Why do we get period acne?

Why do we get period acne?

Don’t you just hate it when your skin starts to act up just before your menstrual cycle? As if the bloating, cramping and mood swings weren’t enough. Add to the mix nasty breakouts all over the face, and you couldn’t get more miserable. Yes! Period acne is an actual thing and it is reported that many women have complained about their acne getting worse during their monthly period. 

The acne you get during your period is different from regular acne that can happen at any time of the month. While the latter is due to poor skin care habits which lead to clogged pores as a result of trapped dirt, bacteria and sebum, the former is a result of disrupted and fluctuating hormones. To differentiate between regular acne and hormonal acne pay close attention to the timing of the breakout; period acne flares up during the week leading to your period and the actual period week and usually recovers or starts to recover after your period week.

Acne during period

The average cycle of your period is about 28 days. The hormones of the body keep on fluctuating during your menstrual cycle. As your period starts, your estrogen and progesterone levels drop. This causes the sebaceous gland to produce more sebum, an oily substance which keeps the skin lubricated. An excess production of sebum causes the pores to get clogged, resulting in acne.The fluctuation of these hormones can also cause inflammation to the skin which produces acne causing bacteria. 

Symptoms of period acne

Do you feel a throbbing pain on your chin or jawline area? It is not uncommon for hormonal acne to appear in these areas, especially in the form of cysts. They are red, inflamed, and raised bumps that sometimes form into pustules. 

You might be itching to pop these pesky little bumps, but do not give into the temptation because popping these will only make it worse as this will lead to more pain and increase the risk of scarring.

How to tame period related acne

Treating hormonal acne can be very tiresome because period related acne is very stubborn and the process can be quite extensive. However, there is nothing that a good skincare regime can not fix! Keep on reading to find out different skincare steps that will help in the healing process.


  • Use a gentle cleanser: When you are on your period, you must use products that are gentle and soft on the skin because during this time your skin is already flamed and can use all the pampering and love it can get. Wash your face at least twice a day, with a cleanser that has gentle ingredients in it. Using a cleanser that is too harsh will strip off the natural oils of the skin making it more prone to breaking out. We recommend the Leovard Multicleanser for a job done well. This cleanser contains salicylic acid which means it works best at combating the hormonal acne that you face during your period.

  • Incorporate glycolic acid in your routine: Glycolic acid works best at exfoliating the skin by removing the dead skin cells and also boosts the production of collagen. Glycolic acid also helps in clearing the existing acne and keeps the skin clear by sloughing off the dead skin that clog the pores and cause breakouts.


  • Use tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a common choice for treating acne because it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It helps in calming redness, swelling and inflammation. Tea tree oil might also help prevent scarring from acne, leaving you with clearer and smoother skin. Leovard’s Elixir, true to its name, works wonders in combating several skin woes, including period acne, as it contains tea tree oil and several other ingredients, aimed at keeping the skin clear and blemish free. 



  • Make changes to your diet: Try to eat foods that have a low glycemic index as this helps keep hormonal acne under control. Consuming too much sugar, processed foods and carbonated drinks which have high glycemic index can make the acne worse as these food items are directly linked to increased inflammation. If you can not completely avoid these items, try to limit their intake.


  • Try OTC medicine:If the hormonal acne persists and won’t fade even after several weeks, you might want to get an over the counter medicine to help bring it under control.

    When to see a doctor

    If the hormonal acne does not heal even after using over the counter treatments, it is time to see your healthcare provider or dermatologist. Your dermatologist might recommend or prescribe certain treatments that might help after taking a look at your skin and what it requires. Retinoid, birth control pills and anti-androgen might be some of the prescribed treatments that will help you control your hormonal acne.


    Hormonal acne is a very common problem for menstruating ladies and you can definitely blame your hormones for that. However, over the counter treatments and some changes to your diet along with a consistently followed skin care routine can help you get rid of the acne or at least control it, promoting healthier, clearer and more radiant looking skin.

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