Ask any woman in her 20s what her biggest nightmare is as far as the skin is considered? Nine out of ten times, the answer would be getting those stubborn, pesky acne breakouts at the most unexpected of times. When you’re all set for that much-awaited wedding function or the most anticipated date night, a huge pimple pops up and adds to the never-ending stress.
We have all been guilty of spending hours scouring the internet, looking for ways to handle hormonal acne. Most of us have given almost everything a try – right from using over-the-counter products to seeking professional help. But in most cases, nothing seems to work. What if the good-old natural remedies can still work wonders for acne and blemish-prone skin? Well, no harm trying since they come with the tagline of no or very few side effects. But first, let’s learn about what exactly is hormonal acne, what causes it, and how to deal with it.
What is Hormonal Acne?
Unlike teen acne, hormonal ones are mainly caused by the hormonal imbalance around the menstrual cycle or even perimenopause. Hormonal imbalance leads to glands producing excess oil, which causes pores to get clogged up and bacteria to grow. Even if you never had pimples as a teenager, you can still get it as an adult. Hormonal acne usually affects the lower part of the face or jawline, unlike teen acne that is mainly restricted to the upper part of the face. (1)
As many as 50 percent of women in the age group of 20-29 years and 25 percent in the age group of 40-49 years are affected by hormonal acne.
The main cause of hormonal acne is hormonal imbalance, but there is a whole list of unexpected causes that needs to be addressed.
- Hair products, especially those that directly touch your skin like hair sprays, can cause breakouts.
- Lack of good facial cleaning habits can add to the zit problem. For example, if you feel lazy while taking off your makeup at night, you’re inviting trouble for your skin.
- A high-carb diet or consuming too much-processed food and dairy can increase your acne worries.
- Lastly, stress levels can also spark breakouts.
How to Handle Hormonal Acne?
First things first, stop fretting over it. Hormonal acne is irritating but also normal, and there are many methods to help treat it. The stress levels will only worsen the situation.
If you think you’ve deep or cystic pimples and you need to see a dermatologist, go ahead. But for those who swear by simple, chemical-free remedies involving kitchen staples, there is a whole wide range available. These natural remedies have all that it takes to pave your way to clear skin. Just be patient, and the results will be visible.
7 Natural Remedies that Work Against Hormonal Acne
Here’s a list of natural remedies and products that help combat hormonal acne.
1. Honey Cleansing
If you think that applying sticky honey to your face will add to your skin’s oil quotient, you are wrong. Honey has excellent antibacterial properties that help keep the oil secretion under control and reduce the overgrowth of bacteria. (2)
Apply 1 tablespoon of fresh raw honey on the skin and leave it for 5-10 minutes. You can even gently massage it into the skin with your fingertips.
You can also try making a paste of honey and turmeric for better results. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that help shrink a pimple in no time.
2. Tea Tree Oil
If you still haven’t given this miraculous oil a try, do it now. There is a reason why most of the top beauty brands have at least one product in their range (sometimes an entire line) boasting of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil works well against whiteheads, blackheads, and hormonal acne. (3)
Not only does the tea tree oil contains anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties making it an excellent home remedy for pimples, but it also helps reduce pain and irritation caused by zits.
Just dab the oil onto the affected area two times a day (morning and evening) and see the results for yourself.
Exfoliation essentially means removing dead cells from the top layer of the skin. It increases cell turnover, and the result is smooth, clear skin. Baking soda helps in getting rid of dirt, excess oil, and dead cells from the skin. (4)
Prepare a paste by mixing water with baking soda and scrub it on the skin. It hastens the process of drying up the acne. It also helps eliminate blackheads and gives an even skin tone.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar as Toner
Much has been said about using apple cider vinegar as face toner and how it helps reduce acne by balancing the skin’s pH. So why not give it a try?
Prepare a spray toning mixture by adding alcohol-free witch hazel with organic apple cider vinegar. It soothes breakouts and reduces them over time.
5. Homemade Oil Massage
Give your skin a much-deserved pampering with a facial massage using homemade oil.
Pour a few drops of carrot seed oil into a jar of jojoba oil and massage your face with this oil blend from time to time. Jojoba oil keeps the skin moisturized and limits its oil secretion, while carrot seed oil cures the scars caused by acne.
6. Cinnamon, Honey, and Nutmeg Face Mask
Many combinations of natural face packs can be made by using kitchen staples, and they all work magically on the skin. But the combination of cinnamon, honey, and nutmeg has a unique effect on curing pesky hormonal acne.
Take some freshly ground cinnamon, finely grated nutmeg, and pure organic honey in a small mixing bowl. Combine well to form a smooth paste. Apply it all over the face and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. Regular use of this face mask will give you acne-free skin.
7. Green Tea
We have all been jealous and, at the same time, left wondering about the exquisiteness of glassy skin, mainly associated with Korean women. While there is a whole range of beauty products hoarding that goes with it, it is said that sipping green tea also helps. (5)
Let’s replace tea or coffee with green tea. At least for the time being. Sipping three cups of fresh green tea is recommended. It also boosts the endocrine system and reduces inflammation, thereby controlling hormonal acne.
A Word of Caution
The use of natural ingredients doesn’t mean that there are no red flags here. Be assured that the side effects, if any, are minimum with the use of natural remedies. However, it is always recommended to do a small patch test before taking the big plunge. Wait for 24 hours for any visible adverse reaction.
The second most important part is – never overdo a good thing. Excess of anything is bad, and it applies here too. The idea is to be consistent over a long period of time. Your skin will tell you what works for it and what doesn’t. So, always listen.
- A few oils, like coconut oil, are highly comedogenic. These oils can block the skin’s pores and even cause a breakout.
- Avoid using lime juice or toothpaste directly on the skin. Lemon contains natural fruit acids that can irritate the skin.
- Honey can cause an allergic reaction if someone is allergic to pollen. Green tea can cause stomach upset and constipation in some people.
Dos and Don’ts
- The journey to clear skin doesn’t have any shortcuts. The most crucial part of combating hormonal acne is discipline. Follow a strict CTM (cleanser, toner, and moisturizer) routine for your skin. Use a gentle cleanser twice a day, followed by a toner and a moisturizer. Don’t skip that hydration part.
- Make sure the products you’re using are oil-free and meant for acne-prone skin.
- Switch to a healthy diet and stay away from processed food. Drink plenty of water.
- Reduce stress levels and maintain basic hygiene. For example, never pop/ squeeze zits. Avoid touching your face.
- Lastly, remember, whatever you start with, follow it up for at least four to six weeks, as that is how long it takes for the skin to turn around and show any good results.
The main cause of hormonal acne is hormonal imbalance, but there is a whole list of unexpected causes which includes stress, an unhealthy and high-carb diet, hair products, and many more. Fortunately, there are ways to treat hormonal acne naturally by leveraging few simple kitchen ingredients. Exfoliation, facial massage using homemade oil, honey cleansing, and drinking green tea may help prevent hormonal acne.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can the use of a facial scrub remove acne scars?
Face scrubs can help the scars fade slightly, but they cannot altogether remove them.
How many times should you use a facial scrub or mask in a week?
Limit the use of scrub to two or three times a week, and for the mask, once or twice a week is recommended.
Can these remedies make your skin worse?
Not really, but do keep in mind the possible side effects we discussed earlier.
Should you feel disappointed with your skin type?
As they say, every cloud has a silver lining. Oily skin can cause clogged pores and acne, but it also develops fewer wrinkles compared to dry skin.
Can sunscreen cause acne?
Yes, it can if you aren’t using the right one. But that doesn’t mean that you should skip. On the contrary, sunscreen is an essential part of your daily skincare routine, even when you’re at home. Look out for sunscreens especially meant for oily and acne-prone skin, to avoid clogging of pores.
- “Hormonal Acne: Traditional Treatments, Natural Remedies, and More” – healthline.com
- “Here’s the Truth About Using Honey as an Acne Treatment” – allure.com
- “Can Tea Tree Oil Help Get Rid of Acne?“- healthline.com
- “Can you use baking soda to treat acne?” – medicalnewstoday.com
- “Green tea for acne: Does it work?” – medicalnewstoday.com