Liyana
Modest Style Blogger
Maximalist at heart, minimalist by experiment
Disniac + Colour chaser

The 3 Main Steps I Took To Battle Hormonal Acne (That Actually Worked)

This is a post that's been a long time coming. After talking about why I stopped blogging about beauty earlier this year, I want to share the details about what I've done to battle my hormonal acne.

First of all, please keep in mind that what I've done to tackle my skin issues might not work for you even if you have the same issues and skin type; everyone's skin really has its own identity. I have acne-prone combination/oily skin but I've tested out products that did not work for me even when they worked on others who have the same skin type and issues.
Unfortunately, settling into the right skincare regime usually will involve a lot of experimental products.

This will be quite the lengthy (and wordy) post as I really want to be as thorough and honest as possible in relaying my experience with this "aesthetic" battle, so I hope you're sitting somewhere comfortable for it!
Here are the two main steps I took to battle hormonal acne that actually worked for me:

1. Switched from regular skincare to an acne-fighting range

There are so many acne-fighting ranges out there, so how did I even choose? First of all, budget and accessibility matter to me, which means ruling out pricier brands and brands that are not sold in in pharmacies and shops I frequent or readily available in trusted online stores.

When I went to Jakarta last year, I accidentally left my skincare bag in Malaysia but in an amazing twist of fate (and on top of using skincare that wasn't working anyway), I came across the Bioderma Sebium range for acne-prone skin, with their Bioderma Sebium Global Intensive Purifying Care being the highlight. My skin problem became less severe after consistently using Bioderma Sebium, so I would definitely recommend you giving their products a go if you're battling hormonal acne.

The problem was that one Intensive Purifying Care was not the easiest to buy in Malaysia. Plus even though reduced, huge spots were still popping up on my chin area, so I had to dive deeper into the acne-fighting products in the local pharmacies to search for an alternative, and that was when I discovered Eucerin Pro Acne Solution.
Eucerin Pro Acne products are the HG products that produce the most positive change in my skin. The painful deep mountainous bumps that would appear around my jawline and cheeks noticeably rarely pops up now. I still to this day use the main four Eucerin Pro Acne products: Toner, Super Serum, A.I. Matt Fluid and A.I. Clearing Treatment.
Bonus: the Eucerin Pro Acne range included a good sunscreen, the Day Mat Whitening SPF 30, as well!

While I still get the occasional (and somewhat manageable) pimples and spots here and there, looking at my skin now, you can barely tell I experienced serious hormonal acne issues, something I am so thankful for.

An unedited close-up of my skin with minimal base makeup  virtually no bumps and humps, yay! 

2. See a dermatologist

I know how expensive seeing a specialist can be so the best bet is to find a good enough skincare regime without having to see a dermatologist. However, it is undeniable that consulting an expert would help in any matter. Plus, sadly, there are skin problems that are just too difficult to handle without professional input.

For me personally, I really wanted to get to the bottom of my hormonal acne problem so I decided to schedule an appointment with a recommended dermatologist.

Basically, my skin was experiencing these two issues: (1) the pores on my skin were getting clogged up by both overproduced sebum that's most probably triggered by fluctuations in my hormone levels due to ageing and accumulations of dead skin cells on the skin, and (2) my skin was found with SPF residues on it, which is not a good thing.

Number (1) was hardly a surprise as most of my research online about hormonal acne suggested the same thing but the fact that the doctor detected SPF on my face despite not applying any before the visit was worrying. I've always washed my face in the morning and double cleansed at night before applying any product, but the fact that I had residues of SPF product on my face meant I wasn't cleaning and cleansing my face as well as I thought I did.
It meant my skincare products were not being absorbed by my skin to do their work in the first place.

I have not made any major change to my cleansing routine but I now try to double cleanse both in the morning and at night, while making sure to put in more time (60 seconds min!) in massaging the cleansing products into my skin to get rid of all leftover residue and dirt.

Having all those dead skin cells hanging around did help in absorption either! I had omitted exfoliation from my old skincare regime since most store-bought face scrubs tend to irritate my skin, which is why I am extra grateful for my dermatologist visit as my doctor was able to provide a better exfoliator that suited my skin.

My dermatologist's office is in my hometown and if you read this recent post, you'd know I now live more than four hours away! That makes seeing my skin doctor regularly a challenge. However, I did go through a period of a few months where I was able to visit the doctor for a monthly glycolic peel — the type of chemical peel my doctor felt was most suitable for me — which cost an absolute bundle but I can honestly tell you that the weeks that followed my appointments were the time when my skin looked the best. The glycolic chemical peels cleansing penetrated my skin even deeper which resulted in a healthier, fresher, and smoother layer of skin, which in turn created an almost acne-free skin for me.

Not everyone has had a good experience with glycolic peels so please note: it is really not recommended for anyone to visit "beauty spas" or other medically uncertified places to request a glycolic peel or even any sort of chemical peel!
Please visit a trusted doctor if you're thinking about trying out any chemical peeling procedure.

3. Use makeup as a coverup

Seriously, makeup helps, guys! I love makeup not just for beautifying purposes but also as a tool to showcase the parts I love about myself and to hide the imperfections that I don't want to highlight to myself, let alone to other people.
It was crucial for me in this experience to have a good quality concealer to cover the angry spots and scarrings around my cheeks and chin. When battling my hormonal acne, makeup wasn't even about giving me confidence, but more about giving me the courage to step out outside to face other human beings at times.

My favourite is the reliably popular NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (read the review of my favourite concealer evah), but Googling will show you other amazing concealers out there that have helped people with acne issues. If you're not very handy with makeup and its tools, YouTube has plenty of makeup artists/enthusiasts sharing videos on how to cover up acne.

•     •     •     •     •     •     •

I am so, so grateful that my skin is now at a more manageable state, but I remember it being a mental struggle for me to work through my hormonal acne problem; there were days when I felt so down about looking "unsightly" that I refused to leave the house. I wish I could have simply viewed it as something superficial but the pain that came with those bumps on top of the scars left behind made it all seemed tougher than it was. I now know that scars will fade, and with the right products and treatments, hormonal acne really can be tackled.

I'm also very thankful to have my husband who remained positive and encouraging throughout it all. I must mention that it was a privilege for us to be able to afford my visits to the doctor, too, and another thing I am grateful for.
Financials aside, a good support system will truly make any issue easier to deal with and is simply put, something that cannot be bought.

•     •     •     •     •     •     •

If you're struggling with hormonal acne, I hope you can find the right solutions for your skin issues. It might take a lot of time and energy, so stay positive, have loads of patience, and most importantly, be kind to yourself.

If you have any other questions regarding how I battle hormonal acne, you can either comment underneath this post here or even email me personally.
Loads of love to you all 

Comments

  1. So glad to know you have found your HG hormonal acne skincare routine! Our skin changes with age and it's best to work with it than against it. I've learned so much from the various stages of my hormonal acne experience. Like you, I had those days when I just didn't feel like going out because of the raging acne and the last this took place was way back in 2016! Another thing that I'd like to mention besides using gentle products suited for the skin is to check in with yourself emotionally and spiritually. If you feel good, you glow! Stress does impact us on a hormonal level and this can disturb our gut health and it can come across as problematic skin. It was so interesting to read about the SPF detected in your skin at your derm. While reading that I quickly started to oil cleanse (before my shower) on my face, as I don't want SPF residues in my pores. My skin is at its healthiest now and I'm really happy! If it's breaking out, I take swift but gentle measures and so far, it's great. From your photo, I can see that you're skin is looking fine! And also, those earrings are just bomb! I love how you always make a fun statement with your choice of earrings.

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    Replies
    1. As I'm typing this I actually have a huge spot on my chin ugh ugh UGH but compared to how my skin was like before, I don't want to complain too much!

      To be honest, it's comforting to know about others who went through the same struggles and coming out the other end just fine. I love reading your advice about checking in with our own self, emotionally and spiritually. I don't know if some people would see it as "vain" but experiencing bad breakouts really did take a toll on my confidence. It took me a while to realise that I should not only be taking care of my physical appearance, but maintaining a a healthy state of mind and emotion too.

      I'm guessing stress definitely contributed to my skin problems as well; travelling constantly between two cities that are far away from each other was not easy at first. I'm learning to deal with stress as I go, really!

      Thank you so much for another lovely and positive comment, Shanaz xoxo Will try to remember your mantra more: If you feel good, you glow <3

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