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Could hormones be the cause of your acne?

You had flawless skin throughout your teens only to start breaking out in your mid-20s. You eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and have a suitable skincare routine, yet suddenly you look and feel like you're 30 going on 13. Read on to find out how hormones could be to blame for your blemishes.

How could hormones be causing your acne?

Increasingly, women in their 20s and beyond are being told that hormones may be to blame for their blemishes. Androgens are often mistakenly labelled a ‘male sex hormone’ but, in fact, they can be found in women as well (before they’re converted to oestrogen)[1].  Androgen excess and deficiency are some of the most common hormonal disorders among women[2] and those with abnormal androgen levels often experience acne.

Women with PCOS, (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), almost always have an abnormal androgen level. Signs that you may have PCOS include acne, excess facial and body hair, and irregular periods. If you are concerned that you have some of the symptoms of PCOS then it’s important to consult a physician. 

What are some of the signs that acne is hormonal?

Signs of hormone-influenced acne include excess sebum production by overworked sebaceous glands, increased acne-causing bacteria on the skin, and inflammation that is sometimes red and sensitive to the touch[3]. Some women find that their acne worsens at times when their hormone levels are changing, so if you’re noticing break outs around the time of your period or during menopause, it could be hormonal.

Physically, hormonal acne tends to be found on the lower half of the face, particularly around the chin and jawline.

 What can you do to treat a hormone imbalance?

The most common way to treat hormonal acne is by taking an oral contraceptive. The pill can be used to lower the amount of androgens that the body produces by balancing out hormone levels. Some women opt to use an anti-androgen medication, such as Spironolactone, to get rid of their acne. For mild hormonal acne, a gentle face cleanser specifically formulated for acne-prone skin, and non-comedogenic moisturiser for acne-prone skin will usually do the trick!


[1] Medically reviewed article:


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