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Your Skin and How Hormones Play a Role

What hormones cause oily skin?

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Can hormone imbalance affect your skin? What hormones cause oily skin? If you suffer from hormone imbalance then you may also have skin problems too. It is common for us to experience various skin disorders, including acne and pimples. In one study among women who are above the age of 20, it has been revealed 50% of women aged 20-29 are affected by acne, while its prevalence among women who are aged 40-49 is only 25%. Apart from aging and puberty, there are tons of factors that can be blamed, including the pollution and dirt that gets trapped on the surface of our skin. In some cases, if you are taking medications, its side effects can include skin disorders. Your diet can also be instrumental in such. Nevertheless, in this article, the discussions will focus on one of the most commonly pinpointed causes of acne and other skin problems – hormones. 

Skin health and hormones.

Acne breakout among women is most commonly associated with menstruation. An average menstrual cycle would be 28 days, and in each day, there is a different hormonal activity that can show different effects on your skin.

When there is an increase in progesterone, which is typically experienced on the second half of the menstrual cycle, it is common to experience swelling of the skin. More so, if you have a high level of testosterone during your period, sebum production can be increased. In some cases, this can be a good thing, as it can lead to glowing skin. In other instances, however, this is dreaded, as it leads to the increase in bacteria that causes acne breakouts. 

While some might believe menstrual acne is nothing but a matter of hygiene, it is a myth that should be debunked. It is more of an internal effect. This, however, does not mean that taking care of your skin is no longer necessary. The use of certain skincare products can still prove helpful, as it can minimize the undesirable effects of changes in your hormones. 

Signs That Your Hormones Are The Reason

Again, it should be pointed out that not all skin disorders are caused by your hormones. There are four key considerations that will help you determine if hormones cause it or other external factors. One would be timing. In most cases, the peak of acne breakout would be a week during the menstrual cycle. The location of the skin problem should also be looked at. If it is located in the jawline or beneath the cheekbones, it is likely due to acne.

The specific appearance of the acne, specifically its shape, will also be a critical factor. If they are cystic and deep, there is a higher probability it can be linked to your hormones. Lastly, if you have used topical treatments, but they do not prove effective, this is one of the most obvious indications that the problem does not originate from the surface of the skin, but internally, which means it is due to hormonal imbalance. 

What Can Be Done 

If you are worried your skin disorder is due to hormonal imbalance, it would be best to seek help from an expert. While most would go to their dermatologist, an ob-gyn can be more helpful. Hormonal testing can be done to properly determine the root cause of acne. This is true, especially if excessive facial hair accompanies it, abnormal menstrual period, and deeper voice than normal. You may need to evaluate the birth control method you are using. Then decide if it is a reason for the problem. There are some birth control methods that can be blamed for such, but it is hard to generalize in the absence of professional consultation. It is important to discuss how hormone imbalance may affect your skin and which hormones may be causing your oily skin with your healthcare provider.



In most cases, only a few modifications with your lifestyle may be effective. Increasing intake of vegetables and fruits that are good for the skin can be suggested. Healthy fats like avocado and coconut can help balance your hormones. Cruciferous vegetables are perfect for supporting your liver function to help detox excess hormones within the body. Fiber can also help flush out excessive hormones. A healthy diet is one of the easiest ways to improve hormone imbalance that results in skin problems.

There are also oral contraceptives and topical retinoid that may be prescribed, specifically those approved by the FDA. At the end of the day, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to acne treatment that results from hormonal imbalance. Each treatment approach should be tailored to the individual’s needs. 


So as you can see, hormone imbalance affects your skin in many ways. Your hormones out of whack can be the root cause of your oily skin. I would also love to hear what you think, or take a photo and tag me @Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram. I love seeing your photos. #EatYourNutrition #LauraVillanueva

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I'm Laura, your go-to gut health holistic nutritionist!

Certified holistic nutritionist, nutrition and wellness author, content creator, and author. I teach women how to discover effective ways to become the healthiest version of themselves. My refreshing new approach to nutrition and healthy living has inspired many to make positive healthy lifestyle changes. I share many recipes for gut healing too.

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