Hormonal Acne: Four Easy Tips for Clear, Healthy Skin All Month Long

Posted on May 29, 2014 by Rachel Duran

Woman covering hormonal acne

Author: Rachel DuranIf you're a woman, lady luck may not be on your skin’s side. Three weeks of a calm complexion can sail by, but 'that time of the month' often brings acne with it.

The menstrual cycle is one of the most common acne triggers and blemishes often begin to show up as a symptom of PMS, especially along the jawline. Here's what's behind hormonal acne and how to keep it at bay. 

Why Do I Get Hormonal Acne?

The surge in hormones that occurs before and during your period increases sebum production, making your complexion oily and irritable, sometimes turning even the most picture-perfect skin problematic.  


In a study by the American Academy of Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, clinical acne distresses 45 percent of women ages 21 to 30, 26 percent of women ages 31 to 40, and 12 percent of women ages 41-50.

Beyond the hormonal changes associated with your monthly cycle, realities of life create can affect stress hormones, which can impact acne, too. Consider jobs, relationships, kids, and finances and it’s no surprise that more adult women are suffering from acne more than ever before.

While completely eliminating these innate breakouts may not be a possibility, finding a way to control them could make your moon cycle far less of a bummer. With a little planning and an eye on the calendar, you may be able to reduce the prevalence of period pimples.

1. Better Nutrition for Better Skin

A change in diet is one of the easiest ways to help your skin deal with the sudden abundance of oil. While every body reacts differently to foods, purifying what you consume before and during menstruation could help calm the commotion. Cut back on dairy, refined cards, and wheat (sugar, white rice, bagels, pasta, alcohol), and supplement with rich omega-3 fatty acids (oily fish or vegan algea). Steer clear of omega-6 fats add to hormonal imbalances (shortening and margarine) and go for the good stuff: coconut oil, real butter, and olive oil.

2. Be Mindful of What Goes on Your Face

As your period nears, be extra mindful about the products you apply to a difficult complexion. Consider minimizing the amount of makeup you wear—and be more diligent about removing residue. Before your period strikes is also a good time to tidy up your makeup brushes. The fibers in your bronzer and blush brushes collect leftover makeup, bacteria, yeast and dead skin cells that can block your pores and cause irritation.

3. Relax Your Mind for Healthier Skin

Mediate, practice yoga, or get your fill of reality TV drama—afford yourself some deserved relaxation when the hormones come on heavy. Anytime the body is exposed to a stressor, external or internal, the brain triggers hormonal, immune, and nervous system reactions—all of which can upset your skin’s natural balance.

4. Be Ready to Treat Hormonal Acne 

Treat your acne before it starts. Pre-empt your breakouts with trusted products in sympathetic doses—don’t surprise your skin with harsh new treatments during your period or overcompensate with high dosages. If you know that every month an unfortunate patch of pimples crops up on your chin, apply a mask to that area for the few nights leading up to its usual arrival. Perhaps you’ll stop the blemishes from breaking the surface, or at least diminish their hang time.

  • Rachel Duran is an editor at Arithmetic
  • About Us: Arithmetic is a new skincare company focused on helping adults achieve clear, healthy skin. Check out our Acne Control Complex

Posted in acne, adult acne, hormonal acne, hormones, jawline, lifestyle, mensturation, period, skincare, stress, women



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