6 Hormonal Acne Remedies You Probably Didn’t Know About

6 Hormonal Acne Remedies

Hormonal acne.

It’s when your skin behaves like a teenager even if you’re already an adult. Frustrating, right?

Yes, the name says it all. It’s acne that pops when your hormones go crazy.

Just think about menopause and your menstrual cycle and you’ll know when these zits are likely to make an appearance.

I know, it can be unfair. But, here’s the kicker.

There are ways for you to put an end to this cycle and this list of hormonal acne remedies can show you exactly how.

6 Hormonal Acne Remedies You Probably Didn't Know About

So, let’s get started.

1. Take Birth Control Pills

6 Hormonal Acne Remedies You Probably Didn't Know About

This is probably the most common solution to getting rid of hormonal acne.

Androgens, although a type of male hormone, are normally present in women. However, when there’s excessive androgens, the skin produces more oil than necessary and this leads to a number of skin problems.

In addition to acne, you can also end up with clogged pores and dull skin. Not fun, right?

This is where birth control pills enter.

These pills contain both progesterone and estrogen to lower the level of androgens in the body. Reducing androgens means less oil and less pimples.

How to use:

Oral contraceptives are usually taken once a day. For your case, it’s still a good idea to consult your doctor first.

Since you’ll be using pills to treat acne, make sure that what you’ll be taking has both the hormones mentioned above. Progesterone-only pills can make things worse for your skin.

YAZ, Estrostep and Ortho Tri-Cyclen are the only brands approved by the FDA to treat acne.

One warning, though:

Taking contraceptives is allowed only if you’re at least 14 years old, have started your menstruation and if you need contraception.

And although low, there are still risks involved. This includes hypertension and liver diseases.

You also shouldn’t take pills if you’re pregnant or if hypertension runs in your family.

2. Use Drugs that Control Androgen

If you’re thinking of how to get rid of hormonal acne, this should immediately come to mind.

Anti-androgen drugs help regulate and decrease the production of sebum. Moreover, these drugs also help reduce the formation of comedones.

And when combined with oral contraceptives, people who suffer from seborrhea showed an 80% improvement in oil production. 

6 Hormonal Acne Remedies You Probably Didn't Know About

There is also a 40 to 50% reduction in acne by the 3rd cycle and up to a 90% improvement by the 9th cycle.

How to use:

The most popular anti-androgen drug is Aldactone. Yes, its primary function is to control blood pressure, but listen up.

This drug can block androgen production which means reducing sebum production. It can also help stabilize your crazy hormone levels.

Just think of it this way:

Taking Aldactone is like keeping both your blood pressure and acne in check.

But beware:

You shouldn’t just take this drug just because you’re frustrated with your acne. Since it’s a blood pressure medication, you’ll still need to get your doctor’s opinion.

3. Use Retinoid Creams

Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A. By unclogging the pores, they can prevent acne from forming.

Take note:

Retinol creams may work if your case isn’t that severe.

You can get retinoid-enriched products even without a prescription. But, most of the time, prescription products usually work best.

6 Hormonal Acne Remedies You Probably Didn't Know About

How to use:

If you are using a prescribed product, apply it as per the advice of your doctor. If you’re using an OTC product, you can apply it after cleansing or exfoliating.

Take note that exfoliation can leave the skin slightly vulnerable so be sure to give your skin a few minutes to relax before applying your retinol products.

Oh, and one more thing.

Using these creams will increase your sensitivity to the sun. That’s why it is a must to wear sunscreen to lessen your chance of getting burnt.

4. Use Products with Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

AHAs include Glycolic, Mandelic and Lactic Acids.

AHAs are effective against acne because they dry pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. They can also help unclog the pores by sloughing off dead skin cells.

This is a great option if you don’t mind any skin peeling. If you get easily bothered by flaking and dryness, skip this part.

How to use:

Alpha-hydroxy acids are a common ingredient in skin care products. Use them as per your doctor’s instructions or as recommended by your product’s manufacturer.

And while AHA products are safe, they can cause a tingling sensation and skin dryness. Also, like the previous remedy, they can increase sensitivity to the sun.

Make sure to apply your sunscreen a few minutes before heading out.

5. Use Tea Tree Oil

This fifth one on our list of hormonal acne remedies is for those who want to go all-natural.

6 Hormonal Acne Remedies You Probably Didn't Know About

Tea tree oil is a popular remedy against acne for its antibacterial property. It also decreases any inflammation that comes with acne.

And though it works slower, it’s just as effective as benzoyl peroxide.

How to use:

When using tea tree essential oil, remember to dilute it in a carrier oil first and never use it on its own. You can go with olive, jojoba or coconut oil.

In general, the rule is to mix two drops of essential oil with twelve drops of carrier oil.

Most importantly, always perform a sensitivity test to check how your skin reacts. You can do this by applying a diluted solution to your forearm and if no negative reaction occurs in 24 hours, you can go and apply it on your face.

6. Choose Relaxing Music

Stress is one of the many sneaky causes of acne. In case you didn’t know, too much stress can make existing acne worse.

Stress releases a hormone called cortisol.

This hormone is notorious for increasing the skin’s sebum production.

How to use:

At the end of a long, stressful day, listen to some soothing music to ease and calm your mind. 

6 Hormonal Acne Remedies You Probably Didn't Know About

You can try meditating or exercising, too.

Or better yet, just find ways to de-stress yourself.

And if you choose to exercise, just don’t overdo it. Excessive perspiration can also contribute to clogged pores.


If you think you escaped the problem of pimples after puberty, wait until you reach your late 20’s. Hormonal acne more commonly happens during this time which can makes it a lot more frustrating.

Fortunately, adult acne can be treated in a number of ways. If you pair some of these hormonal acne remedies with a few lifestyle changes, your acne will go away in no time.

For those experiencing hormonal acne, what steps are you making to control it and make it go away?

Hormonal acne remedies

Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

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