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Skin products and hormonal acne, do they really make any difference?

(13 Posts)
applepatch Tue 05-Dec-17 15:56:01

Quick question for those in the know, I suffer from hormonal Balance issues and although have recently started back on contraceptive pill to help balance hormones my skin is as acne prone as ever. Mainly chin and jaw line but since having my DD it's all around my hair line and forehead too.
Hopefully I'm posting in right place but my question is, has anyone with hormonal acne problems 'bothered' so to speak with expensive or targeted beauty products or felt there was any point? I mean if the issue is mainly due to hormones and I'm doing what I can to help that, does it really matter by trying to help my skin more is it a pointless exercise if the results I'm looking for are kind of out my reach? (Slightly melodramatic sounding I know)

I use micellar water to remove make up but have the fear over using any rich cleansers as I feel like they break me out and I put the smallest bit of moisturiser on my face as I'm TERRIFIED that too much gives me spots blush
Silly I know but I'm at an age where I'm still dealing with acne, some oily places and dry ageing mid 30s skin in others!

QuimReaper Tue 05-Dec-17 16:06:47

Sympathies apple. None of the expensive products ever made much difference to me, but I was prescribed a topical cream by the GP (whose name I forget, I'm afraid) which was very effective at drying out the spots. What kind of acne is it? Have you seen your GP about it?

(I say GP, contraception is handled by the nursing staff at my clinic and it was one of them who prescribed the cream, just in case that's the same setup at your place.)

The only thing I can say has made a difference to the nature of what spots I do get now is Alpha H Liquid Gold, and possibly Pixi Glow Tonic (I use Pixi morning and evening, except every other evening when I use Alpha H). Since I started using those, when I can feel a spot coming on under the skin, it more often than not doesn't turn into anything visible. This is only in regards to minor niggling skin complaints though, not full-on acne, so it might not make an enormous difference in your case.

You'll be pleased to hear the Depo injection was the silver bullet for me though, so fingers crossed the pill gives you the result!

misscph1973 Tue 05-Dec-17 16:14:48

Have you tried the oil cleansing method? Also vitamin B6 might help.

QuimReaper Tue 05-Dec-17 16:23:13

The OTC was great for me when I did it once a week or so as a deep-clean pamper type thing at university (when my skin was at its worst), but a couple of years ago I used the Body Shop Chamomile Oil stuff that everyone was raving about on here, and after a couple of months (during which I loved it) my face, especially my chin chin, suddenly absolutely exploded and it took absolutely ages to recover sad

Blackbutler86 Tue 05-Dec-17 16:24:43

Starflower oil tablets could help, have a google for them + hormonal acne. You can buy them in holland and Barrett or for a geltatin free capsule a site called Healthspan which I use sells them. I used to suffer terrible acne though I discovered mine was due to a dairy allergy but I do still get a couple spots around my time of the month and prior to giving up dairy I had a marked improvement just taking the starflower capsules.

QuimReaper Tue 05-Dec-17 16:25:25

Sorry - the point of that post was supposed to be to exercise caution about going in headfirst with oil cleansing morning and evening. It's very unlikely to disagree with you as a semi-regular treatment.

applepatch Tue 05-Dec-17 16:28:20

Thanks all. The acne isn't hugely bothersome in terms of area covered e.g not on cheeks or nose and my fringe hides forehead but I feel if it's not a cyst lump under the skin I'm trying to hide it's the wee red scars left behind in patches on my chin. So it's maybe 4 or 5 chin spots of varying size/lumpiness but the same again of red marks and scarring from previous ones.
Just wondering if I should aim to try to help my skin heal better rather than look to clear skin which isn't going to happen.
and I've heard of using oil on my face to rebalance but that goes against my defence of trying to 'dry my skin out' it gives me huge fear!!

applepatch Tue 05-Dec-17 16:34:33

Blackbutler86 that's interesting, I had a cows milk problem as a baby apparently and I grew out of it. I'd heard of the link with dairy but as I'm not sensitive to it now I thought ah well can't be the issue. Hmm.

And should I consider starflower as well as the contraceptive pill?

QuimReaper Tue 05-Dec-17 16:38:44

Apple the one thing I'd say the OTC was brilliant for was healing scars! I definitely understand the fear of moisture, but with the OTC you steam all the oil out so thoroughly that it really does leave your skin feeling fab and not at all oily, and it's great for seeing off the annoying lingery bit when a spot is basically gone but still visible.

Starflower / Evening Primrose oil tabs never made a difference to me, but it's worth giving it a whirl.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Tue 05-Dec-17 16:43:33

Keeping a close eye on here as since changing pills I have huge cyst like acne on my chin for the first time in my life and it's making me utterly miserable.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 05-Dec-17 17:24:04

Have a look at Caroline hirons acne cheat sheet on her blog.

BabyPigeon83 Tue 05-Dec-17 18:27:47

A good skin routine will definitely help with acne.
For me, it was the Paulas Choice clear acne line that made a huge difference. Before that, I tried Avene, Clinique, La roche posay, Mario Badescu etc with mixed results. As a rule, I noticed that products aimed at acne prone skin tend to be very harsh, drying and even irritating, some of them make my acne worse, to my horror, cause they were not cheap.
What helped me most from the Paulas Choice clear line was the BHA 2% exfoliant.
BHA is better than AHA for acne because it does not only act on the surface of the skin, it goes deep into the pore to fight inflammation. There are 2 BHA exfoliants in the clear line, the normal strenght one and the extra strength, they are both 2% BHA but the extra strength is more potent and leaves a bit of a stickiness on the skin. I would start with the normal strength one, which is identical with this one

Just one product will not do wonders for acne, so it's important to have at least a basic routine with a cleanser, BHA exfoliant and moisturiser.
Try to not leave the micellar cleanser on the skin, it's best to rinse it with water, or even better, to follow up with a rinse off cleanser. The one in the paula's choice clear line is aimed at acne, it is not drying but for a more gentle cleanser, there is a nice one from their calm line: redness relief cleanser for normal to oily skin.
The moisturiser could be beneficial because acne prone skin is usually dried out by acne treatments, but if the formulation is suitable it won't produce more acne.
I currently use this one for night time:
For the acne itself, you will need an antibacterial that will target and kill the acne bacteria specifically, such as a product with benzoyl peroxide. This is efficiently applied to the acne areas, but can be harsh and drying at the same time. A natural option could be tea tree oil, applied with a cotton bud. The cotton bud has to be dampened first to counteract a bit the power of the tea tree oil, which is again harsh and drying and should not be applied undiluted directly to the skin.
Paulas Choice has another option to tackle acne:
This has azelaic acid which is another alternative for tackling the acne bacteria.
But for very stubborn deep inflammation benzoyl peroxide would be the best bet.
As general rules: avoid harsh and scented products which will only irritate and dry out the skin more, products with alcohol (I'm looking at you, Clinique lotions! ) which again will irritate the skin and make acne worse, products in pots which are not hygienic, check all products for ingredients that might irritate and make the inflammation worse.
Use a cosmetic ingredient dictionary for help:
Paulas choice products can be found on their website but also on
Both websites run promotions regularly and I usually check both to get the better price.
Also, they have travel size versions on most products so you can decide if they work for you.
Hope this helps. smile

applepatch Tue 05-Dec-17 18:40:32

Wow babypigeon83 that's a huge amount of info, thanks!
I'll check out Paula's choice site and have a look. I've had the benzoyl peroxide creams before and to an extent they do work at keeping the skin under control but still the cysts appeared.

Thanks all for the advice, it's appreciated smile

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