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Anticipation... Cystic Hormonal Acne

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I need advice...

I am 22. I started to taking Yasmin for mild acne when I was 16 - the results were amazing. Within weeks my acne completely cleared.

Since, I have been on and off the pill for various reasons (mostly because I became lazy and forgot to fill a new script when I ran out).

Consequently, I had acne on and off as my body adjusted to coming on and off the pill. About year ago I developed severe acne again after about 3 months after coming off the pill - this time it was terrible cystic acne that was aggravated by everything and that nothing seemed to help - so I went back on the pill.

However this time I think I really had played with hormones too much and the pill didn't seem to help at all. So I started taking Doxycycline. This helped for a short time but I started to develop a finer more teenage-like acne on my forehead. I switched pills and started taking Brenda/Diane - after 3 months my skin was clear again.

Now - after 9 months, I have decided to come off the pill again as I am tired of being dependant on the pill to regulate my hormones - I want to give my body a chance to regulate itself and start from scratch without any antibiotics or synthetic hormones... I have made this decision knowing full well my acne will return...

I came off the pill almost a month again and have been taking a list of herbs; Castus Agnus (Vitex), Milk Thistle and Burdock Root capsules to purify my blood and cleanse my liver. I am willing to attempt any alternative remedies to halt the return of my acne.

Despite my efforts, I can already feel the change in my skin; my skin feels more oily than ever and I am already beginning to break out.

Has anyone else had any experiences like this? What else should I try?

I have been looking into getting Acupuncture to treat hormone imbalances as well as microdermabrasion.

Please let me know what natural remedies have worked for your cystic hormonal acne.

Thank you!!!

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I know the feeling I too have had acne on and off depending on whether I'm taking the pill or not. I'm currently on dianette or diane 35 and have been for a year and it is keeping my skin clear. I think you either decide that you need the pill the keep your skin clear or if you want to come off and go natural, like you have done. After about three months is when my skin usually flares up when I'm off the pill, and I think the only thing you can do it ride it out until your hormones settle if you are against going back on the pill.

The most important thing during this time is get a good skin care regimen in place as the pill will no longer be regulating your hormones and oil production so you need to make sure your skin is equip for dealing with the extra oil and it's ability to clog your pores and cause acne. I also use differin gel and alternate a gentle aha cleanser into my routine along with a salicylic acid serum for my skin during the day and a good oil free moisturiser, so I am hoping if I ever do come off the pill that my skincare will help me through the worst of it. I think you should look at incorporating a salicylic acid/retinoid or benzoyl peroxide topical treatment into your routine (which ever suits you best, each have their pros and cons) and use a gentle cleanser and moisturiser, no harsh soap cleansers and these will just aggravate and dry your skin. The topical treatment will also be a bit drying so a gentle skincare routine should be used alongside it.

Take your time and do you research online, I use makeupalley for reviews of products and also the boards here to make my own mind up. The supplements can also interrupts your system and hormones as well, angus cactus, saw palmetto will all do a similar thing to the pill all be it with much less effect so if you want to go natural I would maybe focus on vitamins like vitamin C and a good multi B vitamin, I use a vitamin range called Altrient they have a unique delivery system for getting all of the vitamins into your system and so far I really like them, they are a bit pricey though and again it's your decision. On a final note I would say drink plenty of water, exercise and reduce your sugar intake as it can spike your insulin levels and lead to increased oil production, some people also cut out dairy, I really just cut out milk and cheese, I prefer soy milk anyway.

I hope this all helps, I don't mean to preach, my way might not work for other people just trying to make a note of everything that has helped me, I know how hard it can be, but a lot of women go through it, it's more common than we think. Also give things time to work, I am so impatient sometimes, but I find setting a three months period for using products can help let them take effect so you don't quit too early before you see results.

Hope some of this helps


Current Routine


Cleanse: Merumaya cleansing balm, removed with damp hands and a cotton wipe. Followed by la Roche Posse La Toleraine cleaner followed again by rinsing with damp hands, patting my face and a cotton wipe
Tone: Pixi glow tonic, simply apply some to the palm of my hands and pat on my face

Moisturise: Aveene rich, or light moisturising lotion (oil free) spf 20

Topicals: Vitage protect and perfect serum, after I moisturise now that it's coming into fall and winter


Same as morning but occasionally will thrown in a priori aha cleanser and use Differin after I moisturise a few nights a week

Bliss aha mask once a week/every two weeks followed by Nuxe crème fraiche moisturising mask

Oral medication: Cilest BCP

Supplements: No current supplements

Current make up: Various foundations depending on my mood, Estee lauder double wear light, Vichy Dermablend, Charlotte Tilbury and Skin 79 BB cream, NARS creamy concealer or Naked concealer, Dollish CC cream for days when I don't want to wear foundation and Jane Iredale mineral powder to finish. For some colour I use tea to tan By Terry, it's water base tint to give me some colour and various cream and powder blushes (love my blushes) currently loving Orgasm by Nars for a pop of colour on my cheeks and Vita Liberata mineral tan is amazing for the summer

Tools: Sigma F80 Kabuki for foundation or Real Techniques beauty blender and pretty much every other real techniques bruses for the rest of my make up

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I never tried spiro but I hear that helps many women

I was on accutane, just didn't work for me, sadly I"m in the 1%

for me diet changes helped, no gluten for dairy...hard changes for sure but for me they made all the difference

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I've posted about this before and I feel like if you truly have hormonal cystic acne homeopathy can help.

It's pretty harmless and easy to find, so look into it and stick to it for a week and see if makes a difference

A few things I was prescribed and alternated daily with:

Arsenicum Iodatum

hepar sulphuris

Calcarea phosphoricum

That and glycolic acid (like the proactive toner) and I'm almost scar free now!

Hope that helps

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If you have a true hormonal imbalance you may want to get tested and see if that's a real issue, but if not, I had hormonal acne too and managed to clear it up all with topical treatments. I've said this before on the forum, but I found this dr Doctor Neal Schwartz at and his products really, really work!

Good luck! I know this is super frustrating. Been there and done that... But thankfully now for the first time ever acne is more of a thing of the past.

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