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Hormonal Acne Sucks, Period.

Woman of melanated skin tone squeezing a pimple while looking in the mirror

Have you ever noticed that you occasionally experience breakouts along the bottom of your cheeks, jawline or neck? Most likely, what you’re experiencing is hormonal acne. While many believe acne only affects teenagers, the truth is, some of us experience it much later in life. As if “adulting” wasn’t already hard enough, adult acne is real and for some, it’s completely due to hormonal imbalance. But we’re here to tell you, while hormonal acne sucks, there are steps you can take to breakthrough breakouts.

WTH is hormonal acne?

Hormonal adult acne is a type of acne that is a direct result of fluctuations in hormones. During a hormonal breakout, Androgens (like Testosterone) indirectly cause an increase in our skin’s oil production which can cause bumps to appear usually on the bottom part of the face.

Although you may associate acne with adolescence, some adults experience acne well into their 30s, 40s and 50s, and some experience during that stage in life for the first time. Not to mention, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, women tend to get adult acne more than men do. One study even suggests that 45% of women aged 21-30, 26% aged 31-40 and 12% aged 41-50 have clinical acne. We feel your pain ladies, it’s a bummer.

In women, hormonal acne is often attributed to:

  • “That time of the month” better known as periods
  • Pregnancy, peri-menopause or menopause
  • Discontinuing (or starting) birth control pills

That being said, if you’re experiencing adult acne consistently versus periodically, other factors could be at play. It’s important to note any pre-existing family history of chronic acne, sensitivity to hair or skin products, reactions to medications, medical conditions and high-stress levels. And if you can’t quite pinpoint any controllable factors that could be the source of your acne, seek advice from a dermatologist.

How do I fight hormonal acne?

When you’re dealing with hormonal acne, especially if you’re experiencing breakouts for the first time, it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed. But the news isn’t all bad. There are actions you can take to face hormonal acne head-on.

When it comes to acne, prevention is key. You may not be able to control your hormone levels but you can control:

  • What you eat. It’s common knowledge at this point that what you put in your body can have huge impacts on your mind, body and even, your appearance. Avoid high glycemic index foods which can increase oil production.
  • The medicines you take. Consult your skincare professional. For some, birth control can help you get a handle on your hormone levels. For others, medical-grade professional treatments may be required.
  • Your skincare regimen. There’s a lot of brands out there. Do your research. Look for reputable brands backed by skincare experts who’ve put time into formulating products with the right active ingredients designed to prevent, treat or improve the appearance of breakouts.

Don’t let hormonal acne get you down or block your glow up! Just remember you’re not alone and that these days, you have plenty of resources to help you get it under control.

For other information on skincare essentials, tips and products, check out the Glow-Up Guide often!