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A Dermatologist’s Tips For Handling Hormonal Acne



5 min read

Thinx - Periodical - A Dermatologist’s Tips For Handling Hormonal Acne

by Team Thinx | 10/08/2020

Of all the symptoms in the PMS rainbow, acne is arguably the most frustrating. Sure, the cramps and bloating never feel great in the moment, but at least they go away for the most part when you’re not premenstrual or period-ing. 

Hormonal acne, on the other hand, can hang around haunting your jawline for weeks, and it’s just so much harder to get rid of! If you share our skincare woes, our friends at Hero Cosmetics are here to help you out.

We teamed up with them and dermatologist Dr. Anna Karp to round up some tips for keeping hormonal breakouts at bay. You can check out the full Q&A on IGTV, and read the highlights right here.

How can the different phases of your cycle impact your skin, and why do we break out during our periods?

Any fluctuations in hormones can cause breakouts — our skin changes in response to hormones that fluctuate with our menstrual cycle. 

So usually with hormonal acne, people notice they get more breakouts the week before their period and during their period. Usually, estrogen levels drop, which causes testosterone to go up and that causes a lot of acne usually on the chin or jawline. It is also possible to get acne while you are ovulating. And the masks don’t help! 

How do you tell the difference between hormonal acne and something else?

Hormonal acne is usually distributed along the jawline and worse with periods. If you are getting acne on your forehead and upper cheeks as well, it is not likely hormonal acne.

Is hormonal birth control the only option to treat hormonal acne? 

No, there are many topical treatments and other medications, such as the oral medication called Spironolactone. Spironolactone works to lower testosterone levels in women, which is one of the causes of hormonal acne. Over 50% of women in their 20s and over 35% of women in their 30s experience hormonal acne breakouts.  

For average, once-in-a-while pimples, I would say use good acne spot treatments — I really like retinol, I think that’s something everyone should be using to help their skin glow more and just exfoliating out dead skin layers to treat those pimples.

We’ve heard a lot about hydrocolloid patches. How does hydrocolloid actually work? 

Hydrocolloid is a natural, fluid-absorbing gel. It gently helps extract pimples from under the skin without being harsh, like charcoal or clay — those can be a little drying. Hydrocolloid is used in a lot of dressings for wounds, it’s just a really good protective barrier. 

I use them every time I get a pimple! 

Does Mighty Patch Micropoint for Blemishes help with hormonal pimples?  

Yes, they contain great ingredients like salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid, which absorb into the skin with dissolvable painless micropoints.

What can I do in the weeks leading up to my period to minimize breakouts?

Washing your face before you go to bed and using a retinol at night can help minimize breakouts.

Do you have any tips for healing acne scars caused by hormonal acne? 

Some people call it pigmentation scarring, but I usually refer to scarring as some of those pinpoint indentations in the skin. For that, sometimes you need more serious treatments like microneedling, but for the pigmentation I really like the micropoint patches, which are perfect for this. You just apply and the micropoints dissolve, it has some really good ingredients in it, and it helps you not pick at those pimples because it’s black. (Don’t pick at your pimples!) 

For fading dark spots — sunscreen, even though it’s not the sexiest ingredient! Wearing sunscreen helps existing spots fade and not get inflamed or darker. I also like Vitamin C serum (under sunscreen!) to help brighten the skin and lighten the spots, and a retinol at night. 

Rewatch the full Q+A with Dr. Karp on our IGTV here

Prep your skin for your next period! We’ve partnered with Hero Cosmetics to offer you guys 20% off all Hero Cosmetics’s acne products with the promo code THINX20. This offer is valid through October 31, 2020.

by Team Thinx

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