I wanted to use this opportunity to share with you my candid skin story on female hormone acne and how the journey has inspired me to launch this venture.

My skin story and how I cure hormonal acne naturally

From the ages of 13-19, I was hit hard by severe, cystic acne coupled with an extreme case of hirsutism that completely hindered my social life, affected my confidence and forced me into an isolated shell that is far far from who I am naturally.

I still feel today that if I hadn’t been plagued with the debilitating skin disease, there are so many opportunities I would have gone after, and my life would be a different tale for the better. I remember being extremely self conscious of my skin to the point of always wanting to crawl into bed and just sleep my life away. Every time I stared in the mirror, I would just cringe, cry and wish I was never born.

It was very difficult for me to maintain conversations with people without being paranoid about what thoughts ran through their head. I also hated going out during the daytime or being outside during bright and sunny days which I felt was very unforgiving to every flaw and crevice on my face. This deeply affected me because naturally I love the outdoors. I was teased in school, always known as the girl with the really bad skin and usually stayed to myself covering my journals with thoughts of depression. I have to admit, although I have come along way from the pubescent days, it created a lot of emotional complexes that I still fight today.

When I finally  had the opportunity to wear makeup, since my parents were very adamant that young girls didn’t need makeup, I would not want to leave my apartment without piling on the cover up. I felt abnormal, my skin and my appearance constantly ran through my mind.

I envied those with clear skin who I felt could just exist without having to think about their face, have normal conversations without the anxiety that the other person or persons were judging their appearance or could just walk outside their house barefaced.

Even as I write this it pains me so much to reflect on those experiences because so many of youthful years were spent being extremely depressed and lonely.  I was miserable and I tried everything I could to remedy the situation but the more I tried, the worse it seemed to become.

I went as far as enrolling in Esthetician classes while a high school student to gain deeper knowledge about my skin and why it acted the way it did. I saw several dermatologists and doctors and the first resort was to put me on a commercial drug.

I was placed on different medications: birth control for female hormonal regulation, antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide and a slew of other drugs. I visited a plethora of med spas and plastic surgeons for peels, microdermabrasion and lasers. I have spent thousands on all kinds of skin care creams and procedures and none of those things were successful in the long term treating my female hormonal acne.

In my late teens, I picked up a book by Paula Begoun, “Don’t go to the Cosmetic Counter Without Me” and I credit the author with educating me on cosmetic ingredients and how the products we are using to treat our skin could be the very culprit or accelerator of our skin condition.

I began studying cosmetic ingredients extensively and the more I learned the more frustrated I became. I realized that the beauty industry is filled with unethical companies selling products labeled as non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic when in fact their products are filled with pore clogging ingredients that worsen the condition.

These products varied from low priced drugstore items to high end, expensive skin care lines. Even more frightening is the fact that many commercial cosmetic products are filled with controversial toxins that are suspected to penetrate into the bloodstream and possibly create health problems after prolonged use.

I was 21 when I finally decided to get off birth control. I started reading scientific studies relating to women’s health and studying herbal remedies extensively. I began to see skin care and beauty from a holistic perspective. From the books I read, I realized that my symptoms of female hormonal acne and hirsutism was due to excess male hormones. The overproduction of androgens in women leads to hormonal imbalance that triggers the onset of many health problems, it is also one of the major indications of PCOS.

I had a hormone blood test conducted and the results showed that I had higher than the normal levels of testosterone. Seeing the results was actually a huge sigh of relief for me, because it confirmed everything I’d suspected. I began to focus my research on natural ways to control androgen levels and get my system in balance.

Beauty starts from the inside- what you put in shows

Once I understood the synergy between my health and the condition of my skin, I realized that beauty really starts from the inside and I had to be very careful about what I put into my body.

I adopted a plant based diet that consists of mostly leafy greens, whole grains, lean meats, healthy proteins and little to no processed and junk foods. It took some trial and error of different diets, skin care regimen and fitness regimen. The big lesson that I acquired from the journey and the biggest takeaway I hope to pass on is to focus on the process and not the results. In other words lose the fad diets and focus on creating a lifestyle.

In this day and age of instant gratification, this is a difficult pill to swallow, but it is reality. It is much easier to see long term results if the focus is on developing a healthy regimen versus trying to see results quick. Throughout my experience I focused on learning and understanding. I made sure to listen to my body very closely noting what worked and what did not. Natural remedies unlike drugs usually target the cause of the problem versus masking symptoms, therefore it takes time to see results.

So what has worked for me to cure my female hormonal acne?

I am proud to say that I never went on Accutane, the only known cure for acne but not without its side effects. I was too scared of the long term effect on my health, and after hearing from others who had taken the drug, I knew it wasn’t for me. My focus was on finding a way to fight my hormonal acne naturally. After years of researching on herbal remedies, I knew there were alternative options. I believed that once I resolved the cause of the imbalance, my skin problems will follow.

What has worked for me is basically a combination of maintaining a healthy diet, regular detox protocol, supplements, staying active and a simple skincare regimen.

Every morning, first thing I do after waking up is drink water with lemon and cucumber. Your body has been working all night long to clean and rid itself of waste, drinking this water helps to flush the waster out. I am a firm believer that our skin problems starts in the gut and a good detox or cleanse should be a precursor to any treatment. I also love a green smoothie in the morning for breakfast. A simple way to help your system detox itself.

My diet for female hormonal acne:

My goal is to eat a balanced diet rich in greens, live and nutritious foods. I spread out my meals 6 times a day and aim for 300-350 calories per meal.

My current supplement regimen for female hormonal acne: 

Updated regimen as of 11/2023 – I change up my regimen every several months to give my body a break from any one supplement. 

My updated routine:

Additional Herbs I take

So far I am loving this regimen and my skin is the healthiest it is has ever been. After years of trial and error, I believe I have found a combination that works for me. Everyone is different and it may take time to find a beauty and lifestyle regimen that works for you. Consistency and patience is also key, I know we live in a fast paced world and crave instant results, however it doesn’t often work that way. Natural methods take time. Your body needs time to correct the imbalances and return to a normal state.

My skincare regimen for female hormonal acne

The first thing I did was scan through all my beauty products for comedogenic and acnegenic ingredients. If you’ve got acne prone skin, you pretty much have to become an ingredient detective. Unfortunately we cannot rely on beauty companies to have the best interest of our skin.

Updated 11/2023

Over the years I’ve learned the simpler my skincare regimen the better for my skin. I’m happy to say that I rarely get breakouts anymore and now just working to address the aftermath of acne scars with only botanicals. Here’s my facial skincare routine

  1. To make sure I have gotten all the makeup off, I use the The Jelly Pre Cleansing Balm prior to washing my face. This gives my skin a deep cleanse. The science behind this is that oil attracts oil and pull dirt to the surface. I apply the balm all over my face, then activate with water before going in with my cleanser. I typically just use this at night or when I need to get makeup off.
  2. I cleanse in the morning with African Black Soap Liquid Cleanser, and Brightening Liquid Cleanser at night. I alternate between the two because in the morning I like to keep my skin products light and use actives at night when the skin and body is in deep repair and rejuvenate mode.
  3. Next I use the Pore Detox Toner, which is an alcohol free, very gentle witch hazel based toner. I like to keep in the fridge so that its nicely chilled and refreshing to use. The refrigeration is not necessary. I apply the toner to a cotton pad and swipe my face to remove any left over impurities and balance the skin.
  4. Then my favorite part, is the spray the Glow Water hydrating mist. This leaves my skin feeling super hydrated and with a nice glow.
  5. Next I immediately follow with the moisturizing step, it is important. In the AM, I use the CHIOMA Miracle Beauty Serum only. It is a light herbal infused oil, nutrient and vitamin packed, excellent as a natural moisturizer, non comedogenic acne prone friendly and extremely nourishing to the skin. Very light and absorbs beautifully into the skin. Don’t let the fact that it is oil based scare you. Contrary to popular belief, oily and acne prone skin need moisture as much as any other skin types. This stuff has been amazing to my skin and I’ve noticed it has healed my acne scars tremendously. I apply the oil immediately after using the mist to damp face and it leaves my face glowing. Interestingly since I started using the concentrate, I’ve noticed a huge reduction in how oily my skin gets throughout the day. At night, I apply the CHIOMA Facial Creme over the serum. I have very oily skin so in the morning, the Miracle Beauty Serum is enough for me but night time, there’s a lot of healing that happens with the skin so I like to use the face creme because it has shea butter, beta carotene and other emollients that help to heal, nourish and repair the skin. Note* All of these products are also available in the Good Skin Facial Kit for one low bundle price.

When you use harsh treatments that deprive your skin of its own natural oils or avoid moisturizing, you could actually be encouraging your skin to produce more oil.

Skin Care regimen summary

  • Morning:
    • Cleanse with African Black Soap Liquid Cleanser
    • Pore Detox Toner
    • Glow Water Hydration Mist
    • CHIOMA Miracle Beauty Serum
  • Night:
    • The Jelly Pre Cleansing Balm to get all the dirt and makeup off the skin
    • Cleanse with Brightening African Black Soap to cleanse, help fade acne scars, discoloration and brighten the skin.
    • Glow Water Hydration Mist
    • CHIOMA Miracle Beauty Serum
    • CHIOMA Face Creme
  • Weekly treatment:
    • First, I cleanse with my normal routine products.
    • Then I do a steam treatment to decongest the skin. Fill a bowl with hot water and add in the Poreless Facial Steam Herbs, then hold my face over it with a towel over my head.
    • Next I use the African Mud Detox treatment to deeply cleanse and exfoliate the skin.
    • Then I follow with toner, hydration mist and miracle beauty serum as I normally would.

For my body, since I do tend to get breakouts on my chest, back and inner thighs, I put effort into taking care of the skin on my body as well.

  • Cleanse with Brightening Body Soap and sometimes alternate with the Clarifying Body Soap if I am experiencing breakouts.
  • I also use a Hammam style loofah most at night to ensure that I exfoliate all the dead skin cells. Once a week, I’ll incorporate the Silky Smooth Body Coconut Sugar Body Scrub.
  • Shea butter is hands on the best natural moisturizer for the skin. After cleansing and exfoliating I use the Silky Skin Body Butter, for my acne prone skin I use either the Tea Tree or Lavender.
  • All the products are made with organic products, no artificial ingredients, no fragrances and no additives. This I believe is the best for healthy, radiant skin and body. I stay away from fragrances in skincare, if you want a smell good spray a perfume or light a candle.

Oftentimes when I complain about skin blemishes, I will get a comment that the issue is only cosmetic and there are worse problems in the world. I have to say I do agree to an extent, yes it is a cosmetic issue, however dealing with skin blemishes can be an emotionally crippling struggle that can affect our social lives.

If you are currently battling female hormonal acne, it is important to know that you are not alone. Acne is a very common ailment so most people can relate. Being candid about your experience with friends and family can be extremely healing. One of the biggest mistakes I made earlier on was keeping all my feelings inside and not expressing it to those who could have motivated and supported me. Having a strong support system is crucial to your emotional health.

Acne is also not the end of the world. How silly it is to let something like a skin blemish hold you back from living and enjoying your life. What I’ve realized is that at the end of the day no matter what your skin looks like, if you treat others with love and respect, the people that matter will come to appreciate and love you for who you are. So stop staring in the mirror or stressing and go enjoy your life. Not only does stress and worry worsen the situation but you only live once!

How about you? How has female hormonal acne affected your life?

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70 thoughts on “Female Hormonal Acne Almost Ruined My Life & How I Cure It Naturally

  1. Leslie B says:

    Thank you! I have the same battle and I am in my early 40s and still battling with hormonal acne and scarring, which make me feel ugly and uncomfortable to look people in the eye because of my skin. It is so annoying. So as I am aging, my skin has changed a little bit due to products I was able to use when I was younger, but dry out my skin at this age. So I am experimenting with African Black Soap, Simple and Cetaphil gentle cleansers and I love them! I use a green mask from Queen Helene (should be 1-2 times a week), and moisturizing lotion with SPF 15 or more. I also started to use a chemical peel at home, which worked, but I had a bad breakout and my face is scarred again. So I need to stop being lazy and follow a routine.Thanks again for sharing!!!!

    • Belle says:

      Hi Leslie, thank you for sharing your story 🙂 Glad you’re finding products that you love and work great with your skin. I have previously used African black soap, and though I found it a bit drying, it did work to clear up little pimples and whiteheads that I had. The Queen Helene green mask is a classic product, I have used it for years and it is simply excellent. I will caution you on the chemical peels, I’ve found that in the long run they can do more damage than good. Derma rollers are a great alternative. You can check out the article I did on dermarollers for acne scars here. Or better yet have them done professionally to reduce the chance of causing more damage to the skin. I would love to hear about your progress, please do come back and share your experiences with the products and routine. Have a great day!

    • Belle says:

      Hi Eliza, I did have hirsutism. Overtime I noticed lighter and less hair growth but overall it never fully went away. I have had many sessions of laser hair removal and that works great. I highly recommend it and plan on getting my entire body done at some point. What about you? Are you currently dealing with hirsutism?

  2. Lashon says:

    Love your blog….I’ve struggled with severe hirsuitism and it is very embarrassing. I’m trying to find ways to get rid of the hyperpigmentation due to shaving. It is really noticeable being an African-American woman.

  3. MrsRD says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I’m trying my best to keep my head up. I have PCOS, but it was a vague explanation from a horrible endocrinologist so I have scheduled another appointment with the top endo in my state! I am trying to avoid Accutane, but I’m scheduled to start in June!

  4. Tiqot says:

    Hi! Currently, I’m facing the same problem like you Can I have your email or any contact that I can reach you personally? I would like to share my problem related to this case with you since you went through it all before, if you don’t mind I’m Tiqot, from Malaysia ❤

  5. Lurry Jane says:

    Beauty comes from within! That is the solution i must say 🙂 I am skin conscious too that’s why all the things you have said especially watching out on the food that we eat is a thumbs up.. I also experience hormonal acne but I’ve learn to manage through reading book. You’re a great help for others, keep it up Belle.

    • Belle says:

      Hi Lurryjane, I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you so much for your comment, it really meant a lot to me. As cliche as it sounds, how you feel about yourself on the inside will radiate on the outside and how well you treat others is truly what makes you beautiful. I have to admit, it took me years to really understand this and I am still learning each day. I hope with this article I can help anyone who has suffered the emotional distress from severe acne to understand that no matter what your skin looks like, if you love and accept yourself, treat others with kindness and respect, your natural beauty will radiate above all the flaws and that’s what people will see.

  6. monica seles says:

    really great blog…loved it….i felt that as i am reading exactly my story……just simply i will follow u…..n thank u soooooo much….:-)

  7. Cassy says:

    I cant thank you enough.. What is your dosage like for all the supplements? I have the EXACT same symptoms as you AND have ovarian cysts.

  8. Sarah says:

    Hi. Your post is so similar to my own history, and I too changed my diet and have seen benefits.I am wondering how much vitex and Maca you take daily? Also, should I start eating soy? I have excess androgens and I’ve heard soy acts as an estrogen. Any advice is appreciated, I’m currently suffering from mild cystic acne on my upper cheeks. I hate it and feel like hiding most days.

    • Belle says:

      Hi Sarah, welcome! It’s always nice to connect with other women who can relate to my story. Good for you on making smarter dietary choices, it will definitely go a long way with your overall health and well being. For both, the dosing can vary. I was taking 400mg daily and for maca about 500-1000mg daily. With herbs it really depends on your body chemistry. I am an advocate of starting low to see what you can tolerate and slowly building the dosage up. Regarding soy, it is a highly phytoestrogenic herb and studies have shown that a diet rich in phytoestrogens can reduce androgen and testosterone levels. You can read some of the research HERE. If you decide to include soy in your diet, it is essential that you go for NON-GMO soy. This is crucial as GMO soy which is the more common type of soy flooding the market, is very bad for you. You should see your physician for advice on whether to include soy in your diet. To reduce androgen levels one very effective way is exercise. As cliche as this sounds, it works. I can speak from personal experience, when I don’t workout I can tell from physical symptoms, my acne flares up. Hope that helps, and what does your skin care regimen look like?

  9. Natasha says:

    Glad you finally figured out how to manage your skin! I’m still working on mine and figuring out how to deal with my hormonal imbalance. But just to your point on Accutane, it is not a cure! I took accutane and while it cleared up my severe cystic acne for a few months, the acne has returned. I still have side effects, and I do believe that it left me with a hormonal imbalance.

    • Belle says:

      Hi Natasha, thank you for sharing your experience with Accutane. I’ve heard many stories like yours, of the acne returning months or years after Accutane. Not to mention the crazy scary long term side effects that have been associated with this drug. It can take some time to figure out a regimen that works for you, just be patient. I’m a big believer that the acne fight is more internal than external.

  10. Emily says:

    This article really hit home for me. I don’t have a lot of self confidence so when I do get acne, I get VERY depressed. I don’t want to leave my house. I’m not sure if what I have is the acne you had but I get painful raised bumps on my face and when I wash my face, the top layer of skin comes off making it look even worse. I keep picking at it too trying to make it go away. Did you do anything for spot treating the acne you had? I know it’s crazy to obsess over a couple of zits but it really can effect your outlook. I will look in a mirror and just cry sometimes.

    • Belle says:

      Hi Emily, thank you for stopping by, trust me when I say it is way worse in our minds that others see us. Your skin does not define who you are and you should not let it. I know it’s easier said that done but you’ve got to tell yourself that and believe it. Have you seen a dermatologist to diagnose your skin condition? If not, it’s probably a good idea. You do bring up a good point. There are many skin conditions out there that resemble acne, so a proper diagnosis is a great first step. As far as my acne, it gradually cleared up after I completely overhauled health habits. I rarely breakout any more and when I do, I detox heavily, drink lots of water and do what I can to reduce stress. I don’t really use much topical products anymore and I believe that the acne fight is more internal than external. Acne is basically your body’s way of telling you that there is something out of whack internally. I’ll be doing an article on my regimen soon. To spot treat, you can try baking soda + honey + water mask followed by tea tree oil or lemon balm extract. Both have strong astringent properties.

  11. Virginia says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I have known for sometime that the ingredients is many products are simply not good for you, but now I feel like I have a prettygood starting point to find out what really is and isn’t good. My acne didn’t start until my mud twenties after I had my 3rd child. I’m not even sure it’s hormonal but I really hope I can make these changes because taking antibiotics isn’t good for your body either and it’s starting to cause other problems. So thank you again!!

  12. Virginia says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I have known for sometime that the ingredients in many products are simply not good for you, but now I feel like I have a pretty good starting point to find out what really is and isn’t good. My acne didn’t start until my mid twenties after I had my 3rd child. I’m not even sure it’s hormonal but I really hope I can make these changes because taking antibiotics isn’t good for your body either and it’s starting to cause other problems. So thank you again!!

    • Belle says:

      Hi Virginia, thank you! Glad you liked the article. Acne can be a frustrating thing to deal with no doubt. Keep us updated on your progress and what treatments worked for you.

  13. Tiffaney says:

    Hello there! Thank you for writing this post. I just purchased the three products above that you recommended. I’m praying they clear up all the acne I have on my chin. I have a question… I know a lot of people say they use the soap if they are African American. I am white and was wondering if the products above were still recommended?

    Thank you for your help!

    • Belle says:

      Hi Tiffaney you are welcome! The kojie sans soap is used primarily to fade dark spots from acne scars, so unless you have hyper pigmentation, you probably don’t need it and it might be too harsh for you depending on the sensitivity level of your skin. Darker skin is typically thicker and oilier than fairer skin so we need a deeper cleanse. A gentle yet effective soap that I’ve used and loved is the Dove fragrance free soap for sensitive skin, something you could try. I wasn’t always a soap gal myself, but after trying all the cleansers in the world from high end to low end and not seeing any results, a dermatologist suggested I try the Dove soap and it worked like a charm! Hope that helps and let me know if you have any additional questions 🙂

  14. Sarah says:

    Hi Belle,

    Great article! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. When I was in high school I had the clearest skin, but as soon as I began college at 18, I began breaking out regularly. At 21 now, my acne isn’t as persistent, but I realized that when I’m not on my period, I get cystic acne particularly on my forehead. Oddly enough, for the past 3 years, I’ve been exercising 2-3 times a week, getting plenty of sleep and being very conscious about what I eat. Sometimes it just feels like no matter what I do, it’s never going to go away. I do use clindoxyl (like benzoyl peroxide) but it doesn’t work as well on the bigger, deeper pimples. What’s worse, I’m also an actor, so going into an audition or a shoot with acne is very frustrating and dampening on my self-esteem. No matter how much makeup I put on, people are still going to see those bumps and grooves on my skin. Some days I literally don’t want to leave my house. While I do have hope that it will go away one day, right now, my hope is very meek.

    • Ann says:

      Thank you for such a helpful post! I have suffered from cystic acne for 10 years and tried everything under the sun (including a 3-day apple cleanse:) before succumbing to Accutane. It worked, but a couple years later the acne came back. After further trial and error, I finally found success taking Spironolactone. It worked beautifully until I had to stop taking it because my husband and I are trying to get pregnant and it is not safe to take during pregnancy. I’ve been off of it for 2 years now, and my cystic acne is back with a vengeance. I found mild success taking a combination of “pregnancy safe” RX pills and creams, but eventually they quit working also. I was on the pill nearly 14 years and have been off of that two years now as well. We have had no success getting pregnant and are now planning on a fertility procedure in February. This article gives me hope for my reproductive and skin issues. One question: is the Asana by Ladies Balance supplement safe to take before and during pregnancy? Thank you and Happy New Year!

  15. Shannon Meipoom says:

    Hi Belle!
    Thank you for your article! I think your solution for hormonal acne is the way I should go.

    Since I was 11 years old, I have had acne on my face and back. It did make me self conscious, and of course, I was constantly teased about it throughout middle and high school – which didn’t help matters. I continued to have acne throughout my adult life. I’ve gone for deep cleanse facials (I went once or twice a month for a year and a half prior to my wedding to ensure I had no acne!), went on birth control pills, used really harsh acne lotions with scary side effects from the dermatologist, and have had to recently get photo facials to reduce the dark pigmentation from acne scarring and sun damage. I’ve spent so much money on different cleansers, toners, exfoliators, and moisturizers which may have worked for a while, but the acne always came back.

    I am now 48 years old and pre-menopausal. I have noticed my acne getting worse over the past year and a half – deep acne that is very painful. It was usually located around my chin, and now has spread to the cheeks. I have tried so many different remedies, but for the past several months, I have been using OM SHE Aromatherapy Wash Away Cream Cleanser with Rosehip Oil (I believe this product is now discontinued unfortunately), steaming my face or using a hot wet washcloth to get the deep dirt and oils loosened, baking soda/organic honey/milk exfoliant (which seems to be helping with reducing the acne and making the skin pores smaller), turmeric (spice)/organic honey/milk dark spot remover and skin brightener (a traditional recipe for Indian brides), a moisturizer, and tea tree oil to spot treat the acne. I will now add the Dove beauty bar when my current supply of cleanser is gone, the toner, the Asana, and eating a cleaner diet to further rid me of my acne. My sister actually had recommended hot water and lemon before breakfast as a detox, but I never did try it, as I’m not too fond of lemons. I guess I just got to suck it up and drink it! 🙂

    Crossing my fingers that I will finally be acne free !

    • Belle says:

      Hi Shannon, thank you for stopping by and being a customer! I actually do a detox of lemon and cucumber first thing in the morning myself and cannot recommend it enough. Make sure the water is not too hot though 🙂 I will also suggest brushing first and using a straw to drink as lemon is quite acidic and can weaken tooth enamel. Please do stop by and let us know how things work out. I am sure a lot of readers could benefit from your experience. Thank you!

  16. Karlie says:

    Hi I was wondering how your skin reacted after stopping the birth control. I’ve been on it for a while and it seems like my skin got really bad for a while and now it’s getting clearer. But I’ve wanted to get off of it and start a more natural skin regime but I’m SO paranoid that my skin will get awful. I’ve heard from people that acne gets even worse after stopping it and I don’t even want to think about that happening after I finally am gaining some self confidence back..

    Thank you.

    • Belle says:

      Hi Karlie, I can understand your concerns. When I stopped the birth control pills, the acne did come back and it was worse because my system was so out of balance and trying to re-adjust from not being on the pills. Over time as I changed my eating habits amongst other lifestyle factors, it cleared up drastically. Glad those days are behind me. It’s not an easy decision I understand, but for me I realized I had to make a short term sacrifice for my long term health. Perhaps start now addressing unhealthy lifestyle habits before transitioning out of the pills, that is if you decide to help arm your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly and perhaps it might not be so bad. Hope that helps 🙂

  17. Lily says:

    Hey I loved the message that you put out this is very informational however, If you are eating a plant based diet how are you taking the “1000 mg of Omega 3 fish oil”. Just a little confused.

    • Belle says:

      Hi Lily, thank you for stopping by and great question. Plant based and vegan are two different things. A plant-based diet allows for modest amounts of fish and lean meat. I am not vegan and so yes I do eat animal products, mostly fish and other seafoods, in moderation. Most of my diet consists of fresh foods, green foods, fruits and whole grains. Here’s a quick authority description on what makes up a plant based diet. What I described is my current regimen, however I do switch things around every now and then and opt for plant based omegas sources like flaxseed and chia seeds to give my body a break from each. Hope that answers your question

  18. mbibeh sharon says:

    I am actually facing the same problem as u did,reading through your story made me feel normal BC I had started thinking that I was not normal. my acne makes me regret why I was bone in the first place,I stay indoors,hardly make friends in fact my life is miserable how I wish to find a cure to my acne. I think I will give your regiment a try I hope it works you have really been a source of encouragement to me

    • Belle says:

      Hi Mbibeh, thank you so much for your comment, it reminded me of why I made the decision to share my acne story. You are absolutely normal and your acne does not define who you are. You define who you are. But I totally understand where you are coming from, it can be a struggle. My advise to you is to focus your energy on working on the inside. Focus on building self confidence and inner love. Once you have that it will radiate beyond any zit, pimple or imperfections. Finding a treatment for acne is journey and requires patience, consistence and trial and error especially if going the natural route. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions.

  19. Nicole says:

    Hi I read your blog thank you for all the info you have shared. I too have gone thru trials and tribulations of cystic acne changed diet. Only drink water etc, but when my weekly comes I still at times have a flare up. I found one thing that seems to stop it in its tracks it is for staph infections. It’s called hibiclens it is used for also serious infections. I make sure my face is clean as can be and only apply on infected areas and area surrounding. For some reason it shuts immediately starts slowing the process down and in fact has saved me from getting cortisone shots. It is a liquid based product with a pink color I only apply it with a q-tip. And I am sure you could place makeup on top. It appears clear when you put it on and it actually feels good especially if the site is throbbing. I have woken up the next morning to almost a clear face it decreases the size drastically. You have to catch it fast though. Good luck. Your photo looks great and it appears you have a handle on things. I hate that fact that I am 49 and still have a blemish now and then it tortures me..

    • Mimi says:

      This article seriously helped me so much! I was having really bad hormonal breakouts all over my chin because I stopped my birth control and spirnolactane – all that those meds had cleared up came rushing back as if it was just hiding under the skin waiting to resurface. While I haven’t don’t the vitamins, I immediately went out and bought all of the face care products – both soap bars, the toner, argan oil for removing makeup, and then I added the Josie Maran whipped argan oil lotion for your face just for night use because it’s thick. My face is finally clearing and the overall health of my skin has greatly improved which offsets some of the minor blemishes/scars I still have. Thank you thank you for this article – finally feel like my clear skin is mine and not due to medications that can potentially cause birth defects. Thank you!

  20. Juliann H says:

    Thank you so so much for sharing your experience. I’m 17 and have dealt with terrible acne for years,and was recently diagnosed with hirutism and high levels of testosterone. I thought my only option was medications, your natural based cure gave me hope that I won’t be dependent on chemicals to be happy with how I look. I’ve already started going through my skincare and makeup looking for things making my skin worse.
    Thanks again

  21. dottie798 says:

    Have been using Citrus Clear for just over a week. I have hormonal cystic acne and I think there is a limit to what any topical treatment can do. That said, Citrus Clear’s Control Wash seems to stop my spots getting worse and it’s very gentle on the skin, unlike some prescribed treatments. I’m pleased with the results and will keep using this, as it is the only thing I have found that does treat my spots but doesn’t make my skin dry and itchy. I would recommend this to anyone with problem acne, and over any topical treatment a doctor would prescribe.

  22. Kamali says:

    Hi Belle! Thank you so much! This has been super helpful! I am 20 years old with the same issues and it has made me super insecure. I am a pescatarian, on the way to veganism, but I barely eat fish and I don’t eat any dairy. I have issues with my skin looking old and aged and was wondering if you had the same problem? Also, what moisturiser do you use underneath your makeup? I know coconut oil or other oils can be too heavy to apply before makeup. Please let me know and thanks a lot again you have been a major help!!

    • Belle says:

      Hi Kamali,

      I currently use Derma E evenly radiant serum as my daily morning moisturizer. It works well with my very oily skin and gives me a nice matte finish. I’ve experienced times of my skin looking dull and unpolished. This typically happens when I do not moisturize or exfoliate properly. Or when my diet has taken a turn for the worse. The skin is a reflection of what we put inside our body, so if you have skin that looks leathery and aged, the first thing to address is the diet, followed by skin regimen. If you have acne prone skin, I definitely do not recommend coconut oil for the face, it is too heavy and can quickly lead to clogged pores. It will also cause makeup to be slippery and uneven. A better alternative will be Argan or Jojoba oil.

  23. Steph says:

    Hi Belle,

    Thank you so much for telling your story amd to the other ladies who have too. I can relate to all of you. My situation is very similar having acne since 5th grade, oily skin, & using product after product. I had the rare (1-2 times a year) cystic pimple but still had other acne at least 1 constantly on my face. Started getting cuticle pimples on chin pretty bad last year while still taking BC (Ortho Tricyclen) at the age of 39. Did not get better for 3 months, & went on antibiotic & Yasmin. No more cysts after that and by 4 months skin looked great. But had continued hair loss feeling it was from the pill. So i topped yasmin 1 month ago& am regretting it. So frustrated about my skin, to the point of wanting to almost quit my job! Just went to the derm 3 days ago for injections & got prescribed spiro. I did a hormone panel about 1 month after stopping bc. Stated eating better, cut out dairy, gluten in prep for this hoping my skin would behave better. Results aren’t in yet, but then I stumbled across this site. How long after stopping bc should hormones be tested? How long did it take for you to see results?


  24. Renee Garrett says:

    Hi Belle, I’m 38 year old female. I have always had perfect skin. Until I was prescribed an ointment for my skin! Come to findout it was steroidal cream!! Used on my face for months!! Now I have steroid acne Around my jaw line.. Do you know anything about steroid acne? Is this something that has to work it way out of my system? Thank you! Renee

  25. Jenna says:

    What an excellent read, thanks so much! I was wondering if you’ve tried Evening Primrose Oil or if you have any thoughts about it. I’m 32 and didn’t develop cystic acne until I was 18. I was hopeful as I got older it would go away, but it’s pretty much the same unless I take antibiotics. Dr put me on spironolactone but I stopped taking it after 6 weeks because I got freaked out over the side effects! I started taking EPO, 2600mg daily, hope it helps. Plus fish oil. I’m definitely going to look into the other supplements you mentioned. Thanks!

  26. Caitlin says:

    I absolutely loved this article. I am going through some of the exact same things, except that my body does not produce Estrogen (scary, considering I haven’t tried to have kids yet). The hormonal acne is out of control. I’ve tried everything. I literally felt like I was you while reading how you explained all the different approaches you’ve taken. I just want to say that it feels good to know that I’m not alone in this because some days, I couldn’t real more alone. Thank you for sharing such an amazing story. I hope that I can also fix my current situation naturally as well. I am ordering the colonix detox!

  27. K says:

    I am suffering from PCOS and i do find it great having a support system behind. My trick was to trust my gut when something wasn’t right. It took my doctors about 2 years to diagnose me whereas suspected i had something wrong with but couldn’t pinpoint it. As to my skin, it’s fair with dark, acne oily and blemishes galore. Since then, with my skin i have noticed sight positive changes when i use more basic natural stuff.
    One case of me using commercial acne products resulted in me having very bad cosmetic burns, so since then i have stayed well clear of any of those products and my skin is happier. My main problem with treating my skin is that i am allergic to a lot of the products such mint, spearmint, peppermint, jojoba, green tea that tend to advertise to help my skin.
    So for the time being i use a moisturiser that i can understand all the stuff in it and a SPF of 50 for my face and body which i apply regularly.

  28. Anna says:

    I am 20 years old and have had moderate acne with some cysts since Jr. High. I’ve seriously done everything, cream, dermatology meds, etc. I am a nutrition major and a personal trainer so I love holistic approaches… I’m fairly confident my acne is hormonal (based on the location: mouth, chin, cheeks) and I don’t want to go on birth control because of its side effects.

    I eat super clean… No refined sugars, gluten, or dairy products (minus Greek yogurt), workout 4-5 times a week, use soothing acne face products from Lush, and I’ve even tried vegan laundry detergent but my acne is still raging. Do you think Asana or other herbal/supplement blend would really help?

  29. Beth says:

    Im so excited to have found this information. I’m 39 and have been battling acne on my chin since my mid 20s. I’ve tried many products and medicines which tend to work for a short time then they don’t and I’m back to square one. I just ordered a witch hazel toner and the two derma e products you mentioned. Im anxious to get started in using them.
    My question is what makeup brand is safe to use? I thought I was using a good tinted moisturizer but found one of the ingredients listed that I should not be using. Thank you for sharing!

  30. Nokwanda says:

    mmmh inspirering indeed Bella…how can a person in Swaziland get ASANA?? please help and other thing I’ve been detoxing and eating health for 4 days today but my skin seems to be getting worse when detoxing what should I do ?

  31. KLane says:

    Hi Belle,
    I can’t thank you enough for this article. I thought I was the only one that cystic acne has ruined thier life. I’m 47, going on 48 and have very fair skin. I very rarely leave the house because of it. Because of the isolation I’ve become very depressed and overweight. I have tried just about anything you can think of. I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds on ointments, creams, cover-ups and nothing helps. Since running across this article on Pinterest I was in tears, because finally someone gets it. It’s been a few days and I’ve cut out sugars and bad carbs. I did the turmeric, honey and yogurt mask and I feel better already. People don’t understand my self-conciuosness. It’s debilitating!!! I have hope now. I have over 12,000 pins and this is the one and only that gave me hope. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  32. Kristie says:

    I just wanted to say that you should not say you are on a plant based diet, a plant based diet is a vegan diet. You are going to confuse some people.

  33. britney m says:

    Dermatologists consider topical retinoids (medications that contain vitamin A derivatives) the recommended therapy for hormonal acne. Dr. Steinman told me to use topical retinoids (like Citrus Clear products) as the preferred therapy for overall long-term prevention of new acne.

  34. Amy says:

    Hi Belle! I am currently dealing with adult acne for the first time and I started getting cystic breakouts about a year ago and I’m now 30 years old. I am curious as to what cosmetics you use as part of your routine? I am looking for a good foundation and face powder to help cover up some acne scars if you could recommend some?

    • Belle says:

      Hi Amy, I have actually stopped wearing foundation on a daily basis and I highly recommend that women with oily, acne prone skin cut down on makeup use. It took some major getting used to but my skin is drastically healthier now. My acne scars are in the form of small dents from the trauma of cystic acne and it would take a ton of makeup to hide them. So I have just come to accept them as part of my beauty. First thing I suggest is to get your adult acne under control so that it doesn’t lead to more scars and makeup many times actually worsen the situation. Unfortunately most cosmetic products out there are too irritating for our skin type regardless of what their label claims. If your acne scars are dark spots or hyper pigmentation, focus on clearing them up with a good skin lightening treatment so that you’re not a prisoner of makeup. When I do wear color cosmetics my go to brand is MAC cosmetics. While I am not a fan of their ingredients, it’s the only brand that I’ve come across which offers colors matching my skin and products that do not break me out. And I’ve tried a lot of products. What I suggest is look for a good natural translucent powder for daily use and save makeup for night outs and special events. I’m going to get back to blogging soon and will be covering a lot of skincare topics on scarring and makeup so stick around. Hope that helps 🙂

  35. Judy says:

    Such an inspiring article and site – thanks so much for sharing your experiences and advice, so nice to finally find an honest and helpful read!

  36. Samantha Fox says:

    I know this was posted quite a while ago, but I just came across this and loved it! Question– if I have oily skin, will putting the oil on my face make me break out? I understand that I need to moisturize and all, but I am deathly afraid of putting oil on my face. Is it safe to use oil to wash the makeup off of my facell?

    • Belle says:

      Hi Samantha, I can certainly understand your concern with oils. I had the same fear of oils for years.It’s not oil that’s a problem but the type of oil. In fact certain oils can be highly beneficial for oily skin as they may help to suppress excessive sebum production. When used prior to cleansing the face, oils can help to draw out the impurities and sebum from the skin for a deeper cleanse. The science is that oil attracts oil. Click HERE to read my picks of oils that are best for acne prone skin.

  37. igho says:

    dear Belle,u just written my heart,having be strugging with acne for over 30years,am only free when i just put to birth after dthat, is acne all day long, i feel so ashamed of my face, that i hardly go out, am glad i got into this page

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