Clear and smooth skin is a sign of good health, and many people want it in order to feel more beautiful. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to achieve. If you suffer from acne, remember that you aren’t alone. Acne is prevalent and people experience it for different reasons. Hormones are one of the main reasons.
Hormonal acne typically forms in adulthood and can range from blackheads to painful cysts. This condition is linked to the overproduction of sebum (aka oil) on your skin, which clogs pores and creates acne. While frustrating, there are ways to combat hormonal acne.
Here are five treatments you should consider to help you achieve a clear complexion:
1. Consider Hormone-Regulating Medication
Hormonal acne is the result of hormone changes that increase the amount of oil your skin produces. This oil then leads to inflammation. It also interacts with the bacteria in the pores of your skin, which causes acne.
There’s a common misconception that acne only impacts teenagers going through puberty. While many teens experience the occasional pimple, hormonal acne affects people of all ages.
Since hormonal acne is caused by the fluctuation of hormones, treatment should start by stabilizing those. One way to do that is by taking birth control pills. This medication works by regulating the amount of androgen, a hormone that causes acne, in the body. Decreasing androgen can help alleviate hormonal acne, giving you a clear complexion.
2. Adopt A Good Skincare Routine
While stabilizing your hormones is a crucial part of treating hormonal acne, you should also adopt a good skincare routine. Not doing so could put your hormonal acne into overdrive. But what makes a good skincare routine, you ask? The products, of course, as well as being consistent.
When shopping for skincare products, make sure you look at the ingredients. For instance, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and adapalene are considered ideal for combating acne-prone skin. On the other hand, products with synthetic perfumes, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium chloride, and even coconut oil can wreak havoc on acne-prone skin.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s skin is different. What helps someone you know, might not help you. As frustrating as that sounds, sometimes the only way to know what works is by testing it. Don’t be afraid to try out different skincare products. Just make sure you’re taking notes on what’s effective.
3. Use A Spot Treatment
Using a spot treatment is a great way to keep your breakouts at bay. One might even say it’s something you should carry around with you on a daily basis. Spot treatments contain acne-fighting ingredients that once applied go straight to work reducing redness and swelling of pimples. Some spot treatments can actually loosen the blocked pore, so you don’t experience blemishes at all.
There are several spot treatments available that could do wonders for your skin. Glossier is a popular skincare brand that offers one called the Glossier Zit Stick. It blends benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, and capryloyl salicylic acid to help remove signs of acne. Mario Badescu is another brand with a similar product called Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. One of the main goals of this product is to draw out impurities to reduce the appearance of blemishes.
Like with any skincare product, make sure you do your research beforehand. While trial and error is an important part of the process, if an ingredient looks suspicious, don’t use the product.
4. Pay Attention To Food
What you eat impacts everything going on inside your body, including how your skin looks. If your meals usually contain greasy, sweet, or dairy-rich food, that might be to blame for your acne.
While sugar is tasty, it can cause hormonal acne. Why? Because sugar causes your blood sugar to spike, which can cause inflammation in your body. Not to mention, blood sugar spikes cause your body to produce more oil, which can also lead to acne. Dairy is another food group that you should limit as it can impact your testosterone levels and lead to hormonal acne.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you should go cold turkey and never eat chocolate cake again. However, consider reducing your sugar and dairy intake for a few weeks and see what happens. If your skin starts clearing up, that may be an indication food is to blame, and you should make some changes.
5. Alleviate Stress
This might sound cliche, but stress can wreak havoc on your skin. In fact, studies have found that acute and chronic stress can exacerbate certain skin conditions, like acne. So ask yourself, are you stressed? If you answered “always,” it’s time to do something about that.
While stress is something everyone experiences from time to time, it shouldn’t be a constant in your life. If it is, you might want to consider making some changes. That might mean taking more time throughout the week to practice self-care or spending less time with people who stress you out. Easier said than done, right?
The truth is, that stress isn’t always easy to combat. One reason is that it’s not always clear what’s causing stress. Or if it is, there’s not much you can do about it. For instance, maybe your job is stressful. What are you going to do? Quit? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean you have to always be stressed.
Find things that bring you joy and help you feel calm, and try to incorporate them into your day-to-day basis. Sure, work might not make you happy. But what if you stopped for coffee on the way to the office or ended the day with a workout class or happy hour with friends? The more you do things you enjoy, the less stressed you’ll feel.
While hormonal acne can be embarrassing and frustrating, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone or without hope. Integrating the tips above can help clear your skin so you can feel more confident.