Essential Things You Need to Know About Hormonal Acne

woman with hormonal acne

Hormonal acne is exactly what it sounds like – acne caused by hormonal changes.

Although hormonal acne is most commonly linked with adolescence, it can afflict adults of any age. It is more frequent in women. A variety of circumstances, including menstruation and menopause, may have a role.

Acne is expected to affect 50% of women aged 20 to 29. It affects around 25% of women aged 40 to 49.

Continue reading to find out what hormonal acne looks like, what causes it, and how to get rid of it.

What Are the Characteristics of Hormonal Acne?

Hormonal acne is frequently observed on the lower face, particularly around the jawline and neck. It might also arise on the upper back and chest.

Hormonal acne often occurs in parts of the body with few sebaceous glands. As a result, hormonal acne commonly appears on the lower face, neck, and chest.

Hormonal acne can appear on the upper back as well. This is more likely to occur when a person has wide pores that allow sebum to become stuck.

What Causes Hormonal Acne?


When it comes to adult acne, genes have been shown to have an impact. The number, size, and activity of the sebaceous glands are influenced by genetics; the sebaceous glands are the oil glands in the skin that produce sebum (oil), can become blocked and cause breakouts.


Androgens and estrogen hormones are the two hormones that must act in tandem to maintain clean skin. Androgens promote the development of the sebaceous gland and enhance sebum production. On the other hand, estrogen has the opposite effect and slow sebum production. Breakouts are common when androgen levels are unusually high. Similarly, acne is more frequent in women when estrogen levels are low, particularly during premenstrual.

The following are the most typical causes of hormonal acne breakouts:

  • Menstruation
  • Menopause
  • High amounts of androgen
  • Starting or discontinuing oral contraceptive pills’

Poor food, medicines, stress, cigarettes, and endocrine problems can all contribute to adult acne.

How to Get Rid of Hormonal Acne

Before you get too worked up over the picky nature of hormonal acne, keep in mind that it’s annoying but entirely typical. It’s so common, in fact, that there are several ways to cure it.

Cleansers available over-the-counter

Good over-the-counter cleansers are the foundation of the hormonal acne therapy pyramid. Look for alpha 7 or beta hydroxy acids in yours, such as glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acids. As you wash your face, each of these substances exfoliates the skin to differing degrees by unclogging pores.

Topical medications

Topical medications are applied directly to the skin to treat acne. They may derived from vitamin A, which acts as a skin cell growth regulator. Topical medications are available by prescription only , therefore do contact your medical healthcare providers for a suitable solution. 

Oral control pills 

Taking control pills is a great way to stop hormonal acne. Control pills suppress androgen levels, which reduces oil production. They also have anti-inflammatory effects, which help keep acne from becoming inflamed and creating pustules.


There’s a type of diuretics that has antiandrogen properties. It blocks the effects of androgen, which in turn can help halt sebum production.

Oral anti-acne pills 

There are various oral options in the market that have been shown to be effective with severe cases of adult acne. It also has many side effects, including dryness, redness and itchiness, and is not suitable if you’re pregnant.


Hopefully, now you have a pretty good idea about what hormonal acne is and what causes hormonal acne. And if you have adult acne, you know that there are many ways to get rid of it. If you’re not ready to commit to a certain treatment  which has a host of side effects, start with a gentle cleanser. You can also make other lifestyle changes to balance your hormones and get clear skin.

If you are interested in aesthetic treatments, we at Cleo Clinic can help you. We are based in Kuala Lumpur, and we offer various services like dermal fillers, acne scar removal and treatment, micro-needling and more. Contact us today for more information.