5 Steps to Kiss Hormonal Acne Goodbye for Good

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As if the cramps, mood swings, and exhaustion weren’t enough, many of us also deal with breakouts at certain times of the month, too. Sometimes it seems like no matter how meticulous you are with your skincare, there’s no getting around hormonal acne. 

Hormonal acne is tough to treat, ranges from mild to cystic, and it’s related to your menstrual cycle. Although many of us experience breakouts right before our period, hormonal acne is also quite common in the middle of the month when you’re ovulating.

So, how can you kiss hormonal acne goodbye for good? Although skincare and diet are important, according to Chinese medicine, the real secret lies in balancing your hormones!

Hormonal Acne from a Chinese Medicine Perspective

In the past, the go-to treatments for acne were often worse than the acne itself. Topical treatments like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and alcohol-based toners leave the skin dried out, red, and flaky… and most of the time they actually stimulate even more oil production. Ugh!

If your hormonal acne is severe, your doctor may even prescribe oral contraceptives to get it under control. Although this can be very helpful, oral contraceptives also come with a host of potential side effects, including a higher risk of blood clots and some types of cancer.

Women’s health experts and providers of Chinese medicine and acupuncture services at the Yinova Center recommend taking the following steps to get your hormonal acne under control by balancing your hormones naturally.

  • Start by Eliminating Foods That Trigger Flare-Ups

Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out which foods are triggering your breakouts. Although everyone is different, making the following changes will help to balance your hormones and reduce inflammation.

  • Choose carbs with on the lower end of the glycemic index. Refined sugars and carbohydrates can trigger inflammation and flare-ups. Green leafy veggies, legumes, berries, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all good choices.
  • Cut back or eliminate dairy, at least temporarily. Chinese medicine recommends dairy as a nourishing food in moderation, but it’s not for everyone. For some people, it can trigger acne and digestive issues. Try eliminating it for a month or so to see if your acne improves. When you do consume dairy products, look for organic, hormone-free options.
  • Choose the right kind of chocolate. Chocolate contains many beneficial antioxidants and magnesium, which many of us really need right before our period. Just be sure to steer clear of products that are loaded with dairy and sugar. You want dark chocolate that’s dairy-free sweetened without sugar, whenever possible.
  • Cut back or eliminate alcohol. In Chinese medicine, alcohol is known to be harmful to the liver and digestive system. It also causes inflammation, which is the last thing you want when you’re dealing with breakouts. Avoiding alcohol, especially right before your period, is a good choice for your skin and overall health.
  • Opt for a Clean Skincare Routine

Get rid of all those harsh, chemical-laden acne treatments that are destroying your skin. Chinese medicine experts recommend choosing gentle, pH-balanced skincare that’s free of toxins. And, be sure to protect your skin from the sun. Even a mild sunburn can trigger inflammation and cause your acne to flare up.

  • Support Your Digestive System

According to Chinese medicine, a healthy digestive system is crucial for many reasons. Good digestion supports the immune system, helps to balance the hormones, and removes toxins and waste from your body more efficiently. These things are all key to preventing hormonal breakouts. To support your digestive system, drink plenty of water, eat a fiber-rich diet, choose only healthy fats, and eat some probiotic-rich foods every day.

  • Reduce Stress and Get Plenty of Rest

With today’s lifestyle, reducing stress and getting enough rest can be a real struggle. But, stress and lack of sleep are major contributors to acne and hormonal imbalance. Chinese medicine recommends mindfulness techniques like journaling, meditation, tai chi, and yoga for reducing stress and helping you relax. Regular exercise is important for boosting your mood and helping you sleep better, and sweating supports the body’s natural detoxification process, too.

  • Balance Your Hormones with Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a fantastic tool for balancing the hormones safely and gently. It can be used to address PMS, menstrual cramps, hormonal acne, and other female health issues. Not only that, but a qualified acupuncturist will be able to recommend herbal remedies plus additional diet and lifestyle changes to address your specific concerns.


Mainstream treatments for hormonal acne are often more harmful than the condition itself. Chinese medicine can be used to balance the hormones and eliminate acne in a safer, gentler way that’s good for your health!

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