Whew. Hormonal acne is not something we love – am I right? I turn 32 next month and up until about six months ago, I had never experienced acne, let alone hormonal acne. When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s last spring, I decided to rid my routine of as many toxic things as possible, and that included oral contraception (aka the pill). I stopped taking birth control in July of 2020 and it took about one month for me to start experiencing that post-birth control hormonal acne. It was expected but it hits a little different in reality and so began my journey to figure out how to treat hormonal acne naturally.
How to Treat Hormonal Acne Naturally
Let’s be clear. There are a ton of medications, both oral and topical, that “treat hormonal acne” but if there’s one thing I’ve learned through my (limited) research and from my doctors (I have a nutritionist and a functional medicine doctor I work with to heal & treat my Hashimoto’s symptoms) it’s that resorting to these harsh treatments can cause more harm than good. We’re usually pretty quick to resort to the quick fixes and while I 100% understand the urge to hop onto a prescription to get rid of the hormonal acne ASAP, I question if going on a product that isn’t safe for pregnancy is actually safe at all.
Note: there is absolutely no judgment here if you’re on a more strict regimen, especially if prescribed by your doctor. I, along with my doctors, have decided that treating my hormonal acne more naturally is a better option for me.
So, my journey to understanding how to treat hormonal acne naturally began. I wouldn’t say I am 100% clear. I still experience a small amount of breakouts every month before my cycle but the severity of the breakouts has gotten so much better. I still have a lot to learn and we are going to try a few more things over the next few months (a liver detox, switching some skincare products, going fully dairy free) but in the meantime, I wanted to share everything I’ve done so far that has helped me treat my hormonal acne naturally.
If you have decided to come off the pill or are interested in simply learning more about your body and hormones as a woman, I strongly encourage you to read Beyond the Pill by Dr. Jolene Brighten.
Hormonal Acne Skincare Routine
One of the first things I started doing was cleaning up my skincare products. There are plenty of hormonal acne skincare products out there but it was important for me to find cleaner skincare products to add to my routine.
In the beginning, I dumped hundreds of dollars into every hormonal acne skincare regimen I could find. I was using serums and oils and masks and 7-step routines. Let me tell you something – you don’t need all of that.
Rather than using ten different products every single day, I’ve finally learned how much better it is to keep my hormonal acne skincare routine simple. All you need is a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. I use a mask 1-2 times per week as needed.
CAUDALIE VINOPURE PORE PURIFYING GEL CLEANSER
Powered by 100 percent natural salicylic acid, this power cleanser unclogs and minimizes the look of pores. Not only is it vegan and gluten free but this oil-free, gel-to-foam cleanser helps to get rid of excess sebum, blackheads, and imperfections.
CAUDALIE VINOPURE NATURAL SALICYLIC ACID PORE MINIMIZING TONER
In the age of maskne, and especially hormonal acne, this toner is about to be your new best friend. Purge pores of blackheads and excess oil with this purifying toner. It acts like a vacuum for your pores, ensuring your skin is squeaky clean without drying it out.
CAUDALIE VINOPURE NATURAL OIL CONTROL MOISTURIZER
The rule of thumb when you break out or have oily skin is don’t stop moisturizing. I have been lowkey obsessed with this mattifying yet hydrating moisturizer. It traps oil and blackheads while addressing existing blemishes.
SHOP MY FAVORITE HORMONAL ACNE SKINCARE PRODUCTS
In addition to my simple hormonal acne skincare routine, I use these products as needed. You can learn more about why I love these clean skincare products here.
Hormonal Acne Diet Changes
In addition to incorporating cleaner skincare products to help treat my hormonal acne more naturally, I’ve also been making some changes to my diet. One of my main priorities is to fuel my body with food that supports a healthy gut & liver. Without going into too much detail, your liver and gut have a lot to do with your hormonal acne and one of the best ways to support those organs is by fueling your body with lots of whole veggies and fruits. It’s also important, regardless of acne, to limit the amount of processed and artificial foods and products.
While I don’t believe in full elimination diets unless otherwise directed by your doctor, dairy is one of those things that is usually directly tied to hormonal acne. I’ll be honest, I haven’t gone 100% dairy-free but when I go a few weeks without it, I can absolutely tell a difference in my skin. So, I’m making it my mission to go full on dairy-free for the next few months and I’ll report back!
Both my doctor and my nutritionist have also suggested two cups of spearmint tea per day. Spearmint is said to help decrease sebum production which is what leads to those hormonal acne breakouts.
Hormonal Acne Supplements
Now that we’ve got a handle on the nutrition and skincare, it’s time to talk about supplements. Supplements are never required to see progress, whether it’s for a workout, growing muscle, or healing hormonal acne. My rule of thumb is that if I am going to incorporate a new supplement I always consult with my doctor first and I like to check the ingredients list to confirm it’s natural.
PRO TIP: NEVER START A NEW VITAMIN OR SUPPLEMENT WITHOUT CONSULTING WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN
I don’t take a ton of hormonal acne supplements but I do take a probiotic every single morning to support my gut health along with Chaste Tree (Vitex) which is known to support the reduction of hormonal acne.
There are other liver supporting supplements out there that I have heard great things about and I’m getting ready to start taking one (per my doctor’s prescription) so I will be sure to report back after I’ve been able to experience it for a few weeks.