In my 18 years as a Skin Therapist, one of the most common concerns that I hear (other than ageing) is 'hormonal breakouts'.
Many clients respond to "Do you experience breakouts on your skin?" with "oh, just the odd hormonal breakout each month".
It's like it's a given - every month it's expected that we get pimples and breakouts to appear at 'that time of the month'.
Frustrating, right? BUT, how would you feel if you understood why you got these AND how you can help treat them and ultimately reduce the chance of them appearing? YES PLEASE!
Why do we get 'period pimples'?
There are many reasons why some of us experience these hormonal breakouts and there can be many underlying reasons as to why they appear, however, if we know and understand why something is happening, we can be prepared and give our skin the best possible opportunity to tackle these frustrations head-on.
It's also important to note that if you have concerns with your periods or hormones, we always recommend consulting with your Doctor for their support.
What is hormonal acne and how to identify it?
Hormonal acne usually appears on the lower areas of the face, predominantly the chin area and even more specifically, either side of the chin area. You may also find breakouts appear along and under the jaw area.
You will know it's hormonal acne as it commonly occurs in the week leading up to your period and they clear up once your cycle is over. These unwanted spots may be in the form of pustules (whiteheads), blackheads or papules (under the skin pimples or what we commonly refer to as a 'blind pimple').
Also read: What Can Retinol Do For Your Skin?
Why do I get hormonal acne?
One word - Hormones!
Our hormone levels fluctuate throughout our cycle, however just before our period is due, our Estrogen and Progesterone levels drop. This can cause our skin moisture levels to drop as well, which then triggers our sebaceous glands (oil glands) to produce more oil to lubricate the skin. Moreover, that also leads to an increase in our acne-causing bacteria.
Too much oil can result in clogged pores and a potential increase in breakouts. In addition, we can also see our skin increase in sensitivity.
How can I treat hormonal acne?
Preparation is key, because if we can get on top of these changes before they appear, we have the best opportunity to reduce the severity of these breakouts and help them clear up sooner. If you know you are in the lead up to your period and prone to these hormonal breakouts, keeping some targeted products on hand is key.
If you find you are experiencing regular breakouts with these getting worse in the lead-up, then daily application of these products is important for you.
Our top tips to help reduce hormonal acne
- Home care consistency is crucial! Cleanse your skin every morning and double cleanse every night to ensure your skin is clean and free of dirt, grime and oil - remember, clogged pores will create room for breakouts to happen!
- Ensure your moisturiser is right for your skin type and apply it morning and night!
- Avoid touching, picking or squeezing these breakouts as you risk them hanging around for longer and/or making them worse!
- Wash your face after activities that cause you to sweat
- Diet can also contribute to these hormonal breakouts. An increase in sugar, processed foods, soft drinks etc can worsen acne and increases inflammation in the skin which affects acne too. You don't need to completely avoid them., however, try limiting them to give your skin the best chance through this time.
Also read: Is Dermalogica Good for Oily Skin?
Our Best Treatment for Hormonal Acne:
- Clears breakouts
- Helps fade post-breakout marks
How to use: Apply directly on the first sign of breakouts and repeat twice a day until the spot disappears.
- Clears pores and reduces breakouts
- Promotes brighter skin
- Targets signs of ageing
How to use: This can be used all over the face or specifically on the breakout area. Apply after cleansing and follow with moisturiser.
- Clears pore congestion
- Cools and soothes the skin
How to use: After cleansing, apply to the problematic area and leave on for 10-15mins
- Reveals brighter smoother skin
- Removes dulling debris from the skin
- Ideal for a sensitive skin
How to use: Mix with water into a smooth, granular paste and work gently over the face and neck area
You may experience one or a few hormonal breakouts or you may unfortunately experience constant breakouts that get worse in the lead up to your period.
We are here to help so please reach out to us if you need advice - we will create a Complimentary Skincare Plan targeted for you!
About the Author
My name is Sarah and I am the founder of GLO Skin Body. With over 17 years experience, I believe a professional relationship with your skin therapist is crucial in helping you to achieve your skin care goals and to ensure your skin is always looking and feeling its best. Whether it's in person or through our online support, Im here to guide and support you towards your healthiest skin ever.
On a personal note, I am a Mum of 3 so I understand completely the juggles and balancing of life and family commitments . My goal is to help everyone have an effective and enjoyable home care routine that gets you the results you want...no matter how busy you are!