A young Asian woman with short hair, touching her cheek

Hormonal acne is a painful yet common type of acne that is triggered by hormonal fluctuations. It is typically common during puberty, but it can also happen to adults, especially women who experience menstruation and menopause. It can also be tied to certain hormonal imbalances that are linked to underlying medical conditions. It's often difficult to tell whether breakouts are hormonal or not because a fluctuation can also bring about regular breakouts in hormones, which can also be caused by stress. So how do you know if your breakouts are hormonal?

What is Hormonal Acne?

While you can experience breakouts caused by hormonal fluctuations from time to time, hormonal acne is a recurring, persistent type of breakout caused by regular hormonal imbalances. According to Harvard Health, this is usually because these hormones can cause a sudden overproduction of sebum in your skin, which leads to clogged pores. An increase in testosterone, for example, can increase oil production. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone can also cause hormonal breakouts.

Characteristics of Hormonal Acne

During puberty, hormonal acne appears on the T-zone, where there are more sebaceous glands producing oil. In adults, it usually appears in the lower part of the face, such as the chin, lower cheeks, and along the jawline. They come in the form of blackheads, pustules, cystic pimples, and nodules. They are usually bigger, deep, painful, and difficult to get rid of. Bacteria and lack of exfoliation can also make hormonal acne worse. 

How to Deal with Hormonal Acne

If you suspect that your breakouts are hormonal, visit your doctor for oral medications that are meant to treat hormonal imbalances. Your doctor could also help identify other symptoms of hormonal imbalance or underlying conditions. Meanwhile, take care of your skin and try to minimize breakouts by doing the following:

Wash your face twice a day.

Use a cleanser that targets acne at the root by fighting bacteria, removing excess oil, and exfoliating dead skin cells that can clog the pores. POND’S Acne Clear Facial Foam has Thymo-T Essence, salicylic acid, and tea tree oil, which reduce inflammation and control oil.

Do not dry out your face with product.

Only apply the acne treatment on areas affected by acne.

Apply just the right amount of acne treatment and only on affected areas. Don’t treat your entire face as “acne-prone” when your breakouts only appear on your jawline or chin. Drying out your skin can make your skin more prone to irritation and may affect skin healing. Use products that contain salicylic acid and niacinamide, which both unclog and refine pores. Apply it on affected areas or areas that are prone to breakouts.

Always wear sunscreen. 

Heat and ultraviolet rays can cause acne flare-ups, damaging and irritating the skin. Prolonged sun exposure also darkens pigmentation, which means any acne scars can get even darker and more difficult to lighten. Always wear sunscreen even if you are indoors to protect your skin against further damage.

Cut dairy from your diet.

Minimize or cut down your dairy intake.

Based on the American Academy of Dermatology, women who drink 2 or more glasses of skimmed milk a day are 44% likely to have acne. It also suggests that all types of cow’s milk can trigger breakouts, including whole milk and low-fat. The hormones in milk can also trigger inflammation and cause acne breakouts. But since effects vary from person to person, observe your diet and identify your triggers, so you know what to avoid.

To summarize, you have hormonal acne if it is recurring and appears on the same area of the face, often on the chin and jawline. Visit your doctor and follow a regular acne-fighting skincare regimen to address this type of acne and finally get rid of breakouts.