How I Cured My Adult Hormonal Acne

Acne FreeAs you read in my previous post – Acne Treatments That Didn’t Work – I had bad acne, and it wasn’t going away, no matter what I tried. After two years of the acne, I was 30 and I’d had enough! The last Dermatologist I visited in LA gave me a prescription for Differin cream, which again, didn’t work. A few months after moving to Las Vegas, I went to yet another Dermatologist. I asked him for a prescription for Yasmin BCP. I had done my research, and this pill seemed really promising because it was supposed to be good for acne, and hair loss (remember I was also combating that), and it wasn’t supposed to make you gain any weight! Perfect! I started on that, and after about two months my acne started to go away (I think the acne got a little worse before it got better). I also noticed the pill improved my mood (but maybe that was just because my acne was going away). I knew the pill would help my acne, but I had initially hesitated taking it because of my issues with hair loss. But remember, when I was on the Ortho Tri-Cyclen, I still had acne, so I needed to take further measures.

The new Dermatologist switched me from Differin cream to Differin gel, and I don’t know if that made any difference or not. Random note: I use the .1% Differin, but notice they now have a stronger .3% version. Interesting. Well the good thing about Differin is that is has NO side effects on me at all. It doesn’t dry out my face or make it oily. It’s expensive, though. Oh, yeah, and so is the Yasmin, since there’s no generic for it, but it’s worth it!!!! At the same time, I had just finished reading Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me – Paula Begoun which talks about all of the major skin care products on the market. The book helped me narrow down which products were worth using (for acne and for wrinkles), and it taught me even more about what actually works for your skin, and what is crap (a lot of products!) You should check out Paula’s website: Cosmetics Cop. Also at the same time, I found the fabulous MakeupAlley which lists products and has viewer reviews. It’s extremely helpful to see what “real” people have to say about products, and whether or not they work or cause their skin to breakout, etc. Finally, the last key to my product research came when I discovered several websites that listed product ingredients that can cause your pores to clog and your skin to breakout. I will make a separate post about these sites and the ingredients because it’s a long list! So guess what, almost EVERY single moisturizer or acne product I owned contained ingredients that were alleged huge pore cloggers! WTF? It turns out (from my estimate) 75% of the products on the market will possibly clog your pores, if you are acne-prone. Even acne products, and non-comodogenic, oil-free products contain these ingredients! Why? So that you will mess up your skin even more and buy more products?? I don’t know. Also, a lot of the acne products I used dried out my skin even more, making me need even more moisturizer, and making the acne worse.

Here is the “acne safe” morning regimen I follow:
– Wash my face with Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser. This is a great cleanser because it hydrates as it cleanses, so my skin doesn’t feel parched. If I travel to somewhere humid, I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish, which is a little more drying.
– Apply Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate or Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream. Sometimes I mix in a pinch of Philosophy Hope And A Prayer topical Vitamin C powder. I need antioxidants, and peptides to fight against wrinkles!
– Apply Clinique Moisture On-line. Remember I live in Vegas and have super dry skin. When I go to Hawaii, or somewhere else humid, I don’t need as much moisture!
– Mix Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream For Face – SPF 55 with Maybelline Pure Makeup Nude (nude). I know I am diluting the sunscreen, and I need to research how much this effects its SPF.
– Put on Maybelline Instand Age Rewind Under Eye Concealer (medium) on any spots (I’m not crazy about this concealer, but it’s fine), and then put on Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder (medium) with a powder brush. It’s a very light, non-cakey powder.

Here’s my night regimen:
– Use the same cleansers as the morning.
– Apply Differin .1% gel. I used to rotate this with TxSystems Afirm 3x, a strong retinol, but it’s drying, so it sometimes makes my face flaky. I am pretty sure the Differin also works similarly to Retin-A as a wrinkle-reducer/preventor, but I haven’t found any studies comparing the effectiveness of Differin to Retin-A.
– Apply Dove Energy Glow Night Cream. Sometimes I use Burt’s Bees Marshmallow Vanishing Creme, but I think it clogs my pores, so I just use it around my eyes. I don’t love these creams, but haven’t found anything better.

Specialty products:
– If I feel a breakout is coming, I’ll use Paula’s Choice 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Gel in the morning, instead of the antioxidant serum. Paula says that Salicyclic Acid needs to be at the proper ph level to work, and supposedly a lot of products are not effective because of the wrong ph.
– If I do get the rare pimple, I’ll dab it with Paula’s Choice Blemish Fighting Solution and TxSystems Afirm 3x.
– Once a week I use the fabulous Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel. Even though the Differin keeps my skin exfoliated, this is gentle enough that it makes my skin look great, and it’s not irritating at all
– When my face feels especially dry, I’ll use Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Treatment Mask.

Other things I do to help my skin include washing my face with lukewarm water (no hot water or ice on pimples – FU The Acne Cure book). Then I bought a big pack of washcloths at Target and use a new washcloth every day to very gently pat my skin dry after washing. And from Wal-Mart of all places, I found some fabulous satin (well 100% poly) pillowcases that I make sure to change often. These leave you with no wrinkles on your face in the morning, and they are good for your hair!

After three months of this regimen, I was acne-free (and my skin wasn’t super flaky anymore), and I still am two years later! That’s my “after” picture in this post. I do not believe my acne would be gone if I didn’t do all of the things I do – the pill, the non-pore clogging products, and probably the Differin (I don’t know if it “really” works, but I’m afraid to not use it at the same time). For women that have hormonal acne who don’t want to take the pill (or Accutane) I honestly don’t know what to do to be acne-free. Maybe acne laser treatments (oh yet another post). Also, aside from the Differin, I don’t think the products I use help my acne as much as they don’t make it worse. Once my acne went away, I was left with about 50 red spots where the acne used to be. Luckily I only got one actual scar during the whole process. The saga of the red spots will be left for another post as well. And the saga of the blackheads on my nose will also be left for later.

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61 Responses to “How I Cured My Adult Hormonal Acne”

  1. Leigh Says:

    Hi. Thanks for the comment on my other site http://antiaging.blogsome.com. I’m 28 and like you started breaking out again in my 20’s just when I thought I would have clear skin for life. My skincare routine sounds a lot like your own. I use and love Philosophy Purity Made Simple. I think it’s an amazing product. I also love Shiseido sunscreen it’s great. It looks like whatever you’ve been doing has worked great for you because your skin looks terrific in the photo. I love your site and would love to exchange links with you if you’re interested let me know. Take care.

  2. Kim Says:

    Hi Jen- I love this little site of yours :)

    Have you tried the Zeno device? I got it because I rarely break out, and when I do, it is the under the skin painful ones, and Zeno helps kill the bacteria in them and helps them go away faster. (Obviously not a replacement for good skin care) but it does aid in them going away quicker-

    Hope you are doing well~!

  3. Jeni Says:

    Hi Kim!
    I want to try Zeno but don’t want to buy it since I wasn’t sure if it worked, and it seems sort of expensive. I was at my friend’s house last week in NY and he had it. I wanted to try it but didn’t have any pimples to test it on at the time! If it actually works, I’d consider getting it, because if I do get a pimple, it’s also those ones under the skin. Does it hurt at all? I was nervous, but I tried it on jeans and didn’t feel anything.

  4. kim Says:

    The zeno has a slight heat sting but nothing that isn’t completely tolerable. I have used just two times and found the pimples less severe and went away faster. Kind of like a flu shot, even if you do get the flu, it’s less severe. I would rather have it on hand and not break out, but if I do I have it :)

    I am loving all the in-depth posts you are writing!


  5. kim Says:

    A great cream that I use at night (day or night, I use it at night only) is Alba Organics Jasmine and Vitamin E moisture cream- I absolutely love it. The feel, the smell, and how i feel when applying :)

    I think I pay less at the Vitamin Cottage for it than I saw on amazon though~not positive, if I love a product I don’t really pay attention to the price.

  6. Nicole Says:

    Hey Jeni…..Its Nicole from DAV. Jason sent us a link with your site and I just wanted to say its GREAT! Lots of useful and helpful tips! I’ll be checking it regularly! Hope all is well with you!

  7. Craig Taylor Says:

    Great article filled with useful tips which I will pass on to my wife.

  8. Julie Says:

    I had been on minocycline for a year to control my acne (my skin is never completely without acne) when my obgyn told me that I could take birth control to help with cramps, get rid of acne, and prevent me from getting cysts. (I get painful cysts that burst if I exercise around the time I am supposed to start my period.) So she put me on Alesse and my acne got worse. Then I tried OrthoTriCylen-Lo. My face cleared up, but I was SOooo angry and confrontational-I am normally not a confrontational person- and it made my mouth go raw, among other wierd side effects. I stopped that and decided to take a break for a month from all these medicines. Then my skin started freaking out and I went back and they told me to try YAZ. The dermotologist told me to specifically ask for it because its for acne and moodiness. (I have noticed a difference that I feel very calm all the time unlike with the OrthoTriClyclen) I just finished my first month of YAZ and my skin is more horrible than I’ve seen it in a year and a half! I have clusters of big, painful cysts all over the areas on either side of my chin. They’ve also started coming out along my hairline, and my forehead never breaks out. I dont’ know what to do. Should I give YAZ another month to see if it actually delivers its acne promise? Or should I try the Yasmine? Or…since OrthoTriCylcen-Lo worked for my skin, should I try the regular OrthoTriCyclen? (I’m wondering if I will not have the same side effects with the regular one that I had with the LO?) I also just bought MD formulations adult acne kit and bare minerals night treatment- rare minerals. Its the one in the gold bottle you’re supposed to put on your skin before you go to bed. They promise that it would shrink my pores and help clear up my blemishes! Has anyone tried that?

  9. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    Julie, if you look at this page on my site – http://www.savvyskin.com/the-pill-to-treat-hormonal-acne I have Alesse listed as a pill that can make acne worse. I have had really good luck with Yasmin helping my mood, more so than when I was on ortho tri-clycen. Yaz and Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo have less estrogen than Yasmin and Ortho Tri-Clycen Lo, so you might see more of an improvement in acne if you were on Yasmin. I know Yaz is recommended for PMDD – not sure if you have that. I would talk to your doctor about switching to Yasmin, or at least asking her about the difference. Keep in mind that sometimes when you switch pills, it can take 3-4 months before your body is used to it, so breakouts can sometimes get worse before they get better. I would stick with the Yaz, or ask about switching to Yasmin, and give it 3 months. I know that’s a long time to wait, but it can be worth it if it works.

    Here’s the page about the Raw Minerals: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P136024&categoryId=B70 . It lists the ingredients, and I can’t tell if it’s good or bad, but on first glance, I don’t see anything bad in the ingredients. I looked at the MD Formulations acne kit on Sephora, and I wasn’t able to see the ingredients of all the items in the kit, but of the ones listed, it looked like it was ok for acne. I wasn’t able to see the sunscreen ingredients.

  10. Julie Says:

    I do not have PMDD so it isn’ t necessary that I take YAZ. My main reason for taking a birth control instead of the minocylcine is because it would control my acne, and I wouldn’t have to deal with painful ovarian cysts. As long as Yasmin will do those two things, and it won’t make me so that I can’t even stand to be around myself (ha! I think orthotricylenLO had a nasty pill mixed in with it!) then I’d switch to it! I just finished my month of YAZ today so now is a perfect time to switch. A girlfriend of mine told me that YAZ made her breakout really bad too, so maybe it isn’t as great for acne as they claim? Thanks for looking up all the information on the products I’m using. I hope it helps!!! I heard about the MD formulations products on distressed derma website. Do you recommend doing a weekly masque? An Aveda rep at the mall talked to me for about 15 mins on Friday about their new Cooling Masque. Apparently 92% of users said their skin was clear in 4 weeks from using it 1 or 2 times per week.

  11. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I think Yaz can be good for acne, but everyone is different. Yasmin should be better than Yaz for acne, though. Just give it a few months, though, because it takes your body a while to adjust to a new pill. And even though it worked great for me, since people have different hormone levels, it won’t work for everyone. But between that and eliminating anything that can cause cosmetic acne, you should see improved results. I would do a mask, as long as it doesn’t contain any ingredients that would aggravate your skin. My favorite is the Philosophy Microdelivery Peel – well it’s more of an exfoliant than a mask. I use a Paula’s Choice hydrating mask, since I have dry skin.

  12. Julie Says:

    I talked to my dermatologist yesterday and she told me that YAZ and Yasmin are basically the same thing, although YAZ has .02 of estrogen, and Yasmin has .03.
    I wonder if thats what makes a difference?

  13. jennifer Says:

    I am 24 and just had my second daughter last winter. My skin during my pregnancies is great but just like after my first baby its not getting really bad. Its on the sides of my cheeks on both sides and sometimes around my mouth but not as bad as it is on the apples of my cheeks. I use Arbonne products-I mostly use the Clear Advantage line. I am assuming my sking is breaking out due to hormones. I am breastfeeding though and i cant take anything that a dermatologist would give me. What do you recommened? I am taking the vitamin supplement from the Arbonne clear advantage line but the Dr. couldnt tell me wether or not that was a good choice to take breastfeeding because he didnt know what the Arbonnes herbal blend was. It does seem to help but i am not sure if its safe for my baby. what do you suggest?

  14. jennifer Says:

    What do you also think of Paula begoun skin care line? I need help!!!!

  15. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I like Paula Begoun’s products and use several of them. I don’t like her sunscreen or self-tanner that much, but use her antioxidant serum, her glycolic acid, salicylic acid, hydrating mask, and benzoyl peroxide cream!

    I haven’t looked at the ingredients of Arbonne, so I don’t know if they are good or not. If you look at this page on my site – http://www.savvyskin.com/how-to-prevent-cosmetic-acne you can see if any of the ingredients in the Arbonne products are on the list. There’s a chance that they could be making your acne worse.

    I briefly looked at the Arbonne site but couldn’t see the ingredients in the vitamins. Do you know what they are? I don’t know what is safe to use while breastfeeding, so you might want to show the vitamin bottle to your doctor so he can see the ingredients. For skin care, I’m also not sure what is and isn’t safe – like I don’t know if over-the-counter active ingredients like glycolic acid are okay. I guess I need to do some research! It does sound like it’s your hormones that are causing the acne. I am out of town and won’t be back for several days, but when I get back and I can look to see what ingredients are safe to use when breastfeeding.

  16. jennifer Says:

    Thank you so much. I will look foward to hearing from you when you get back. The Dr. Said that everything in the arbonne vitamins for acne was fine except the one ingredient which is just listed as “abonnes Herbal Blend” and i couldnt find out what their herbal blend consisted of and since the Dr. didnt know they really couldnt give me the go ahead to take them but when i did they did seem to help. Do you like Paula Begouns products for acne and if so would you recommend any for me? Here are the other ingredients that are in Arbonnes Skin Support Dietary Supplement.

    Vitamin A
    Vit. B6
    Pantothenic Acid
    Abronnes Proprietary Herbal Blend
    Yellow Dock Herb
    Burdock root
    Sarsaparilla herb, root

  17. jennifer Says:

    I looked at the list of things that you should use for acne prone skin and i looked my cleaner, toner, and acne spot lotion and the only product that i found that was in the products that i shouldnt be using was Steric Acid in the lotion the toner and wash seem to be alright? Should i be using a facial mask or a higher level of Salicylic Acid. The level in the spot lotion is 1%

  18. Julie Says:

    My gynecologist gave me a prescription to start the Yasmin, but after taking YAZ for a month it did something very strange to me and I never got a period.
    I guess I will have to wait until next month to try the Yasmin. I was reading a website where women can post their side effects of Yasmin and it didn’t sound very good. Alot of them had anger, anxiety, moodiness, depression, weight gain, restlessness, unable to sleep, fatigue- even after 8 hours of sleep, etc….
    Have you ever experienced these symptoms taking Yasmin? If I knew was going to be nasty to everyone, and have anxiety and depression theres really no need to have clear skin because I’d never go out anyways!
    Also, my climate is very humid- especially through the spring/summer/fall. Do you recommend using Philosophys purity made simple? I know you’re fighting the dryness of Vegas, but would that product work well for acne in a humid climate?

  19. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I actually have had great results with Yasmin, but everyone is different. I haven’t had any side effects with it, and it has actually helped my mood, and made me happier! It didn’t make me gain any weight, and it’s actually one of the best pills for preventing weight gain. It can take 3 months or so to get used to a pill, so it will take that long before you can really determine if it’s a good fit. I like Yasmin because it’s better for acne, but if you don’t really have acne, Yaz is probably better since it’s a lower hormone dosage.

    If you have oily skin, the Purity made simple may not be the best for you. I still use it when I travel to humid places, but I also switch it out with a less hydrating cleanser, since I actually get oilier skin in humid places. If you don’t have oily skin, it will probably be good. I think it’s a good overall cleanser, but I like to use something with salicylic acid in it when I go to humid places. If you check on Makeupalley.com you can read product reviews about it, and see what people say about it with all different skin types and climates.

  20. Julie Says:

    Glad to hear you’ve had such fantastic results with the Yasmin- on not only your face but you in your entirety! I feel more positive about trying it. My Philosophy MicroDelivery Peel came in the mail today and I’m excited to try it! I will look up makeupalley and see what everyone says about the Purity Made Simple. Thanks so much for all your help!!!

  21. Karen Says:

    … I read an article on Jeni’s blog over at Savvyskin.com on how she cured her adult acne and one of the products she raved about was Purity Made Simple cleanser …

  22. Julie Says:

    Hello again! I’ve been trying out your ideas since September and I think I am finally on to something. The Yasmin has been great (thank goodness!) my acne is getting better everyday , the cystic acne has stopped, and I have not had ANY side effects from the birth control! YAY YAY YAY! I started by using the neutrogena healthy skin anti wrinkle anti blemish, the BP, and minocycline and for the price, the results were OK. I also tried the Maybelline pure makeup which covered well and did not cause any additional breakouts. A friend of mine purchased the murad acne cleanser line and we were on a vacation together and I tried it for 3 days and my skin started clearing that quickly! I bought it as soon as I got home and have not regret it for a moment. That line was a miracle for me. I love the results I get from using that combined with a once a week Philosophy Microdelivery Peel. (That stuff is great!!!) I eventually started getting small bumps on the surface of my skin and stopped using maybelline and went back to bare minerals and the bumps stopped. I think it started clogging my pores over time. I think the less makeup I wear the more my skin likes me ;)
    Thank you Thank you Thank you for your website! I hope my skin gets better and better until all the scars are gone too! :)

  23. DR Says:

    Hi Jeni, I came across your Blog last year, when I was totally frustrated with my adult acne and desperately Googling for advice. The acne had started after I stopped taking the pill and seeing as how I am 31 I thought it would resolve itself. Which of course it didn’t. After reading your Blog I went to see a dermatologist and was prescribed Yasmin, an antibiotic/antikeralytic solution for “on the spot” treatment and Isotrex cream (the topical formulation of “Accutane” or “Roaccutane”). My derm claims that this is better than Differin, although I know it’s not available in the US it seems quite popular here in Germany. I’m also using the purity made simple cleanser, Clinique moisturiser, Shiseido sunscreen and Philosophy micropeel exfoliator that you recommended.

    It’s only been two weeks now, but thank you so much, it’s made the world of difference! I haven’t had any major breakouts, my nasty cystic acne is healing and I think the isotrex has also helped with my fine lines (even those stubborn nose-mouth ones!). I can’t thank you enough.

  24. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I’m glad you’re seeing such an improvement in your skin! I have read that there is a topical Accutane in other countries, so I need to read up on that more. I like Differin because it doesn’t have any side effects, but I do believe there are probably stronger creams that are possibly more effective.

  25. lovy Says:

    jeni, dont you use make up cleansing lotion before the soap? If yes, what you use? And i need your comments about hair care product ingredients that can aggravate acne at our face especially when the hair touches the face, thanks so much for this blog

  26. michelle phillips Says:

    Whats funny is i suffer from adult acne to. I stopped drinking sodas and started only drinkign water and i dont have big huge cystic acne anymore. I get very small ones time to time but its been clearing up!

  27. cathy Says:

    I cleared my adult acne up several years ago with Orthocyclen, the monophasic version which is different than the tri-phasic pill. It took nearly a year and a half to get the blackheads out but I have had perfect, clear skin for most of the last 3 years. I use Olay products and use a system by Dr. Denese which is based on exfoliation and hydrating with ceramides. I scrub my face once a week with the Olay microdermabrasion kit. Perricone has also worked for me for several years and recently I started drinking three liters of water a day to help plump up my skin. It seems to really work! I’ve considered switching to Yasmin. Orthocyclen was also on the list of pills I picked from based on recommendations from an MD named Elizabeth Vliet. Her book It’s Your Ovaries Stupid saved my life more or less.

  28. Deployed Says:

    i am 23 years old and i joined the Army a year ago. Before joining i had very good skin no acne scars, a pimple occasionally around my time of the month but not a problem. 3 months into my training i started getting large bumps under my skin on the sides of both my cheeks, right in the center – now in all my life i have never gotten a pimple there, let alone a break out. i tried my best not to pick at them but it was impossible, now i have a disgusting purplish scar on my cheek and it still breaks out with bumps under the skin – sometimes never surfacing. i don’t know what to do but it is very frustrating – i’ve tried many things, but none seem to work.

  29. amelia Says:

    this list is really great! I have started to check all my skincare products against this list. however, most of them do not have numbers before them… does the number make a difference? for example, is 4 ethylhexyl Palmitate the same as ethylhexyl palmitate? or not?

  30. Sara Says:

    Hi Jeni i just got on the yaz – and my breakouts got a little bit worse so hopefully it will get better. im on my first month for the yaz – actually first week so after this month i will try out the yasmine. i really hope this works out, as i don’t have insurance or the money for a dermatologist. and murad isnt working. acne is so frustrating but im so glad i found your website :)

    ps maybe you know something about this, but i went to mexico for one week and when i went there, my skin cleared up. when i came back to new york, i started breaking out again. i don’t know whats changed. i eat healthier here – avoid dairy at ALL costs, as it may sometimes aggravate acne. the only thing different is that i had pina coladas and beer every single day in mexico. here i don’t drink too much. i live in the suburbs of new york. i wash my pillow covers. i use my thermaclear. do you have any possible clue what might be the culprit?

  31. Danielle Says:

    hi Jeni, i am 23 and i myself have tried every product. however my acne started to get worse about 9 months ago..it all of a sudden got realy oily and nothing helped. well recently i went to the gyno and he tol me my acne was because i had endometriosis (early stage) anyway he put me on Yasmin. i read all the great benefits of Yasmin..and was very excited to start. i am on my 8 th day and i think my acne is gettin worse….i read dat urs got worse before better. but i cant help but worry…how long do i have to wait to see results? will it help??? thanks 4 ur help!

  32. Ange Says:

    Would you recommend Philosphy’s Purity Made Simple Face Wash for acne skin? Paula’s gave it a bad review saying that it has a lot irritating plant oils. Would you say this is safe to use to acne prone skin? Some reviews on makeupalley have experienced breaking out. Is there a purging stage with using this cleanser? Also, is there a purging stage with retinol products?
    Thanks for your site. My skin is going crazy right now and I need your advice.
    Thanks in advance!

  33. Emi Says:

    It would be interesting to know what you think about long term effects of the pill such as androgenic hair loss and the body not being able to produce an appropiate amount of hormones anymore after being on the pill for years. I worry about that constantly

  34. Kat Says:

    My daughter just started taking YAZ primarily to regulate her periods, help with mood swings and clear up her skin. She’s on the third week and her skin has actually gotten worse. Logic would tell me that it might get worse before it gets better … maybe bringing up all that stuff underneath. Anyway – I know how hard this is on my daughter (high school is tough enouth!). Is this common – does my guess at “logic” have any validity? I’d be interested in any feedback from someone who has or is still using YAZ

  35. Suzy Lynn Says:

    All of this hormonal acne is hormonal imbalance. That is why the pill helps. it probably is caused by a progesterone shortage – bioidentical hormone replacement cream can be prescribed by your OB and a compounding pharmacy can make it. It is better for you than the pill, it’s natural and it probably will make you stop breaking out all together so you dont’ have to worry as much about that intense list of skin products.

  36. sara Says:

    hi jeni! ive been on the pill (yaz) for a couple months now and it helped get rid of a lot – not all of the acne. i still broke out when i had dairy products which was super annoying, and still had several small bumps on my forehead. now im still taking the pill, and taking prescription wash cloths (prascion fc – which is sulfur based) and its helping me so much. i also use olay regenerist cream and it completely moisturizes my skin. my acne is cured and my superficial acne scars are slowly fading! its been a long five years but now i have no more acne!! i havent been acne-free since seventh grade so this is so amazing and unreal. also i can eat dairy again and not breakout!!

    for blackheads, ive been using sothyst oily skin mask – you can get one at a sothyst spa or a licenced esthetician that works with sothyst and it really really helped get rid of a lot of my blackhead gunk. they also have one for dry skin too. best of luck jeni and thanks so much.

  37. Michelle Lynn Says:

    Hi Jeni,

    I am so pulled in to your site. I can relate so much. I am 28, and then hormonal acne will just not stop. At time, I feel like it is taking over, and I am on antibiotics, differin, benzaclin, tea tree oil, you name it! I just took my first month of Yasmin after deciding that it was my best option for hormonal imbalance. However, I have had some worsening chin cysts over the past month (6 or 7 this month). I am just wondering if you think this is just an intial “purge” and it will get better over time, or do you think I am not cut out for Yasmin. I can’t decide, and I am not sure if I can go through another month of this. What was your experience? Thanks so much. Your site is wonderful!

  38. Kristen Says:

    I too am on Yasmin to control breakouts, that occur mainly around my chin area. I wouldn’t be w/ out it. I have tried switching to Nuvaring for convienence sake, but alas I broke out again. I never had break outs until my 20s, it is definitely hormonal. Tetracycline has been helpful in the past, and Orthotricycline has also worked for me in the past, but then breakouts started cropping up again. I have been on Yasmin for at least 7 years now. I don’t smoke, so frankly I will stay on it forever because there is nothing more depressing than having to face the world w/ cystic acne, ick. I like Estee Lauder Idealist to make my face look as beautiful as it can after all it’s been through and I try to eat healthy. L. Bauman’s book, The Skin Type Solution, is very useful/helpful for improving the texture and tone of your skin. I’m happy with Nivea Soft for face moisturizer and Johnson and Johnson Basis face soap. Exfoliators I tend to stay away from for the most part, I never know if my skin will react, but that Philosphy Peel you speak of has been my favorite in the past. And the Zeno comes in handy … Catch those suckers early and maybe you can shorten/eliminate their life!

  39. Kristen Says:

    By the way, Yasmin has a generic now! The name is Ocella. W/ insurance, I only pay $15/mo (used to pay 60). I’ve been on it for 6 months and have had NO issues w/ the chance, works just as well for me as Yasmin.

  40. Tara Says:

    I am seriously considering starting the Yaz that I have 3 months of samples for. I have given up the pill many times before because I hate the idea of taking synthetic hormones.I have noticed that I can use the products that I really love when I am on the pill because the true cause of my cystic acne(and all of the whiteheads) is hormones,not what I am using externaly.This is truly a disease and now at 36 years old with 2 kids, I have f—in had it with dealing with this. It really effects my mood and my life.I worry about the Yaz because I have a grandmother who had breast cancer and dont want anything that might bring that on. But at this point I might still do it. Thats how disgusted I am. I was an attractive girl who was in the beauty business for many years and I can’t believe this is still a problem.

  41. Michelle Says:

    thanx so much! i have hormonal acne and it sux! i have tried every over the counter products, pro activ, clinque, …the list goes on. I was reading online that birth control and help..so i just srtarted this month taking ortho tri cyclin. im hoping this will work. Im 20 now and i just want to finally be over this stage of acne..i have had it since i was 13. im def going to try your regime and see if it works for me..wish me luck

  42. Sarah Says:

    That’s great that you’ve found a cure for your acne, but, girl you’re putting too many different products on your skin…that can’t be good.
    You seem to be well educated on ingredients when it comes to treating and preventing acne, so I think this site would be of interest to you as well:

    You can type in a beauty product and see how hazardous it is to your health. Yay! After using this site, I’ve been using much less hazardous products on my skin and hair, and *surprise* my hair is healthier and my skin is too! A great, and 99.9% natural, zit zapper I found via this site is Burt’s Bees Doctor Burt’s Herbal Blemish Stick with Tea Tree Oil. Works great!

  43. vanessa Says:

    Hi, I luvvv ur site! I found it a couple of days ago and I’m soooo happy that I did. I just turned 23 and I’ve never really had severe acne but since I hit my twenties, it’s just gotten worse and it’s driving me crazy. I was just wondering if you have ever tried philosophys help me retinol treatment instead of Differin or TxSystems Afirm? I haven’t used any of them yet but I’ve read some good reviews on the philosophy one. I have some discolouration and acne scars but i was worried that it might clogg my pores. Anyway thanks for starting this site, it’s awesome!

  44. cheers Says:

    I recommend Yasmine. My personal testimonial is that I began having cystic acne two years after the birth of my second daughter at age 38. It was terrible, and I thought nothing would ever help clear up my skin. I was once again 110 lb with acne, just like in high school. My skin improved dramatically in three months, and with the continued use of Yasmine, my skin is clear. My pores are smaller, and I have clear, smoothe skin. Yasmine is like a miracle hormone for acne.

  45. carmen Says:

    Hello! I love your site. One thing about your regimen…you’ll need to re-think it when you’re trying to get pregnant. If you get to a point in your life when you want to have a baby, you’ll need to stop the birth control pills and start up a whole new regimen. I found that, despite all of the medication (Differin or Taxorac, etc), the thing that made my skin great was really the BCP…. Otherwise, it’s back to the same old problems. Just something to keep in mind because you’ll want to stop the BCP when your clock starts ticking.

  46. marie Says:

    I am Mexican and have been using “Diane” (brand name pill here in Germany) for about 5 years and it seriously totally cleared up my acne within the first 6 months. I used to cleanse my face religiously and would still get pimples, sometimes really awful acne. Nowadays I can even go to bed without washing my face (gross, I know) and not get a pimple the next day! My experience has definitely convinced me that my acne had a lot more to do with hormones than with clogged pores. I would defnitely recommend the pill to any girl.

    love the blog by the way! just found it yesterday :)

  47. amy Says:

    Hiya im following the regime you have recommended using Paulas choice products. Im not sure what moituriser to use though? My skin is usually bit oily but its a bit drier now as im using differin. What do you think?

    Also what concealers shall i use for blemishes? Im currently using Clinique Anti blemish concealer and i think they may have pore clogging ingrediants

    Please help as i want to get my new regime sopt on as i have had disasters in past with new products and regimes :(

  48. amy Says:

    Has anyone got a good bronzer which is non poreclogging?

  49. Skin Care Says:

    I recently came across your blog. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Very informative and nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  50. Emily Says:

    Hi. I am 28 and have suffered from acne on and off for 11 years. I have tried minocin which did work for me for some time but eventually the spots started to slowly return and also my doctor didn’t recommend prolonged use (I was on it for years) so I came off it. I was then prescribed Dianette. Which again did work but due to side effects I was taken off that also. My doctor moved me on to Yasmin. Yasmin did work for quite a prolonged period but yet again the large sore red spots started to reappear on my chin. I also had some awful side effects with Yasmin so after discussing it through with my doctor I made the decision to come of it.

    Every person is different in regards to what treatments work for them and although it sometimes helps and provides comfort to read up on peoples own experiences with various medications and lotions etc it really is best to discuss things with your GP and find the best treatment for you. I have easily spent thousands of pounds on treatments over the years and still don’t think there is anything out there to “cure”hormonal acne, however i did find two products that eased my spots and definitely reduced them, they were boo boo zap by benefit (pricey for the amount you get but good if you only have a few spots) and freederm gel. I have learnt (well in my case anyway) that you must be kind to your skin. Using harsh treatments which dry the skin and your spots out is only asking for trouble as your skin will produce more oil and therefore cause further spots. I am currently using 100% organic face products and I find these great for my skin. They don’t help much with my spots (I haven’t been using them very long so i will keep you posted) but they do make my skin feel very soft and comfortable.

    Unless you have suffered with acne and I’m talking about sore vicious red spots, you can not really understand what it is like. Suffering with Acne as a teenager is bad enough but for most teenagers it is part of the course, but suffering with Acne as an adult I find is even worse. You would think as you get older you are a little more mature and find dealing with things like spots easier and it shouldn’t bother you as much but for me that’s just not the case. I feel so uncomfortable and unattractive as not one of my friends or colleagues suffer from spots and my acne makes me feel so isolated. It is not only how unsightly the spots look that gets me down but the pain and discomfort I also feel with them. I have also been left with so much pitting and scarring on my cheeks but hopefully will be having pixel laser treatment to help with this, I was just wondering if any one has tried this and if it works?

    The doctor has now put me on Tetralysal 300 (Lymecycline) but I am a little apprehensive because more people than not have said that it didn’t make a big difference to their acne. I would be really grateful if anyone knows more about this medication and could let me know their thoughts on it.

    Oh Also, there is a fantastic website I love called lovelula.com with organic make up and face products etc – hope that helps.

  51. Arianne Says:

    Hey, i actually just came across your site and you’ve given me quite a bit of inspiration. I wanted to know what do you find to be the most effective product to use on dark marks that are left behind by acne? I’m 21 and indian and I’ve been suffering with acne since i was 12. my whole back, my shoulders and my face have dark unsightly marks on it that won’t seem to fade. additionally it makes my skin look extremely blotchy. it’s gotten much worse recently- I started orthotricyclen-lo and I feel that it has only made my situation worse..not better. I’m at the point where i’m only using a clinique foaming cleanser in the mornings and night. I don’t know what to do anymore- I’ve been on every prescription drug imaginable, including differin gel, doxycycline etcetc. what would you do if you were in my shoes? ideally i’d love to stop breaking out and for these marks to GO AWAY!

    lol thank u soo much (in advance, of course)


  52. Sheryl Says:

    I have been on yasmin for 1 month after a 2 yr break having my 2nd child. I had been on yasmin previously for yrs and had no probs and great skin. I have gone back on it as i have awful spots on my chin and right cheek! They are sore when they come up then turn yellow and eventually dry up leaving a red/purple mark. I usually wash my make up off every evening with dove soap (have done for years)but my skin is now getting dry. Today I bought simple brand cleanser, toner, and light moisturiser and my skin feels nice but the spots/marks left from spots seem redder. Im really starting to feel down about all this, im 30 yrs old and never had spots in my life. Can anyone offer advice? i wear powder (maxfactor creme puff) everyday and have stoped using liquid foundation. I cannot go bare faced! im so embarrassd. will the yasmin work for me as it did before-although sayin that i never had spots before! I can bare it at the moment as long as i knw im doing the right thing…Muchas! xxx

  53. Tina Says:

    Hormonal Acne – I’m on Yasmin pill which helped a bit. It has about 25mg of spironolactone which has anti-androgen effect and that’s why it works on acne. I was also on 100 mg of spironolactone and then reduced to 50 mg. It totally worked. My skin is perfect. But you have to go off it if you want to get pregnant. If you’re on spironolactone, you should be on the pill as well to make sure you don’t get pregnant. Spironolactone totally works on hormonal acne. It can only be used by women.

  54. Christa Says:

    Tina is right, SPIRONOLACTONE is the cure! I spent 20 years trying everything! Yasmin, Accutane, Differin, Retin-a, low sugar/fat diet, exercise, antibiotics, etc. The spirononlactone is $4 at Walmart for every 25mg 30 tablets. It really is like a miracle. It will prevent extra hormones in your body from doing bad things. Your acne will disappear, your skin will be smoother (estrogen helps skin stay smooth and pretty and spironolactone decreases the androgens and that makes the estrogen work better), your body’s oil production will slow down, if you have excess hair anywhere it will decrease, spironolactone is made for high blood pressure and has diuretic effects so most women lose weight (no water retention), your periods tend to be lighter and for many women their moods are more even. It is really the best. If it doesn’t work for you then your acne is not hormone related. It will start working fairly quickly, however it can take up to 4 months to see full effects.

  55. Danielle Says:


  56. Marie Says:

    100% pure aloe vera works great on acne scars. I just started using it. And after the aloe vera dries – put vaseline on so your face doesn’t dry up. The combo works great.

  57. Abi Says:

    thanks for his information, its very helpful. I have taken 3 courses of roaccutane and I was on dianette and it helped my skin loads but then the doctors said i wasnt allowed to take it anymore. Iv not been on any medication for over a year now and my skin is dreadful, so 2 weeks ago i started on the yasmin, really hoping to see improvements soon :-) may also make a quick doctors trip and pick up some differin xxx

  58. sherry Says:

    does anyone have any insight if dairy causes acne, or the little bumps on the chin like i seem to have on top of the cystic or hormonal acne i have??

  59. Elaine Says:

    I never had acne until I turned 40. The dermatologist had me on cortisone, special moisturizers, toothpastes etc etc. but it was a waste of time money.
    The acne was a problem as I was a rep and I found that my customers would be distracted by my acne ( situated around my mouth ) when I was in meetings with them

    I decided to go on the pill ( for the first time ) as I was in a committed relationship. The doctor prescribed Yasmin and lo and behold my cystic acne vanished. All went well for a couple of years until I landed in hospital with thrombosis ( dangerous blood clots… Its runs in the family….and is affected by hormones ). I was taken off the pill ( post haste ) and two years later my acne has returned.

    My quest now begins to find a solution that does not involve hormones replacements

    If and when I find a program that works I will return to this site and share it with you.

  60. RG Says:

    Hi ladies

    So lovely to find this site… although awful to see how many people acne affects.
    Thank God for Bare Minerals!!!

    Sara… your post about Mexico made me laugh because I’ve just come back from Thailand where I partied every day for a month and lived on buckets and pina coladas and… shock…. beer (only in Thailand lol) and I got little more than 3 spots!!! I think it can only be the sun??? And the fact that we’re relaxing and enjoying ourselves and breathing sea air, rather than being stressed at work breathing in the city smog???

    I also think climate helps… when I got back to the ice labrinth that London is in January, my skin had a heart attack and broke out in the most revolting (and painful) display of cystic acne I’ve had since I was 20 (the only thing that helped then was roaccutaine, but I had to come off it prematurely as it made my cholesterol rise and I have a history of heart troubles in my family).

    My skin has been good / alright for about 8 years now, but I came off Dianette after about 8 years of service and I was SHOCKED that it took me over a year to start ovulating again. Ever since that I’ve vowed to not go back on the pill again because it must’ve put my hypothalmus to sleep… and it can’t be healthy. Also, I’ve never been so slim! Bikram yoga doesn’t hurt, but still, I’ve seemed to have reached whole new levels of sveltness I never thought were possible.

    So for a yr and a half I’ve been ok… few breakouts but nothing unmanagable… but recently (since Jan) I’ve had horendous cysts come up under my jawline on both sides. I’m grateful that they’re reasonably out of sight, but they are not very romantic-friendly at ALL!! And they hurt!!! And they’re just plain ugly.

    At the moment I’m 2 weeks in to a course of minocyclene and I’m coupling it with copious amounts of Quinoderm cream (amazing stuff…not sure if its available in US?) morning and night (sits well under bare minerals which is a plus). I’m quite into chinese herbal products, further to an acupuncture treatment course I underwent at the end of last year, so I cleanse with Anan Aloe Vera wash and use Pientzehuang Pearl Cream (I can’t pronounce it either) to moisturise. The cream is also excellent for reducing acne scars.

    If I’m at home for an evening I also try and sit for a few hours with manukah honey on my face (after cleansing). It is a natural antibiotic/antibacterial and definitely does work and leaves skin feeling so soft.

    On top of this I am also taking herbal supplements that mimick the contents of this amazing formula that is very expensive and impossible to get hold of that I took last year and felt and looked glowing on… (http://www.irenesteinrj.com/asp/int.asp?GeneralID=6) so I take royal jelly, saw palmetto, echinacea, ginseng, probiotic and cranberry (last 2 help with unwanted minocyclene side effects).

    Fingers crossed this will all work soon – so far it does seem to be calming down so I’m hopeful! If there’s no improvement in 2 weeks though I am going to consider roaccutaine again. Hoping it won’t come down to that though. (And yes, patience isn’t one of my virtues).

    Wow, its amazing how much time, money and effort acne takes up!

    Having said all that… if it is the worst thing that is wrong with our lives, I guess we are pretty lucky!

    Love and light and flawless complexions…

    R xx

  61. Elizabeth Says:

    I’m amazed at how many people were prescribed Yasmin. I asked my gynecologist about it when I was breaking out, and she refused to prescribe it to me, She said that the advertising was pretty hyped on there and was causing a lot of problems for women out there requesting it and recommended Loestrin for me instead, which worked well (until I came off of it.) She also said that a lot of people were failing with birth control as an acne medication because they weren’t having their weight factored into the dosage and could cause some other kind of problems like insulin resistance or other metabolic conditions. I hadn’t heard much more about it until I stumbled on this site, but after reading about the blood clots and the organ failure, I’m really curious what’s up with that med,

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