How to get rid of hormonal acne
March 17, 2023

How to get rid of hormonal acne

Lifestyle habits for healthier, clearer skin.

Cycle sync your way to better skin

In the pursuit of clear skin, we often think external before we think internal. We spend hours scouring the internet for the best acne-prone skincare products and trying every glowing skincare trend under the (TikTok) sun. While an intentional skin care lineup can be life-changing, a healthy complexion begins on the inside. Can you banish hormonal acne via cycle syncing? Let’s dig in.

What is cycle syncing?

Coined by Alisa Vitti, cycle syncing is all about syncing your lifestyle habits (diet, exercise, etc.) to match the phases of your menstrual cycle. By doing so, you become more in tune with your hormonal needs. This can help with managing your cycle, including beating breakouts, minimizing sugar cravings, and improving your overall body composition.

How hormonal shifts impact your skin

Throughout the month, your hormone levels fluctuate. Here’s a breakdown of what happens to your skin over the course of your cycle’s four-week period:

  • Week 1 (menstrual phase): skin is at its most sensitive.
  • Week 2 (follicular phase): skin is at its most luminous.
  • Week 3 (ovulatory phase): hormone levels (estrogen and progesterone) rise.
  • Week 4 (luteal phase): skin is unpredictable.

What causes hormonal acne?

Notice breakouts around your period or when you ovulate? This is common. High androgen levels stimulate sebum production in the skin, particularly right before your period starts. This can trigger acne breakouts in some women. Similarly, right after ovulation (early luteal phase), progesterone elevates, increasing sebum production as well.

Follow your skin’s cycle to improve its appearance.

Here are our phase-specific skincare tips:

MENSTRUAL — Focus on hydration. Take a break from harsh(er) products. Use nourishing ingredients with hydrating, restoring, and anti-inflammatory properties.

FOLLICULAR — Your skin is probably at its best! Prolong this by using brightening ingredients, re-introducing exfoliants, and even experimenting with new products.

OVULATORY — Beware of clogged pores and irritation. Keep up a routine of actives, exfoliants, and detoxing ingredients. Flush out your pores and prepare for rising sebum levels.

LUTEAL — Prevention is the name of the game. Anti-inflammatory products like AHAs, BHAs, and niacinamide will get you through this volatile 10-12 days.

Non-toxic, effective skincare products

With an understanding of how skin changes throughout your cycle, these are a few of our favorite skincare products:

For makeup, we love Kosas and ILIA!

Acne-friendly meal plan

Currently breaking out around your period — or anticipating this in the coming weeks? We’ve got you covered. This acne-friendly meal plan focuses on minimally processed, blood sugar-friendly foods. It’s rich in probiotics, turmeric, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, and E!


Breakfast: Key Lime Pie Smoothie

Lunch: Cranberry Almond Turkey Salad

Dinner: Garlic Zucchini Fritter Pancake


Breakfast: Chia Overnight Oats

Lunch: Spicy Chicken And Guac Wrap

Dinner: Cauli Tabbouli (with roasted salmon or baked tempeh)


Breakfast: Cranberry Orange Ginger Smoothie

Lunch: Egg And Salmon Tartine

Dinner: Grass-Fed Beef Chili

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