Hormonal acne is confusing. One month it is nonexistent and then the next three months it is brutal. Stress can also play a factor. My hormonal acne kicked into high gear as the shelter in place order began in March. Over the years I have tried a slew of different things to treat this pesky form of acne and only a few have worked for me. After lots of experimentation I have narrowed my hormonal acne treatment down to a few key ingredients: BHA (beta hydroxy acid) & niacinamide. Now here’s how I use these two hero ingredients!
Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
What it does: Beta hydroxy acid AKA BHA AKA salicylic acid is an exfoliating powerhouse. This chemical exfoliant is known for clearing up complexions and unclogging pores. It can even help improve your skins texture. In my personal experience it boosts cell turnover and in turn minimizes not only the amount of pimples I get but also how long said pimples hang out on my chin.
Purging 101: There is one very important thing to be aware of when it comes to salicylic acid: there is a good chance that it will make your skin purge. Not everybody’s skin will purge but mine sure did. My beloved Paula’s Choice BHA Liquid Exfoliant caused me to purge for 4-6 weeks. During this time I used the exfoliator 1-2x a week. Before you jump ship lets talk about why skin purges. A purge occurs because this BHA exfoliates not just the surface of your skin but also the lining of your pores. As it cleans the oil that is sitting in your pores gets pushed to the surface. The BHA is not creating pimples it is simply pushing pimples that are already there to the surface faster. Get through the purge and your skin will be clearer than ever before.
How I use it: I use the Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 2-3 times a week. I use it immediately after cleansing and follow it up with a thick, gentle moisturizer like the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream.
Inkey List Niacinamide OR The Ordinary Niacinamide
What it does: Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that supports the skin barrier. Over time it increases skin resiliency and improves texture by balancing the skin. Niacinamide can work with all skin types but is especially beneficial for oily, combination, and acne prone skin. I did not purge at all from this product but it did take me a few months to see results so stick with it!
How I use it: Let me start by saying I love both the Inkey List and the Ordinary’s Niacinamide serum. Both are incredibly affordable and go in and out of stock frequently. I use niacinamide 4x a week. I cleanse, tone, then apply niacinamide followed by moisturizer.
p.s. If you liked this post check out: Tower 28 S.O.S Spray Reviewed!