This Is How to Clear Hormonal Acne Once and For All - Indoors Beauty

This Is How to Clear Hormonal Acne Once and For All

This Is How to Clear Hormonal Acne Once and For All

My pores and skin liked being pregnant. But round sixth months postpartum, it took a flip for the more serious. While I’ve handled delicate brow breakouts off and on since school, I by no means had zits or breakouts on my jaw and cheek. That is, till this previous 12 months. I eat a clear and nourishing food regimen, use natural high-powered skincare, and put a variety of effort into supporting my well being holistically. Despite all the time being on high of my food regimen skincare sport, I now discover myself navigating the problem of how to clear hormonal zits.

Featured picture by Hannah Zahner.

Image by Michelle Nash

How I Cleared Up My Hormonal Acne

While I’m obsessive about skincare, I don’t love the concept you want 20 serums to get outcomes. In my quest to learn the way to clear hormonal zits, I had carts full of lots of of {dollars} value of skincare, prepared to pull the set off to do no matter I may to clear my pores and skin up.

Thankfully, I took a breather and remembered that there’s extra to pores and skin well being than simply throwing merchandise at it. Skin is a reflection of your internal health. And while yes, I’ve found new products that have supported my skin’s health along the way, there were some major non-product-related steps that were crucial when figuring out how to clear hormonal acne.

I’ll be honest. I still get breakouts and don’t quite have the skin of my dreams, but it’s so much better. I’ve found what works for me. And trust me: the steps below have made an amazing difference. I’m happy to have found a rhythm that feels sustainable and long-term. And thanks to the clean products in my lineup, I won’t need to switch out too much when I get pregnant again.

My Hormonal Acne Journey: Before and After

But before we dive in, a before and after. My skin type is regular/dry with recent congestion and hormonal breakouts. The first photo was taken in November 2020 (so inflamed!), the middle photo in March 2021 as things were starting to calm down, and the after was taken in June 2021. Still some pigmentation, but so much better.

This is by no means meant to be a step-by-step instructional or medical advice. Everyone’s skin and body is different! But I find that reading about other people’s journeys is so helpful and can spark ideas of how to clear hormonal acne. Chat with your skincare professional if you’re feeling stuck. If everything below feels like a lot, keep in mind, I’ve incorporated these things over a year and started with the products I had already before slowly adding others in.

Scroll on for what I’ve learned, both internally as well as topically with (pregnancy- and breastfeeding-friendly!) products.

10 Tips to Help Clear Hormonal Acne

Shift your mindset

Breakouts suck. Everyone wants glowy flawless skin, and as a makeup artist and beauty writer, I didn’t love that I couldn’t seem to get things under control. But taking the pressure and stress off my skin was a game changer. I stopped saying things like, “ugh my skin is so bad right now!” when chatting with my sisters or friends.

Skin is neither good nor bad. It just is.

Mine was doing the best it could. And honestly, breakouts are a very common way for your skin to signal something’s up. When things are feeling extra frustrating, I pause, take a deep breath and talk to my skin and body like I would a friend. I thank my skin for working so hard and I release any pressure I’m feeling for it to look a certain way. My hormonal breakouts are a clue that my body is needing more support.

Seek help from professionals

I love a good health puzzle and enjoy researching and educating myself on how to best care for my body. But sometimes, professional help can do wonders. This was definitely the case when trying to determine how to clear hormonal acne.

So I went to the source and visited Dr. Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce. She recommended a couple of products that have given my skin the boost it needs. Additionally, she shared insights into breastfeeding-safe products and hormonal skin breakouts that helped piece together what was going on.

Acupuncturist and facialist Brooke Taylor at The Road Acupuncture is the most effective for wanting on the pores and skin holistically. A mix of conventional and cosmetic-focused acupuncture, microcurrent, gua sha, and facial therapeutic massage all the time left my pores and skin glowing, and breakouts cleared at document pace after a facial therapy.

For extractions, quite than taking issues into my very own palms—actually—I made an appointment with a trusted facialist. I’m not fairly on the level of doing month-to-month facials however am presently utilizing them as a software when my pores and skin wants some additional TLC.

Image by Claire Huntsberger

Get to the root of your hormonal acne

It’s quite common for skin to take a dive as a result of the postpartum-crashing hormones. This can lead to dry, easily irritated, and acne-prone skin. I learned a lot from Dr. Geddes-Bruce, who shared that, especially during breastfeeding, the hormone your body produces to stimulate milk (prolactin) leads to a state of lowered estrogen, which usually gives us that rosy glow during pregnancy. 

In general, there are a variety of things that can cause hormonal breakouts. Sometimes, the liver is needing more support to clear excess hormones or it can be caused by excess androgens (the more “male” related hormones that all women make in lesser amounts).

You can tell your breakouts are hormonal if they are deep, cystic, and affect areas where androgens exert their effects—the lower cheeks, jawline, chin, and neck. Dr. Geddes-Bruce’s top tips for hormonal acne include: 

If you’re still having trouble with hormonal breakouts, you can also consider a trial of avoiding dairy and high-glycemic foods.

Image by Michelle Nash

Change your pillowcase

I know, duh. But once again, post-baby life left me not as diligent as I usually would be. I try to change it every two to three days. To keep it simple, I keep a stack of a few clean pillowcases in my nightstand. I also try to do it in the morning while we’re making our bed so that I don’t skip when I feel too tired at night.

Go easy on your gut

I had reintroduced dairy after being dairy-free for over five years (and maybe did too much too fast). But the acne clued me in that I needed to back off and work on my gut some more before trying dairy again. I’ve focused on healing things like bone broth, fermented foods, daily collagen/gelatin, supplements like probiotics, and ION Biome. One of the simple methods I incorporate these things is a every day scoop of collagen into my morning chai and gelatin gummies for a fast snack. I’ve been ready to add prime quality, grassfed uncooked dairy and really feel nice!

Image by Michelle Nash

Support your liver

Hormonal acne is often a symptom of liver congestion. Liver assist is one thing I’m all the time doing, however I’ve labored to put a contact extra effort in right here. You don’t actually need to do hardcore liver detoxing whereas nursing or pregnant. Just a few of the issues I’ve liked for mild assist are herbs like milk thistle and dandelion root, dry brushing, and castor oil packs which assist detox pathways. (I simply began these castor oil packs at 18 months postpartum. Check along with your physician if pregnant or breastfeeding). I’ve additionally integrated some acupuncture and chiropractic to assist guarantee my physique is zinging alongside.

Keep your palms off your face

Unfortunately, I like selecting at my face. I did a two-week problem to not contact my face in any respect, besides once I was doing my skincare routine. My pores and skin appeared higher than ever! My aesthetician all the time says: keep a sink’s lengths away out of your face. Nothing good occurs if you lean in. And let’s be actual, nobody actually is ever taking a look at your pores and skin that shut.

Double cleanse (and typically triple cleanse)

While I by no means go to mattress with out washing my face, my cleaning had gotten hurried and rushed and changed into a fast scrub and splash of water. Adding a double cleanse, with an oil cleanse as step one, has been one of many keys to clearing my pores and skin. I ordered a pack of 12 black cotton washcloths and have them all rolled up so I don’t have to stress about finding a clean towel. I wash them at the end of the week and they’re ready to go!

At night, I usually oil cleanse, then follow with a gentle exfoliating cleanser. From there, I’ll use a cotton round and a gentle toner to finish off my cleansing process before applying the rest of my skincare. In the mornings, I give my face a thorough splash with cold water, followed by a wipe down with a cotton round and my toner. I’ve found doing a traditional cleanse in the morning over-dried my skin and left it feeling tight.

Don’t underestimate the power of a simple clay mask

For now, I tucked away all my fancy fun masks and kept it simple with a clay mask a few times a week. I was inspired by Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth’s routine of a daily clay mask. It’s cheap (like $12 for a tub that may final you endlessly low-cost), efficient, and cleanses with out going overboard.

Keep pores and skin hydrated

My pores and skin has all the time leaned towards the drier aspect, which felt difficult since my pores and skin was breaking out. I didn’t need to clog my pores but in addition didn’t need to dry out my pores and skin and compound the problem. I began utilizing a three-step hydration system that may degree up your moisturizer sport and be ultra-healing to the pores and skin barrier and any zits.

  • After cleaning, preserve pores and skin damp with water.
  • Apply a spritz of toner for added hydration. (Add a hyaluronic serum right here afterward as pores and skin tolerates it.)
  • Lastly, layer on moisturizer.

How to Clear Hormonal Acne With Clean Products

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll all the time give an sincere opinion, whether or not gifted or bought ourselves. If you purchase one thing by our hyperlinks, we might earn a small fee for free of charge to you.

If it makes you content, slather on all of the merchandise. But for many of us, a number of well-formulated merchandise are greater than sufficient. During the therapeutic course of, I majorly paired again the merchandise I used to be utilizing and saved issues easy for a number of months. Thorough cleaning, moisture, consistency, and somewhat additional time have made a world of distinction in clearing my pores and skin. I actually didn’t want something too loopy intense to clear issues up. I began with what I had then slowly tweaked a pair merchandise that weren’t working for me.

My core skincare routine consists of considered one of every: an oil cleanser, mild cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.

Here are the clear merchandise which have labored nicely for my pores and skin to soothe, clear, and hydrate with out creating congestion and breakouts.

Oil Cleansers

Gentle Cleansers



The Actives

To take issues to the subsequent degree, I added a pair extra merchandise to my routine. And now that my breakouts are calmed and underneath management, I’m slowly incorporating merchandise to proceed nurturing my pores and skin and heal any discoloration left over. These are a number of of the issues I’m loving.

Azelaic acid

This is without doubt one of the key merchandise which have helped calm and clear my pores and skin. I first hit my pores and skin arduous with a cocktail of acids, hoping that may clear up the congestion. I quickly realized that I overdid it, breaking down the pores and skin barrier and additional inflaming my pores and skin and zits. I backed off all peels and acid formulation earlier than rigorously including any again in. After my derm beneficial it, I began utilizing azelaic acid and discovered it to be essentially the most mild and efficient to this point.

Hyaluronic serum

I’ve been layering this underneath my moisturizer for an added increase as I proceed to restore and replenish my pores and skin barrier. After a fast spray with my toner, I clean this on earlier than making use of my moisturizer.

Vitamin C

I like that the components is a powder, which suggests it doesn’t want any doubtlessly problematic preservatives. Plus, as a result of it lasts fairly a very long time, you solely want a tiny pinch. Mix into your serum or moisturizer for a potent increase in free radical safety, smoothing advantageous traces, brightening your complexion, and fading of any zits, scars, and pigmentation.


Now that I’m actually backing off of breastfeeding, I’ve added a low 0.25% prescription tretinoin. I can already see a tremendous distinction. If you’re interested by security throughout breastfeeding, I had the identical query.

Dr. Geddes-Bruce shared that whereas most merchandise that concentrate on zits are secure for breastfeeding moms (granted that you simply aren’t making use of them straight to your nipples), the one topical of query is retinoids. In common, most individuals keep away from retinoids in nursing moms. However, Dr. Geddes-Bruce believes that the information behind that call is missing. If you’re uncertain, make certain to converse to your dermatologist. If you don’t have a prescription for it, the under retinoid serum is superb for acne-prone pores and skin.

This is basically the one factor I’ll be dropping once I get pregnant once more.

This publish was initially printed on July 4, 2021, and has since been up to date.

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