Hormonal acne is no fun, and I can tell you this from experience as I’ve been battling it now consistently for around eight months. Not only is it painful and inconvenient, it’s just downright aggressive. One day I’ll have a couple of healing blemishes on my jawline and feel okay about my skin, and the next day I’ll wake up with up to ten new spots along my jawline and on my chin, accompanied by a tonne of redness and inflammation. It’s ridiculous, and so frustrating.
Hormonal acne is kind of tricky to “treat” because it’s caused internally. Hormonal fluctuations and imbalances cause an increase of sebum production in the skin, which leads to blocked pores, an increase of inflammation, and the cultivation of surface level bacteria that invades these blocked pores and causes hormonal [and sometimes cystic] acne along the jawline and chin. Hormonal fluctuations are common in women throughout the natural stages of the menstrual cycle [which is why you break out just before you get your period], but are also a common symptom of endocrine disorders — specifically Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis.
As someone with both Endometriosis and PCOS, my hormones are always teetering on the edge of imbalance, which is why I utilise hormonal birth control to manage my symptoms and keep my hormones stable, and this usually keeps my skin quite clear. I also manage my symptoms through environmental and lifestyle habits, but sometimes my skin can just freak out for no reason at all.
At the beginning of this year — prior to my Endometriosis diagnosis — I decided to take some time off hormonal birth control to see how my body could manage hormonal balance on its own. This decision ultimately led to my Endometriosis diagnosis, so I’m not regretful of it, however I was in a lot of pain throughout this time and spent most days in bed immobile, and also struggled with severe hormonal imbalance symptoms [hot flashes, mood swings, hair loss, etc].
So, my body obviously needs some level of assistance when it comes to managing my hormones and symptoms. That much is clear. Unfortunately, this period of time when I was off hormone control also caused a great deal of stress on my body, which evidently led to the development of some serious hormonal acne outbreaks, and it’s only now [eight months later!] that I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
When it comes to treating my acne and helping my skin recover from it, I utilise a variety of techniques.
Stress reduction, slowing down and getting more rest is huge. I find that even when I’m on hormonal birth control, my hormones can become unbalanced when I don’t get enough sleep, or when I’m going through a lot of stress. So — first and foremost — prioritising sleep and practising stress management is key. I say no to a lot more things now, and I’m very clear with my boundaries when it comes to life and work.
In terms of products, I’ve been using only one product every single day [morning and night] for the past three months specifically to target breakouts, oil production and blocked pores, so I can safely recommend this product and hand-to-heart believe in its efficacy as I have seen such an improvement in my skin.
The product I’m referring to is the U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Face Oil by Sunday Riley. I apply three to five drops after cleansing and before moisturising, concentrating on the areas of my face that are more prone to breakouts and oiliness. I never use this product in conjunction with lactic acid, glycolic acid or retinol to avoid barrier damage, and I apply SPF religiously [salicylic acid makes your skin more sensitive to the sun]. I’ve seen quite a few reviews claiming the smell of the product itself is overpowering and offensive, however to me it smells light and herbal and I don’t mind it at all. Note that the product is very green in colour as you dispense it into your hands, but this pigment completely disappears as you massage it into your skin.
With 1.5 percent salicylic acid, this fast-acting, quick-drying, medicated oil clears acne and blackhead-causing buildup and debris from congested pores for smoother, blemish-free skin. Tea tree oil and black cumin seed oil support clear skin, while hexylresorcinol and licorice naturally brighten the appearance of old acne discolorations for a more even-toned complexion.
Counterbalancing the potentially drying effects of salicylic acid, milk thistle, and cucumber seed oil nourish the skin and smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles, without leaving a greasy residue. Chamomile and neroli soothe stressed, blemish-prone skin.SUNDAYRILEY.COM
The key take away on the U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Face Oil by Sunday Riley is that it’s a dry exfoliating oil containing purifying salicylic acid, antibacterial tea tree oil and plumping milk thistle. This means that it will clean your pores out from help heal any existing blemishes you might have, while also nourishing the skin at the same time.
At first, I was a little hesitant to try something with salicylic acid in it as I do have sensitive skin, but I took the chance and I’m glad I did. I will say that I experienced some slight purging for about two weeks which did worry me a little, but I trusted the product and stuck with it and my skin is doing so well now. Here‘s an article with more information about salicylic acid if it’s something you’re totally new to.
So, three months later. Here’s where I’m at: my skin is 95% recovered. Don’t get me wrong — I’m still struggling with a couple of hormonal breakouts here and there as my body regains it’s balance and my skin recovers from the initial bout of severe acne, but overall my complexion is so much clearer and the breakouts are so much smaller. They’re also not occurring in the same spot month after month, and I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a blind pimple. Another great thing about this oil is that it actually prevents my face from getting super oily by the evening. I’m not sure how, but I’m not complaining! My makeup stays on longer and I never have to reapply powder or blot my face, and I think that plays a large role in the way that this product actually prevents acne while also treating and healing existing blemishes.
When it comes to skincare, I’m not an expert by any means [so please do your own research and/or talk to a professional before pursuing any type of skincare regime], but I do love to share products that work for me because I understand the value of hearing a review from someone you know. So, if you’re out there struggling with hormonal acne and are feeling completely lost, why not give this product a try?
I’d love to know how it works for you.1