Most of us think of acne as a teenage issue. Something we suffered from in Year 10, when our hormones are completely out of whack, we didn’t have a skincare regime and acne was a common occurrence. If only that were the case!
The truth is, acne doesn’t always magically stop when we turn 20 and, for some, affects us as adults. When adults suffer from pimples and breakouts this is referred to as "hormonal acne".
It’s also not uncommon for those who didn’t suffer from teenage acne to see pimples pop up in our 20’s and even 30’s. Adult hormonal acne can be particularly isolating because often we feel that we are suffering alone, separated from our colleagues and friends.
Regardless of age, acne can be debilitating. It can have a huge impact on our emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, confidence and event anxiety levels. The good news is there are things that we can do to assist our skin through hormonal acne that will help it get back to normal.
So, let’s take a look at:
Hormonal acne, which can also be referred to as adult acne, is breakouts that occur well beyond puberty and our teenage years.
The causes of this type of acne can be genetic and, as the name suggests, hormonally triggered. The most common regions effected by hormonal acne are the jawline, the chin, and the perioral region (around the mouth).
The breakouts can be anything from whiteheads and cysts to inflammatory lesions. While hormonal acne can happen to anyone it most commonly occurs in women. It can flair up during pregnancy and menopause.
As isolating as it might feel to suffer from hormonal acne, know that you are not alone. Acne is the most common skin condition in the world and affects nearly 80% of the US population at some point.
What's the difference between fungal acne vs hormonal acne and why is it important?
Fungal acne pops up when an excess of yeast develops on the skin.
Hormonal acne on the other hand is caused by excess sebum.
Fungal acne often results in whiteheads and an itchiness of the skin. It is common for the surrounding area to become red, irritated, and inflamed. Fungal acne is best treated by a medical professional, so if you are suffering from a fungal acne outbreak best to book in with your GP.
If you are still unsure about whether your acne is fungal vs hormonal jump onto this episode of the Korean Beauty Show podcast to find out more:
In short, hormonal acne is caused by an excess of sebum production. Our skin relies on the balance of two hormones: Androgen and Estrogen. When these two fall out of harmony with each other the result can be acne.
Androgens (testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, and dihydrotestosterone) stimulates the growth of our sebaceous glands and increases sebum production.
Estrogen works in the opposite way and slows down sebum production. So, when these two are out of whack, breakouts will occur. Similarly, when our estrogen levels drop, especially before our period, we can experience outbreaks.
Hormonal acne can be especially frustrating because it is largely out of our control. However, there are certain things we can do which can help.
Reducing your stress levels and increasing your sleep time to start with. Ensuring that the body is fully rested can assist in rebalancing your hormones and calming down your stress reactors which can cause a host of issues, including acne.
It’s also important to avoid picking or squeezing any acne, as this will only aggravate the skin and spread the bacteria over the face. Avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugars can assist, as well as avoiding areas of high pollution. Finally, your skincare routine can be super helpful to assist you when you are suffering from an outbreak of hormonal acne. Which brings us to…
The most important thing we can do for hormonal acne is keeping the skin nice and clean. This is not the same thing as over-cleansing.
There is no need to clean your skin more than twice a day. In particular, using harsh cleansers or cleansing too often can strip the skin of essential oils and irritate it further.
Your night-time routine should be a key focus, as this is when skin replenishes and recovers itself while you sleep. It is vital to clear away any makeup, sunscreen and excess sebum that has built up throughout the day before bed.
This also gives the rest of your skincare the best chance at penetrating the skin and working effectively.
We recommend starting your night-time routine with the Korean Double Cleanse method. Never heard of it? Jump onto this episode of the Korean Beauty Show podcast:
Designed specifically for sensitive skin, and skin that has become sensitised (i.e. when you have acne) Subi's double cleanse duo is ideal. Start with Subi Bare Skin Balmfollowed by Subi Brightening Powder Cleanser.
If the idea of using an oil or balm cleanser scares you then rest easy, they are actually the most effective thing you can use to gently clean the skin.
First, water soluble cleansers aren’t strong enough to remove makeup and sunscreen and second, water doesn’t remove oil (think of an oil spill in the ocean).
Finally, this will avoid the need to use harsh pads or cloth that tug at the skin. Instead, your first cleanse will melt into the skin and gently massage the dirt away. Cleansing balms and oils won’t make your skin oilier, either. What they will do is assist with removing excess oils from your skin and preparing it for the next step, your second cleanse.
We love Powder Cleanser for several reasons. Not only is the powder so soft and fine, it gently turns into a gentle foam once you add water. It feels seriously luxurious on the skin.
It can also work as a very gentle exfoliant. To try this, simply add less water and allow the grains to work their magic. Balanced with pH levels of 5.8 – 6.8, it also comes with a hit of antioxidant rich Centella asiatica, nourishing ceramides and brightening liquorice extracts.
While we are praising Subi, their Holo Dream Brightening Pore Minimising Mask is also a lifesaver for hormonal acne. Filled with Kakadu Plum, Ceramides, Sodium Hyaluronate and Kaolin it detoxifies, clarifies, and brightens the skin. It also works to get rid of problem pores and breakouts.
Simply pop the mask on after your double cleanse and leave for 5 – 10 minutes. Just two times a week with this luxurious mask and you'll start to notice the difference.
For a toner we love the COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Toner. It’s infused with natural acne-fighting acids and helps control excess oil and sebum while nourishing and hydrating the skin. This toner is cruelty free and perfect for everyday use.
Time for serum, and an awesome option is iUNIK Tea Tree Relief Serum. Ideal for red, irritated, and sensitive skin this serum is free from fragrance, essential oils and alcohols. It provides a light and soft application which soothes skin.
For a cream on the lighter side the iUNIK Centella Calming Gel Cream is divine. Packed with K-Beauty star ingredient Centella asiatica this gel textured moisturiser is completely colourless and oil free. It works to help stressed and damaged skin. It calms and cools sensitive skin with its light, refreshing formula.
If you want to show breakouts the door ASAP, pimple patches are a must. The Subi Perfect Pimple Patches are STYLE STORY's best-sellers. They are the most invisible patches on the market and are made of hydrocolloid, which works to keep the pimple covered, protect it from outside irritants and stop you from picking. As a bonus, it traps the liquid from the spot in the casing of the patch.
If you are suffering from hormonal acne and are wanting a skincare routine tailored just for you, simply reach out to one of us at the STYLE STORY team. We are always here to help you find the perfect matches for your skin.
"Your night-time routine should be a key focus, as this is when skin replenishes and recovers itself while you sleep."- STYLE STORY
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