Signs you’re dealing with hormonal acne

Did you experience pimples when you were a teenager? How about now – do you find yourself currently asking, how do I know if my acne is hormonal? Hormonal acne can show up during your teenage years as well as throughout adulthood thanks to – you guessed it – fluctuations in your hormones. The skin condition is more common in women than in men and affects people of all ages. Women can thank puberty, your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause for the (often) painful problem.

When your hormones aren’t balanced, your body can react by producing acne, gaining or losing weight, becoming fatigued, and more. When we say hormones, we’re speaking specifically about estrogen, progesterone, androgen, and testosterone. Ahead, we discuss signs of hormonal acne to help you understand why it shows up and how to treat it.

Your age

Hormonal acne doesn’t discriminate as it can affect adults of any age. As a matter of fact, studies show that about 50 percent of women have acne in their 20s, 35 percent in their 30s, and 20 percent in their 40s.

Timing of acne flare ups

For women, hormonal acne symptoms can be predictable based on where they are in their cycle. It’s likely acne can flare up during your period, pregnancy, postpartum, and during menopause. These are times your hormones can be imbalanced based on your body’s natural rhythm.

Location of acne

Unlike other forms of acne such as whiteheads and blackheads, hormonal acne shows up in very specific places. If you’re breaking out under your cheekbones or along your jawline, chances are you might have hormonal acne.

Acne feeling

One of the biggest signs of hormonal acne is that it can be very tender to the touch.


Besides natural hormonal imbalances, stress can also be the culprit of hormonal acne. Stress can even lead to hormonal imbalance, which may be necessary for the fight or flight response your brain sends off during these times. Enter: hormonal acne.

The takeaway

There are many signs of hormonal acne that can help you diagnose the type of acne you have. Once you identify the timing, location, and appearance of your breakouts, you might be able to tell if your acne is hormonal. If you’re still unsure, take our skincare quiz to help you determine the best anti-acne routine for you. Our three-step systems are designed to help keep your skin clear. If you find you can’t gain control over your hormonal flare ups or are not sure what type of acne you have, always remember to consult your dermatologist.