Like many people, I struggle with my skin and am pretty prone to acne. Over the last year or so, I’ve been reading and researching everything I can get my hands on that might help my skin, and so far I’ve been pretty successful. I’ve learned how to treat different kinds of breakouts, and I’ve also learned what to avoid to keep my skin clear. And even though I’m breaking out as I write this (yes, it still happens even with all my research, insert eye roll emoji), I feel like on a grand scale I break out less and I’m able to treat those pesky pimples more efficiently. Which means they clear up faster. I’ve written about how to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads previously, so I thought it was time to address the most annoying type of pimple there is. Hormonal breakouts.
They’re a bitch.
The problem is that a hormonal breakout isn’t a traditional clogged pore, like a blackhead or a whitehead. It’s a bacteria that has gotten into the pore and then, due to the excess oil your skin is producing (because of those damn hormones), proceeds to get infected. It’s huge, it’s red, it hurts. And the worst part is that you can’t pop them. There’s nothing to “pop” so for the love of god please don’t try. I’m a popping addict and I can show you my battle scars from attempting to forcibly remove hormonal acne from my jawline.
So, with that dismal outlook, let’s dive in to the actual tricks and products you can use to treat hormonal acne, shall we?
How to Treat Hormonal Acne
Ice, ice, baby
When you start to feel the beginnings of a hormonal breakout, head to the freezer ASAP. Bacteria can’t survive extremely low temperatures, so you can freeze that sucker and stop the pimple in its tracks by holding some ice on it. I hold a cube up to the pimple (using a paper towel to hold it, otherwise my fingers get numb and I melt the cube too fast) for as long as I can take it, then remove and let my skin warm up a bit. I’ll repeat this around 5 times, and I’ll do it once in the morning and once at night, just to be sure. Obviously be careful not to give yourself frost bite: as soon as your skin starts to feel numb, or starts hurting, you should take the ice off and let it warm back up. The best part about this trick is that it’s free! Woop woop.
Try Cutting Out Dairy
I used to have crazy hormonal acne all over my jawline. But at the beginning of this year, I did a Whole 30 and my skin, as a result, was GLOWING. I honestly couldn’t remember the last time it looked that clear and calm. After doing some reading on the internet and talking to my facialist, I found that a lot of people’s hormonal breakouts are linked to eating dairy.
You might not be lactose intolerant, but milk (from any animal) has hormones in it. And your body may not be able to handle excess hormones efficiently, which could lead to hormonal breakouts. Going dairy free for a few weeks might help you identify an easy (though sad – I miss cheese) solution to how to treat hormonal acne.
Drink Spearmint Tea
Drinking spearmint tea regularly has been found to reduce acne’s inflammation. There was even a study done by the American Academy of Dermatology that found that 2 cups of spearmint tea a day reduced the number of hormonal breakouts in patients by 51% over three months. That number is comparable to the 52% reduction seen on three months of prescription minocycline. And minocycline is associated with side effects in 20% of patients, while spearmint tea is not. *sips tea*
Start Consuming GLA
Foods like evening primrose oil, hemp oil, spirulina, and borage oil are high in gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that helps protect the skin’s barrier, while reducing redness and inflammation. You can’t produce GLA on your own, so GLA rich foods and/or supplements are your only opportunity to reap the benefits. Adding some spirulina to your green smoothie or taking a daily dose of the right oil could help calm down your skin.
Everyone has experienced that pesky hormonal breakout that crops up when you’re super stressed. Maybe it’s finals week, maybe you have a big presentation at work, or maybe you’re just having a major freak out.
Hey, it happens.
Making sure you don’t stress yourself out too much is another way to help prevent hormonal acne. Try drinking some chamomile tea and getting a good night’s sleep, then waking up and doing some yoga first thing in the morning. There are also plenty of meditation apps and podcasts out there that you can listen to. I mentioned the Down Dog app in my post about forming a yoga routine and I would highly recommend it (and it’s free).
And that’s all I have for you guys! Have you heard of these tricks before? Do you have any to add to the list? Let me know what you think in the comments.