After prescription products didn’t get rid of her hormonal acne, one writer gave beauty supplements a try. Here, she shares her results.
In high school I’d get my occasional breakouts —especially around my period — but it was nothing Proactiv couldn’t fix in a matter of days. Then in college, I barely experienced breakouts at all, despite all of the stress and my terrible eating habits. After college I started working in the beauty departments of magazines where I was consistently trying new makeup and products. Still, I wasn’t really breaking out. But when I turned 30, my skin decided to change on me. I developed everything from extreme sensitivity, rosacea, and even hormonal acne.
My first experience with hormonal acne was very shortly after turning 30. I remember it well because I had just taken a birth control break in efforts to figure out what was triggering my sudden IBS-constipation — another pesky thing I developed after 30. I’m telling you it’s like my body went into shock.
For the few months off the pill, I experienced pimples around my chin and jaw area that were big, painful, and sometimes even pus-filled I was freaking out and none of the creams my dermatologist prescribed me were working. If anything, my newly sensitive skin couldn’t handle them. All they would do was leave my skin dry, raw, and incredibly irritated. I cut out dairy, I cut out gluten — at one point even meat — and nada. The only thing that happened was that I lost a good amount of weight.
After months of frustration, my derm recommended I get back on my birth control. Within a month my skin was back to normal. I’d still occasionally experience hormonal breakouts during my period though and when I did, was always a major pimple — the kind that’s difficult to hide — and it would occasionally leave behind a dark spot that would take weeks to disappear. Taking my skin was beginning to feel like a full-time job so I decided to switch derms.
The new derm prescribed me spironolactone. In case you’re not familiar with it, spironolactone also known as aldactone, is a potassium-sparing diuretic that removes excess fluids from the body in congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease. But taken in its lowest dose, spironolactone can work to combat hormonal acne and is known to be quite effective. Some dermatologists even put patients with PCOS or other hormonal imbalances that trigger acne on it.
Within a month hormonal acne was no longer an issue. But here’s the thing, remember the fact that spironolactone is a diuretic? While this isn’t the case with everyone, for me it had me peeing literally every few minutes. I felt like I had a UTI and that certainly wasn’t worth it — not even if it meant having super clear skin. I decided to get off of it and look into a more natural treatment.
My cousin who also struggles with hormonal acne recommended HUM Daily Cleanse supplements to me. These natural supplements are made with chlorella, a blue green algae that works to remove toxins from your skin and liver. Because these are natural, they didn’t work as quickly as the spironolactone, but within two months my skin was clear. In fact, I was so impressed that I started looking into some of their other supplements.
After doing a ton of research on how your gut health impacts your skin, I decided to also start taking the HUM Skin Heroes Pre-Probiotic. It’s actually specifically formulated for acne-prone skin. This 9-strain probiotic and prebiotic combo works to balance the gut microbiome, improve digestion, and clear skin. It’s been a year since I incorporated these supplements into my routine and hormonal acne has now been something of the past.
Every once in a while I’ll get a pimple on my jaw or chin area when I’m PMSing but it’s usually the type that goes away quickly. I’ve also noticed a major difference in my digestion.
To maintain my clear skin, I personally reached out to Soko Glam co-founder Charlotte Cho for product recommendations since she’s also struggled with hormonal acne. She suggested products that are effective at fighting acne but are also very soothing on sensitive skin, which was perfect for me because I have rosacea.
I make sure to double cleanse every morning and night with the Hanskin Cleansing Oil and Blackhead [PHA] followed by the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Cleansing Foam. I then use an all-natural rose hip oil to keep my rosacea at bay and I follow with a lightweight moisturizer that keeps my skin hydrated without clogging pores. I also finish off with a hydrating, oil-free SPF of at least 35 or up.
Regardless, of how meticulous I’ve become about my skin care routine, I am convinced my hormonal acne days wouldn’t be behind me — for the most part anyway — if it weren’t for these supplements. It also feels good to be using a product that’s natural and good for my body rather than medication that causes side effects.
Everyone’s skin and bodies are different so just because this worked out for me doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you so I definitely recommend doing your research and talking to your doctor about giving supplements like those mentioned here a try!