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Like any skin care routine, a hormonal acne-fighting routine requires careful consideration. Commonly consisting of cystic breakouts, which form under the skin along the chin, jawline and cheeks, hormonal acne can occur at any age and is related to the fluctuations of hormones in your body and is difficult to treat. Since these breakouts are caused by trapped oil, bacteria and dead skin cells, the best skin care products for hormonal acne revolve around cleansing the pores.
Using powerful chemical exfoliants such as salicylic acid as well as purifying ingredients like sulfur and zinc, these products, whether they be cleansers, toners, spot treatments, masks or moisturizers, penetrate deep to dissolve pore-clogging impurities from your skin. This not only aids in the purification and detoxification of your skin, but works to improve the overall texture, tone and brightness of your skin. Frequent exfoliation also supports your skin’s renewal process, which stimulates collagen production and the formation of healthy, new skin cells to speed up the healing time of your breakouts.
Beyond the realms of clarifying, the best skin care products for hormonal acne also help prevent future breakouts from forming thanks to their antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which remove acne-causing bacteria from your skin. They also help regulate oil production by soaking up excess sebum, which creates less opportunities for cystic acne to form. But, it’s important to remember that all of this exfoliation and treatment can be extremely drying to your skin. To prevent the weakening of the skin barrier, which can sometimes result in your skin’s defense systems to produce more oils and lead to more breakouts, make sure to incorporate gentle products that nourish, balance, calm and hydrate your skin as well. In fact, some of the best cystic acne products aren’t even formulated with beta-hydroxy acids, alpha-hydroxy acids or other powerhouse ingredients.
Ready to elevate your acne-prone skin care routine? Keep reading to explore the best products for hormonal acne that will help you achieve a clearer and more even-looking complexion.
The Best Cleansers for Hormonal Acne
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser
Created with oily, acne-prone skin types in mind, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser gently and effectively removes pore-clogging impurities such as excess sebum, dirt and makeup without disrupting your skin’s barrier. Formulated with zinc, this oil-absorbing cleanser also eliminates acne-causing bacteria to heal active breakouts faster and prevent new pimples from forming.
MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Cleanser
When it comes to creating an effective acne-cleansing routine, gentle and frequent exfoliation is key to purify your skin and remove breakout-causing blockage from accumulating in your pores. Opting for a gentle, AHA-fortified cleanser like the MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Cleanser replaces harsh, irritating scrubs from your regimen with its skin-polishing and brightening blend of citrus fruit and pineapple extracts. It’s also great for smoothing away unwanted texture and tone while also neutralizing any damage in your skin caused by environmental stressors and free radicals.
Holifrog Superior Omega Nutritive Gel Wash
Offering a lightly foaming, pH-balanced formula, the Holifrog Superior Omega Nutritive Gel Wash helps restore balance to your skin while infusing it with good-for-you probiotics, omega fatty acids and vitamins courtesy of its rice extract, grape seed oil, broccoli seed oil, seabuckthorn oil, camellia seed oil, flaxseed oil and kombucha blend. This cult-favorite cleanser also promotes cellular turnover, reduces oil and restores hydration for healthier overall skin.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil
The double cleansing method has proven to be incredibly effective in reducing breakouts and excess sebum for those with oily, acne-prone skin types. Beginning with a cleansing balm or oil cleanser like Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, the K-beauty technique involves washing away surface-level, oil-based impurities such as makeup and sebum first. Then, following up with a water-based cleanser to remove pollutants and other impurities from deep within the pores.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil is also a great cleanser for its antioxidant-rich botanical formula, which is comprised of evening primrose oil and squalane and play an important role in strengthening your skin barrier, restoring hydration and preserving elastin and collagen. This top-rated cleansing oil is enriched with lavender essential oil to provide a calming aromatherapy moment for your mind.
The Best Toners for Hormonal Acne
Pixi Glow Tonic
A pore-cleansing and brightening toner all-in-one, the Pixi Glow Tonic harnesses the exfoliating properties of 5% glycolic acid to slough away dead skin cells, purify the pores and smooth away uneven texture and tone. It’s also packed with nourishing and redness-reducing anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera and ginseng, which help make it gentle and soothing for acne-prone skin types.
Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner
Free of alcohol and other skin-stripping ingredients that irritate sensitive, acne-prone skin types, the Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner uses clarifying salicylic acid to remove all traces of impurities and oil from the pores to treat and prevent breakouts from forming. This top-rated toner also brightens and smooths your skin using an antioxidant-rich and nourishing blend of purifying moringa and soothing chlorella.
True Botanicals Clear Nutrient Toner
Offering a natural toner alternative with its black willow bark extract, olive leaf extract and sandalwood hydrosol formula, the True Botanicals Clear Nutrient Toner is packed with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to promote a healthier skin environment for those with acne. It’s also great for reducing cystic acne redness thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich formula, which even helps prevent wrinkles and regulate oil production.
The Best Spot Treatments and Serums for Hormonal Acne
Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 Acne Medication
Acting as both a clearing and preventative treatment for hormonal acne, the Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 Acne Medication is powered by 10% benzoyl peroxide so it can help you at every stage of your breakout. Perfect for stopping cystic breakouts before they come to the surface, this professional-grade spot treatment penetrates deep to kill acne-causing bacteria and soak up sebum so you can enjoy fewer breakouts.
Zitsticka Killa Kit
Stocked with eight microdart pimple patches and eight cleansing wipes, the ZitSticka Killa Kit are designed to target acne in their early stages and accelerate their healing time by penetrating them with blemish-clearing ingredients. They’re also a great anti-picking and popping tool for those who love to perform their own extractions at-home.
Differin Gel Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
Utilizing the breakout-busting benefits of retinoids, the Differin Gel Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment promotes cellular turnover to speed up the lifecycle of your hormonal breakouts and expedite their healing. Also acting as a potent, professional-grade preventative treatment, this drugstore-favorite treatment gel unclogs pores, reduces redness and inflammation and creates a smoother, clearer complexion.
Aveeno Maximum Strength 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream
Instead of spending money on cortisone shots to treat hormonal breakouts, investing in an ointment like Aveeno Maximum Strength 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream will help you decrease the size and redness of your cystic acne without a trip to dermatologist. Designed to soothe, this top-rated, cult-favorite acne remedy uses a blend of 1% hydrocortisone, aloe, vitamin E and the brand’s triple oat complex to reduce inflammation, soothe irritated skin and restore nourishing moisture.
Kypris Clearing Balance & Calm Serum
A must-have for battling breakouts and redness, the Kypris Clearing Balance & Calm Serum works with oily and acne-prone skin types to restore balance, regulate oil production, prevent congestion and reduce the appearance of breakouts and hyperpigmentation. Rich in antioxidants, amino acids and vitamin E thanks to its zinc, lilac leaf stem cells, tea tree oil and lavender-fortifed formula, it also prevents breakouts from forming while creating a brighter, more even complexion.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
Delivering a potent, deep-absorbing dose of the brand’s advanced retinoid active complex directly to your skin, The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion supports your skin’s natural regeneration process and promotes cell renewal, which helps those suffering from hormonal acne by speeding up the healing time of their breakouts. It also removes dead skin cells and other pore-clogging agents from your skin.
SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Serum
Every hormonal acne sufferer knows that fading acne scars requires a regimen of its own. Fight stubborn discoloration and scaring with the SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Serum, a daytime antioxidant serum that combines vitamin C and ferulic acid to brighten and correct uneven tone and texture. Its potent formula also makes it a great treatment for wrinkles, sun spots and fighting off free radical damage.
The Best Moisturizers for Hormonal Acne
High Beauty High Five Cannabis Facial Moisturizer
Not every product in a hormonal acne-fighting routine need to contain powerful exfoliants and pore-cleansing ingredients, especially when it comes to your moisturizer. Pamper your skin with a nourishing nutrient-rich formula like the High Beauty High Five Cannabis Facial Moisturizer, a cannabis sativa seed oil-enriched moisturizer that is packed with skin-healthy omega fatty acids and antioxidants designed to balance, calm, protect and deliver rich, lasting hydration.
Tula Skincare 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream
Another nourishing formula, the Tula Skincare 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream uses naturally-derived probiotics and superfoods to lock in hydration, reduce inflammation and give your skin a dewy glow. A great moisturizer for dull, stressed-out skin, this top-rated, creamy-textured moisturizer soothes, rejuvenates, brightens and strengthens your skin with olive oil, squalane, shea butter, grape seed oil, vitamin C and watermelon fruit extract.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Gel
A drugstore-favorite for all skin types, particularly for acne-prone skin types that rely on heavy-duty and drying treatments to clear their breakouts, the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Gel envelops your skin in refreshing and soothing hydration courtesy of its gel-based, hyaluronic acid-rich formula. Not only does it quench dry, sensitive skin, but it also imparts a dewy, supple glow and prevents future moisture loss.
The Best Face Mask for Hormonal Acne
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
Designed to retexturize and exfoliate the outer layer of your skin, the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask acts as a reset button for acne-prone skin by removing impurities, dead skin cells and excess oil from deep within the pores. Comprised of astringent-mimicking white willow bark extract, vitamin C-rich beetroot extract and antioxidant-packed pomegranate extract, soothing aloe vera and purifying kaolin clay, this top-rated mask polishes your skin while boosting its radiance, evenness and smoothness.
Peach & Lily Pore Proof Perfecting Clay Mask
A clay mask that delivers powerful purifying results without stripping or overdrying the skin, the Peach & Lily Pore Proof Perfecting Clay Mask performs a deep, exfoliating cleanse of the skin to remove impurities and dead skin cells and refine the look of pores. Created with dry, sensitive skin types in mind as well as oily and acne-prone skin, this top-rated face mask relieves clogged pores, detoxifies the skin, reduces inflammation and soothes irritated skin using a blend of bentonite and kaolin clays, plus wild cherry extract, glycerin, Centella Asiatica extract, licorice root extract and strawberry extracts.
Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask
Rich in antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory sulfur, the Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask works to treat and prevent hormonal breakouts using a potent dose of 10% sulfur. In addition to clearing acne, this top-rated face mask soaks up excess oil and unclogs your pores while preventing redness and irritation, which is all thanks to its soothing aloe and purifying kaolin and bentonite clay formula. It’s also a great mask for those struggling with blackheads as well.