How I Cleared Up My Hormonal Acne

It was my senior year of college that my acne started to get really bad. Prior to that, I was pretty lucky. I took good care of my skin, but never had more than a few occasional blemishes.

But senior year of college, it was different. The acne was deep and came in clusters. It was actually painful too. It would seem like as soon as I cleared up one pimple, another came back in the exact same place. It wasn’t even easy to hide under make-up, as it was inflamed and red. I was also lucky enough to deal with this acne all month long.

These pictures don’t even do justice to how bad my skin really was. I did my best to avoid pictures, always applied a thick layer of makeup and deleted all the bad pictures that actually showed my full-blown acne. These pictures are a rare glimpse at my hormonal acne, with no makeup. The bottom pictures are also with no makeup.

From 2014–2017, I tried everything. I saw doctors, dermatologists, drank tea that I read about on the internet, used new products, applied prescription creams, took oral medications… You name it, I tried it.

I even gave up gluten and dairy. Nothing seemed to work.

I also read everything I could find about clearing up acne. I learned that I had what was often referred to as hormonal acne.

Dr. Jennifer Haley, an Arizona-based dermatologist, says hormonal acne is actually becoming more and more common in comparison to a few decades ago. This is due to changing lifestyles and diets, alongside some of the usual culprits, such as menstruation cycles, PCOS, menopause, and general skin inflammation.

For three years I dreamed of going out in public and not being embarrassed of my skin. I avoided pictures, or took pictures very strategically to avoid capturing my chin and jawline.

One oral prescription that my doctor put me on caused me to have a reaction from the sun- JUST from the light that came through the windows while driving in my car. I had to start a new job with rashy, scaly skin ALL over my arms, face and hands. I will never forget introducing myself to new coworkers and having them grimace and wonder if they should shake my hand.

I joined a Facebook group that was created by a blogger that I love. I learned that SO many other woman also struggle with hormonal acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, fifty percent of women ages 20 to 40 deal with adult acne.

“Fifty percent of women ages 20 to 40 deal with adult acne.”

American Academy of Dermatology

There was a thread that was started of women looking for solutions for their hormonal acne. I was still desperate and willing to try anything. Someone in the group that recommended Dr. Bailey’s Zinc Bar. I looked up the bar, expecting it to cost an arm and a leg. I was SHOCKED to see it be a reasonable price! I then started researching Zinc. I found out that Zinc is actually one of the most widely studied forms of acne treatment!

According to Dermatology Research and Practice, zinc can resolve a wide range of skin ailments. The antioxidant impact on inflammation and bacteria-fighting properties are the two primary ways that zinc can reduce the occurrence of acne and breakouts.

Because our bodies do not store the trace mineral zinc, we need to get it from external sources. You can get internal zinc from food or supplements and you can get topical zinc from medicinal cream.

After 4 years of struggling, I FINALLY was able to cure my hormonal acne on my own.

To clear up my hormonal acne and to stay free of hormonal acne, I follow the following regimen:

  1. I drink at least 2 liters of water daily
  2. I ALWAYS take off my makeup before bed
  3. I switched to dye-free, scent-free, sensitive laundry detergent. I also wash my pillow cases weekly.
  4. I use a new, clean washcloth EVERY time I wash my face. This sounds excessive, but has made a huge difference.
  5. I now use Dr. Bailey’s Zinc bar to wash my face. I use this both morning and night and leave on my face like a mask for 2–3 minutes at a time.
  6. I go bare-faced as often as possible to let my skin breathe! I also do my best to workout without a face of makeup on.
  7. I use Retinol one time per week!
  8. I avoid sugary foods and junk foods as much as possible. My skin looks the absolute best when I take care of my body from the inside out. Veggies, fruits and lean proteins are my go-to foods.

Have you ever struggled with persistent hormonal acne? What changes did you make to clear up your skin? Share your tips below!


Originally published at on April 4, 2019.

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