How I cured my cystic hormonal acne naturally in less than 30 days
Disclaimer: You should always consult with a physician before taking any sort of supplement. This post contains links which I may receive a small portion of the sale if you purchase them.
I had fairly decent skin growing up. I would get the occasional pimple as a teenager but I never endured massive breakouts or painful acne. When I was around 23 suddenly my skin went to total shit. I was breaking out in small bumps that never turned into white heads and then getting massive painful cystic pimples along my chin, jaw and neck. I had no zero idea what kind of breakouts these were. It was painful not only on my self esteem (no one likes having acne) but it physically hurt to smile, laugh and sometimes even chew because of the location of my breakouts.
At this time I was living in Los Angeles. My work was located in Beverly Hills, right by all the top dermatologists on the west coast. I went and saw all the “best” ones. They prescribed me various topical products and tried to get me to go on Accutane (which I denied because of my family’s history of mental illness, I think now they cannot prescribe this if mental illness runs in your family). The only thing these dermatologists had helped me with was a name for my acne. Cystic acne. After various topical products failed I had basically given up hope and wondered if this was just my skin for the rest of my life.
One weekend I was back home in Las Vegas visiting my dad. He had an appointment at our family doctor so I tagged along so we could have lunch after. Our doctor has known me since I was about 5 or 6. He kept looking over at me and finally said “What is going on with your skin?” I told him I had cystic acne and I went to all the top dermatologists in Beverly Hills and told him all the topical products they had me try.
“Did they test your blood for your hormone levels?”
He asked if I would be up to getting my blood drawn so he could test my hormone levels. As much as I hate getting my blood drawn (yes I’m one of those people) I eagerly said yes. I extended my stay and a few days later after another appointment with him I found out my hormones were out of whack. He prescribed me two medications, minocycline and spironolactone. I was prescribed 50mg each once a day for the next 60 days then he wanted to check in to see how my skin was doing and if I was experiencing any side effects. After 60 days I noticed an amazingly dramatic decrease in my acne and had not experienced any side effects so we continued on this dosage and by 90 days my skin was completely back to normal.
I want to note at this time I was also on a low-estrogen birth control and had been for many years.
The last 4 months
When I became pregnant with my son I had to go off my medication completely. I had been off my birth control for over 4 years at this point but was still actively taking minocycline and spironolactone. I knew there was a strong chance my cystic acne would come back again and it was definitely something I feared. In my first trimester I noticed some breakouts on my upper back but my face and neck and had not shown any signs. Then the last two trimesters my skin was the best it had ever been. I had zero breakouts. I asked my doctor if this was from the increase in hormones and he said yes, estrogen was something I was low in so now that my body was making more of it my levels were probably balanced. We opted out of a blood test since I wasn’t on my medication at the time and discussed going back on it once I was done breastfeeding.
After my son was born I started to switch out my skin care into organic skin care. I was smushing my face against his so much and still breastfeeding so I thought more about what I put in and on my body. I ended up ending breastfeeding before I had planned so I could go back on my medication for my mental illness and I decided I might as well go back on my medication for my acne before it reared its ugly head. This was around October 2017. Fast forward to January 2018 and I decided to get bangs. Around early April I noticed my forehead started breaking out and I attributed it to the sweat and dirt getting on my skin from my bangs now that the weather had started warming up so I decided to grow them out and figured that would be the end of that.
Fast forward to June and my forehead was still not getting better. I had spent over a month purging out my skin care routine and was still eating a healthy diet (I eat mostly plant based and I am lactose intolerant so dairy is vary sparse in my diet) I know it is common for your skin to take 30 days to adapt to a new skin care routine and my skin had not taken to any of the new products I was trying so I said “F*CK IT” and decided I might as well go off my medication and search for something new.
I was in skin hell and I was committed to finding a way out and a way that didn’t involve prescription drugs or skin care products that weren’t focused on organic and/or natural based ingredients.
The best way I could think of breaking this hellish journey down was to go month by month of what I tried, my skin care routine and where and how I was breaking out.
June - July: I was still on my medication but had started trying new skin care products and makeup. I got into probiotics for your skin when I dug deeper into the fact that babies don’t need baths every day because their skin is full of good probiotics so their skin is like a self cleaning machine. I found out that we often strip our skin with chemical filled skin products killing the good probiotics which can cause us to break out, over produce oil and also have various skin problems like dry skin. At this time I was still mostly experiencing massive forehead breakouts but noticed some small bumps again on chin. Every morning and night I used this face wash and facial mist duo. I also used their body wash which completely cured the dry skin on my body. I used to have the most dry itchy legs and this ended that battle. The face wash I believe was not the best combo for my skin. It contained coconut oil and I have never had a great reaction to coconut oil on my face. I am not sure if it’s because my skin is so oily naturally but I didn’t noticed anything positive. In fact I noted it created more white heads on my face (chin area mostly) than I have ever had. I know it takes 30 days to balance out with new skin care and I gave it about 45 days before I quit using the face wash and facial spray. At this time I did not use ANY moisturizer since the brand recommends you don’t and instead you hydrate your skin with the facial mist. I used the same eye creams I use now, I used the same shampoo and conditioner I use now. I was using Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation (I was searching for a cruelty free brand) and I think that was garbage for my skin. I am pro-cruelty free but cruelty-free does not equal good ingredients. I don’t wear face make every day (probably more like 2-3 times a week) so I don’t know how much that impacted it but it was definitely not great for my skin type.
July - August: I had gone off my medication and experienced cystic acne along my hair line, chin and jaw. My forehead still had small bumps that never became whiteheads and I was getting some small whitehead breakouts on my upper cheeks by my cheek bones. My bangs had grown out by now too. I stoped washing my face during this month. I would use this witch hazel with rose petal and aloe with a cotton ball every night as toner to remove dirt. If I had worn face makeup that day I would use diluted ACV before the witch hazel. In the morning I would splash my face with water and tone it with the witch hazel. I used the same eye creams I use now, I used the same shampoo and conditioner I use now. I tried THRIVE CC Blur cream and found it to be much too oily for my skin. It felt similar to mineral oil which is a bummer because I really love their lipsticks and the brands mission but this CC cream was no bueno for me.
Mid August - Now (end of September): Still off my medication I began taking a new omega 3, an estrogen supporter and an additional skin supplement. I spoke to two naturalists about the omega 3 I was taking and the estrogen supporter. I consulted with my doctor about the other supplement and they had neutral feelings on it. So since none of them could find any major cause for concern I went for it. I started using a new organic skin care line and reincorporated a skin care line I loved in the past with a new product from them. I got a hydrafacial at the time which I had not had in over 5 months and will continue to get one every few months. This is my favorite type of facial since it is gentle on the skin and doesn’t leave you red plus you get an automatic glow. If you have never had one look into it! It’s also one of the few facials you can get while pregnant. I switched back to the makeup I used years ago and feel really stupid I ever stopped since it works so well for my skin. I have noticed a reduction in oil, no cystic flare ups and smoothness in overall skin texture. I use the same eye creams I have for months, I use the same shampoo and conditioner I have for months. I still eat a mostly plant based diet and I have taken a probiotic supplement for years.
Products I am still using and love:
Morning routine- I use My Mothers Dirt face wash in the morning. After I use Modicum Birch Tree Water Spray immediately after I get out of the shower. I use it all over my face and double spray on my forehead. I use this eye cream by Wild Carrot. I only use a little since it’s very hydrating. I use a small amount of the Eminence probiotic moisturizer. I love how non-greasy and light it is. It is extremely important you only purchase Eminence product from a spa. DO NOT buy from Overstock or any resell website. They provide a feature on their website where you can locate the nearest spa near you that sells them.
Night routine- I use Modicum Face cleanser, followed by my go-to witch hazel toner. Then I use a couple drops of the Modicum serum all over my face and neck. Despite my skin being oily I have found a serum is actually very complementary to oily skin. It doesn’t leave a greasy feeling like a moisturizer can and absorbs into the skin nicely. Then I use this eye cream by MyChelle, which I would not recommend to use during the day since it is pretty thick and does not absorb quickly, but I love the brightening effect when I wake up in the morning.
As needed- I use this Eminence exfoliating scrub once a week with a strong focus on my forehead. I let it sit there for a few minutes to let the salicylic acid do its magic. I use this Eminence hot masque twice a month. I don’t find the hot feeling painful but they also make it in a non-hot formula.
Face makeup- I switched back to Bare Minerals. I had used the BB cream for a while but went even further back to when I used their mineral foundation face powder. I use the face powder and concealer (for some dark spots) both in Golden Medium. I love this color. It’s really hard for me to find a shade that isn’t too pink or too orange for my olive skin.
Supplements- I Take my Omega 3 once a day, usually with breakfast. This Omega 3 is vegan so you don’t get the fishy burps. I take my DIM usually before bed. I only take one but I have read in the comments some people take two. For Skinphoria I take two per day as recommended. I take one at lunch and one at dinner aka with a meal and a full glass of water. I did experience the “flush” they mention in the comments when I took it before bed without food or a full glass of water. It wasn’t terrible. It feels like a warming sensation and I noticed my skin looked sunburnt for about 30 mins then it went away. Definitely read up on this supplement in the comments.
Eminence- Organic, Sustainable, BPA free packaging, cruelty-free, made without Parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol
My Mothers Dirt- Plant-derived, preservative-free, un-fragranced, allergy-tested, non-irritating, hypoallergenic, clinically-tested & dermatologist-reviewed, not tested on animals
Wild Carrot- small business owned, cruelty-free, glass packaging, non-GMO
Thayers- cruelty-free, gluten-free
Bare Minerals- Cruelty-free, child-free labor
Modicum- Organic, vegan, cruelty-free
MyChelle- Vegan; made without GMO, Gluten, Parabens, Petroleum, Phthalates, Silicones, Sulfates, Ureas, Artificial Fragrances, and Artificial Colors. Cruelty-free
Omega 3- Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten free
DIM- Soy-Free, Magnesium Stearate-Free, Dairy-Free, I3C-Free, GMO-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. Micro-Encapsulated and made with Veggie Capsules. Produced in a FDA-GMP facility in the USA.
Skinphoria- Vegan, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Made in the US
In the end I believe my skin problems were a mix of hormonal acne and over production of oil. The products I have been using seem to be the right balance for my skin type and hormonal issues. Since none of the supplements are prescription drugs and the topical products are mostly organic, natural and/or minerals based ingredients I consider my solutions as natural solutions.
I strongly suggest if you are experiencing cystic acne to see your doctor and ask for your hormone levels to be checked. This is also important if you’ve recently gone off birth control and noticed breakouts. I do believe diet is extremely important as well so you may be eating too much dairy and lacking in healthy probiotics for your gut. It is important to read the disclosures on the supplements I listed and review with your doctor, especially if you are on any other medication.