How I Am Treating Hormonal Acne at Home

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Last Updated on January 8, 2024 by Erin

Are you dealing with the midlife woes of wrinkles and hormonal acne? Join the club! Read to find out how I’m treating my hormonal acne at home and using a more holistic approach.

treating hormonal acne at home
Image by Kjerstin Michaela Noomi Sakura Gihle Martinsen Haraldsen from Pixabay

One of the worst parts of my current midlife experience is experiencing new wrinkles and hormonal acne at the same time. When I was in my child-bearing years, I had amazing skin. This was especially true while pregnant with my sons. (While pregnant with my daughter? Not so much. Anyone else experience something similar?) I had glowing, smooth skin and the acne of my youth was long forgotten.

Now that my youngest is 4 years old, my hormones have started taking me on a wild perimenopausal ride. Every year post-partum, things ramped up a bit. My PMS symptoms were becoming so severe that I ended up receiving a premenstrual dysphoric disorder diagnosis (PMDD) and was put on medication. While it does help me handle my severe mood swings, it doesn’t help with all of the other annoying symptoms. These symptoms include intense breast pain, cramps, and cystic acne on my cheeks and jaw.

I brought this up to my doctor at my most recent appointment and she said it was fairly normal for a woman my age and really the only thing I could do would be start birth control. As someone who no longer has all the reproductive parts to get pregnant, that seemed like a really annoying solution. Part of the decision to have my tubes removed was the relief of not having to worry about pills and contraceptives anymore. The only other suggestion she offered was evening primrose oil as a supplement.

I was determined to find a way to treat my symptoms at home. Birth control is the absolute last resort, and while I could probably visit a dermatologist and get some sort of prescription routine, I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

So, my purpose for this post is to share my current plan, based on my own personal research, and give updates when possible. Reminder- I am not a health care professional of any kind. Take all of this information with a grain of salt, do your own research, and consult with your doctor.

**This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.**

Supplements for Hormonal Acne

Evening Primrose Oil

I am going to take my doctor’s advice on this one and start up with evening primrose oil. I asked my primary care provider if it would interact with any of my other medications and she gave me the green light.

What is so great about this stuff? Evening primrose oil (EPO) is derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. It’s rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that the body uses to produce prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that play a role in various bodily functions, including inflammation and hormonal balance.

I suspect that inflammation is the culprit with my breast pain and acne flare ups, so I’m hopeful for positive results.

*Scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of evening primrose oil in managing PMS symptoms and hormonal acne is not definitive, so keep that in mind. Some studies suggest positive effects, while others show inconclusive results.


Improving gut biome is probably beneficial for a lot of health reasons. Probiotics are typically taken to improve gut health and improve immunity, but I firmly believe there is a connection between your gut and your skin. When I get on a junk food kick or indulge in several holiday meals, my skin usually responds poorly.

I’m giving probiotics a chance for a multitude of health reasons, and the hope that my skin will benefit as well.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

I already take this supplement because it helps support my dry eye condition. Midlife women should definitely consider adding an omega-3 supplement to their daily routine because it helps improve cognitive function and heart health. These are concerns we unfortunately have to start considering as we get older.

Some studies have suggested that omega-3 can help regulate sebum production in your skin. Excessive sebum can lead to pimples, even those of the hormonal variety.

Collagen Peptides

Collagen is a protein that provides structure to the skin, hair, nails, bones, and connective tissues in the body. These types of supplements have become very popular in recent years because of their potential skin benefits.

I’ve been reluctant to try them because of the price, but I’m ready to do whatever it takes to get my skin in check! It may not directly impact hormonal acne, but if it supports my skin in any way, I’m game.

treating hormonal acne with supplements
Photo by Mariana Rascão on Unsplash

Nutrition as a Hormonal Acne Treatment

A More “Appropriate” Diet

I know myself well enough to know that if I attempt a strict diet change or a detox of some kind, I will not last and it will feel like punishment. I do realize, however, that my diet can directly impact my skin. I’ve recently learned that nutrition can affect my hormones as well.

Out of pure curiosity, I checked out The Moon Cycle Cookbook: A Holistic Nutrition Guide for a Well-Balanced Menstrual Cycle. It was a little “out there” for me, and not something I would have ever pictured myself reading, but boy oh boy was it enlightening! Each chapter provides scientific information about what’s happening in your body during each phase of your cycle (follicular, ovulation, luteal, menstrual) and recommended recipes to support your mind, body, and soul. Doesn’t it sound amazing to eat hearty stews and drink rich cocoa beverages while on your period? You can tell this book was written by two very knowledgeable and wise women.

Are you perimenopausal or menopausal? Don’t worry- the cookbook has you covered as well 🙂

I plan on buying my own copy to keep at home and incorporate their recipes as much as possible. I don’t want to starve myself or deprive myself of things I love to eat. My hope is to eat in a way that best supports my body and hormones.

If you have no clue where you’re at in your cycle, I recommend using an app to track everything. I have been using since I was trying to get pregnant with my first child. It’s powerful to become so familiar with your body and cycle! I have always used the free Kindara app.

Cut Back on the Junk

This just feels like common sense. The unhealthy fats and oils in processed and fried foods are known to increase inflammation in the body. Will I forever cut this out of my diet? No, that’s definitely not reasonable for me. I’m going to be more conscientious, though, that’s for sure.


Coffee is my best friend, and I can’t live without it, but I KNOW I’m not getting adequate water intake as a result. Hydration is an important part of treating skin problems, because it helps maintain the skin’s moisture balance. When the skin is dehydrated, it may compensate by producing more oil to lubricate and protect itself. Excess oil can contribute to clogged pores and acne flare-ups, especially in those of us prone to hormonal acne.

Proper hydration also supports the body’s detoxification process, aiding in the elimination of waste and toxins. This can indirectly contribute to reducing inflammation and supporting clearer skin.

My plan for increasing hydration is NOT to cut out caffeine. Hell to the NO. What I do intend to do is to drink a full glass of water before starting in with the coffee. If I keep one by my bed, I can chug it right when I wake up.

I’m also going to try adding in some electrolytes. I discovered Coffee Over Cardio Hydrate Electrolyte Powder and I’m so excited to give it a whirl. It comes in a ton of amazing flavors, like Dip’nDots and strawberry daquiri.

Spearmint Tea

Spearmint tea has gained attention for its potential benefits in managing hormonal imbalances, particularly in women, which might indirectly impact hormonal acne. Some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that spearmint tea might help regulate hormones, specifically androgen levels.

I’m not a huge fan of tea, but I might try adding in some honey or stevia to make it more palatable and drink before bed. It’s worth a shot!

Skincare for Hormonal Acne

I am not planning on changing much about my midlife skincare routine. You can read all about it here.

I like my routine because it’s affordable, works for maturing skin, and is perfect for those of us who are prone to sensitive flare-ups. One change I’m giving a whirl is using a stronger retinol product, especially around my jawline where I’m getting the more painful cystic acne pimples.

I was using Differin gel, which I would still recommend, but I’m currently testing out a more intense retinol pomade. It’s got the burn! I only use it a few times a week. Warning: it’s super greasy and a little goes a LONG way.

To treat those pimples that have already popped up and are painful, I find it helpful to put on a hydrocolloid patch overnight. The inflammation has usually gone down quite a bit by morning.

Dealing with Stress

As part of my midlife journey, I’m already working on taking care of my WHOLE self. This includes my spirit and soul. One thing that has helped reduce stress and get out of a funk is adding more movement to my day.

I am not a hardcore fitness individual, but when I go on more walks and get more fresh air, I feel so much better. I can’t help but wonder if this in turn will help balance my hormones and my skin’s response to stress.

Meditation is another new addition to my spiritual midlife journey and it’s so great for quieting my mind. It can get pretty chaotic in there sometimes! I use the Headspace app to get a super quick guided meditation into my busy routine. I go to my closet, turn off the lights, shut the door, and take a moment for myself. AMAZING.

You can read more about the Headspace app and my detailed review in this linked post. I’ve been using it for years!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, I’m not trying anything radical but trying to support my body in the most realistic way for me. I’ll keep you updated and let you know if I end up requiring support from a prescription medication.

Remember- you will want to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any existing health conditions or are taking medications. They can provide personalized advice based on your individual needs and potential allergies or sensitivities.

Have you dealt with hormonal acne? Did you find anything magical that helped? Let us know in the comments!


how I am treating hormonal acne at home

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