Beauty products for hormonal acne: the good, the bad and the downright nasty

For over a year now I’ve been tormented by hormonal acne.  For a woman in her mid-thirties, it’s debilitating to have to face friends, family and work colleagues with an uneven skin tone and pimples to boot.

Acne vulgaris

My seemingly over-active sebaceous glands have managed to teleport me back to the dark days of being a teenager.  Back then, my solution to oily skin, pimples, those nasty under-the-skin bumps and blackheads was the oral contraceptive, a magic little pill I started taking at the age of 17 years.  It was marvellous, and thankfully my acne subsided and the bad memories gradually faded.  Then, at the age of 34, I upset the apple cart by going off the pill.  My fairly clear skin returned to its previous oily and pimply state, leaving me feeling helpless and just plain miserable.

Since then, I’ve tried taking different vitamins, minerals and tissue salts; bought numerous facial cleansers, toners, moisturisers, serums and acne/spot treatments; and indulged in countless expensive facial peels and deep cleansing facials – all of this to figure out that treating acne, especially adult acne, is a challenging task. 

The first step to treating adult hormonal skin problems is to be aware of what hormonal acne is and what causes it:

  • Hormonal imbalances such as Estrogen, Progesterone or Testosterone spikes or dips, or even a hormonal imbalance in the ovaries (polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • Stress which increases the Cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands
  • Lifestyle choices e.g. too much caffeine, dairy products, processed foods with refined sugar
  • Menstrual cycles can cause acne to flare up
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Hormones in food and in plastics

For many women, taking an oral contraceptive regulates hormones and seems to be the miracle answer to all problems. Sure, taking birth control has its advantages (I should know), but don’t be so quick to discount its side effects either.  Do your homework by researching the different oral contraceptives out there in order to make an informed decision.  Of course, making lifestyle changes can also offer beneficial results for the adult acne sufferer.  Simply by reducing intake of caffeine, and dairy products as well as consumption of processed foods, acne can indeed be lessened or even eliminated.

With regards to beauty products, there are a myriad of products out there that promise to reduce acne and promote a clear, blemish free skin. In my experience, many of these products work by drying out the skin, which for an adult acne sufferer is not the answer.  From the hordes of products I’ve tried, here is my personal rating on the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

Product table

So there you have it, for me, the winner from a budget and product effectiveness is Eucerin’s DermoPURIFYING skin care product range. So far, I’m winning the hormonal acne battling little by little …

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