Hormonal Acne

21 Feb

Huhh!! My first zits of 2013, just great!!! It has been a while and mind you, im not even done with its evil sister-the scars! At 34 and still breaking out, not funny you guys!  Must be my recent insomnia, that time of the month and stress, occuring at the same time and all gang-up against me. 1,2 and …another one, 3..sigh!!

I blame those whacky hormones!! I know some people feel that it is a misconception that hormones cause acne, I really believe so anyway. Of course, it may not be a direct trigger, but it is somehow related.

The thing is, my skin is no longer as oily . In fact, I have combination skin now and sometimes, it gets dry. So how does hormones affect our skin? In simpler words, hormones are powerful substance in our body, it does so many things (people can even be cuckoo because of hormones okay, and then you guessed them right – PMS :p) . There is a surge of androgens, the male hormones during premenstrual stage. It affects the sebum productions and even increase the number of Propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria that causes acne ) in our skin apart from causing skin inflammation (Amercan Academy of Dermatology).

Unlike acne caused by oily skin, hormonal acne tends to occur over the chin and along the jawline. Exactly what Im having!

When I first had my breakout at 16, they were concentrated mainly at my forehead. My skin was very oily especially over the T-zone. They were small, bumpy red lesion with no visible putules unlike the kind i have now.My mom bought me Dalacin T, a topical antibiotics that worked amazingly (it took time, and when I say amazing, not 3-4 days then disappear kind of thing) , but after that episode, I did not break out until I was 23 or 24 in university.


But somehow, Dalacin T no longer work for me and I dont know why that’s so. It would have been great if it did, because the solution is water-like and the application is easy. Im postulating that I have a different kind of acne compared to previously.

When I was at university, despite having oily skin, I believed the main trigger for another ‘breakout attack’ was stress. In fact, some people with oily skin do not have acne and the oil they have simply gives them luminous and dewy complexion. Aahhh… how lucky !! (may I add, I did have those moments for a few years until 2003 :p sigh)

My mom then bought me ProActive Solution after watching the ad on tv. It wasnt available in pharmacy initially so she called the number on screen and had it delivered to our house. That worked really well. I went on to purchase it another 4 times. It didnt seem to work after that.

I have also tried sulphur cream but i dont recall anything great about it. Only the smell lingers in my memory. I dont think I even finished the tube.


Since then, the battle with the enemy has been on and off. Some of the OTC acne treatment products I have tried :


Clearasil : Didnt work for me back then. In fact, I also used the cleanser and toner 😦


Hmm…I want to love this but I really dont.It didnt seem to work for me but I must tell you it helped my 19-year-old cousin. She had acne and she used the Tea Tree set from The Body Shop.


T3 Mycin was okay I guess. Cant recall if I had magical moments with this one. Maybe not, I hope my memory didnt cheat me. I would have remembered something i keep repurchasing and i dont think I did with this one.


Benzoyl Peroxide works for me, though it does take some time before the redness and swelling subsides. Dont buy the 10%, it dries the skin. The smaller percentage has the same effectiveness anyway.


I prefer Neutrogena’s. It’s 2.5% , thus gentler. Sadly, I guess they discontinued it, I can no longer find them. Shall I tell you that I read in a book that it works better with added water. Massage onto the pimple and hope for the best :p

Currently, the following works for me. Although some people with hormonal acne need to be treated with birth control pill, I think for now I can handle those 3 with simply the usual product.


Dermalogica Overnight  Clearing Gel contains salicylic acid that calm inflammation and unclog congestion. If used early the moment you spotted it, it vanish the pimples very fast especially the ones on the chin.


Retin A, always a favourite. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends Retin A for the treatment and prevention of acne. I love it but not as an acne buster. You can read my previous post on Retin A here http://wp.me/p38Y7i-39.

Im combining these modern treatment with some natural remedies, so hopefully they heal faster. De-stressing is the key. Sleep early.

What acne treatment products work for you?

Good nite!


9 Responses to “Hormonal Acne”

  1. bazilahyunus February 21, 2013 at 15:16 #

    T3 mycin lotion lagik baik than gel!!..my cousin use it and yg mengejutkan ianya berkesan and muker kemballi keadaan normal and good!! 🙂

    • zavanitydresser February 21, 2013 at 15:28 #

      Yup, different ppl respond differently to products. It must have work on some ppl or they wouldnt stay in the market kan

  2. Norhayati February 22, 2013 at 02:07 #

    Salam dr. Za. We are at the same age and had the same problem. Do you ever try Clinique Anti – Blemish Solutions ( spot treatment gel ). I think its worked for me and rasa nak pakai the whole set. But, my skin care byk sgt lg..so kena byk2e sabarkan hati..

  3. Norhayati February 22, 2013 at 02:17 #

    Salam Dr. Za. We are at the same age and faced the same problem. Just wanna share with u abt Clinique anti-blemish solutions ( spot treatment gel ). I think its work for me..dy ever try this product? Hati dah mula rasa nak cuba the whole set, tp my skin care byk sgt lg. 🙂

    • zavanitydresser February 22, 2013 at 02:48 #

      Salam yati. I know that feeling, semua nk cuba kalau produk tu jalan. For now, i pakai apa yg ada sbb tahu berkesan cuma amik masa . Clinique i x pernah pakai blemish range. I pun now skincare dh bukan Asian or Western sgt, tapi fusion!!!

  4. qalesha February 22, 2013 at 11:37 #

    dr i used tea tree set from the body shop. it works but sadly my marks didn’t fade away. =( sad sad sad. any suggestion? but please not bio-oil.

    • zavanitydresser February 22, 2013 at 12:03 #

      Hi Qalesya. I wont suggest Bio oil coz that didnt work for me. It takes time. I did a post on acne scars some time ago http://wp.me/p38Y7i-3B. Dont know if it will work on you, but no harm trying coz some ppl got great results. You may want to try topical vitamin E too.

  5. Balqis February 24, 2013 at 15:16 #

    i try Hada Labo.it not work to me…moisturizer clean n clear ok x??..ad pengalaman x??

    • zavanitydresser February 24, 2013 at 15:21 #

      Balqis, pernah pakai lama dulu, biasa je.

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