Period Acne: Why it Happens and How to Manage it

I don’t know about you but I always break out either right before, during or sometimes after my period. My breakouts are typically on my chin. When the pimples are on the chin or along the jawline that means it’s hormonal acne. It is common to get this type of acne close to your period. In fact, 65% of people report a worsening of their acne around their periods.


Why it Happens

The acne is a result of a drop in estrogen levels that happens leading up to and during your period. The drop can cause more sebum to be produced which is an oily substance on your skin that can clog pores. An increase in stress as a result of PMS can also cause breakouts. Sometimes, you also experience a worsening of acne the week after your period (the week leading up to ovulation). This is due to an increase in testosterone which is rising during that week. This can also cause more sebum to be produced, clogging your pours. 


To learn more about the changes in chemical levels on your period and the different effects that has on you body, check out our blog post -- How Your Period Affects You Every Day of the Month.


How to Manage it

There are a few different ways you can manage your period/hormonal acne.

Medication and Topical Solutions:

  • Birth Control - Birth control is a very effective treatment for hormonal acne. However, it can be expensive and may have other side effects.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide - This is a common acne medication that you can get over the counter or you can get a prescription if you need a stronger version.
  • Retinol - Vitamin A helps with acne as well as making your skin have that nice glow. There are plenty of options for over the counter retinol creams but you have to wait a few months to see the results. You can also receive a prescription for stronger forms of retinol.
  • Hydrocolloid Patches - These have gained a lot of popularity recently, they are also known as pimple patches. They absorb excess fluid and speed healing time. Just apply them over your pimples and let them work their magic!
  • Visit a Dermatologist - If you can’t get it under control, visit a dermatologist and see what option is best for you.

Natural Solutions:

  • Wash Your Face - Be sure to rinse your face with water once or twice a day, especially as your period starts to get closer.
  • Don’t Touch Your Face! - Your hands have lots of bacteria on them that can make you break out. If you’re going to apply a cream or something to your face using your hands, wash your hands first.
  • Tea Tree Oil - Tea tree oil has been shown to reduce inflammation so it won’t get rid of your acne but it can help treat the symptoms.
  • Turmeric - This also reduces redness and swelling.
  • Honey - Honey can both moisturize the skin as well as kill acne causing bacteria. 
  • Diet - There is some evidence that the food you eat affects your skin. Avoiding foods that contain a lot of sugar or are highly processed may help. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Some of these solutions may work for you and some may not. Unfortunately, hormonal acne is a natural part of our cycles and is something we have to deal with, but hopefully some of these tips help. Let us know your favorite solutions in the comments below!




Sources for Solutions:

https://skinkraft.com/blogs/articles/period-acne

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/a19904573/how-to-treat-hormonal-acne/

https://www.healthline.com/health/period-acne

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