Battling Hormonal Acne? Here’s How To Take Control

Battling Hormonal Acne? Here's How To Take Control

Waking up and seeing a new crop of big, painful breakouts is the worst. If your zits seem tied to your menstrual cycle or puberty, you’re likely struggling with hormonal acne. Those nasty hormonal fluctuations can spur inflammation and extra oil production that breeds pimples. We feel your pain – We all have dealt with it too. As per experts like HealthyRemedies, the good news is there are effective ways to manage and calm hormonal acne flares long-term. Let’s go over some tips.

Getting to the Root of Hormonal Acne

To get a handle on hormonal acne, it helps to understand what’s going on under your skin. Hormones like testosterone, estrogen, insulin, and cortisol regulate many body functions. When they swing up and down during your cycle or puberty, they overstimulate your oil glands and trigger inflammation. This breeds a bacteria bonanza in pores leading to bumps and pustules. Fun times.

Some common acne instigators:

  • Periods – Estrogen and progesterone changes cause breakouts.
  • Pregnancy/menopause – Hormone roller coasters abound.
  • Stress – Cortisol increase causes excess oil.
  • Blood sugar spikes – Insulin surges trigger inflammation.
  • Ovaries/adrenal issues – More androgens mean more acne risk.

So getting your hormones steadier is key to calming breakouts. Let’s look at strategies to even out those hair-pulling fluctuations.

Adjust Your Diet To Balance Hormones

Diet tweaks help regulate your hormone response and reduce acne triggers like inflammation and blood sugar spikes. Some tips:

  • Eat foods that stabilize blood sugar – proteins, nuts, veggies, seeds.
  • Avoid refined carbs/sugar – they spike insulin causing inflammation.
  • Up your good fats – omega-3s in fish, avocados, and olives fight inflammation.
  • Drink spearmint tea – helps reduce androgens like testosterone.
  • Take saw palmetto – blocks testosterone receptors in the skin.
  • Eat fiber – removes toxins and excess testosterone from the body.

Paying attention to how foods influence your skin takes some trial and error. But it’s a natural way to rebalance your hormones.

Explore Supplement Options

Certain supplements can also help normalize hormone levels and reduce acne:

  • Zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, and selenium supplements reduce testosterone and regulate oil production.
  • Evening primrose oil or fish oil provides anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Milk thistle, burdock root, or dandelion supplements support liver detoxification of excess hormones.
  • Probiotics balance your gut flora which optimizes hormone levels.

Talk to your dermatologist before trying new supplements if you’re already on medication. Get the right doses dialed in.

Use Over-The-Counter Acne Creams

For tackling the pesky pimples themselves, there are some effective over-the-counter creams. Look for these ingredients:

  • Benzoyl peroxide – kills acne-causing bacteria
  • Salicylic acid – unclogs pores and reduces inflammation
  • Sulfur – absorbs excess oil and dead skin cells
  • Retinol – normalizes skin cell turnover to prevent clogging
  • Tea tree oil – anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties

Use medicated creams sparingly at first to avoid drying your skin out too much.

When To Consider Prescription Medications

For moderate to severe cases, prescription meds may be needed to regulate hormones and treat acne long-term. Common options are:

  • Hormonal birth control pills – regulate menstrual hormone fluctuations.
  • Spironolactone – blocks androgen hormone receptors.
  • Isotretinoin – reduces oil gland size and output.
  • Antibiotics – fight bacteria and reduce inflammation.
  • Discuss the pros and cons with your dermatologist. Medications work differently for everyone. Be patient finding what clicks for your skin.


We know battling hormonal breakouts stinks, but you’re armed with lots of solutions now. With consistent care and some trial and error, you can get those pesky hormones and pimples under control. Be patient, and stick with a routine that works for at least 2-3 months before changing course. Consistency will pay off as you tame those fluctuations once and for all.

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