the calm before the storm: tips and tricks for hormonal acne

Sticking to the skincare for your skin type thing is also a bit outdated.
—  Joanna Vargas, ITG interview

Hello lovelies! Today, I want to share my tried and true tips for managing hormonal acne.

I've pretty much suffered from acne since I was in middle school. My skin has just always had a rebellious mind of its own. As a teenager, I always hoped that the dermatologists could cure my acne. All they could really do was give me really strong chemical peels that temporarily helped my acne but also made my skin extremely sensitive. About 2 years ago, I started getting hormonal breakouts. My last breakout lasted for about 4 months. It was just constant cystic acne at my jawline and neck and it was really, really painful. It just recently started getting better when I decided to make certain lifestyle changes, which I want to share with you all today.

Tip #1: Stick with a consistent skin care routine (cleanse, tone, moisturize, and repeat) and use a topical acne treatment every night as a preventative measure.

Having a skincare regimen isn't about instant gratification. Some products take a few weeks or months of consistent application before they start working their magic. Instead of applying topical treatments for already affected areas, apply a treatment that is intended for the entire face every night to prevent the formation of new pimples altogether. The treatment I currently use every night is the Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment.

Tip #2: Drink spearmint tea twice a day.

I've always loved the smell of spearmint. Doublemint was my favorite gum as a kid. As you can imagine, I was very excited to hear that drinking spearmint tea everyday is a natural remedy to acne. Spearmint tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the acne-prone areas of the skin and reduce sebum production.

Tip #3: Always use a toner.

Always use an alcohol-free toner, like this Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Alcohol-free Toner, after cleansing the skin. This Thayers one is my no-gimmicks, chemical-free, all natural holy grail product. Toning consistently can help refine the skin (especially if you have large pores) and remove any traces of makeup that your cleanser did not remove.

Tip #4: Reduce your dairy intake. Opt for alternatives like coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk.

If you suffer from cystic acne like me, dairy might be the culprit. Since I started using coconut milk or cashew milk in place of my half & half for my morning coffee, I feel like my skin has started to calm down.

Tip #5: Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.

Sulfates (SLSs) are really harsh on the skin, in general. They can irritate the skin and aggravate acne. There are a lot of sulfate-free alternatives out there. OGX makes really price-friendly, sulfate-free hair products. Currently, I am trying out the Honest Beauty Beyond Hydrated Shampoo and Conditioner. As you've probably figured out by now if you keep up with my Instagram, I am obsessed with Jessica Alba's Honest Beauty line. Their products just work so well with my skin and have changed my outlook on all the ingredients that go into the products I use on my body everyday. The shampoo and conditioner are packed with clean ingredients that just make my hair very happy.

Tip #6: Regulate your gut--promote healthy digestion.

If you've ever read a face map, most of the time bad digestion is the reason for acne on the jawline and neck areas. Eating probiotics like Activia yogurt or kombucha (which might take some getting used to) can help regulate your digestive tract and effectively remove the toxins from your body.

So those are all my tips! I hope you find some of them helpful. Let me know in the comments below or on my Instagram post if you have any other tips for managing hormonal acne.

Until next time, Megan.