Hormonal Acne Can Happen at Any Age. Here’s How to Deal

Hormonal Acne
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What is Hormonal Acne?

Hormonal acne involves breakouts tied to fluctuations in your hormones, typically experienced during puberty. However, hormonal breakouts can happen well into adulthood, and it’s most common in women. Typically, hormonal acne is characterized by acne around the cheeks and jawline, blackheads, whiteheads, or cysts, oily skin, inflammation, and sensitivity.

What Causes Hormonal Acne?

Most breakouts happen when the oil glands in the skin become more sensitive to a group of hormones known as androgens. Androgens drive the enlargement of oil glands and increase the production of oil in the skin. Lifestyle choices can worsen the problem too, such as the use of multiple skincare products, poor diet, sleep deprivation, makeup use, and stress.

Why Do Adults Get Hormonal Acne?

There are many reasons why people get hormonal acne, even as adults. Hormonal acne in women is most commonly triggered by hormonal changes during premenstruation, poor diet, sleep deprivation, makeup use, and stress.

Can You Get Hormonal Skin at Any Age?

There’s no age at which hormonal acne necessarily stops or starts. Every woman is different, and unfortunately, it isn’t possible to predict if or when a woman will develop acne. Some women never do. For some, hormonal acne can continue well into later life.

Managing Hormonal Skin

Try these options to keep hormonal acne at bay:

  • Pare back your skincare routine
  • Try one treatment at a time
  • See a dermatologist
  • Consider hormonal birth control

Can You Clear Up Hormonal Acne Without Taking Medication for It?

Incorporating a diet that limits refined sugar and alcohol, managing stress, getting restful sleep, and washing your face may help manage acne. However, this isn’t always enough. For many, stubborn hormonal acne often requires prescribed topical creams, such as retinoids, or medication, such as spironolactone.

Learning to Accept Hormonal Skin

It’s been a painful realization for me, but I’ve learned that hormonal skin may just be a part of my life. Sure, I can take steps to minimize it, but hormonal breakouts may be something I always have to manage. Learning how to manage hormonal skin while also trying to accept it may seem like a bit of a paradox, but it can be freeing.


Experiencing hormonal skin well into your 20s, 30s, and beyond is more common than you might think. The good news is there are plenty of ways to manage it. Whether you choose to manage hormonal skin with treatments or by learning the art of self-acceptance, you can feel good about your skin at any age.