Sorry guys – today we’re talking hormonal acne in females.
Almost all acne has a bit of a hormonal component to it, but today we’re talking about acne in which the cause specifically lies in the balance between the major sex hormones – estrogen, progesterone, and the male hormones testosterone and androgens.
This is what is generally referred to when people say “hormonal acne”.
Many women ask the question – how do I know if my acne is hormonal or not?
Well, without testing your hormones you may not ever be 100% sure, but there’s quite a few signs that can allow you to make a very informed guess.
Below are typical characteristics of adult female hormonal acne:
1. You Have Other Hormonal Symptoms Too
If your hormonal acne is very mild, you may not have other noticeable hormonal symptoms, but most people have at least a few. Hormonal acne presents itself because of an underlying hormonal imbalance, so it’s rare that it will present itself in isolation without other symptoms.
The range of hormonal symptoms that can occur is massive. Your hormones are very powerful and certainly have the power to make your life miserable in many ways.
The most obvious hormonal symptoms that most women experience are that of PMS – anxiety, mood swings, irritability, bloating, sore breasts, cravings, etc. Believe it or not, PMS symptoms are NOT just a normal thing that everyone has to go through.
Then there’s period troubles – cramps, pain, heavy periods, irregular or absent periods.
You could also experience things like fatigue, low libido, lack of energy, brain fog, infertility, depression, digestive problems, hirsutism, hair loss, stubborn weight gain, insomnia, and so much more.
2. The Acne is Around Your Mouth, Chin, or Jawline
Hormonal acne almost always appears first and foremost around the mouth, chin, and sometimes jawline. As it gets worse, it can spread to the rest of the face and other parts of the body.
According to Stefani Ruper, if acne is showing up in locations on the body without also being around the mouth, chin, or jawline, then it’s probably not primarily hormone related.
3. It Comes and Goes Throughout Your Monthly Cycle
A typical characteristic of hormonal acne is that it comes and goes throughout your monthly cycle (or it lessens and worsens if it never completely goes away).
This is because our sex hormones go through significant swings throughout the month as your body prepares itself for pregnancy, and then menstruation – if there is an imbalance, sometimes it swings in favour of clear skin, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Popular times for breakouts are during ovulation or just before the period begins, although some women actually find it’s the opposite for them.
This is not true in all cases though. If you have a pretty severe imbalance like Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), then hormonal acne can persist all the time.
4. The Acne is Cystic
Hormonal acne definitely doesn’t have to be cystic, but cysts and nodules do seem to be typical of it. Cysts are the big, hard, fluid-filled acne bumps that take ages to go away.
Hormonal acne can also be smaller pustules and papules, clogged pores and whiteheads, and even just uneven skin tone.
5. It’s The Most Stubborn Acne You’ve Got!
Hormonal acne seems to be much more stubborn than other types of acne. I know that for me personally, the hormonal acne around my chin has always been 100% the most stubborn acne on my face.
By stubborn, I simply mean that it’s not as responsive to most treatments as other acne. Perhaps a healthy lifestyle significantly lessens the hormonal acne, but you find that it won’t completely go away.
Or maybe you found a great skin care routine that makes a huge difference for most of your acne, but it won’t make a dent in the hormonal stuff.
Hormonal Acne Book Will Be Available Next Week
If you’ve got hormonal acne and you’re totally sick of it, my guide to female hormonal acne is going to be coming out next week. I’m just putting the finishing touches on it right now.
In the ebook, I’m going to help you to recognize what kind of imbalance you’re dealing with so you can tailor a specific plan for your situation and finally get rid of that stubborn hormonal acne once and for all! Stay tuned!
[UPDATE]: Guide to Female Hormonal Acne is now available! Get your copy here right now.
Is your acne hormonal?
I am a male and have all of the described symptoms, save for the monthly cycle-part. Is this likely hormonal as well?
Hi Olof, Yes, it sounds like it, although I am personally not as familiar with the pattern in males. Which other hormonal symptoms do you have that accompany the acne?
Hi, thanks for replying!
I do not belive I have any other symptoms… The strange part is, my acne issues (pustular, around the mouth area) came over night when starting to take a particular brand of probiotics a few years ago. I seized taking them rather quickly, but the issues still remain to this day. Does this tell you anything..?
Ah.. not really :/ the only thing that could maybe tell me is that the acne is related to a gut issue which may have been triggered by that particular probiotic. Interesting though, I’ve never heard of that and it seems strange that it would continue on long beyond stopping using it. Might have been a coincidence.
Hi Tracy! I’m indebted to you for the information I have found on your site over the last year. Long story short, a brief (12-14 day) candida cleanse did seem to help me with my stubborn hormonal acne (I’ve had it since 14 and am 33 now), but that was 3 months ago, I seemed to keep my diet pretty much at bay since finding out what helps / hurts, and my stress levels (never going to be good as I’m a single mom with 4 kids!)
I’ve been on Estroblock / Vitex for 5 months now, I think they help. This whole time I’ve had a rollercoaster dating relationship that probably isn’t healthy, but it’s very mature / respectful and both of us care about the well being of each other. We’re taking a break, and I’ve seen a huge flareup in the last week or two. I’m wondering if I need to cut out coffee while doing a candida cleanse or not! I have a boring obligatory desk job computer programming, and I can’t stay awake! Last time I cut the coffee out for a few months and survived, slept better, etc. but I’m really not sure if it was that big of a factor in my acne improvement.
I’d hate to waste resources on a cleanse if the coffee is just going to wipe out all the good I’m doing! But I’d also hate to be so sleepy if coffee really isn’t that big of a deal. Any thoughts? Much love! KS in South Carolina
If you are going to bother doing a dedicate cleanse, I would probably nix the coffee for that period, at least. As for overall if it affects your acne or not… it depends on you. Some people it doesn’t make a difference, some people it makes all the difference. Coffee does directly release stress hormones from the adrenals which can indeed mess with the hormones
Thank you! I’m in denial (ha). Sigh…guess I’ll just have to be patient and see for myself. I’ll be back – please keep the good wisdom coming. You’ve helped me more than years of dr. visits / antibiotics have! (Feel free to delete the comment I incorrectly placed below – ha) 🙂
Have you checked to see if you have any deficiencies that could be causing fatigue? I ask because I had a heavy iron deficiency that caused a few problems i.e. being sleepy, depression.
Since I gave up coffee a year ago, my go-to is Yerba Mate as well as Maca! I recommend doing some research on them because they have been a great help to me! Laura
I have struggled with low iron for many years – I do think it comes into play for sure. If I eat broccoli and / or have a green smoothie once a day, I seem to be dramatically better – If only I could discipline myself! I seem to really benefit from the cod liver oil and zinc supplements, too.
I’m going to nix the coffee (on Day 3 now – whew!) for the next three weeks while I cleanse. I actually picked up some Yerba Mate to try later in the month – looking forward to it! Thanks for the tip because I didn’t know about it.
Thanks for post
I think that hormones cause my acne. a few months ago I noticed hair under my chin :/
Also I have sooo many hair on my body, that started growing a few years ago.
I’m 16 years old now.
I’m going to see endocrinologist and gynecologist soon and test my hormones, see what will happen.
I hope that I will get rid of this terrible acne soon.
Yes it definitely sounds like hormones are causing your acne. You may have PCOS.. mention this to the doctor so they test you for it
Thank you! I’m in denial (ha). Sigh…guess I’ll just have to be patient and see for myself. I’ll be back – please keep the good wisdom coming. You’ve helped me more than years of dr. visits / antibiotics have!
OMG! I’m so thankful for this post, because it made me realize that my irregular periods and acne could all be stemming from my imbalanced hormones! I can’t believe I didn’t realize this sooner. Now that I’ve identified the problem, I can seek a homeopathic solution. Thanks Tracy! 🙂
No worries 🙂
Hi Tracy!! I have regular periods/cysts (but negative for PCOS – the cysts are large and rupture)
Could another sign of hormonal acne be that it responds REALLY well to birth control pills? On the pill I’m 95% clear – without it I have big cysts on my chin and my back/chest fills up with blackheads (that eventually get inflamed)
Thank you for all of your advice – I’m hoping to try DIM when I’m allowed to get off the pill (ruptured cyst almost killed me.. so I can’t ovulate right now)
Hi Steph, yep that’s another good sign that it’s hormonal!
I have severe hormonal acne 🙁 Is there a way to reduce it? I’ve tried birth control, but it turns out I’m allergic to it and the doctor recommended me to not taking it at all, which I’m bummed about because I knew that would’ve helped.
Hi Cat, yes there is! It’s what I will be explaining in the ebook 🙂
Pls what’s the link to your e book?
Hi Tracy! I’m almost 100% sure my acne is hormonal seeing that the most severe is all around my chin, but for the past 2 winters, and now this winter, my acne gets drastically worse then it is during the summer, why is this? xoxo
It could be lack of Vitamin D, which acts more like a hormone in the body.. it could be affecting your other hormones. You could try taking a high dose of Vitamin D3 and see if it makes a difference?
My acne is getting worse and more recurrent every month. I have cut soy, meat, sugary products, almost all makeup, I decreased coffee consumption to half cup per day, candy and so on and it still appears and worse. When I went to the doc he sent me prescription for acne pills which I cannot take because of risk of stroke in my family. I never had acne as a teen and now as an adult my face is getting destroyed. I have tried everything. I am suspecting that i might have an allergic reaction or that the few food I consume nowadays might have some hormones. What do you recommend me?
So sorry to hear things aren’t improving! Unfortunately from that limited description, I can’t really say what the problem is or what to do at this point
Yes! I also get cystic acne between brows around ovulation (and they don’t go away like forever). Do you know anything about this area? I have a hard time finding the “right” info on the web.
Looking forward to your new book! 😉
Hi Masha, I don’t know if that specific area means anything in particular… Chinese face mapping stuff says it’s to do with the liver though. In that case it makes sense as the liver has a lot to do with hormones!
Interesting. It may be connected since I’ve also felt a slight pain in my liver during the breakout.
Btw, my skin looks much better since I’ve joined your cleanse and improved my diet, but I still get occasional breakouts (obviously due to hormonal imbalance). I’ve also decided to get off prescribed meds gradually (anti-depressants and anti-psychotics), which I’ve been taking for more than 5 years. I’m starting to think that those may be one of the main reasons of my health problems. I used to have such high hopes for the western medicine…
Thank you for helping me and others, you’re an inspiration! 🙂
I’m practically crying tears of joy from this. I purchased your ebook Ultimate Secrets to Acne Freedom four months ago and have been following the systems ever since, and the devastation I’ve felt from my skin never fully clearing up in these four months has really hurt me. Now, from reading this, it may be because my acne is hormonal. I have irregular, sometimes absent, heavy periods, my acne has always been the worst on my chin and jawline, I have tons of clogged pores and an uneven skin tone, and it’s extremely stubborn (obviously!). Even though I’ve been on Estroblock the past two months, I have hope that the additional information in this ebook will help me get clear skin once and for all.
Now, I have a couple questions.
How much money will you be asking for this ebook? (Or is that not disclosed till its availability next week?)
In UStAF, the Basic System was (on average) 4-6 weeks and the Advanced System was 6-8 weeks (if I’m remembering correctly…). How long will the systems in this book take to work? Is it roughly the same amount of time or does it take longer for hormonal acne to be treated?
If over-washing isn’t a factor, is oily skin another sign of a hormonal problem?
Thanks so much, Tracy.
I’m so sorry to hear things haven’t fully cleared up for you (have you seen at least some improvement?). I too hope the info in this book will help you. The ebook will be normally $29, but there will be a discount when it comes out. As for how long… I don’t really give a timeline on this. For some people it’s quick.. if you have a severe hormonal imbalance, it can take quite quite a few months to fully get back into balance.
Also, yes oily skin without overwashing is also a sign of hormonal acne, but not necessarily. You can get hormonal acne with dry skin too.
Yes, some. All of the pimples that I had on my cheeks, chin, and jawline four months ago have gone away, but I do still get some on my chin. But the clogged pores haven’t budged, and they definitely mess with the overall look and feel of my skin.
Thanks for the answers! 🙂
I found your site recently… and to be honest, I’m totally amazed because I guess this is exactly the right approach which I’ve been looking for.
I’ve believed that I have have hormonal acne… until today. I just got my blood tests results and everything is ALRIGHT, despite the fact I have all symptoms you are writing about here. It is huge, cystic and mainly around my jawline, mouth, chin… but it covers basically all my face which is quite terrible :/ The only exception is my forehead, nose and the area between eyebrows. It get worse before my period. I’ve been taking antibiotics for a month and I noticed that that the forehead has cleared up probably as a result of using it.
The laboratorian who made the tests was my mom. She told me that the worst problem is probably in my head… Nice.
I want to ask you, is there any chance that I just TOLD MYSELF that I have hormonal acne and it got worse because I believed that it is a true? I always had from mild to moderate acne but it got worse a few months ago… maybe I just tried to explain it something, I have no idea…
Anyway, I used to feel so bad about it but I think that I’m dealing with it better now. I must thank you for your encouraging articles, you do a great job here! 🙂
Hey! I defintely think you can ‘talk yourself into it’. That sounds weird, but your brain could basically have you believe and feel anything that you’re afraid of or that you believe in. There used to be a story about a guy who was diagnosed with cancer and nearly before he ‘died’, his doctor told him that they switched up diagnoses and the man who was almost ‘dying’ was perfectly healthy. The man just almost died over believing he was in his last stage of cancer. He slept it off for a few days and was fine after that. Ok, maybe this story is a bit overwhelming but all I’m saying is that your mind could create any setting that you believe in.
I think some one also had an article on it. I think it was Fran from high on health in her ‘stop thinking about it’ section.
By saying this I don’t mean that your acne is a complete result of what’s ‘in’ your mind, but it could definitely make things worse!
I should take this lesson for myself as well, lol.
Well, I also don’t want to say ‘yes, it’s your mind’ just because that’s what your mom said! It sucks having people tell you it’s all in your head.
But it is true that really focusing on something that you weren’t focusing on before can change things, and your hormones. The hypothalamus gland in your brain gets information from your thoughts, environment etc, which sends signals to the pituitary gland, which then sends signals to your ovaries and other organs telling them what to do…. so… theoretically… indeed thoughts can have an impact.
But anyway – on a different note, if the tests you got were blood tests, sometimes those aren’t very accurate as they measure the total hormone in your blood, as opposed to the hormone that is actually useable by your tissue. Generally saliva tests are more accurate because of this
Ok so I think my acne is horrmornal, because I’m 24 and I never had acne until 2 years ago. I get it only on my right side of my cheek and on my chin. I’ve been on estroblock for almost a month and I have seen some changes. I do get small breakout here and there,so I was wondering if your skin went back in forth in the beginning before it cleared up?? 🙂
Yep, it took at least two months before I was really sure it had worked! I was still getting my usual breakouts until then. I do think adding the Liv-tox sometime around then helped too
Oh my gosh, I love your blog SO much!
I bought one of your ebooks last week and cutted out all refined sugars and I’m seeing a HUGE difference! I’m not even cutting out all carbs, because I still eat whole grains, such as bread, brown rice and pasta. There are only two small pimples on my face and those are noticeable because I picked at them.
I do seem to have a problem with the ‘diet’ thing. I’m losing weight! I now weight 48,2 kg and that was a bit shocking compared to my 51. Soooo I try to eat even more now, which is pretty hard.
My acne is hormonal too. I think I’m sensitive to male hormones, androgens and stuff. My acne has never been cystic, not even when I was diagnosed with pcos. They would always start as a whitehead and fast turn into a red bump with pus in it so I always extracted them… They were also not specificly centered on my chin. My forehead, hairline, between the eyebrows, chin and right above my lip were my probleem areas. Not even ‘around’ the lip. Much later little whiteheads started to appear on the cheeks.
I’m on birth control right now. Problem areas are still the forehead, occasional hairline, above the lip and both sides of the chin. I rarely get acne on the sides of my mouth and on the cheeks. It happens like once a month/or once in two months. The weird thing is that when I break out, I tend to break out for a week or so in the same place. Right now I’m breaking out on the shoulder and clavicula (sorry I don’t know the english word for that bone below your neck 😛 ).
I’m looking forward to read your new book!! Cutting out on refined sugars has already made so much difference for me and not even taking any supplements yet. I will definitely buy your book! So glad I found this blog. I really think we could all pull it off together, getting clear I mean 🙂
Sorry if this was the worst English you’ve ever seen, I’m from Europe!
I’ve seen much worse English 😉
Anyway – good to hear cutting sugar has made a big difference, it has a direct connection to androgens. The losing weight thing… sometimes it happens when you first start eating healthier, you kind of shed some unhealthy fat and then you put a bit back on and it stabilizes. yeah, just make sure you are eating enough calories, I know it’s hard!
Tracy thank you for writing this article! My acne is definitely hormonal based on the symptoms you’ve outlined and just from personal observation. I’ve also noticed that my skin flares up significantly more in the winter months. Do you have a post on how seasons impact your skin? I would really appreciate any information you’ve gathered 😀
Hi Lori, I think it’s likely to do with Vitamin D! Try supplementing with 5000 ius of D3 per day and see what happens
thank you for the very informative articles, they have really helped me out a lot!
I have a question though. I’ve had PCOS in the past after comming of the birthcontrol pill, but I recovered from it and now have a monthly cycle, your blog has played a big part in this 🙂 I also suffered from acne but became pretty much clear. Lately I’ve been very stressed and my acne sadly is flaring up again..I was thinking about taking a milk thistle supplement to support my liver a bit but I read online that milk thistle has estrogen like qualities so it might mess up your hormones, and I don’t want to do that ofcourse. What do you think? Is it ok for me to take it?
In my opinion (meaning I can’t say for sure whether it is indeed okay or not for you to take it), but I think it has a very mild estrogenic effect.. much like many foods are also mildly estrogenic, some more than others (ie. soy and flax are significantly stronger than the rest of them), but usually it’s not going to be any problem unless you are very very sensitive to phytoestrogens. I would think in most cases it would help an estrogenic state by allowing your liver to be tip top and detox estrogens better, as opposed to causing any problem.
Thank you so much for your response :), I eat mild estrogenic foods without any problem so I guess this will be ok. I’m just gonna give it a try!
My name is Avery and I’m fifteen years old. I read your article, and honestly, I’ve deduced my acne is not hormonal. I’ve had mild acne since I was ten and it has gotten a lot more inflamed recently around my forehead and temples. It’s really, really bad.
Anyway, I’ve tried everything. Drinking water, cutting out dairy, getting lots of sleep… everything. Nothing works. (my parents won’t let me cut out wheat because I’m a cross-country runner and they think I need it for the calories).
Tracy, my dermatologist is pushing antibiotics. I hate the idea of putting something into my body that would kill off good bacteria in my gut. This is bacteria I need! Anyways, my quality of life is at an all-time low. I’m depressed, anxious, and feel like I have no control in life.
What should I do? Antibiotics seem to be my only option now… especially since it seems like my acne is more genetic than hormonal (my mom had acne that wasn’t hormonal and she said that antibiotics were what cleared it up.)
Tracy, if you have any advice at all, please share it with me. Just a pointer would be awesome. I want to be as natural as possible with my treatment, but I just don’t know anymore.
I don’t really have a life anymore. My self esteem and confidence have taken a GIGANTIC blow from this awful acne!
I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. I totally understand. Unfortunately though I can’t tell you what the answer is. Teenage acne is a little different than adult female acne in that the high levels of growth hormone that is pushing you through puberty is what’s causing the androgen activity in your skin… but then again, you’re kind of on the cusp of teenage into adulthood, so I don’t know. Part of it is genetic, certainly, because obviously not everyone gets acne as a teenager, but actually everyone’s acne is genetic, technically. Genes are what have determined that we are prone to acne, but genes don’t mean that there isn’t anything you can do, even as a teenager. Eating well, avoiding dairy, getting exercise should help, but if it isn’t, I don’t know what to say. Did your mother take antibiotics and her acne never came back afterwards? how long did she take them for? If you do decide to take them, just make sure you are taking strong probiotics with them to minimize any gut damage (take them at a different time of day)
Tracy, thank you so much for your reply.
My mom took antibiotics to get rid of her severe acne, which is what I have, and she said the acne would pop up now again afterwards, in which case she would either go on other round of antibiotics or take a topical to clear it up.
If I do decide to go forward with the antibiotics, (trust me, I am fighting tooth and nail not to!) what kinds of things besides probiotics should I be doing? I’ve heard of bone broth soup and stuff, but I’m not entirely sure how else to proceed.
Hi Avery – yep, bone broth is great, and see if you can get into making and consuming fermented foods which are like food probiotics, here are examples http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/traditional-fermented-foods-examples/
I’ve tried everything (cleanses, no alcohol, no caffeine, loads of topicals, probiotics, Airborn…) and finally decided to remove my Mirena IUD. Hoping this will finally clear up my PERSISTENT cystic acne on my forehead.
Hi Clare, did the acne start after you got the Mirena put in?
Hey, Tracy! I want to tell you that I love your blog very much and I’m very glad that i found it.
I wonder, can chronic stress cause acne and excess hair growth?
My acne started about 4-5 years ago, but it was very mild, about one or two pimples and i think, it was caused by puberty. Then I moved to new school, it was a HUGE stress for me and I broke out more and more. I noticed, that last spring, when I was feeling very happy, my acne cleared up dramatically o.O
I have had depression and chronic stress since last summer. Few months ago I noticed hair on my chin.
What do you think about it?
P.S. sorry for my bad english! 😀
Hi Lisbeth, yes chronic stress can have a huge impact on your hormones that can lead to acne! In some cases (what it sounds like is going on with you) it can lower your estrogen/progesterone production, which kind of leaves testosterone higher in relation, and can result in testosterone excess symptoms like hirutism, acne etc
Your website is AMAZING! 😀
So, this week I’m going to go see a homeopathic doctor to check about the balance of my hormones. I think mine are REALLY unbalanced!! 🙁 Hopefully, with this doctor, I can figure something out but I’d rather just buy DIM to balance my hormones! I’m taking milkthistle 3 times a day and I’m considering taking a probiotic. Irregular bowl movements have been a condition that I have suffered from as early as 10 years old maybe?? I’m 25 now and still suffer somewhat BUT since I’ve been taking fiber and the milkthistle 3 times a day, I’m much more regular! 🙂
I was on birth control for a year and a half but got off it. PMS is a nightmare for me and I often feel anxious, irritable, etc. during this time and when “that time of the month” actually hits, it’s TERRIBLE.
The acne I have now is mostly on the chin, jawline and lower cheek. In the past, I dealt with chronic stress and thanks to your website, I have learned to really improve my lifestyle. It seems that maybe I’m suffering from a digestion issue and hormonal imbalance?? What do you think?
Sorry for my rant and God bless you for helping us all!
Hi Lydia 🙂 Thanks!
Yes it definitely sounds like the majority of your acne is hormonal, and exacerbated by gut issues. If you have really bad PMS, you likely have low progesterone, although it may not be the only imbalance you have, but definitely one of them. My new ebook should really help you!
When can I order your e-book? This’ll be an early Christmas gift to myself…LOL! 🙂
Right now! 😀 https://thelovevitamin.com/female-hormonal-acne-guide/
I think you’re doing such an amazing job!! I have been trying to buy your
e-book Female Hormonal Acne Guide without having to join the academy, is that possible? For the time being I’d like to just get the book. Also do you have a waiting list for the private consultations you’ll be offering? I love the idea of a really tailor made course of action for my stubborn acne. Can I join the waiting list? Thank you so much, Katie
I haven’t commented on here much before but I’m starting to feel like I’m at my wit’s end with my acne! I’ve been following your blog religiously and was hoping you or someone here may be able to give me some clarity – or maybe I’ll at least feel better for getting this off my chest. (Apologies in advance for what’s to come!!)
Here’s the deal: I’m 24, and have been suffering with acne since my early teens, but it has just gotten progressively worse over the years. My forehead, chin, cheeks, T-zone are perpetually covered, and I also break out around my mouth and in my actual eyebrows. (the only place that isn’t affected is my jawline and neck). Basically my whole face is just a red, raw, inflamed mess.
Over the years I’ve tried a million things including changing my diet, kineseology, accupuncture, chinese medicine, homeopathy, supplimenting, different skin care products/routines, you name it… all to no avail. The only thing I haven’t done is use any kind of conventional acne treatment (be it topical or internal) or been on the pill, because I decided a long time ago I would treat it naturally and holistically.
The problem is, I often try these things and start out super motivated, and then give up after a few weeks either because I think they’re not working or something else gets in the way, e.g. I get too busy /don’t have enough will power to keep it up. However, I think my diet is pretty healthy overall – I’m a pescatarian and eat organically when I can afford it, and in general just enjoy good, wholesome food.
Because my acne is so bad though, I barely go a day without wearing makeup, which of course requires a fair amount of ‘skin invasion’ (as I like to call it) to remove… even if I am using all natural and gentle products. I often wonder if I actually have a deeper problem or if all these years of wearing crappy makeup and interfering with my skin has actually created my acne. Do you have any thoughts on this? I would love to ditch the makeup but with my skin as it is I just can’t face it.
Of course I’ve considered everything under the sun, but have never managed to actually rule anything out. I tried going wheat, dairy and sugar free for a while, and made it 3-4 weeks but didn’t notice any real changes.
Now I’m wondering if a hormone imbalance is a big factor. I often get pretty intense menstrual cramps, and before and during my period I get extremely anxious and emotional. I’m kind of highly-strung and stress prone at the best of times so this really can make things unbearable.
Since discovering your blog a few months ago, I’ve really been trying to step things up. I’ve been working on improving my diet even more, been taking Green Pastures CLO, a probiotic and anti-fungal along with several other supplements. I also started taking Estroblock but could only afford one bottle. Unfortunately I’ve been feeling really low and hopeless the past couple of weeks and have kind of stopped taking all of this so seriously. I have to say though, I definitely noticed some improvement for a few days, which I think coincided with when I was taking the Estroblock. Although I was doing so many other things I really couldn’t say for sure.
Tracy, any kind of insight you could give me would be so appreciated (should I go back on estroblock? be more consistent with my diet?). I’m in my last year at university, which is challenging and stressful enough, but my acne is starting to take over my life and I can hardly go a minute without it playing on my mind. (yes, I know stress is bad!) I’m worried that it’s really going to interfere with my studies.
Sometimes I feel like a ‘lost cause’, like even professionals can’t help me, but I know that’s not true. I mean, I’m young and I want to have FUN and be carefree, yet some days I can’t bear to show my face. There HAS to be a solution. Can someone remind me that I’m not going to look like this forever?? 😉
Sorry for the humongous rant and also, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done for us poor acne-sufferers. You’ve already helped me more than you know!
I do think your acne probably is at least in part to hormones, especially if you say that you experience pretty intense PMS and saw some improvement with estroblock. Probably a low progesterone / high estrogen type of thing, of course I don’t know for sure or know what your hormones are doing exactly. I think my new ebook would probably be very enlightening to you, at least giving you a different way of looking at the acne from a hormonal perspective, something you may not have considered before. Give you some answers. Also – no. You aren’t going to look like this forever, please have faith and believe that you won’t. If you do believe and don’t give up, the solution is going to come to you in some way or another.
I thought Tracy’s answer was perfect, and I, too, want to encourage you – you are doing all the right things by doing your homework, and things will work out, I know!
I am 33 and just in the last year found this site and am FINALLY understanding that my acne is related to hormones which are related very much to my diet / lifestyle! I always thought I just “had bad skin” and there was nothing I could do about it! If anything, I want to encourage you that you’re years behind me finding this wealth of info, so that’s great!!
Thanks Tracy – I’ve purchased your ebook and am going to see if my doctor can give me a blood test to check my hormones. I really hope this will give me some answers!!!
Bless you for your wisdom!
I have had acne since puberty, now at 18 I’ve been getting cystic acne every month. My mom also got acne during high school and college and she was left with scaring. This Christmas break I’m doing a bowel and juice cleanse using Dr. Schulze’s herbs and also ordering Estroblock and Livtox. What do you know about alfalfa and raspberry for acne? I am also wanting to learn more about the candida diet, I might try that as a cleanse. I have been vegetarian/vegan all my life and lately have been trying to avoid gluten, not sure if it’s causing my acne though.
If you get a chance maybe look into alfalfa as a acne supplement. I’m so glad I found your blog and I’m excited about trying the Estroblock!
Hi Kathy, I don’t know anything about alfalfa for acne, I have heard red raspberry can be helpful for some women’s hormones and their acne, for sure. Anyway good luck with the Estroblock 🙂
I just ordered the Guide to Female Hormonal Acne, great info! I got my hormones tested a couple of months ago and I really feel that they are hormonal (mostly around mouth/jawline and mostly cystic), but my results are very confusing to me. It says my progesterone is normal, but it seems that everything else is low (estrogens, androgens, 2-hydo & 16-hydo). Any idea what this could mean? I have felt tired and worn down for years and years, even though I really upped my vitamin D in the past couple of months since that was also low (live in MN). Maybe I’m dealing with adrenal fatigue?
Hi Randi, thank you for getting the guide 🙂 Hmm yes I’m not sure about your results, from that I would guess that your hormones are low due to some kind of stress?? Low body weight? Something like that? But I don’t know if that’s true for you or not. They are indeed interesting results. Which androgens were tested? And how were you tested? A blood test, or saliva, or something else? Were you working with anyone to interpret the results with you?
I did a blood test and the androgens tested were DHEA-S, Testosterone & free androgen index(?) – these were all right on the edge of being below normal/normal. My naturopath went through the results and she wasn’t really sure why everything was low (thinks that my acne probably has to do more with poor digestion and stress)? She has me taking some DHEA & DIM supplements, but I haven’t really seen a big improvement. Can’t be due to low body weight, I am a bit overweight right now. I started taking birth control pills in desperation (after I got these results), so maybe levels are higher now (not helping the acne yet though). I am going to get my thyroid tested next week (have almost all of the symptoms of hyperthryroidism), so it would be nice to see if that’s what could be causing some of my issues! Thanks for your help!
Hi Randi, that’s interesting, I also don’t know why the hormones would be low, but maybe your acne isn’t hormonal if that’s the case. Yes, interested to see what the thyroid test comes up with
ive been tested for diabetes had blood work done and been tested for intolerance to gluten and all came back fine. my scan showed i had odd cysts but they said that cant mean pcos as women get odd ones. I know i have a hormone imbalance as i have really bad cystic acne thats spreading up my face but for 3 years its mainly been jawline and lower cheeks. It normally is a lot worse around ovulation so does that mean its low progesterone and excess androgens?? i believe looking at this page. i use to have a really bad diet of white cars sugar and diet coke no veg,fruit ect. Id replace a lot of meals with diet coke as well as i was working a lot. like litres of the stuff. for a while i have been eating fruits, veg, brown carbs healthy fats ect ( i never use to eat any fat) and my cystic acne is still bad. i have tried to control my stress levels as my symptoms are depression, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, hair loss, food cravings of sugar and carbs they have slightly gone but still get them. please can you help me and just tell me what hormone imbalance i have and how and can i cure it?? is it low progesterone as when i was pregnant i got no cystic acne no spots. or do i have excess androgens from my previous diet and can i cure that?? im at a loss i struggle to leave house as my face is so bad and the scars are so bad. i just want to not feel like how i do my body feels so messed up. im a healthy weight but cant understand why i have cystic acne. is you have symtoms of anxiety or depression what is that caused by? its so weird how all my hormone levels and blood work came back ok does that mean i have a hormone imbalance?
Hey there – I don’t know exactly what to tell you (I’m sure there are others more qualified who will comment), but your symptoms sound similar to mine over the years (I’m 34 and even share your skin improvements during pregnancy) – it could have something to do with the progesterone levels and/or estrogen.
I have found that when I take Estroblock / DIM and Vitex as well as LivTox, my skin is so much better. Also, my skin got really bad after improving for a while when I moved into a very old house. I believe drinking tap water has helped. Try it and see.
During another season of testing (again, I know your frustration because I’ve had hormonal acne for years), I kept drinking coffee without sugar, didn’t exercise for a month, but added tons of fiber – 1-2 salads with lots of greens per day and broccoli for a snack every damn day 😉 That really did help me. Good luck.
And ps – leave the house anyway. xo
*NOT drinking tap water (instead drinking bottled water) – oops
Hi thanks for the reply
Yeah I’ve had cystic acne for about 3 years. I don’t want to take any pills and I want to cure it the natural way if possible as all my levels are fine so I assume that it might be stress or food? I never use to eat any fats so in the last few months I’ve had healthy fats. Is your acne gone? What changes did you make that you noticed made an improvement? I still don’t understand how I got nothing when I was pregnant and my bloods are fine but have such bad acne it’s left so many scars its so depressing! I’ve recently stopped drinking tap water I’m in uk so not sure If that makes a difference x
Yes, I have scars 🙁 I didn’t until I moved into this house 2 years ago, but the cysts were so painful & the damage was done. I came here for help, tried the MSM cream recommended, and I’m not sure if that helped or not. I think what did help with softness and “calming” was tea tree oil – using it in the shower and a few drops at night before bed.
I also took a tip here from one reader who tried a self-tanner for a while so the scars didn’t seem so bad. As long as I used it extremely sparingly, I think it helped me psychologically, too – not seeing every little thing as much, too.
I also found the resolve to finally walk away from a stressful romantic relationship I was in that just happened to coincide with this 2 year period in the house… still in the house, but recently I began dating someone who treats me like I deserve and inspires me to seek happiness and be my best self. 🙂
I stopped investigating really close in mirrors, too, and that has helped.
All that to say – while I still get a cyst or two right around ovulation or day before period, etc., it is mostly gone now and my skin is really smooth. Try to see any way you can get your digestion regular – whether it’s the supplements, diet, water, exercise (sauna, even) – and hopefully it will gradually improve. I know it’s tough! All the best to you. xo
Hwy have you noticed any improvements in your acne? Doing anything different? Thanks
Hi ! Thanks for this article. Somebody told me that my acne might be hormonal so I’m looking on the web for info on that problem, and from your list it appear that, maybe, I have PCOS :/
I have a lot of painful large bumps (cystic acne) under my skin, just under or on the jawline. For several years my chin was the main area where I had acne, although there is almost no more acne on my chin nowadays, strangely.
I’m 25 and I always had irregular, sometimes heavy, periods (my cycles can range anywhere from 40 days to just 20, even 15 days).
I’m also overweight, but changing my diet (I tried to lowered my GI for several months, almost a year) had the only effect of making me lose pounds, but there was no change in my acne.
I sometimes have some weird hairs that grow on my chin/neck/cheek, either big and dark, or thin, long and blond o.O but it’s not really frequent.
I never had acne as a teenager, I started having it at 20… The only other person that ever had acne (and who is also overweight) in my family is my older sister, but judging from her face I don’t think we have the same type of acne.
My skin is neither dry or oily.
No need to say that no traditional or natural skin care had any effect on my acne…
I’m suffer from acne since I turned 14 years. And I still do. I tried so many things and nothing worked to get absolutely rid of it =(. Still breaking out before my menstruation.
I’m still taking a birth control pill and I’m very afraid of discontinue it. Can I take Estroblock and Vitex while I’m taking the birth control pill? And will both work together? Thanks for your answer. I’m very glad about finding your blog =)
Is it possible to order the ebook on hormonal acne without buying everything in the Clear Skin Academy? I’ve pinpointed some issues after a saliva hormone test and would really love to read your research and advice on the matter, but it looks like the only way to do it now is to buy the whole package (?)
I got my hormones checked and apparently it is normal. However, I have this stubborn acne on my jawline and near my mouth. I hope you can suggest something. Thanks a lot.
Im 16 years old african american girl and i have a lot of flesh colored bumps and acne around my mouth chin and jawline and i have flesh colored bumps on my forehead. I have been researching about acne since I can remember. I’ve tried clinique, proactive, epiduo, natural remedies. Now I’m back to a 10% benzoyl peroxide cleanser, st.Ives blemish control cleanser, on hunt for a better moisturizer, but I use vaseline for now, I do micro needling for my all over the cheeks acne scars on wednesdays. I really love cheese and since its the new year I’m just going to cut out dairy, order some now foods probiotics, and apple cider vinegar pills, I’m drinking mason jars of water now and Hopefully this will help, but PLEASE HELP ME WITH YOUR ADVICE o and my nana pretty much gave up on helping me because I picked the acne so much 🙁 so i have been on my own for a while dealing with this! i would do anything for clear skin like i had when i was freaking baby. 🙁
I am a 14 soon to be 15 year old and I just noticed that acne has started sprouting on my upper back, chest and forehead out of nowhere. I also have been gaining weight easier (which is weird because I am genetically very skinny) and having on and off sleep issues. I was wondering what your thoughts on this are and if my symptoms might be hormonal.
Hi I’m getting every day one painful pimple and more on left side of cheeks and also on chin.. I have got recently pcod problem and I’m in treatment. Please suggest me what is the cause of my pimples and help me to get rid of pimple permanently please.
Ya .. Please THE LOVE VITAMIN help me to get rid of pimples permanently .. ready to follow all ur advice .
Hi Tracey I’m 14 I’ve had acne since I was about 11/12 I have all the sympons mentioned above the acne is always there but when on my period it is really vissable on my forehead ,and upper back
hi i just wanna ask if my acne is hormonal or not! bec i have acne when i was 8 and im not yet hitting puberty stage ! ismit hormonal or not?