What causes monthly hormonal acne around the time of your period?

Just before the start of a woman’s cycle, there is more progesterone in the skin which causes water retention. Because of this, the skin can appear puffier. When this occurs, it puts pressure on the pores and creates a narrower pore lining. Additionally, oil can get thicker because of the imbalance of hormones and the increase of testosterone during the pre-period hormonal shift. When you have thicker oil trying to get through a narrower opening, this creates the ideal environment where breakouts can now begin.

What can you do to prevent blemishes from appearing?

The key here is PREVENTION. We all have a plan of attack for when a blemish appears. This usually means bringing out all of your most powerful spot treatment to get them to go away as quickly as possible. However, there is not much awareness for figuring out how to prevent them from showing up in the first place. Here are some things to try to help stop monthly hormonal acne, including cystic acne.(key word being TRY)

Take vitamin B6 daily one week prior to your period.

This supplement may help ease PMS symptoms by improving metabolic function and hormone metabolism. Vitamin B6 can help the body manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which aids in the body’s ability to cope with stress. I have some friends who feel this works well for helping prevent their hormonal acne. However, every person’s body chemistry is different so you’ll just have to experiment.

Modify your skin care routine slightly 4-7 days prior to the start of your period. (Using non-drying products with salicylic acid.)

The idea here is that you want to start creating an environment in your skin where breakouts are less likely to occur. Replace 2-3 products in your current regimen with ones that focus on clearing away bacteria.

My favourite  products with salicylic acid, glycolic acid and sulphur to use to help stop monthly hormonal acne are:

You skin Salicylic wash: I recommend using this product just once a day, at night. Since bacteria and oil build up on throughout the day, using this cleanser in the evening provides a beneficial anti-microbial cleansing.


T Pads from Zein Obagi– this toner has salicylic acid in it which offers an anti-microbial effect along with exfoliation to keep pores clear and free from bacteria.

Pixi Glow tonic: This has glycolic acids and help keep cells turning over so the skin will behave nicely.


You skin Sulphur Mask: it has Sulphur which can help starve bacteria so it can’t breed while also helping to control oil production. After all, lack of oil means lack of breakouts. Lastly, it hydrates the skin while soothing hormonal-induced puffiness. This mask is excellent for creating an environment where fewer breakouts are likely to occur around the time of your period. You’ll use this every night after cleansing for a minimum of five minutes to clear surface bacteria within the pores while keeping the skin’s moisture barrier intact.


Learn the benefits of salicylic acid in helping to stop monthly hormonal acne.

Salicylic acid is a keratolytic beta hydroxy acid (BHA) ingredient famous for its ability to help clear out bacteria and remove breakout-clogging cells. It does this without irritating the skin and causing dryness. Drying out the skin will only cause more breakouts by creating surface cell buildup that can keep oil and bacteria trapped in the pore. Plus, adult skin types need to focus on keeping the skin in a healthy, hydrated state to encourage the slowdown of lines and wrinkles. You’ll usually find salicylic acid in cleansers, serums, and masks, as well as in acne spot treatments. It’s a fabulous ingredient with proven results in preventing the appearance of blemishes.

Treat the skin as needed with the use of gentle, calming, pore-clearing, antibacterial ingredients and you just may find that your monthly hormonal acne is a thing of the past.