you’ve become a new mum for example and are breastfeeding. It can affect women at any age.
Hormonal acne can show up anywhere on the face. In adults it’s most typically on the lower face around the chin and jawline, working up to the cheek area.
This can be in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, and cystic spots (the painful ones under the skin – I hate those!!)
For some women, including myself, acne can be very prominent and can very easily affect self-confidence. A lot of the time the conventional way to treat acne would be to visit the doctors or dermatologist and take medication or a medicated cream which contains benzoyl peroxide. A bacteria killing ingredient which could be the cause of spots.
However, this doesn’t always work because you’re only treating the result and not the actual cause of the problem. Therefore the problem will be persistent.
Now I don’t claim to be a dermatologist in any way so the advice I’m giving is purely based on experience and gathering information from other acne sufferers. Via this blog post, I hope to bring hope to other women who have tried everything but nothing has succeeded in controlling their acne!
What Causes Hormonal Acne Anyways?
Well quite simply, hormonal acne is caused by your body producing too many hormones which cause excess sebum on the surface of the skin resulting in clogged pores and acne.
They key therefore to controlling hormonal acne is to control your hormones.
Sound simple right?? I really wish it was!!
Controlling hormones consists of controlling your diet, stress levels, sleep, exercise, and chemicals in the environment. When you take all of this into consideration, it’s not that simple after all!
BUT (Yes, there is a but!!)… there are some key things you can start doing straight away which will inevitably control your hormones but will take time to see any results. This includes:
~Cutting down on refined sugar & carbs
Foods such as sweets, chocolates & fast foods don’t contain any essential vitamins & minerals for the body and are classed as inflammatory foods. Therefore cause problems for the liver & gut causing imbalances in the body.
Incorporate routines such as meditation, journaling & self-care practices into your day to reduce stress levels and lower hormone imbalance
~Take vitamin supplements
For me, the biggest thing that controls my acne these days is my omega 3 capsules (as well as my skincare routine but I’ll get to that later!) There are so many associated benefits of taking omegas and vitamin supplements but I recommend you do your research on them before you buy any specific brand. This is because cheap supplements and claims that unknown brands make aren’t always true!
These daily habits won’t make a quick difference to your acne unfortunately, it’s something that you will need to keep doing consistently and have patience.
I know how horrible this can be! This is why I won’t just recommend you change your lifestyle habits if you want quicker results (and let’s face it, who doesn’t!?)
What You Can do Right Now to Clear Up Your Hormonal Acne
Changing up your skincare products and routine is also a key aspect in achieving clearer skin. Like I said earlier, a good lifestyle and good skin care are how I’ve overcome my hormonal acne. But sometimes, no matter how well I eat or how well I manage my lifestyle, the only instant or quicker results come from my skincare products!
But even skincare can be an absolute minefield. It’s no wonder women suffer from skin issues. You don’t get taught any of it at school so you just end up trying products that sound good but are not suited to your skin type at all!
There are differences that women don’t even know about when it comes to skin issues. For example, do you know the difference between purging and breakouts? Do you know the difference between dehydrated or dry skin? These are both things that may have the same affects but are treated completely differently with your lifestyle & skincare. It’s definitely worth knowing all about!
Another aspect of skincare that a lot of women don’t know is the order in which to apply your products and how many/what products are actually needed. Do you need to exfoliate? Do you need to moisturise? And so many more questions!
Right now, you might be thinking ‘What do I do now then?’
Firstly go back over the lifestyle changes you need to make that I mentioned earlier. Next, consider reviewing your current skincare regime and make sure that:
~You have an effective cleanser that you use morning and night
As I mentioned earlier, hormonal acne is caused by excess sebum. The better your cleansing routine, the better the chance that you’re effectively cleaning your pores. An effective cleanser is one that suits your skin type and cleans down to the pores. If you only use makeup wipes or a makeup remover but no cleanser then your pores will not be clean!
My favorite product is the Beauty by BB micellar water. Micellar water acts as a magnet when cleaning your skin so you can ensure your pores are all clean. Don’t be fooled by the cheap brands such as Garnier as the product can leave your skin feeling too dry. This will make your skin overcompensate for this by producing more sebum. The reason I love this one so much is that its ingredients are perfectly balancing and leave my skin feeling clean and looking healthy. Plus it smells divine and it’s pink!! You can find it by clicking here
~Your routine isn’t overly complicated
If you’re using TOO MANY products or tools you could actually be damaging your skin further. Using excess products on your face is not only timely to your routine but also not effective if your skin doesn’t need those products. If your focus is clear skin, try using minimal products. A cleanser, toner & serum/moisturiser. That’s it! You also don’t need any fancy cleaning tools. If your skin is sensitive, you’ll benefit greatly from just cleaning it with a cotton wool pad instead of a rotating cleansing brush or something like that!
~You’re exfoliating and masking once a week at least!
Exfoliating is essential to clean away dead skin cells. If you have severe acne or sensitive skin, I would recommend using a gentle cleanser. Microbead exfoliators may not be a good fit. I love using a cognac sponge instead to exfoliate instead, it’s one of my favourite tools and only tools I use.
You also want to use a GOOD face mask. My favourite ingredient at the moment is kaolin clay. This type of clay purifies & cleans the oil off your face without drying it which is sooooo important!!
None of these actions will have any effect if you don’t live by these rules. Lifestyle & skincare go hand in hand so don’t just implement one thing because the chances of seeing results from one thing is slim. Make all the points I’ve talked about part of your daily habits.
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