Just imagine.

You have been preparing for a long-awaited special event like your own wedding, or suppose you’re going to a professional event as a speaker, and you really have to put a great impression on others. Plus, that event would have a photoshoot too!

And right on the event day, when you are just a few hours away from the main show. You sit in front of the mirror to prepare yourself for it, but before you could even start anything, you see acne on your face. Horrible, isn’t it?

The pesky and unpleasant acne not only destroys your appearance but also takes away your confidence to represent yourself in public. Most importantly, it is connected to your health. So, it is highly recommended to take care of it as soon as possible.

Luckily, we got helpful information about hormonal acne, its types, causes, and effective ways to control them just right here in this article!

So let’s look into details:

What Is Hormonal Acne?

Hormonal acne refers to breakouts due to hormone fluctuations, particularly a rise in androgens such as testosterone. 

Although it usually affects teenagers during puberty, hormonal acne may happen at any stage of an adult’s life. Besides that, hormonal imbalances may lead to acne in adults who have underlying medical conditions.

Does Hormonal Acne Have Something To Do With Hormones?


There are two types of hormones that play an essential role in either clearing your skin or messing it up with acne on your skin. They are:

Both hormones have to work together on your skin and maintain their balances to make your skin clean, clear, and acne-free. As Dr Talakoub states:

“Most commonly, as we age, our estrogen goes down, and progesterone increases.”


If androgens increase to abnormally high levels, or estrogen decreases to abnormally low levels, it can cause an imbalance in hormone levels – resulting in hormonal acne breakout on your face.

Types Of Hormonal Acne

woman finding acne with magnifier illustration

During puberty, hormonal acne usually appears on the T-zone, i.e. chin, nose, and forehead. However, hormonal acne in adults may start on the lower face area, i.e. lower cheeks and jawline. 

Acne appears as Comedones, which are of two types — open comedones (blackheads) and closed comedones (whiteheads). 

It may rupture the follicle wall when it is picked or touched, causing it to spread bacteria (Propionibacterium Acnes) on that skin area and making the skin inflammable for hormonal acne.

Acne may also appear as:

  • Pustules: Small and red pus-filled pimples.
  • Papules: Small, inflamed, red bumps from infection of the hair follicles.
  • Nodules: It is similar to papules but larger in diameter.
  • Cysts: Large lumps beneath the skin that contain pus.

Causes Of Hormonal Acne

There can be a recurrence of the hormonal acne appearing in the T-zone due to the following:

While other factors like the use of drugs, poor diet, tobacco, stress, and diseases in the endocrine system of your body can also fluctuate the hormones, leading to hormonal acne.

Measure The Level Of My Hormonal Acne – All By Yourself!

Dermatologists have created an easy-to-use grading system known as the Global Acne Grading System (GAGS). You can use it to assess the severity of your acne’s level easily. At first, you’ll need to calculate the local acne score then go for the global score. 

Let’s see the GAGS along with a simple example:

Global Acne Grading System (GAGS)

Formula To Calculate The Local Score = Location Factor × Severe Lesion Grade At Location

Location Factor

Severe Lesion Grade At Location

Nose = 1

Chin = 1

Forehead = 2

Right cheek = 2

Left cheek = 2

Chest and upper back = 3

Comedone = 1

Papule = 2

Pustule = 3

Nodule = 4

Acne Severity Levels

Mild: 1–18;      Moderate: 19–30;      Severe: 31–38;      Very Severe: More than 39


If you have papules on your nose while comedones on the forehead then the global score is: (1 × 2) + (2 × 1) = 4. So, the GAGS grade is Mild level hormonal acne.

How Can I Treat Hormonal Acne?

First, you have to use GAGS to figure out the level of your hormonal acne then you can look into the following treatments.

Under Mild Level Grading (Natural Remedies To Treat Mild Level Hormonal Acne)

  • Tea Tree Oil – Decreases inflammation on the skin.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid – Remove excess dead skin cells that clog pores.
  • Green Tea – Decreases inflammation in your body.

Over Mild Level Grading (Must Consult With Expert Health Care Provider)

  • Oral Contraceptives – Normalise testosterone production.
  • Anti-Androgen Drugs – Reduce excessive androgen production.
  • Retinoids – Topical retinoids to treat mild hormonal acne using derivatives of vitamin A.

However, if your GAGS grades for your acne is over the mild level, then you MUST consult with a professional dermatologist in order to avoid any mishaps with your face skin.

Useful Tips To Avoid Hormonal Acne

woman taking care of her skin

These self-care tips may help you clear acne or keep it from getting worse: 

  • Wash your face gently twice a day after heavy sweating.
  • Use mild cleansers or soaps and lukewarm water.
  • Use non-comedogenic makeup.
  • Don’t use harsh scrubs or exfoliating products.
  • Don’t touch, pick, or scratch your pimples.
  • Avoid environments that may cause too much sweating. 
  • Avoid excessive watch or scrub as it may worsen your skin’s oil conditions.

Keep in mind that excessive washing and scrubbing can worsen acne, as it may remove too much oil from your skin and cause irritation. In return, your skin may secrete more oil, worsening acne. 


Knowing about hormonal acne and controlling them is essential for you to maintain healthy skin. There are various hormonal acne types that you can measure using GAGS and treat accordingly.

Also, based on your acne severity level, there are tons of ways to control hormonal acne – using either medicines or natural remedies. However, you should regulate your hormones and follow the tips to avoid hormonal acne. It’ll help you to keep your face skin healthy and acne-free!