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Hormonal Acne...How To Fight This Evil Beast

More of us have this cursed beast than not, the beast named hormonal acne. Here's some tips, tricks and products that can help from your fellow hormonal suffering comrade.

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1. It's a Bitch. Trust me, I know.

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I'm a person who was blessed as a teen, I had NO acne in junior high school or high school, while every one else suffered. Then suddenly, I hit my early twenties and, by the grace of Hades, came the era of my pizza face. I had no clue what was happening. I tried to limit my stress, I hadn't changed anything about my skin care routine that would irritate my skin, I was so confused that I even went to my dermatologist for help. While examining my skin and pores, she told me that my skin was perfectly clean. So why was this happening? Fucking. Hormones. Once you turn 23 and onward, your hormones go through another influx, just like puberty. While they're moderate for some people, for others it can wreak havoc on our skin. If you're a woman, you probably have already experienced the breakouts that come with your time of the month, which are a major component to this issue. While one of our biggest solutions is to just wait it out, there are other solutions that can help! These are ones that I've tried, so you can hear from someone who is actually struggling with this experience.

2. Food. / Via Google

You know that saying, "you are what you eat"? Well, unfortunately, it's kind of true. One of the biggest things you can do for your skin is limit the kinds of foods you're eating.

A. No pizza: the grease from pizza can basically give you pimples overnight. Be careful with this one Kemosabe.

B. Sugar: This happens to me and it's the worst because I have a massive sweet tooth. Eating a lot of sugar can clog your pores and give you blemishes. Limit your sugar intake (I know, it's hard) and it will help control the amount of blemishes that pop up.

C. Dairy: tons of people credit the control of their acne on the removal of all dairy from their diets. Doctors have gone on the record stating that cow's milk can cause inflammation of the skin and acne. Better pick up some soy ice cream.

D. Going vegan: it's a hot trend right now, especially with the new Netflix Documentary "What The Heath". But purging all meat and dairy and sticking to a plant based diet can not only improve your intestinal health, but also your skin. Plant based diets reduce the amount of oil and pore clogging ingredients in meat and dairy in your body, which will help control your blemishes.

P.S. If you decide to go vegan, pick up a bottle of Vitamin B12, vegans need it as a supplement with the removal of meat and dairy.

3. Stop Switching Face Washes Too Often.

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I did this. Don't do this. Changing your face routine too often will most definitely irritate your skin, your skin can't get used to what you're using with all the changes and not only irritate but dry your skin out with all the irregular washes. Too many oils, chemicals, applicants will most definitely make you break out. If you're going to try a new face product out, I recommend you wait 2 weeks before trying out a new one, so your face has time to breathe and you're not clogging your pores with something new to your face. Wash your face sparsely with your body wash for the time being, something your body is already used to, so your face at least gets some cleansing during the break period.

Another tip: after washing your face, pat your face off with a paper towel instead of a body towel, you don't want to cross contaminate and a paper towel won't have any bacteria on it.


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There's a reason why water is so important for us, we're almost entirely made of it! Water is super important for basically everything, and that includes your skin. Staying hydrated is integral for your skin, as dryness will promote breakouts. What I like to do is automatically drink one glass of water as soon as I wake up before everything else, so I have one glass down already. I used to do the same before bed, which a lot of people also do because it helps your sleep cycle as well as your skin, but I had to get up to pee way too goddamn much in the night, so I drink one a couple of hours before bed. Yeah, I know I'm getting old thankyouverymuch.

5. Try Using All Natural Products.

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I was struggling with finding the right product to use for this newfound problem of mine. I had never used a face wash for acne before and I was a bit hesitant, as I don't have horrible acne everywhere. I tried store bought face washes with acid based acne medications which didn't do much for me. Then I decided to go the sulfur route, another medicated acne solution. I tried the Kate Somerville Daily Acne Cleanser with sulfur. This was a BIG no no. While it has amazing reviews on Sephora and definitely works for a lot of people, it did not work for moi. I had a bad reaction and it made my acne worse. Upon recommendation from a friend, I decided to try all natural products instead, I was tired of putting my skin through chemical after chemical and it was getting worse. I decided to this new company called True Botanicals. They use 100% non toxic and all natural ingredients and have nothing but rave reviews. As they're a new and growing company, their products aren't cheap. But if you're willing to splurge and try this, I recommend it. I bought the their Clear line, which is targeted for acne prone individuals and I'm really loving it. Its thin, smells amazing and is the opposite of harsh. I was my face with a small amount of the Clear Cleanser morning and night, morning followed by a thin layer of moisturizer and night followed by the Clear Pure Radiance Oil which really makes your skin bright and helps clear up existing pimples overnight. If you're an exfoliator, they also have a mask that will help exfoliate clogged pores.

6. Be Cautious of Overnight Trends.

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A. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is very big right now. Very big. There's an ongoing trend on using Coconut oil to clean your skin. While some people may swear by it, I recommend being careful. Its an oil that is very highly saturated in fat which won't agree with a lot of people's skin. If you want to try it, I suggest trying a very small amount of it first, and on a Friday, just in case you break out you don't have to go to work the next day with a fresh set of pimples.

B. Charcoal Peel Off Masks: while these are a HUGE trend basically all over the internet and it might be aesthetically pleasing for some of you, dermatologists say these can be quite harmful to your skin. First off, some of the off brand ones have absolutely horrible and harmful ingredients in them. Peeling off the masks might remove some clogged pores, but they actually are removing the top layer of skin and important follicles, ones that contain that good bacteria that helps fight skin infections (pimples). If you have sensitive skin, I really advise you don't use these at all.

7. Don't Over Cleanse: Spot Treatment

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Just like excessively changing face products, cleaning your skin too much can really cause some damage. You might think that cleansing your skin a lot will kill all the bad bacteria, but you're also going to be killing all the good bacteria on your face that helps fight off infections (pimples). You want your skin to stay hydrated and over-cleaning it will do exactly that. Exfoliating when your skin is sensitive will also cause harm and promote breakouts. Spot treatment is a good idea for those isolated breakouts that happen when your hormones are raging or when it's your time of the month. I personally like the Clean & Clear Persa Gel, but use these medicated creams carefully, they will really dry out your skin.

8. Birth Control.

Crankyt / Getty Images / Via Google

I personally choose not to be on medicated birth control, as I don't want the hormone control and changes of its effects (purely an opinion, birth control is great and I fully support it being available to everyone!). However, if thats not an issue for you, birth control changes the female hormones and can help control hormonal acne. Taking birth control pills that contain both estrogen and progesterone lowers the amount of androgens in your body. This results in less sebum and less severe acne. Be careful though, some women report that birth control actually gave them acne, but everyone's body is different and reacts differently, so try out what you (and your doctor) think is best for you.

9. Clay/Earth Based Masks

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I swear by clay/earth based masks. I'm sticking to the all natural here, and clay/earth based cleansers are perfect for sensitive skin people. Clay is all natural, so there are no chemicals messing with your skin. People who make pottery and work in ceramics have the most beautiful hands, and thats because they are touching clay all day. Most people, including me, have their hormonal acne around their chin. Clogged pores can immediately turn into pimples overnight, thats why I like to gently exfoliate with a clay mask in between my usual cleansers. They can also be used as spot treatments of you don't want to use the chemical based ones. A lot of people swear by the Saturn Riley Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask. I have yet to try this one, so be cautious as I don't have a review for this yet. But I have had multiple hormonal acne sufferers give me rave reviews in person. I personally have been using the Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque and I love it. It's gentle and leaves my skin feeling so clean and soft.

10. Don't. Pick. At. Your. Skin.

I will repeat: Don't. Pick. At. Your. Skin. If you think you see a pimple coming, leave it alone! Picking at it, trying to squeeze it will MAKE IT WORSE, BY THE GRACE OF GOD PLEASE TRUST ME. Trying to squeeze a submerged pimple will make it grow ten times bigger or sometimes turn it into a cyst or make the infection spread and create more pimples. Leave the baby pimples alone. I know you hate them, I know how rude they are but don't touch those little assholes. Your first line of defense, keep the area clean. Then, spot treat that sucker immediately, try to dry it out with which ever product you like at the first sign. Then, you guessed it, WATER! And remember, squeezing your submerged pimple can leave scars, and although it might get rid of the lil bitch faster, I can tell you that the scars (also known as hyper pigmentation) take FOREVER to go away, so it's not worth it.

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