The Latest Skincare Routine Catered To My Hormonal Acne Issues

This is not the first time I'm sharing a skincare routine and this probably won't be the last time either! My skin somehow "adapts" to the same skin products after some time, frustratingly rendering my skincare routine ineffective. That's usually when you'll see me scrambling to do yet another Google research on "skincare products for hormonal acne". 

I can't tell you how many experimental cycles of products after another it has been but until my body decides it's had enough of hormonal acne (ugh when will this be??), this is something I have to continue doing.

But enough lamenting for now, and on to a little bit of better news: this particular group of skincare products featured today was one that I had the most success with so far. After months of using it, my skin was noticeably clear, and I really mean noticeable; my sister could see the results herself through my many Facetime sessions with her, so I'm happy that another pair of eyes (besides mine and Shah's) confirmed the fruitful result.

A majority of the products here is by The Ordinary, a brand I started using after Googling for the products that a lot of women battling hormonal issues turn to.
Here are the rundowns of my day time and night time skincare routines, listed in the order of first-to-last application:


  1. Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pad
  2. Paula's Choice Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid
  3. The Ordinary "Buffet" Multi-Technology Peptide Serum
  4. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  5. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA


  1. Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pad
  2. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
  3. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
  4. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
  5. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

One of the biggest star players here for me is The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. I've been wanting to introduce a retinol-based product into my skincare game for the longest time but went through some trial and error; I tried The Ordinary's Retinol 1% in Squalane initially but it resulted in a minor breakout. It shouldn't have been a surprise though, because I've also tried their 100% Plant-Derived Squalane which turned my face into a grease factory that led to more pimples, so perhaps squalane is just an ingredient I should steer clear of. 

From what I've read, squalane is generally suitable for acne-prone skin so I was quite disappointed it didn't work out for me!

I'm also a fan of azelaic acid and rosehip oil now. One new thing I learned is azelaic acid can be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide, which is an ingredient I've used for ages to spot-treat any huge hormonal acne spot. I've been including salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in my beauty routine for as long as I can remember so I was surprised at how I never heard of azelaic acid until I discovered The Ordinary.

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I modelled both of my day time and night time skincare routines based on this guide on The Ordinary anti-acne products; the site is filled with information on skincare products with active ingredients and tips on how to layer them, so I'd recommend you browsing through it if you need help crafting a beauty routine catering to your skin's needs.
(But with caution, please! It's always the safer options to visit a certified medical expert on skin, especially if you have sensitive skins with allergies.)

Here in Malaysia, I'd suggest buying The Ordinary products from Worthee Cosmetics, a store I trust as they're an authorized seller of Paula's Choice products. A disadvantage is their prices are considerably marked up to the point I can't call The Ordinary "affordable" anymore but with my sensitive skin, I'd take that over buying cheap fake imitations any day.

Some local sellers are selling questionable The Ordinary products, e.g. some are currently selling The Ordinary Salicylic Acid, which hasn't been in the market in a LONG time due to reformulation. So a reminder to my fellow Malaysians: please please please be careful when buying beauty products online!

Unfortunately, since I only buy these products from this one source now, I risk the chance of them running out of a product or two. Before this, there was a seller who received good reviews who I thought I could trust too, but I made the mistake of purchasing ONE product from that seller that ended up wrecking my skin (my skin currently looks like a horror show right now, aghhh), so I plan to stick to buying from Worthee only and just have to try stock up on products when they are available. (Worthee also has shops in Lazada and Shopee, if you prefer to buy from either platform.)

For Malaysians: Cosrx is available at selected Watsons pharmacies, and you can buy Paula's Choice products from their official Paula's Choice Malaysia site.

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If you suffer from hormonal acne and looking for a suitable skincare routine, I hope this post helps you in some way.

Thank you for reading! Until my next post ❤

Related read: The 3 main steps I took to battle hormonal acne
PS: This is not a sponsored post.


  1. I'm sorry to hear your skin didn't like squalane! My skin apparently loves it a lot. I bought the 0.2% retinol in squalane sample and so far, my skin thrives. I keep my skincare super simple and love taking inspo from others who have sensitive skin but I've learned that what might work like magic on my skin can be detrimental to another. I hope your skin will recover soon from. It's always best to get your products from reputable sources and I'm glad you stressed it on your post! Happy Ramadhan to you :D xoxo

    1. Thank you for the Ramadan wish! I'm enjoying fasting very much and wish it could go on longer than a month.

      I so wished squalane would work on me, aghhh, I really did read so many reviews that said squalane improved their skin so much. My skin actually went through a terrible breakout during and after writing this post but it's recovering now, thank God.


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Hi, I'm Liyana

I'm a style & lifestyle blogger based in sunny (and ever humid) Malaysia. On The Good Weekender, you can find typed journals of my evolving modest personal style, travel adventures, skincare/beauty updates, home decor things, and stories of other bits and pieces of my everyday life. I hope you'll enjoy flipping through these pages of my virtual book!