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How To Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne For Good

Published | 7 min read

Hormonal acne can occur whether you are a teenager, a menopausal woman, or a man with fluctuating hormone levels. Here's how to balance your hormone levels and clear up your skin.

Hormonal acne teenage girl min scaled

Many of us have hormonal acne during our teenage years and thought of it as part of puberty. It can be disconcerting when we still have acne as adults. 

Hormonal acne is caused by excessive oil production in the skin due to hormonal fluctuations. It can lead to bacterial infection and inflammation in the form of lesions, papules, or pustules (more commonly known as acne or pimples).

Luckily, there are several things you can do at home to balance hormone levels and get rid of acne. Read on to learn more.

What Is Hormonal Acne?

A woman with acne on her chin
Hormonal acne can appear on your chin, checks, face, shoulder, back, neck, and chest.

Some dermatologists point out that those with hormonal acne may find that pimples tend to appear around the jawline. However, like regular acne, hormonal acne may also be found on the neck, back, shoulders, and chest.

Some of these may be whiteheads or blackheads, and others may be more pimply in appearance (papules and pustules). In severe cases, they could even be cysts.

Hormonal acne tends to affect women more than men, as women go through hormonal changes quite often. This occurs with hormonal changes during a menstrual cycle, pregnancy, when taking hormonal birth control, menopause, and hormone-related diseases like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

What causes it?

Imbalances in hormones can lead to hormonal acne, making your sebaceous glands produce too much oil. This clogs your pores and creates a “friendly” environment for bacteria to thrive.


One trigger for hormonal acne is an increase in androgen, which is a male sex hormone called testosterone, to the point where it triggers too much sebum in sebaceous glands. It can lead to clogged pores and infection, followed by inflammation.


Increased progesterone during different phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle may also lead to clogged pores. Some experts think it could be due to the hormone’s ability to raise body temperature, leading to excessive sweating that clogs pores. This causes acne before and during a period.

While androgenic hormones generally are stable in menopausal women, reduced levels of estrogen can create an imbalance, leading to hormonal acne.

Hormonal Acne, According To TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), certain lifestyle factors are seen as the culprit that accumulates pathogens and instigates the inflammatory condition we know as hormonal acne.

Senior TCM Physician Brandon Yew explains that there are several factors that can cause hormonal acne. These include work stress, poor work-life balance, inadequate rest, poor emotional and mental management, and unhealthy dietary and other lifestyle habits.

“Yang Excess or Yin Deficient body constitutions can cause the formation and accumulation of pathogens like Fire, Dampness, Phlegm, Stagnant Qi, and blood clots within the superficial meridian channels of the skin. The Lungs are also affected since the skin is closely related. Other organs affected are the Liver, Heart, Spleen, stomach, small and large intestines and Kidneys. It’s especially apparent in both the Liver and Kidneys as they are primarily involved in hormonal production, secretion, and functions.” 

Senior TCM Physician Brandon Yew

Natural Treatments for Hormonal Acne 

With our busy lives in the modern era, hormonal balance tends to be an exception rather than the norm. Hormonal imbalances or fluctuations often stem from a lack of proper rest, inadequate nutrition, and too much stress on the body.

There are dermatological interventions, such as retinoids, antibacterial creams, chemical peeling, laser and even synthetic hormonal treatment. However, these may come with side effects ranging from mild to severe ones.

Here are some natural solutions that you can consider to nourish your skin: 

Topical prevention of bacterial growth  

A woman using acne products on her skin
Topical application of anti-acne products may help control the outbreak.

At the superficial level, you can start by making sure you maintain skin hygiene, but without stripping your skin in a way that damages the skin barrier.

Make sure your face towels, makeup brushes, and cosmetics don’t become breeding grounds for bacteria. Consider washing towels and brushes weekly and discarding used makeup every six months.

Instead of harsh moisture-stripping toners and cleansers, opt for skincare made from natural ingredients such as lemon juice, green tea, and banana peel, especially for oily skin.

Don’t overdo it, however. The goal here is to keep the skin environment in balance to make it inhospitable to bacteria.

Improve your sleep and stress levels

Too much stress, low-quality sleep, and poor diet can throw your body off balance, which is critical to your body’s optimal and proper workings.

While addressing these factors might not seem to directly affect the skin, they are in fact integral to helping your body rebalance itself, and healthy skin is often a result. 

Research in numerous countries has also shown that a low-glycemic diet leads to less prevalence of acne. For example, in the United States, a study involving 2,258 patients placed on a low-glycemic diet for the purpose of weight loss discovered that 87% of patients had less acne by the end of the study.

Remove inflammatory foods from your diet

The researchers believe that a high-sugar diet rampant in society today contributes to inflammation in the body caused by spikes in blood sugar levels, including inflammation that leads to hormonal acne.

While it is still unclear how, some research has also shown that cow’s milk or dairy products may increase or worsen acne. In one study, 88 patients recorded their food consumption in a food diary for three days.

The researchers found an association between acne and high consumption of cow’s milk and high-glycemic foods that they didn’t see in patients without acne.

TCM’s approach to hormonal acne 

“TCM can help with hormonal acne through herbal medication, acupuncture, cupping, bloodletting, gua sha (scraping), and tuina. These are formulated carefully by a TCM physician to specifically address every individual’s unique body constitution. It’s best to consult a TCM physician for proper assessment.”

Senior TCM Physician Brandon Yew

There are several herbal formulas that have been efficient in reducing regular and hormonal acne. This is because holistic medicine addresses the body as a whole. It tackles the root cause of the imbalance rather than superficially treating the symptoms.

One such well-known formula is Pi pa qing fei yin, whose Lung Heat-clearing main ingredient is loquat leaves (pi pa ye). In TCM, it clears Heat from the Lungs to stop coughs and soothes the Stomach to relieve nausea.

Modern pharmacological studies show that the triterpenoids in the leaves have protective effects on the skin. It inhibits melanogenesis and bacterial growth and promotes collagen production. 

How To Do Acupressure At Home

At home, you can try TCM acupressure self-massage using your fingers or a blunt object, such as a massage stick.

Physician Yew suggests these acupoints to ease symptoms of hormonal acne:

  • Qu chi (LI11)
  • Chi ze (LU5)
  • He gu (LI4)
  • Nei guan (PC6)
  • Zhong wan (RN12)
  • Xue hai (SP10)
  • Yin ling quan (SP9)
  • Zu san li (ST36)
  • Tai xi (KI3)
  • Tai chong (LR3)

The therapeutic effect from massaging acupoints is usually mild and temporary in nature, and it’s best to follow this up with a visit to your TCM physician for further evaluation and treatment.

Natural Therapies Can Reduce Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne when you’re an adult is a different challenge than when you were a teenager. While over-the-counter medicines can help with some of the symptoms, natural remedies and holistic approaches tend to be more long-lasting in their benefits, with fewer side effects.


  1. Tufts Medical Center. Adult Acne 101.  
  2. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Can the right diet get rid of acne? 
  3. Cleveland Clinic. 2021. Hormonal Acne. 
  4. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017. The Potential of Triterpenoids from Loquat Leaves (Eriobotrya japonica) for Prevention and Treatment of Skin Disorder.  
  5. Flo.Health. 2021. Hormonal Acne: Causes, Types, and Treatments. 
  6. Anas Brasileiros de Dermatologia. 2019. Adult female acne: a guide to clinical practice.  

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Reviews (1)

ViswaJul 13 2023

Yes ; its gud but whats d recommended prodt to consume fr EYS range .. “acne issue”
pls adv .. tq

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