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How I Healed My Hormonal Acne

Acne- no one wants it. Especially once you hit your adult years. Didn’t I do my time in middle and high school? Why do I STILL have acne?? Most of us can probably blame those annoying hormones we have coursing through our bodies (pretty sure my hormones are on a crazy roller coaster ride). Today I am going to share with you how I healed my hormonal acne, but I will preface this with the fact that everyone’s skin is so different. What worked for me may not work for you. BUT if I an help just one person with their acne, then this blog post will have been worth it!

How I healed my hormonal acne (2)

How I Healed My Hormonal Acne

My acne was actually pretty good through my early and mid twenties. But, when I got an IUD put in for birth control at 28, my hormones went insane and I started breaking out MAJOR. Like the big, ugly cystic pimples that hurt. ALL ALONG MY CHIN AND JAW. I hated it. Especially as a high school teacher- it made me feel like my students haha. It was so embarrassing. So I did what all girls do, and complained to my friends.

One of my cute friends, Kate, recommended the Differin line of products (FYI- this post is NOT sponsored!). In the past, Differin could only be purchased with a prescription from your doctor. However, a couple of years ago, it was released as an over the counter product (YAY!).

There’s a big difference in one little ingredient in Differin Gel that sets it apart from other acne lines: Adapalene, which is the first retinoid acne ingredient available over the counter without a prescription. Topical retinoids play an important role in the treatment of acne. Retinoids, like adapalene, regulate skin cell turnover to keep pores from clogging and to control inflammation. You may have heard that retinol is great for skin. Here I should clarify that retinol and retinoids (like adapalene) aren’t exactly the same thing. Here is an infographic from Differin’s website describing the difference between retinol and adapalene:

How I healed my hormonal acne

So, Differin gel is more targeted to actually treat and heal your acne. I wish that I had taken before and after photos, but I had no idea how much this would help my skin when I first started! Here is a before and after photo from Differin’s website:

How I Healed My Hormonal Acne

Differin Line

How I Healed my Hormonal Acne Differin Gel

I started using the Differin line of products, which includes a gentle cleanser, the Differin gel, and a moisturizer. At first, I only used the gel once a day (it is very drying as your skin adjusts), and then after a week or so, started the gel twice a day. This product works best over weeks of continued use, but I will say that I did notice that the acne that I had already formed was healing a lot faster than before. Differin gel seemed to dry the zits out so they could heal more quickly. After a few weeks, I wasn’t even forming the big, deep cystic pimples any more. Now I only use the gel every day or even every other day to maintain my acne. It has seriously been a life saver!

Micellar Water How I Healed My Hormonal Acne Micellar Water

I want to also mention another product I started using at the same time. My sister-in-law, Abby, told me to try micellar water to clean my face even after I had washed it. At first I was skeptical, because I thought my face wash was enough to get my face clean. But HOLY COW, guys. It was shocking how much dirt an makeup I was getting up on my cotton pad with the micellar water. Because this was actually getting my skin all the way clean, I really think the micellar water helped with my acne. And, the nice thing is that the micellar water is pretty cheap (I bought the Garnier brand) and the bottle has lasted forever- I still have my original bottle and it’s been almost two years since I bought it!

My Routine

Step 1: Wash face with Differin Cleanser

Step 2: Use Micellar Water on a cotton pad/ball and go over face to remove any lingering dirt/make up.

Step 3: Apply a light layer of the Differin Gel all over face, being careful to avoid the eye area.

Step 4: Apply a small amount of Differin Moisturizer (a little goes a loooooong way with this stuff!)

*Side note: The gel will be drying to your skin at first. I even got some sensitivity and my skin would sting around my eyes. To avoid this, start off not using the gel twice a day. Use it only once a day at first, or maybe even every other day, until your skin can tolerate it better. Also avoid the sensitive skin around your eyes!

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UPDATE August, 2020:

I still am using Differin gel daily and have such clear skin- I swear by this product for how I healed my hormonal acne!! I think it is a miracle cream! I have stopped using the Differin face wash and moisturizer. Instead I have been using Biore face wash and Cetaphil moisturizer with sunscreen. They work great, and I feel like the Cetaphil moisturizer is less greasy feeling on my skin.

If any of you have questions- please feel free to comment below or email me! I’m here to help!

If you liked this post, check out my post on self tanning!

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— Keara Lei

Modest Fashion Blogger Utah

How I healed my hormonal acne (2)


  • Vlad
    April 7, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    It’s important to note: never apply Differin immediately after washing face. You MUST wait at least 20 minutes. Besides that, patience is the key. In the first month your skin will, probably, become very sensitive, but after that, you’ll start to see improvements.

    Your acne did not appear overnight and will not disappear overnight. If you stick with this, it WILL work.
    Vlad recently posted…Best Acne Treatment For 12 Year OldMy Profile

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