A common feature of hormonal acne is breakouts on the chin and jawline area. Unlike other types of acne, hormonal acne is characterized by bumps that are deeper than the surface (vs. whiteheads and blackheads in typical T-zone acne). Deeper pimples like cysts are what Dr. Zenovia likes to call “underground” pimples because they are difficult to pop and express. Picking at cysts will only lead to scarring and more inflammation which leads to more pimples!
Acne in the jawline region is caused by sebaceous glands producing excess oil (sebum) due to hormonal stimulation. This sebum gets trapped in the follicle leading to clogged pores. Bacteria will then start to proliferate in the clogged pore because there is no oxygen in there to control the bacterial growth. Consequently, our bodies see this overgrowth of bacteria and alert the immune system to mount an inflammatory response at the follicle which leads to the red, hot, tender nature of hormonal acne cysts and pimples in general.
An increase in sebum production is due to an imbalance of hormones at the follicle level including progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. Testosterone is an androgen hormone that stimulates the oil glands – and there is a high density of oil glands clustered along the jawline and chin area. It is therefore common to see an increase in jawline acne around the time of your menstrual cycle since your hormone levels are fluctuating and creating an androgen dominant effect. In addition to the jawline, hormonal breakouts are also common on the sides of the face and the neck.
There are many treatment options available for hormonal acne. In terms of over the counter treatments, Dr. Zenovia recommends using a facial cleanser with Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid daily. Dr. Zenovia Skincare 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cleanser penetrates deeply to remove buildup from clogged pores and eradicate blemishes. Fortified with Dr. Zenovia’s signature REG-ulate360 Complex™ to balance hormonal acne, this highly effective cleanser also works to protect and soothe sensitive, acne-prone skin with medical-grade Aloe Vera and potent antioxidants.
In addition to a facial cleanser, using a topical retinoid is critical for keeping the cell turnover active and preventing clogged follicles in the first place. Dr. Zenovia Skincare Advanced Retinol Night Repair Treatment works overnight to support the skin’s natural cellular repair process and helps reduce the appearance of acne and acne scarring. Featuring highly concentrated All-Trans-Retinol Technology, this breakthrough repair treatment helps support collagen synthesis and deeply penetrates the epidermis through a unique micro-polymer delivery system to support cellular turnover. Retinoids, in general, can be quite irritating to the skin and should be gradually incorporated into your skincare regimen by using it only 2-3 days per week. Irritation is more common in sensitive skin types such as those who have rosacea or a history of eczema or atopic dermatitis.
Dr. Zenovia Skincare products are the only topical, over the counter products on the market scientifically formulated to address hormonal acne. Additionally, Dr. Zenovia Skincare products contain the first-ever, medical-grade technology clinically proven to help address the appearance of hormonally-impacted skin: REG-ulate360 Complex™ which includes a unique phytoestrogen component to help balance hormonal fluctuations at the skin level.
The internal process of hormonal stimulation is controlled by oral medication including birth control pills and spironolactone. These medications help stabilize the androgen influence at the follicle level. In addition, Accutane is a powerful and very effective treatment because it works by decreasing oil production and also acts as a powerful exfoliator, preventing clogged pores.
There are many medications, both topical and oral, that dermatologists use to control the various types of acne. Having an evaluation from an acne specialist is important, especially if you have cysts or acne scars.
Dr. Zenovia often tells her patients that you will grow out of your acne but your scars will last a lifetime. Make sure you treat hormonal acne aggressively and don’t wait until scars form!
Clear Skin Tips
Aside from these treatments, remember to keep your hands away from your face, wash your hands before cleansing, and use makeup and skincare products that are non-comedogenic so that it won’t clog your pores and cause acne. Lifestyle changes such as washing your pillowcases regularly and sticking to a low inflammatory diet (decreasing sugar, dairy, and animal meats) can help as well.