Hormonal acne can be an uncomfortable and persistent skin condition. These fluctuations can trigger excess oil production and clog pores, leading to acne. If you’re struggling with hormonal acne, know that you’re not alone—millions of people around the world experience it. The good news is there are things you can do to get rid of it and clear your skin. This article has all the information about hormonal acne you need. Please continue reading!


Hormonal acne, commonly known as acne, occurs due to changes in hormones in the body. It affects all age groups, most commonly during puberty, as well as in women before and after giving birth, during the perimenopause to menopause phases, and throughout the menstrual cycle. This is the period when the body undergoes certain changes that cause hormonal disorders, leading to the formation of hormonal acne. A prevalent dermatological condition in the United States, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) estimates that, at any given time, up to 50 million people in this country may experience hormonal acne.


While hormonal acne can impact both men and women, it predominantly manifests in women, particularly in pregnant women and those undergoing menopause.


Hormonal acne arises primarily due to fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly androgens such as testosterone. For women, the menstrual cycle is a common trigger, as the increase in androgen hormones during this time stimulates excess oil production. The surplus oil, in turn, can clog pores and foster the development of acne.

Pregnancy is another phase marked by significant hormonal changes that may contribute to acne. The hormonal surge during pregnancy can lead to heightened oil production, potentially leading to acne breakouts in some cases. Similarly, menopause, with its associated decline in estrogen levels, can impact the skin, potentially causing acne issues.

Changes in hormonal contraceptives, such as starting or stopping birth control, can also influence sebum production, affecting the likelihood of acne development. Men undergoing testosterone treatment may experience hormonal shifts that contribute to acne formation.

Genetics play a role in hormonal acne, and a family history of acne can indicate a predisposition to the condition. Medications, particularly steroids, may induce hormonal imbalances that manifest as acne. Furthermore, underlying medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other ovarian or metabolic issues can be contributing factors.

In summary, hormonal acne is multifaceted, stemming from various sources of hormonal fluctuations such as natural cycles, pregnancy, menopause, birth control changes, genetics, medications, and underlying health conditions. Recognizing these triggers is crucial for developing effective strategies for prevention and management.




Oral contraceptives designed for acne treatment typically comprise ethinylestradiol paired with one of the following:

  • Drospirenone
  • Norgestimate
  • Norethindrone

These combined ingredients work to address the hormonal factors that contribute to acne development. This targeted approach can be particularly beneficial, especially during hormone peaks, such as those occurring during ovulation.

However, it’s important to note that oral contraceptives may not be a suitable option if you have a history of blood clots, high blood pressure, or breast cancer. In addition, individuals who smoke should avoid taking these contraceptives due to potential health risks. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment options based on individual health conditions and considerations.


For mild cases of hormonal acne, incorporating topical retinoids into your skincare routine may be a viable option. Retinoids, derived from vitamin A, are available in various creams, gels, and lotions over the counter. Keep in mind that consulting with your doctor for a prescription-strength formulation can often provide the most effective solution for maintaining consistently clear skin.

When adding a topical retinoid to your regimen, it is crucial to apply sunscreen daily. This precaution is essential because retinoids can heighten your susceptibility to sunburn. By diligently using sunscreen, you can mitigate this risk and ensure the optimal effectiveness of the retinoid treatment.


Anti-androgen medications function by reducing the levels of the male hormone androgen in the body. Both men and women naturally possess this hormone, but an excess of androgen can lead to acne problems by disrupting the regulation of skin cells in hair follicles and promoting increased oil production.

While spironolactone (Aldactone) is typically prescribed to address high blood pressure, it exhibits anti-androgen effects. In essence, spironolactone can impede the overproduction of androgen, facilitating the stabilization of hormone levels in the body.


In certain instances, mild hormonal acne may be addressed using plant-based treatment alternatives. Typically, these natural remedies are devoid of the side effects that occasionally accompany prescription options. But, it’s essential to note that their effectiveness might not be as robust. 

Current research on natural alternatives is limited, and there is no conclusive evidence proving their efficacy. It is advisable to discuss potential risks with your doctor and ensure that the chosen treatment does not interact adversely with any medications you may be taking.


Green tea is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for reducing swelling not only in the body but also for promoting healthier skin. For a comprehensive approach, consider incorporating a daily routine of drinking several cups of green tea alongside your regular skincare regimen. There is a diverse selection of green teas available, offering various flavors and blends that you can explore to find the ones you enjoy. 

Moreover, incorporating skincare products such as lotions and gels containing at least 2 percent green tea extract can further enhance its potential benefits for your skin. These topical applications can complement the internal benefits of green tea, working together to support a holistic approach to overall well-being and skincare.


Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are components found in various over-the-counter masks and creams, contributing to their effectiveness in skin care. Like retinoids, the use of AHAs can heighten your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. This heightened sensitivity underscores the importance of applying sunscreen consistently when incorporating products containing AHAs into your skincare routine. 

Sunscreen acts as a protective barrier, shielding your skin from potential damage caused by increased sun sensitivity. This precaution ensures not only the effectiveness of the skincare products but also safeguards your skin from potential harmful effects of sun exposure during AHA use.


Tea tree oil reduces inflammation that contributes to acne. According to a study, 5 percent topical tea tree oil helped alleviate symptoms in participants with mild to moderate acne.

Tea tree oil is a common ingredient in various skincare products like cleansers and toners. It can also be applied as a spot treatment using tea tree essential oil.

Before use, it’s crucial to dilute tea tree essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, or olive oil. Typically, you should add about 12 drops of carrier oil for every one to two drops of essential oil.

Performing a skin patch test is important before using diluted tea tree essential oil. Apply the diluted oil to the inside of your forearm and check for any irritation or inflammation within 24 hours. If there’s no adverse reaction, it should be safe to use in other areas.


The precise connection between diet and hormonal acne remains not entirely clear, but certain foods are believed to play a role in prevention, particularly those with anti-inflammatory properties. Plant-based foods rich in antioxidants are thought to contribute to reduced inflammation and support clearer skin. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids are suggested to have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. 

Consideration should be given to limiting the consumption of sugar, dairy products, refined carbs like white bread and pasta, as well as red meats to potentially manage hormonal acne more effectively.


Ensuring that you drink an ample amount of water is a cornerstone for promoting optimal skin health and achieving a visibly clearer complexion. The significance of adequate water intake lies in its multifaceted impact on various physiological aspects of the skin. Firstly, water serves as a natural detoxifier, facilitating the elimination of toxins through bodily processes like urination and perspiration. By flushing out these harmful substances, water helps prevent the accumulation of impurities that could otherwise manifest in skin issues. 

Additionally, proper hydration plays a pivotal role in maintaining the skin’s elasticity and suppleness, preventing dryness and irritation. It supports cellular functions, ensuring that skin cells receive the essential nutrients and oxygen necessary for growth and repair, thereby contributing to a radiant complexion. 


Creating and adhering to a consistent skincare routine is paramount for maintaining healthy skin, particularly when dealing with acne. Begin with a gentle cleanser designed to effectively remove impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Opt for a cleanser with ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which can help address acne concerns without causing excessive dryness or irritation.

After cleansing, incorporate non-comedogenic moisturizers into your routine. These moisturizers are specifically formulated to hydrate the skin without clogging pores, which is essential for preventing further breakouts. Look for products containing hyaluronic acid or glycerin, as they provide effective hydration without exacerbating acne-related issues.


Embracing a consistent regimen of physical activity stands as a pivotal strategy for fostering hormonal equilibrium and mitigating stress, both of which wield profound implications for skin health. Exercise operates as a multifaceted catalyst: it aids in harmonizing hormone levels, notably cortisol and insulin, pivotal players in skin health, thereby curbing potential triggers for skin issues like acne.

Moreover, the augmented blood circulation induced by regular exercise intensifies the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells, nurturing a robust complexion while expediting the removal of toxins. 


Prioritizing sufficient and quality sleep is paramount for maintaining skin health, particularly when addressing acne concerns. Inadequate sleep can disrupt hormonal balance and elevate stress levels, potentially exacerbating acne symptoms. Striving for 7-9 hours of sleep per night is crucial for enabling the body to undergo essential repair and regeneration processes. During deep sleep, the body releases growth hormone, aiding in tissue repair, including the skin. 


In the pursuit of clearer skin, incorporating stress-management techniques is pivotal, with practices like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga proving particularly effective. Chronic stress acts as a potent trigger for hormonal fluctuations that can worsen acne symptoms. Engaging in mindfulness practices such as meditation fosters a sense of calm, reducing cortisol levels and mitigating the impact of stress on hormonal balance. 


1. How to treat hormonal acne on cheeks?

To treat hormonal acne on the cheeks, consider a comprehensive approach and natural remedies like tea tree oil or green tea extract. If the acne persists or worsens, consult with a dermatologist.

2. Can hormonal acne go away forever?

Not necessarily. While hormonal acne can improve and even go away for some individuals, it may not disappear permanently for everyone; managing hormonal fluctuations. 

3. What age is acne the worst?

Approximately 90% of teenagers, spanning all genders, experience acne, with the primary age range for its occurrence being between 14 and 19 years old.

4. What age should hormonal acne stop?

Hormonal acne often improves in the early 20s, but it can persist into adulthood for some individuals.

5. How do I know if my acne is hormonal?

If your acne tends to flare up around your menstrual cycle, jawline, and chin, and is accompanied by other hormonal symptoms like irregular periods, it may be indicative of hormonal acne.


Learning how to help hormonal acne, whether it’s on the face, back, or any other area, requires a multifaceted approach involving lifestyle modifications, skincare routines, and, if necessary, targeted treatments. By gaining insight into the causes and implementing a comprehensive strategy, individuals can effectively manage hormonal acne and promote clearer, healthier skin.