Hormonal acne is exactly what it sounds like – acne that has been caused by hormonal imbalances or fluctuations. It’s extremely prevalent during puberty, simply due to all of the hormonal changes that the body goes through, but it’s a pretty common skin condition to experience in adulthood too. Menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and more all involve hormonal shifts, which, in turn, can trigger acne.
In severe cases, oral medication can be used to rebalance hormone levels and restore normalcy to the complexion. However, whether you experience hormonal acne every month because of your menstrual cycle or it’s flared up during a pregnancy, drugs aren’t always the best route to take.
Fortunately, when dealing with hormonal acne, there are several other ways in which you can clear up your complexion. Read on as Introstem talks you through them!
Cleanse Your Face Morning and Night
Before we talk about how to tackle the appearance of your existing breakouts, let’s first discuss one of the most basic things that you should be doing for your acne-prone skin; cleansing it twice a day. After all, even if you’re combining oral medication with prescription acne treatments, you won’t be able to beat those breakouts unless you’re also following a good cleansing regimen.
When dealing with hormonal acne, it can be tempting to reach for the most powerful cleanser that you can find. However, this is often where people go wrong. Using a harsh cleanser will only damage your skin barrier in the long run. This will make your acne so much worse.
Instead, gentle cleansing is key. You need to clear away excess sebum and other impurities without hurting your skin’s natural protective barrier, especially since you’re going to be cleansing twice a day. This is something that the Introstem Stem Cell Mousse Cleanser, which has been formulated with gentle but effective coconut-derived surfactants, excels at. Unlike other sulfate-free cleansers, this one still forms a satisfying lather, yet it won’t damage your skin.
Add a Retinoid to Your Skincare Routine
There are several ingredients out there that can help to eradicate the visibility of hormonal acne breakouts. While that may be the case, retinoids are, without a doubt, one of the best. This is down to how, as research confirms, they’re able to tackle the complexities behind the appearance of acne from multiple angles. As a result, not only can they clear away the look of pimples, but they’ll also prevent new breakouts from taking over your complexion.
What exactly are retinoids? They’re derivatives of vitamin A, and there are quite a few different retinoids around. If your hormonal acne is particularly severe, you may need prescription retinoids, such as tretinoin or isotretinoin.
On the other hand, if your hormonal acne isn’t too serious, over-the-counter retinoids should be enough to make a noticeable difference to your complexion. You’ll find them in a huge variety of skincare products, such as the Introstem Stem Cell Vitamin C Serum. As you can tell from its name, this serum also contains vitamin C. Vitamins A and C work beautifully together – they’re an ideal duo for fighting the appearance of any type of acne.
Turn to Green Tea
Another ingredient worth adding to your skincare routine if you’re battling hormonal acne is green tea extract. Green tea is renowned for how it does wonders for a person’s health, and the extract has the same effect on the complexion.
It all comes down to the catechins within green tea, which are powerful plant compounds. They reduce the feeling of inflammation in the skin, with inflammation being a precursor to acne.
Green tea also has a high EGCG content – one of the most powerful plant-based antioxidants available. This compound has been shown to be extremely successful at diminishing the appearance of acne while also balancing out how oily the skin looks.
Add green tea extract to your skincare routine with the Introstem Lumi-Cell Phyto Silk, which can be found in our Lumi-Cell Collection. It’s a lightweight moisturizer that’s perfect for acne-prone skin. It hydrates with non-greasy ingredients, including algae extract and sodium hyaluronate. Meanwhile, its infusion of green tea, vitamin A, grape stem cells, and caffeine will calm the look of your skin. Even better, if you’ve noticed the appearance of acne marks following on from your breakouts, the licorice root extract in this cream will leave them looking much lighter!
Exfoliate With a Gentle AHA
All types of acne, including hormonal acne, are triggered by clogged pores. If your pores don’t end up clogged, then pimples won’t form.
Cleansing twice a day will help with this but, unfortunately, it’s not enough. Hormonal acne sends sebum production into overdrive, meaning that you’ll still end up with debris in your pores in between cleanses.
This is why exfoliation is so important for anyone with acne-prone skin. It’s the best way to thoroughly clear out your pores and, therefore, put a stop to the appearance of pimples.
While that may be the case, don’t fall into the trap of over-exfoliating. This will only make your acne so much worse. Over-exfoliation occurs when you either exfoliate too often or use an exfoliator that’s too harsh for your skin. This is something that many people with hormonal acne unintentionally do.
Ideally, you want an exfoliator that makes use of a gentle alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), such as mandelic acid. You’ll find it in the Introstem Stem Cell Facial Peeling, which also contains a number of other noteworthy ingredients. From vitamins A and C to grape stem cells and green tea extract, this formula will set you on the path to a clear, bright, and acne-free complexion.
Try Blue LED Light Therapy
One of the professional treatments often recommended by dermatologists to acne-prone patients is LED light therapy. It works by reducing the feeling of inflammation and countering the appearance of acne-causing bacteria. This, therefore, deals with two of the main factors behind visible breakouts.
The downside to professional LED light therapy treatments is that they can be inconvenient, not to mention costly. You’ll need at least eight sessions, spaced out equally, before you start to see results. You could end up spending a large amount of time at your dermatologist’s office!
Fortunately, there’s now a solution to that. At-home LED light therapy devices, such as the IntroLite Jade Eye Device and the HydroLight Neck Rejuvenation Device, allow you to soak up the benefits of LED light therapy without having to go anywhere.
Are at-home LED skincare devices powerful enough to help with the appearance of hormonal acne? Science says yes, with studies showing that, so long as they’re used consistently and in the correct way, these devices can leave mild to moderate acne looking so much better.
Protect Your Skin From the Sun
It goes without saying that hormonal acne is a sign that your body’s hormone levels are fluctuating. Ideally, you want them to balance back out, so that your skin can calm down.
Therefore, it’s important that you’re not doing anything that’s making those hormonal fluctuations worse, such as allowing UV rays to beat down on your skin. UV radiation has been shown to have a noticeable impact on hormones – something that only occurs after UV rays have been absorbed through the skin.
Your skin is your body’s main line of defense against UV rays. When you’re dealing with hormonal acne, your body needs this shield more than ever. So, keep your skin protected by ensuring that it’s always covered with an SPF 30 sunscreen.
We love the Introstem VitisCell Facial Shield Cream SPF 30 for this. It looks and feels as silky as our regular moisturizers, yet it contains the UV-blocking agents that your skin needs to remain safe from the sun.
Eat Low-Glycemic Foods
Glycemic foods are foods that cause the body’s blood sugar levels to soar. This, in turn, leads to inflammation in the body. As you know, inflammation often results in acne.
This has been known for a while. However, new research shows that high-glycemic diets can also affect the body’s hormone levels. This is a double whammy for anyone dealing with hormonal acne. Not only will high-glycemic foods cause your hormonal levels to fall even more out of whack, but the inflammation they trigger will make it so much harder to prevent breakouts.
This is why, in addition to using the right skincare products, it’s important to make sure that your diet is also on point. A low-glycemic diet consists of foods like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Not only will these help to keep your hormone levels a little more stable, but they’re also packed with skin-loving nutrients that will nurture your skin from within.
Make Lifestyle Choices That Won’t Exacerbate Your Hormonal Acne
Of course, your diet isn’t the only aspect of your lifestyle that could be affecting your hormonal acne. Your other lifestyle choices can have a big impact on your hormone levels too.
A lack of quality sleep is one example. Poor sleep causes a surge in cortisol, a hormone that increases how much sebum the skin produces. This is exacerbated by fatigue upon waking, sending your cortisol levels soaring. Making an effort to get your eight hours of beauty sleep each night can go a long way in keeping your complexion calm and balanced.
Speaking of cortisol, this hormone is often referred to as the stress hormone. It makes an appearance whenever a person feels stressed. The more stressed you are, the higher your cortisol levels will be. Therefore, the worse your acne will be. Although it’s near-impossible to completely avoid stress, having a few stress-relieving techniques that you can turn to whenever you need them will enable you to keep your stress levels low and manageable.
Hormonal acne varies between individuals. For some, it may only last a few days whereas others may be stuck with it for several months. Either way, following the tips above will help you to clear up the look of your skin so much sooner, enabling you to restore balance, harmony, and radiance to your complexion once again.