Acne-Prone or Hormones? 5 Ways to Know the Difference.

Still fighting those annoying breakouts? Teens aren't the only ones affected by problematic acne. The Journal of Women's Health notes that women continue to suffer from this troubling skin condition well beyond their 40s. For some, that's nearly 30 years of trying to solve the acne challenge! Despite all the new treatments, tips and tricks, the battle rages on and they're left with one plaguing question: Why?

Knowledge is power.

What caused acne as a teenager may not be what's causing it now. Understanding the cause of breakouts is key to treating them. Acne-prone skin requires a skin care regimen that targets bacteria, oil control, pore size and skin purification. Hormonal breakouts, on the other hand, can be controlled by limiting stress and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. For more serious instances, a hormone-treatment plan from your doctor may be necessary.

5 ways to know the difference between acne-prone skin and hormone-induced breakouts.

  1. Breakouts occur in cycles. The most obvious sign that your acne breakouts are hormone related is that they occur in sync with your monthly menstrual cycles. Premenstrual acne flare-ups affect over 60% of women. You'll notice these hormone-induced breakouts about 7-10 days before the onset of your period. Pregnancy and perimenopausal hormone imbalances can also trigger acne.
  1. Location of the breakouts. According to Melanie St. Ours, Clinical Herbalist who specializes in Women's Health, breakouts that occur along the jawline and beneath the cheekbones are most likely hormonal. She also notes that tiny pimples can present just below the lower lip at times of ovulation, while acne-prone skin commonly affects the forehead and nose.
  1. Size, shape and sensation. Acne that develops as a result of acne-prone skin tends to be deep and often painful. Mild to severe cystic pimples develop at random times (as opposed to cycles) and the surrounding skin is inflamed and sensitive to touch.
    Recommended Acne Treatments
    Jan Marini Age Intervention Duality | Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser | Jan Marini BPO 5% Acne Treatment Lotion
  1. Cosmetic choices. Oil-based make-up aggravates acne-prone skin by clogging pores and promoting bacteria growth. Unwashed make-up brushes (as well as hands!) accumulate dirt and oils that increase skin irritation and amplify acne flare-ups. On the contrary, hormone-related breakouts will continue to occur regardless of your cosmetic choices.
  1. Topical acne-treatments. You deep cleanse, exfoliate and purify your skin yet nothing seems to work. Breakouts related to hormone imbalance are only a symptom of the root problem. Beyond premenstrual hormone influxes, emotional & physical stress, bad diet, and genetic disposition all contribute to imbalances that can trigger acne flares. Acne-prone skin can be more easily controlled with a focused skin care regimen like the Obagi CLENZIderm system.

No more guessing games! Whether it's due to acne-prone skin or hormonal imbalance, get to the root cause and you can finally achieve clear skin success.


October 17, 2014 by Amanda Brown
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