Tired of pricey, harsh or ineffective acne treatments that only work temporarily, or worse, cause you to breakout even more?
Then it’s time to try these effective, no b.s. home remedies for hormonal acne!
In this post you will learn the underlying cause of hormonal acne along with 10 tips you can use at home to get quick – and lasting – relief.
So, without further delay let’s dive in.
Note: this post contains some affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you use them.
UNDERSTANDING THE ROOT CAUSE OF HORMONAL ACNE
The most important thing to know about hormonal acne is that it is caused by inflammation.
Now, at its core inflammation is a good thing. It’s a necessary and natural process that is designed to protect us from the side effects of short term stress (source).
However, when we face chronic stress, then we have chronic inflammation. This combo is what really sends our hormones, and skin, into a downward spiral.
For most people, chronic stress and inflammation comes from one or more of these sources:
- Unhealthy ingredients and toxins in food.
- Harsh and toxic skincare or cosmetics.
- Busy lifestyle.
Unhealthy ingredients and toxins in food
In this category we have things like:
- Refined sugar
- Processed carbs
- Refined oils
- Processed grains
As you can see from this list, none of these things are natural or in a “whole food” form.
So, your body basically treats them like toxins.
Now, when toxins are present in the body they trigger the immune system and create stress.
That stress also triggers your body’s inflammatory response. This simple means that your adrenals release anti-inflammatory hormones like cortisol.
As that internal inflammation builds up, it’s also reflected externally in the form of acne.
Harsh and toxic skincare or cosmetics
Since acne shows up on the skin, we tend to think that the best way to get rid of it is with skincare products.
And while there is a need for some topical acne treatments, many of them are actually very harsh and damaging.
One thing that is easily damaged by mainstream skincare products is your skin’s microbiome.
You see, the microbiome on your skin is a community of friendly microbes that protect the skin and keep it healthy (source).
Very similar to the friendly microbes that live in your gut.
Unfortunately, if you use a lot of popular acne skincare products, you are most likely exposing your skin to ingredients that overclean the skin.
This means that they kill that friendly skin bacteria.
Also, remember that a certain amount of what goes onto the skin is also absorbed into the bloodstream.
So, that means skincare products can expose you to more pro-inflammatory toxins,
All of these factors combined together can make you more susceptible to getting acne and also worsen existing acne.
Aside from the stress caused by food and skincare products, emotional stress also contributes to inflammation.
And guess what? The body reacts to chronic emotional stress in the same way that it reacts to the other toxins.
This means your immune activity goes up and your adrenals also release more cortisol.
So, what’s the end result of all these toxins, stress and inflammation?
- Your liver can get sluggish because it’s not able to get rid of toxins quickly enough.
- Your gut lining becomes weak and your gut bacteria fall out of balance.
- More cortisol is produced, which leads to more insulin. High insulin triggers the ovaries to make more testosterone, which can worsen acne (source).
- Levels of hormones like estrogen, testosterone, cortisol and insulin (it increases when cortisol is high) all fall out of balance.
Given all this, it’s no wonder that you can get stuck in a vicious cycle as you try to get rid of acne.
But have no worries, because in the next section, we’re going to look at the practical, real-life steps that you can follow to treat acne at home…once and for all.
HOME TREATMENTS FOR HORMONAL ACNE
Now that we know that inflammation is the root cause of hormonal acne, our main goal is simple: lower inflammation.
You don’t have to get rid of inflammation completely…just lower it and your skin will start improving!
So, the home remedies below are all designed to help you fight:
- Internal inflammation (through nutrient-dense food).
- External inflammation (through gentle, soothing, nourishing and wholesome skincare).
1. Drink 1 to 2 glasses of anti-inflammatory smoothies a day
A smoothie a day keeps acne away! Truly 🙂
Smoothies are a super simple way to “eat” more nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods.
And when you include green foods (whether it’s spinach, cucumber or cilantro) in your smoothie, you also increase the smoothie’s detox powers.
That’s because green foods contain the pigment chlorophyll. Not only does chlorophyll make foods green, but it’s also a potent detoxifier!
Here’s a simple and tasty acne smoothie recipe for you to use:
|INGREDIENTS||HOW TO MAKE|
|1 ripe banana |
1 cup frozen mango
½ cup baby spinach
¾ cup water (or almond milk)
|Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.|
For more smoothie ideas, read this post on hormone-balancing smoothies.
2. Use an acne-specific supplement
Evening primrose oil is a home remedy for acne that many women swear by.
In fact, for some women, this one supplement alone can have miraculous effects.
So, why does evening primrose help with hormonal acne?
Well, it has to do with the fact that it is very rich in essential fatty acids. Specifically, omega 6 and GLA (gamma linoleic acid).
I’ve discussed the importance of eating natural fats for hormone balance in the past. Fats are the raw material that the body uses to make everything from sex hormones and adrenal hormones.
So, it’s no surprise that the essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil have a balancing effect that improves hormones (and acne).
The most convenient way to add evening primrose to your routine is to take them in supplement form.
This cold-pressed, evening primrose supplement (available from Amazon) is what I recommend using.
3. Upgrade to hormone-friendly, non-toxic skincare
According to some sources, as much as 60% of what we apply on the skin ends is absorbed all the way into our blood (source).
So, if you’re using creams and makeup that contain hormone-disrupting compounds…guess what?
All of that is absorbed into your bloodstream and causing significant hormone disruption.
So, simplifying your skincare routine can help a lot to eliminate hormonal acne.
While there are lots of products that claim to “clean,” green” and so on, the one that I love and wholeheartedly recommend is S.W. Basics.
The first thing I love about S.W Basics is that the founder struggled with acne. So, she knows a thing or two about how to get rid of acne.
Second, all of the products contain 5 ingredients or less.
And with 5 ingredients or less, there is NO room to sneak in weird toxins. Believe me. I check every time I use one of their products 🙂
For hormone-related acne, these are the S.W. Basics products I recommend.
- S.W. Basics Toner: a non-toxic blend of water, organic apple cider vinegar, organic witch hazel and healing essential oils.
- S.W. Basics Oil Serum: remember those healthy bacteria on your skin that fight inflammation and keep you looking gorgeous? You need to feed them with healthy oils. This serum contains organic, nourishing, anti-inflammatory ingredients like avocado oil, geranium oil and turmeric oil that your skin will eat up.
- S.W. Basics Cleanser: Gentle cleanser with no harsh soaps or weird hormone disruptors.
4. Prioritize self-care and stress management
There’s no getting away from it.
Most of us lead busy, stress-filled lives.
And when this stress lasts for months or years, it can contribute to pimples.
In addition, struggling with hormonal acne is incredibly exhausting and draining…which further adds to your stress.
So, it’s important to take small steps, every day, to manage your stress.
Some basic things to do each day are:
- Move your body (whether it’s yoga, walking, dancing, and so on). It releases feel-good hormones and lower stress.
- Meditate or just sit in a quiet space for 15 minutes. Think of this as just “me” time where you can listen to your breath, sip some tea or just daydream.
- Consider journaling to release your thoughts. It’s amazing how writing stuff down frees up space in your mind and releases a lot of tension. Not to mention it can spark new, motivating ideas!
For more tips on stress management read my post on self care for hormonal imbalance.
5. Drink juices to amplify your results
We’ve talked about how beneficial smoothies are for acne, but what about juices?
Well, they are like a super concentrated shot!
So, what’s the difference between smoothies and juices?
The main difference is with smoothies you blend the whole fruits, veggies and so on.
So you get a lot of fiber. That fiber is great for your gut and also essential for keeping you regular (so that you can eliminate those toxins).
On the other hand, juices don’t contain fiber. But what they do have is all the nutrients that are in the food.
Here’s the deal…in a large smoothie you may use 1 or 2 carrot. But to make a large glass of juice, you will use about 5 or 6 jumbo carrots. That’s a lot of carrots and therefore, a lot more nutrients (which you need to lower inflammation and nourish your skin).
When it comes to smoothies vs. juices, both are very effective. You can’t go wrong with either.
So use one or both. Totally up to you.
Here’s a tasty juice recipe to try:
|INGREDIENTS||HOW TO MAKE|
|½ cucumber |
4 large carrots
|Run all ingredients through a juicer.|
6. Use essential oils for hormonal acne
When it comes to home remedies for hormonal acne, essential oils provide tremendous skin-soothing benefits.
Here are the top reasons why essential oils are great for acne:
- Non-comedogenic (i.e. won’t clog pores)
- Low in toxins
- Low in skin irritants
Based on research and anecdotal reports, the best essentials to use for skincare and acne include (source):
- Tea tree oil
- Frankincense oil
- Lavender oil
- Rosemary oil
- Clary sage oil
- Cedarwood oil
- Juniper berry oil
- Jasmine oil
- Carrot seed oil
For tips on how to use these recipes, see the next section below.
BONUS: 4 NATURAL RECIPES FOR HORMONAL ACNE
Now that we’ve covered the 6 main things you can do to get rid of acne, here are 4 bonus skincare recipes you can whip up at home.
This section gives you an oil blend, mask, face wash and toner that you can make with ingredients like essential oils, green tea and honey.
Anti Acne Oil Blend Recipe
This essential oil acne remedy combines lavender oil (cooling and anti-inflammatory) with powerful jasmine oil (helpful for acne scars).
The whole thing is rounded out with vitamin E (a lovely skin emollient) and jojoba oil, which is a gentle carrier oil.
Click here to get the recipe from Scratch Mommy.
Honey Face Wash
This is one of those acne home remedies that is easy to whip up because it uses basic ingredients that are most likely in your kitchen already.
It uses honey (excellent natural acne fighter) and you can use any anti-inflammatory essential oil you like (such as lavender, lemon or frankincense).
Click here to get the recipe from So Chic Life.
DIY Facial Mask
With just 3 ingredients – coconut oil, honey and lemon oil – this is one of the easiest hormonal acne remedies on this list.
As simple as the ingredients are, they all pack a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial punch, which your skin will be happy about 🙂
Click here to get the recipe from Natural Living Family.
DIY Green Tea Toner
This is one of those essential oil recipes for acne that combines some of the best known natural ingredients for acne-prone skin.
In this blend you will find:
- Juniper berry essential oil which fights bacteria and detoxifies the skin (source).
- Aloe vera gel which is a natural moisturizer.
- Witch hazel which is known for being anti-inflammatory.
- Green tea which acts as a natural astringent (i.e tightens pores) and nourishes the skin with antioxidants
Click here to get the recipe from Ascension Kitchen.
From diet to skincare products, you now have the basics elements of what it takes to craft your own home remedies for hormonal acne.
For more tips on what to eat for your hormones, check out my complete hormone-balancing diet plan (which includes a shopping list and some free smoothie recipes you can download!).
Now, I’d love to hear from you…which one of the tips in this article will you start with?
Leave a comment below 🙂