For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

How To Deal With Period Acne: An Exhaustive List Of Solutions

Bad cramps, mood swings and heavy flow- you periods can not get worse than that. Unfortunately, for many women they do. Studies show that 65% of women experience acne flare around the time of menstruation[1]. We call this period acne. You must also have noticed breakouts or your acne becoming worse during periods. This is no coincidence.

We understand how frustrating it can be. Between all the period discomfort and caution, dealing with bad skin days can be nerve-wracking. To deal with period acne, you need to know it better. And that is exactly what we are going to do in this article.


Why Do You Get Period Acne?

Like most of your period issues, blame your hormones.

Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle are no secret. And your acne does largely depend on the hormones. A week or so before your period starts, there are two major changes in your hormones- the progesterone level falls and the estrogen level increases.

Increase in the estrogen level stimulates the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands secret sebum (the natural oil of your body) and the overproduction of sebum leads to oily skin, clogged pores and acne.

These hormonal fluctuations are also responsible for the redness and inflammation of your skin. Another major cause of acne is stress[2]. And as PMS is known to increase your stress level, that might also be the reason for your period acne[3].


What Are The Most Vulnerable Areas For Period Acne?

Yes, period acne does have a favourite spot. Period acne is mostly seen on your chin and around your jawline. Small red spots start to appear around your chin which slowly become painful and inflamed. We suggest you refrain yourself from the temptation of popping these zits. That will be painful and is going to leave nasty scars on your face.

In most cases, the period acne will trouble you through the duration of your period. And towards the end of your period, it cools down. But, it is not always the case. Sometimes, it stays for a longer time. Again, your hormones are at play. As the estrogen level begins to fall down and the progesterone level rises, another hormone- testosterone- in your body triggers the sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum. This clogs your skin pores and worsens your acne.

Recommended Read: 10 Healthy Foods To Combat Period Acne


How To Deal With Period Acne

Here are some easy and effective remedies to deal with period acne.

1. Using Chemical Treatment

Benzoyl Peroxide

You will find plenty of benzoyl peroxide creams and gels in the market. Benzoyl peroxide has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a potent solution for acne[4]. It wards off any acne-causing bacteria from your skin surface and reduces the swelling to calm down the inflammation.

Topical Retinoids

Another chemical treatment that will work for your period acne is topical application of retinoid. A derivative of vitamin A, topical retinoids are rich in anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat your acne and the associated redness[5].

2. With Home Remedies

Home remedies are another(and better) way of dealing with period acne. These are nourishing for the skin and can be whipped easily with the ingredients from your kitchen.

Warm compress

Giving some warm compress over the acne relaxes the area to reduce inflammation and irritation, and also draws out the pus from the zit.

How to use

  • Soak a soft towel in a basin of warm water.
  • Squeeze out the excess water from the towel.
  • Press the towel to the affected area for 10-15 minutes at a time.
  • Again soak the towel and repeat the process 2-3 times more.

Cold compress

Cold compress work like a charm to bring the swelling and inflammation down and control the acne. With just one use of cold compress, you will find immediate relief from the pain as well.

How to use

  • Wrap an ice cube in a soft cloth.
  • Press the cloth on the affected area for about 5 minutes.
  • Repeat the process multiple times to get relief.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Tea tree oil

One of the best antibacterial agents, tea tree oil is quite effective in dealing with acne. It also helps to reduce swelling, inflammation and redness thanks to its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties[6].

How to use

  • Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with 12 drops of coconut oil.
  • Apply the mixture on the affected areas.
  • Leave it on your skin for 30-45 minutes before rinsing it off.
  • Use this remedy multiple times a day.


Turmeric is the prime choice for dealing with most of our skin issues. It has antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help to get clear skin and also reduces the redness, swelling and pain[7]. It might also help to prevent acne scars.

How to use

  • Mix 1/4th teaspoon of turmeric powder with a tablespoon of aloe vera gel.
  • Apply the mixture on the affected areas.
  • Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off.
  • Repeat the process 3-4 times a week for faster results.


Honey has been used since long to tackle different skin issues in Ayurveda and now has found its way in many cosmetic products today. Being an excellent emollient, it keeps the skin moisturised and its antimicrobial properties keep the skin clear of any acne-causing bacteria[8].

How to use

  • Apply some raw honey on the affected area and let it sit.
  • After a couple of hours, use a washcloth to wipe your face.
  • Repeat this process every day to get rid of period acne.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel is a storehouse of skin-enriching properties. It has antibacterial properties that ward off any acne-causing bacteria to keep your skin clear and its anti-inflammation and antiseptic properties reduce the swelling and irritation[9].

How to use

  • Apply the aloe vera gel on the affected areas.
  • Leave it on your skin.
  • Keep applying the gel throughout the day for faster results.

Green tea

Using green tea has two benefits- the warm compress helps to soothe the skin and bring out the pus while the powerful antioxidants properties of green tea rejuvenate your skin[10].

How to use

  • Dip a green tea bag in a cup of hot water.
  • Pull out the tea bag after a few minutes and press it on the affected area for 5-10 minutes
  • Repeat the process 2-3 times and get immediate relief.

Baking soda

Baking soda has strong antibacterial properties that help to clear out the acne[11]. Its acidic nature dries out the acne and makes the process faster.

How to use

  • Mix some baking soda with water to get a thick paste.
  • Apply the paste on the affected area.
  • Leave it on for 15-20 minutes to dry.
  • Rinse off and pat dry your skin.
  • Repeat the process once a week.

Pro tip: Baking soda can be harsh on the skin. So do not keep it on the skin for longer than 15 minutes. If you have sensitive skin, do not use baking soda at all.


What Can You Do To Prevent Period Acne On Your Next Cycle

If you suffer from period acne every month, it is best to be prepared. Here are certain measures you can take to prevent period acne on your next cycle.

Check your diet

Keep your sugar levels in check. Studies have shown that regulating the blood sugar level can help with the period (hormonal acne)[12]. So, stick to a low sugar diet. Foods with low glycemic index should be your priority. This means you need to avoid processed foods, white bread, soft drinks and beverages with a high content of sugar.

Do not touch your face

The period acne is caused mainly due to overproduction of sebum in the skin. The overproduction causes the clogged pores that eventually cause acne. Touching the face regularly worsens the situation. It stimulates the oil production in the skin and transfers bacteria to your face, thereby causing or worsening acne. Refrain from touching you frequently. And whenever you do touch your face make sure your hands are clean.

Shower after a physical activity

After any activity that makes you sweat, immediately take a shower. Sweat mixed with sebum, dirt and pollution blocks the skin pores causing acne. So, after every workout or physical activity cleanse your skin to prevent any clogging of pores.

Disinfect your mobile phone

This should not be news to you but your mobile phone is the best host for germs. We are careless when dealing with our mobile phones. We keep them anywhere and take them even to our washrooms. And when we touch these to our face while making or answering a call, there are high chances that the bacteria will be transferred to our skin causing many skin issues including acne. Your sanitizers can come in handy here. Make sure to disinfect your phone at regular intervals to keep your skin clean and acne-free.

Read more about: acne period causes remedies
Story first published: Thursday, May 14, 2020, 20:40 [IST]