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Dermatologist Recommended Skin Care Routine For Hormonal Acne

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Unfortunately, acne does not affect only teenagers. You can wake up with a giant red zit on your nose or a smattering of whiteheads across your cheeks even if it’s been decades since you walked the hallways of your high school. In truth, the fight against blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and cystic acne continues even after menopause. It is feasible to have clearer skin by focusing on the correct acne products and sticking to a consistent skin care program. Dermatologist Recommended Skin Care Routine For Hormonal Acne.

“Every day, I have folks in their 30s, 40s, and 50s come into my office with acne,” says Debra Jaliman, M.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist. “I tell them we can get it under control,” she says, “but it’s like an exercise in that you have to stick to your plan every day.”

It can be hard to limit it down to a basic, functional system with the wide number of products out there claiming to deep-clean your skin and banish acne forever. So we asked three leading dermatologists to explain it to you.

Dermatologist Recommended Skin Care Routine For Hormonal Acne



What is acne, and how does it develop?

Your skin has millions of microscopic sebaceous glands that are related to hair follicles all over your body and create a protective oil called sebum. However, a few conditions can prevent the oil from effectively exiting through the follicles.

Hormones can cause the sebaceous glands to overwork, and the excess oil they generate can clog the pores and cause acne. According to Howard Sobel, M.D., an attending dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital and founder of Sobel Skin, hormonal acne is highly frequent in adults as well.

Pregnancy, your monthly cycle, and starting or changing birth control pills can all speed up oil production, causing pimples to appear. Furthermore, when you’re stressed (and who hasn’t been recent? ), your body creates cortisol, which stimulates the oil glands and causes an eruption.

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Dr. Sobel notes that your pores can also become clogged as a result of irritation or a reaction to a substance or fabric (such as a hat or, yes, a pandemic-era face mask). An excess of yeast in the hair follicles, especially on the upper chest and upper back, can create an acne-like eruption in some situations.

Acne can be caused by certain drugs, such as corticosteroids, and too much dairy in your diet, according to Dr. Jaliman. Checking up with your dermatologist is the best method to figure out what’s causing your breakouts.

When those pores get clogged, they can lead to a variety of acne problems, including:

Excess oil and dead skin cells restrict the opening of the pore, causing whiteheads, which appear as little flesh-colored or white-colored pimples.
Blackheads are identical to whiteheads, except that when the pore-clogging substance pushes through and is exposed to the air, it interacts with oxygen and turns black.
Pimples: These characteristic red patches appear when germs, oil, and dead skin become trapped inside the pore, causing inflammation.
Cystic acne: These hard, painful pimples under the skin that feel like a marble form when oil, worn-out skin, and germs penetrate deeper into the epidermis.
Doctors’ recommended acne-fighting skincare routine

The Best Acne Prevention Skincare Routine

According to Dr. Jaliman, the first step is to examine all of the things you use on your skin (including makeup) and hair. “”The most common mistake I see clients make with their acne routine is using too many products and not reading the labels,” she explains. Look for the terms non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, or oil-free on the products you use, which indicate that no oily, pimple-causing substances are present, she advises.


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Step 1: Gently wash your face.

According to Elyse M. Love, M.D., of Spring Street Dermatology in New York, scrubbing your face like you’re trying to scrape mud off your beloved pair of shoes can really make matters worse. “Many patients assume that acne is caused by extra dirt or oil on the skin, so they try to scrub and exfoliate the skin excessively,” she explains. “While routine washing is vital because acne is an inflammatory condition, over-cleansing can irritate the skin and speed up the process.”

“It’s vital not to overstep the skin,” Dr. Sobel continues, “since this undermines the skin’s protective barrier, which can lead to more breakouts, irritation, redness, and uneven skin texture and tone.”

In the morning, all three dermatologists I spoke with suggested cleansing your face with a gentle foamy cleanser. However, you have a choice: If you want to apply a spot treatment separately — or if your doctor has recommended an RX acne medication — start your day with a gentle, non-medicated cleanser like Neutrogena Ultra Daily Face Wash for Sensitive Skin.

If you want to combine the first two stages, look for a foam cleanser with an acne-fighting component. If you have whiteheads or blackheads, search for a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to help slough off the damaged top layer of skin and remove worn out skin cells before they can clog your pores (try Medik8 Clarifying Foam, which also includes antibacterial and anti-inflammatory tea tree oil).

If you have read, inflammatory acne, search for a cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide, which kills bacteria on the skin’s surface (CeraVe Acne Foaming Cleanser contains benzoyl peroxide, niacinamide and ceramides, which Dr. Jaliman recommends for combination skin; or try PanOxyl Foaming Wash which has 10 percent benzoyl peroxide).

Remove any rough washcloths, sponges, or other irritating items from your skin-cleaning routine. Dr. Jaliman suggests applying the cleanser with a cotton pad or a baby washcloth, but it’s important to use a fresh washcloth every day to avoid wiping old dirt back onto your face.

Dr. Love recommends just using your hands and splashing on enough water to rinse the cleaner away. However, she advises just using lukewarm water, since hot water can irritate the face – but a sprinkle of cool water afterward can help balance, tighten, and rejuvenate the skin, according to Dr. Sobel.

Step 2: Use an acne treatment product.

If you used a gentle cleaner in step 1, now is your chance to spot treat with something stronger. After washing your face, wipe it dry gently with a soft towel rather than rubbing it, and then apply an over-the-counter acne treatment like CeraVe Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Gel or La Roche Posay Dual Action Acne Treatment.

According to specialists, it can take at least six weeks for an over-the-counter therapy to work; if you’re still not seeing benefits after that time, you should see a dermatologist, who can prescribe a stronger drug, such as Dapsone gel.

Dr. Love offers the following sound advice: “If you live in an area where a dermatologist appointment is a three-month wait,” she advises, “schedule the appointment as soon as you start using the over-the-counter drugstore topicals as a backup plan.” “If you don’t need it, you can always cancel!”

Step 3: Moisturize with an oil-free moisturizer.

When it comes to oily skin and clogged pores, moisturizers may appear to be unneeded, yet the contrary is true: “Moisturizers assist keep the skin’s oil production in equilibrium,” explains one dermatologist “Dr. Love agrees. “It also aids acne sufferers in tolerating drying acne drugs. The trick is to use non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturizers.” La Roche Posay Double Repair Face Moisturizer is a favorite of Dr. Love’s.

Dr. Jaliman suggests using a non-comedogenic aloe-based moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, which protects collagen. Fresh Rituals Aloe Vera Moisturizer is one that fits the bill. Cetaphil Gentle Clear and Aveeno Clear Complexion are two other non-comedogenic choices that contain salicylic acid. Check out our list of the best moisturizers for acne-prone skin for additional top-tested choices from the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab.

Step 4: Remember to apply sunscreen

Dr. Jaliman recommends EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF because it contains anti-inflammatory niacinamide, which lowers redness and protects skin from UV damage. If you have acne-prone skin, choose a sunscreen that won’t clog pores or exacerbate breakouts, advises Dr. Jaliman. Another lightweight sunscreen recommended by the GH Beauty Lab experts is La Roche Anthelios SPF 60 Dry-Touch Clear Skin Sunscreen.

Step 5: Cleanse once more in the evening.

Dr. Sobel advises a gel-based, surfactant-free cleanser like Vichy Normaderm Phytoaction Daily Deep Cleansing Gel, which contains salicylic acid and is a favorite of the GH staff, to gently remove the makeup, oil, and debris that have accumulated on your face during the day. If you want to use a toner as a follow-up, make sure it’s oil-free, like the ones on our list of the best toners for acne-prone skin, advises Dr. Jaliman. Meanwhile, Dr. Love suggests performing a double cleanse, beginning with micellar water (try Avene, Garbier, or Bioderma’s), and then finishing with your cleanser.

Step 6: Before going to bed, use a retinol product.

There’s one last thing you should do before going to bed to achieve clear skin: apply a retinol product. What exactly is retinol? It’s an over-the-counter version of Retin-A, a vitamin A derivative that minimizes wrinkles and unclogs pores, important for acne control. “For adults, retinol is an excellent multi-tasking acne therapy “Dr. Sobel agrees. “It promotes cell turnover and regeneration while exfoliating keratinocytes, the cells that make up the skin’s outer layer. It also unclogs pores and keeps skin looking young by reducing and avoiding fine lines and wrinkles.”

Differin Adapalene Gel, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel, and Sobel Skin 4.5 percent Retinol Complex Night Treatment are three products worth trying. Any retinol product should be started carefully, according to Dr. Sobel. “Try it one or two times a week to build tolerance and avoid irritation,” he advises. “Build up to four times a week, then daily if necessary.”

The key line, according to Dr. Sobel, is to “be patient and consistent with your routine and don’t give up.” “Clearing and fading existing blemishes while avoiding future outbreaks takes time. It won’t happen right away, but it will.”

Other Considerations for Nighttime Skincare

If you have acne-prone skin, the number of skincare options, “solutions,” and recommendations might be overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be.

We asked two renowned doctors for their expert recommendations on the best products, strategies, and routines for treating acne-prone skin.

What Exactly Is Acne?

Acne is a common skin condition that is defined by Johns Hopkins as a “disorder of the hair follicles and oil glands” (sebaceous glands). To keep the skin moist, the sebaceous glands release oils (sebum). Pimples and cysts can occur when the glands become blocked.”

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne is the most common skin problem in the United States, impacting up to 50 million individuals each year, and 85 percent of persons between the ages of 12 and 24 have some form of it.

Even the most tenacious, severe acne can be cared for and treated, thankfully. “Thanks to breakthroughs in treatment, practically all acne can be cleared with the help of a dermatologist,” according to the AAD.

Acne’s Causes and Treatment

What causes acne, exactly? Brendan Camp, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology, says it’s a combination of things. “Acne can be caused by clogged pores, increased oil production, microorganisms that cause an inflammatory response, hormonal changes, and even diet,” he says.

As a result, he believes that developing an acne routine tailored to your skin’s needs is a “wonderful idea.” “While no one-size-fits-all regimen exists,” Camp adds, “creating a fundamental skincare routine that can be customized to meet a person’s needs is a wonderful place to start.”

It’s also crucial to remember that “not all acne treatment requires prescription medicines,” according to Arash Akhavan, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist. To handle moderate acne, a good home skincare routine may be all you need.”

Consistency and regularity, as well as utilizing the proper, high-quality products, are essential when it comes to caring for acne-prone skin.

The following are the doctors’ suggestions for your morning and evening skincare routines:

Cleanse your face in the morning

Acne-prone people should scrub their faces twice a day, according to Akhavan. If you have oily skin, he recommends starting your daily skincare regimen with a creamy, oil-free cleanser containing salicylic acid, like Clearasil Rapid Rescue Wash, and avoiding abrasive exfoliation sponges or brushes to avoid traumatic inflammation of the skin.

Tone (Optional)

“Using toner is an extra step that helps remove excess oil and pollutants from the skin as well as balances the pH of the skin, which is naturally somewhat acidic (the chemicals in some cleansers may nudge the skin pH towards basic),” Camp explains. If you have less oily skin, you may not need to apply a toner because certain toners are drying. If you do, he recommends La Roche-Effaclar Posay’s Clarifying Solution Acne Toner, which includes both salicylic acid (which flushes out pores) and glycolic acid to help remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and dull the skin.1

Use Sunscreen

Maintaining healthy skin requires proper UPF protection. Akhavan suggests wearing a sunscreen like Elta MD UV Clear which contains anti-inflammatory niacinamide. Use as a base to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB radiation.


Although the products used in this stage may vary, Camp recommends starting this step in the morning to target new or existing imperfections. “Spot treatments with active chemicals like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur are helpful for pinpointing acne blemishes,” he explains.

He suggests Neutrogena’s Rapid Clear Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment with Witch Hazel or La Roche-Effaclar Posay’s Duo Acne Spot Treatment, which contains 5.5 percent benzoyl peroxide peroxide “excellent for inflammatory acne such as deep-seated persistent lesions.2”


The final step in your morning regimen is to moisturize your skin. But why? According to Camp, “Llipids, or fats, in the top layers of the skin assist retain moisture and work to build an impenetrable barrier between your skin and the environment.” “If you skip this step, your skin may become dry, prone to infection, and/or seem dull.”

“Look for the phrases ‘non-comedogenic,’ which means the product is less likely to clog pores and lead to the creation of acne papules,” he advises when choosing a product.

Elta MD’s UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 and Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30, which “has a small mattifying effect excellent for individuals with oily skin,” are two of Camp’s favorites.


“The best effects come with consistency and compliance,” says Nighttime Skincare Regimen Camp, adding that streamlining your skincare routine will make it easier to finish and enhance the likelihood of repeating it each day and night. “One method to do it is to mirror your evening routine after your morning one.”


“Washing your face in the evening removes the oil created throughout the day, as well as grime, makeup, and other pollutants.” Camp suggests that those with more severe acne stick to cleansers with active ingredients, and that gentle cleanser and micellar water are good alternatives to acne washes.

“When it comes to cleansers for acne-prone skin, CeraVe has covered all bases,” Camp adds. “There’s a moisturizing cleanser for dry skin, a foamy cleanser for normal-to-oily skin, and cleansers with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in each.”

Tone (Optional)

If your skin is greasy, you can apply toner again in the evening for an extra-clean feeling, as indicated above.

Try Avène Gentle Toning Lotion, which Camp recommends for people with sensitive skin or those who need to soothe irritated skin. Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner, which “reduces pore size while the niacinamide helps soothe redness,” is another product he recommends.

Close-up of acne serum medication

Because not everyone requires or tolerates acne drugs applied to the entire face, how you treat your acne may differ from how another person treats their acne. Although product suggestions are often individualized, Camp suggests azelaic acid, which is obtained from grains.

He continues, “Azelaic acid kills bacteria, exfoliates dead skin, and brightens skin complexion3.” He and Akhavan both suggest The Ordinary’s Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, the highest concentration available without a prescription.

While Retin-A is still only available with a prescription, Camp claims that “retinoids serve to prevent acne by regulating or normalizing the process of cell turnover, which avoids clogged pores and outbreaks.”

So, without a prescription, try an adapalene gel, such as Differen Gel, a retinoid that may be purchased over-the-counter.

Apply Night Cream/Moisturize

Your evening moisturizer or night lotion should not contain SPF, unlike in the morning. Look for moisturizers that contain a retinoid form of hyaluronic acid, which is a humectant that draws water molecules to the skin. For retinoid-free skin, Camp recommends Avene’s TriAcnéal Night Smoothing Lotion and Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Gel-Cream.

Camp also suggests Sunday Riley’s U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil for clarifying hydration, which “helps complement natural skin oils by further moisturizing and smoothing face.” It contains 1.5 percent salicylic acid, which aids in the treatment of acne.

Additional Considerations

While doctors typically recommend this order of application to patients, some dermatologists prefer applying thinnest to thickest as a general guideline. “I don’t think that’s a hard-and-fast rule,” Camp says. Patients with acne-prone skin should, for the most part, restrict the number of products they use because too many might irritate the skin, worsen acne, or even block pores.

Remember that “no acne therapy works instantly or overnight,” according to Camp. Unless the medicine is causing skin irritation or a rash, he normally recommends that patients use a prescription acne product for at least 8 to 12 weeks before deciding if it is working or not. dermatologist recommended skin care routine for hormonal acne

“Adult acne can be a sign of other health problems, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is linked to irregular periods, facial hair, scalp hair loss, and weight gain,” explains Camp. He recommends seeing a board-certified dermatologist if you suspect your acne is caused by an underlying condition or is not responding to over-the-counter medicines. Dermatologist Recommended Skin Care Routine For Hormonal Acne




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