It’s that time of the month, and I can already feel my skin breaking out with cystic acne and under-the-skin bumps. Whenever I get my period, my skin breaks out with hormonal acne (as if my sensitive skin’s not enough already!). The good thing is that I have a specific routine that keeps my skin under control. Here’s my go-to routine that you can try to help combat hormonal acne for sensitive skin!
Since I have sensitive skin, I like to minimize harsh acne treatments in my daily routine. Instead, the secret to keeping my skin smooth is to use a clarifying cleanser a few times a week! A cleanser containing AHAs and BHAs can help provide gentle exfoliation while minimizing potential irritation. And because the percentage of active ingredients is typically low in cleansers, you can use them more often if your skin tolerates them! If I want a more thorough cleanse, I like to keep the cleanser on my face for about thirty seconds before washing it off.
Calming Toner Or Essence
While active ingredients are great for tackling acne-causing bacteria and resurfacing the skin, it’s also important to keep your skin hydrated. My go to step for incorporating hydration is layering toners or essences so that the product can penetrate deeper into my skin. Because of my sensitive skin, I notice that percentages for soothing ingredients also matter! For me, using a product containing panthenol or probiotics as high as ten percent tends to cause irritation! Instead, I prefer watery or milky toners and essences with an effective yet low percentage of hydrating ingredients to keep my skin hydrated and plump!
Retinol Twice A Week
Since I don’t use any serums or potent acne-fighting treatments, I turn to using a retinol product at least twice a week. Typically, I apply my Retinol right before my moisturizer. This ingredient is great for targeting acne, and it also keeps my skin exfoliated, and smooth! Even my hyperpigmentation starts showing signs of fading. Since I have sensitive skin, I try to ensure that the Retinol I use is at or under 1%. If you have super sensitive skin, you can apply your Retinol after your moisturizer step (or mix it in with your moisturizer)!
To help keep my skin barrier healthy, I love using thick and creamy moisturizers. Since I use an exfoliating cleanser and Retinol a few times throughout the week, I want to make sure that my moisturizer step doesn’t contain any actives. I have super sensitive and dry skin so I find myself leaning towards heavy and emollient-rich moisturizers. But, if you have more oily skin, I recommend using a lightweight gel-type moisturizer! One tip for an extra boost of hydration is layering your moisturizer in thin and multiple layers like a sleeping mask. That way, you wake up with deeply hydrated and plump skin!
SPF For Protection
The last step of your morning skincare routine should always be SPF! By ensuring regular SPF application, you can protect your skin from the sun and potentially skin-sensitizing active ingredients like retinol. You can also help prevent acne and breakouts from getting worse. These days, there are so many sunscreens out there in an array of textures, packaging, and methods! You can now find sun sticks, sunscreen mists, and SPF powders – to name a few. I enjoy traditional sunscreens in cream texture because they typically give an extra layer of moisture and set a good foundation. For reapplying SPF throughout the day, I’m more flexible and like to use sun sticks or cushions.
Depending on the size of my breakout, I like to use special treatments throughout the week. My favorite way of treating my acne is to use a wash-off face mask a few times a week to tighten and clarify my pores. This way, I can control my oil production and ensure that I don’t damage my skin barrier. Another thing that I use all the time is pimple patches to speed up healing, especially when my pimples are either ripe or open.
For more information on creating a skincare routine for hormonal acne prone skin types, check out our fun video:
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