How To Manage Hormonal Acne Without Prescription Medication

If you’re battling hormonal acne or you’re not too sure of the kind of acne you may be experiencing, always speak with a dermatologist to be certain. This post is my most recent episode of a series of skincare content I’ve shared since my first hormonal breakout. In this latest chapter I have been learning to manage hormonal acne without prescription medication.

It’s been almost 2 years since my first hormonal breakout and after  being prescribed two rounds of doxycycline antibiotics and prescription gels and creams, I must unfortunately report that the creams no longer work for my skin.

Panoxyl Acne Foaming Wash
Acne cleanser

Fortunately though, before I had visited my dermatologist I did some research  and  found a few products with the same active ingredients as the prescribed topicals that worked well for me. One such product is from the brand Panoxyl, their foaming cleanser in particular. This benzoyl peroxide powered cleanser kills acne causing bacteria on the skin, stopping acne pimples from forming. 

Benzoyl peroxide is a popular ingredient in acne skincare because of its antibacterial properties. It’s also incredibly effective. You can use benzoyl peroxide in leave-on creams or gels or you can opt for a cleanser. As a beginner, I’d recommend a gentle formulation cleanser of about 5% benzoyl peroxide. Panoxyl has a 5% formula as well as Cerave.

I use the Panoxyl foaming cleanser 10% formulation. I use it in the AM and PM, followed by a routine of hydrating, soothing products.

Things to note about Panoxyl/ benzoyl peroxide:

  • Its fast acting
  • Its drying 
  • It can bleach hair and fabric 
  • It can be used for body acne

Related: My Favourite Acne Skincare Products of 2021

Niacinamide Brightening Toner
Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner

After cleansing the skin with such a high percentage of benzoyl peroxide your skin will be dehydrated, you’ll need to add moisture back to the skin. The best way I’ve found to do that is to use a toner with skin nourishing ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and licorice root. Good molecules niacinamide brightening toner option for that. It’s great at moisturizing the skin and balancing oil production. It also offers brightening effects through its inclusion of vitamin c.

This toner has transformed the texture of my skin. From the very first use I noticed an immediate softness that has continued in the weeks I’ve been using it. It leaves the skin soft and supple. 

Related: Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner

differin gel
Differin Gel Acne Treatment

To treat my acne I still use adapalene gel but instead of getting one from the pharmacy I learnt of differin gel and decided to give it a try. I checked that it was the same strength as my prescription and it was. Next I checked the reviews. Differin is quite popular and is often dermatologist recommended for mild to moderate acne.

The active ingredient in differin gel is adapalene which is retinoid. Retinoids by affecting the growth of cells and decreasing swelling and inflammation. According to Differin, “Adapalene treats acne deep in the pores at the source, prevents new acne from forming and, as a result of reduced acne, restores your skin’s natural texture and tone.”

Things to note about differin gel:

  • It’s extremely drying
  • May cause flaking

To summarize, I manage hormonal acne without prescription medication by using the following products in the following order.

AM routine

  • Cleanser– Panoxyl acne foaming wash
  • Toner– Good molecules niacinamide brightening toner
  • Moisturizer– The Ordinary natural moisturizing factors + HA
  • Sunscreen– Neutrogena invisible daily defense

PM routine 

  • Cleanser– Panoxyl acne foaming wash
  • Toner– Good molecules niacinamide brightening toner
  • Treatment– Differin adapalene gel 
  • Moisturizer– The Ordinary natural moisturizing factors + HA

Once a week I’ll switch out the Differin gel for  Paula’s Choice BHA exfoliant in my nighttime routine.

There you have it. These are  all my steps to manage hormonal acne without prescription medication. After forming this routine I felt reassured when I  found board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jenny Liu dry skin acne care routine on YouTube followed the same principles.

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