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How to Treat Cystic and Hormonal Acne

Our Experts Top Do's And Don'ts

Remember when we believed that acne went away? Oh, what a time! As you age, there are certain things you come to expect with your skin – dehydration, fine lines, wrinkles, and even hyperpigmentation. However, did you ever think cystic or hormonal acne was still going to be a thing?

At Pretty Please, we can relate to acne of any kind being unbearable at the moment, but we also know how to treat and repair your skin, especially those suffering from cystic and hormonal acne. Our Skin Experts have decades of experience and have seen their fair share of acne nightmares, so having targeted treatments available to offer our clients is essential. Our Founder, Jennifer Rasa, would suggest our ‘Clear it and Glow Facial’, which targets acne, and there’s also an option for LED Light therapy or microdermabrasion to help lighten blemishes. The key to clearing your skin is consistency and patience, and our team at Pretty Please would love to join you on the journey to clear, gorgeous skin.

So if you’re looking for beneficial ways to treat your skin, we have you covered! While it’s important to know what you’re dealing with, knowing how to treat your skin issues is essential to eradicate breakouts. Although cystic and hormonal acne can be a pain, we want you to approach your treatment with optimism and excitement! You’re about to meet the new you, so let this journey be one you can look forward to.

Differences Between Cystic and Hormonal Acne

Understanding why your breakouts are occurring will allow you to determine the best option for treatment. While hormonal acne is seen in both women and men going through significant hormonal changes like aging, pregnancy or even stress – cystic acne occurs at any age as a result of dietary sensitivities and an overproduction of sebum. For those reasons, treating these two different types of problems often requires unique acne treatments.

There are a few distinctive differences to help you determine if your skin problem is more cyclical or caused by something like an increase of sebum or inflammation at a deeper level in the skin. To make determining the two easier, we put together a list for you to compare your symptoms to:

Cystic Acne

● Appears predominantly on the face and T-zone, as well as the back, chest, and shoulders.

● Typically larger than your traditional pimple but more painful and red.

Cystic acne treatments are required as it doesn’t go away on its own. (picking at breakouts also leads to increased risks of scarring and hyperpigmentation around irritated areas.)

● Some cystic acne breakouts are a result of poor diet – particularly when eating too much dairy.

● Breakouts happen at any age but especially during the teenage years.

Hormonal Acne

● Women typically see acne during changes in hormone levels – around menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause.

● Men who experience a drop in testosterone could also experience hormonal acne.

● Stress causes a change in hormone levels, increasing the development of skin breakouts.

● Hormonal acne occurs around the chin, jawline, and neck.

These two types of skin problems are significantly different, so the approach for treating them needs to be different as well. Targeting cystic acne requires exfoliation using a gentle formula, as well as a cleanser that works deep within pores to eradicate bacteria and soothe inflammation.

For managing cystic acne, using two skincare regimens is needed. To ensure your skin combats and treats cystic acne, it’s important to use products that target the problem areas while also providing nourishment that the skin needs to stay clean and clear.

Pretty Please Skincare founder, Jennifer Rasa, would recommend products to reduce oils as well as break down the excess barrier of sebum. Clarifying products are your go-to -- think of ingredients like tea tree oil, sweet almond oil, cucumber, and peppermint to assist with achieving a deep cleanse. Using a probiotic cleanser and pair it with a serum will help with both cleansing and hydrating the skin.

Treating hormonal acne is more about overall skincare and wellness routine. This is where self-care becomes key -- reducing the stress that changes your hormone balance can play a role in your skin misbehaving. However, if you’re tasked to treat hormonal acne on your own, a good routine includes products that target your skin concerns and reduces bacteria in pores while also hydrating and nourishing skin.

For these types of hormonal break-outs, the Founder of Pretty Please, Jennifer Rasa would recommend a routine of luxurious facial masks. FYI: luxury can be a state of mind, you’re allowed to feel luxurious in the comfort of your own home *wink*. So please, grab a clarifying facial mask, and spoil yourself to a moment of self-care as well as treating your skin. Clarifying masks are designed to treat and prevent acne, so whether you experience cystic acne or more so regular hormonal acne, a 3-step system will work to cleanse/clarify, treat and hydrate to give you a beautiful and breakout-free complexion.

Do's And Don’ts

Okay ladies and maybe a few of you fellas, here’s the part where you might cringe at the DON’TS because it’s all the things that you DO. No worries, this is a judge-free zone! We’re here to help, and make sure you move forward with all the tips and tools you need to achieve clean, clear healthy skin. So when you have a breakout, poking at it or trying to speed up its lifecycle is a recipe for disaster. We’s soooo tempting, but not worth the aftermath. Keep these tips in mind when managing your skin problems, no matter if it’s cystic or hormonal.


keep your skin clean with a consistent and clarifying skincare routine. Exfoliating keeps pores from getting clogged while clarifying formulas that remove bacteria that lead to breakouts. (gentle exfoliation only)


pick at pimples or breakouts -- picking spreads bacteria, which leads to more breakouts, and increases the risk of scarring or infection.


use serums that target your skin concerns. Ingredients in serums, such as tea tree oil and willow bark will clarify pores and prevent bacteria growth. Say hello to healthier and clearer skin with consistent use!


scrub. Instead of aggressively scrubbing with harsh physical exfoliants, opt for a gentle cleanser, rinse with lukewarm water and apply a chemical exfoliant/serum to further treat and prevent the issue.

Whew, we know that was a lot but knowing what your skincare issues are and how to treat them will kickstart your healthy skin journey today! If you’re looking for an in-depth skincare routine or maybe you want a hands-on luxurious facial, book a professional facial with one of our amazing Skin Experts at Pretty Please in New York City.


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