Why Do You Get Acne During Your Period or Menstruation

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 09/21/2023

Understanding the intricate relationship between hormones and skin health is essential for effective hormonal acne treatment.

In this blog post, we will delve into the role of hormones during menstruation, natural solutions like DIM supplements for treating hormonal acne, and how managing stress levels and insulin resistance can contribute to clear skin.

We'll also examine how cortisol affects hormonal balance related to skin health and why combining Healthy Keto® with intermittent fasting may prove beneficial in managing insulin resistance, which promotes healthy skin.

The Role of Hormones in Acne During Menstruation

Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle play a significant role in causing acne. Estrogen and progesterone levels drop, while testosterone levels remain constant or increase, leading to an imbalance that triggers sebaceous glands to produce more oil and bacteria, resulting in acne breakouts.

This section will investigate how hormones play a role in acne development and how you can manage them.

Understanding Homeone Fluctuations Throughout the Menstrual Cycle

Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are essential hormones regulating various bodily functions such as reproductive health and skin maintenance. 

Several hormonal changes occur during menstruation:

  • Estrogen levels decrease, which can cause dryness of the skin.

  • Progesterone levels also decline but at a slower rate than estrogen; this leads to increased oil production by sebaceous glands.

  • Testosterone remains relatively stable or may even rise slightly compared to other hormones. It’s known for stimulating sebum production, which contributes to oily skin conditions and increases the risk of acne.

This combination creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth on the surface of your skin, which explains acne flare-ups during menstruation.

Word hormones on wooden cubes

Hormonal Imbalances and Acne

Excessive hormones, such as testosterone, can directly or indirectly worsen existing cases of hormonal acne.

Testosterone stimulates sebaceous glands to produce more oil than necessary. This excess oil, combined with dead skin cells and bacteria, clogs pores and creates an environment for the growth of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), leading to inflammation and acne breakouts.

Moreover, hormonal imbalances can also cause changes in the skin's natural pH balance, making it more susceptible to bacterial infections and acne lesions during menstruation periods.

To effectively manage hormonal acne during menstruation, it is essential to understand the underlying causes and adopt appropriate strategies such as a healthy diet rich in essential nutrients, including vitamins A and E, and using natural remedies like DIM supplements, discussed in the next section of this blog post.

Hormonal fluctuations can be a significant factor in the formation of acne during menstruation. Supplementing with DIM has been shown to help balance hormone levels naturally, providing an effective solution for hormonal acne.

DIM - A Natural Solution for Hormonal Acne

Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables that helps balance estrogen and androgen hormones.

DIM has been found to lower excess testosterone levels responsible for causing acne during menstruation. Incorporating DIM into your daily routine may relieve hormonal acne, especially with other beneficial lifestyle choices.

DIM Benefits 

  • Balances hormone levels: By promoting estrogen metabolism and reducing excess testosterone, DIM helps maintain a healthy hormonal balance, which can prevent or reduce acne breakouts caused by hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle.

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Inflammation plays a significant role in the development of acne. Studies have shown that DIM possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties, which may help alleviate skin inflammation associated with hormonal breakouts.

  • Natural alternative: For those seeking a more holistic approach to managing their skin health, DIM offers a practical option without resorting to prescription medications or harsh chemical treatments.

cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous Vegetables

In addition to being rich sources of DIM, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts offer numerous health benefits. 

Some notable advantages include:

  1. Cancer prevention: Evidence suggests that consuming cruciferous vegetables regularly may help protect against certain types of cancer due to their high content of antioxidants and anti-carcinogenic phytochemicals.

  2. Improved digestion: The high fiber content in cruciferous vegetables supports healthy digestion and can aid weight loss.

  3. Heart health: These veggies' potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients promote healthy blood pressure and benefit cardiovascular function.

To reap the benefits of DIM as a hormonal acne treatment and the numerous advantages of consuming cruciferous vegetables, consider incorporating them into your daily diet or opt for a high-quality DIM supplement. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it’s appropriate for your needs.

DIM supplements can be a natural, safe, and effective hormonal acne treatment. Managing stress levels and addressing insulin resistance through a low-carb diet and intermittent fasting can help achieve clear skin naturally.

Managing Stress Levels & Insulin Resistance for Clear Skin

High-stress levels and insulin resistance can drastically disturb your hormone balance, leading to skin breakouts and acne lesions. 

Adopting certain lifestyle changes, such as following a ketogenic diet and practicing intermittent fasting, can help normalize insulin levels while reducing stress-induced hormone disruptions.

Effects of Cortisol on Skin Health

Cortisol, the "stress hormone," is released when facing physical or psychological distress. High cortisol levels caused by persistent stress can lead to an imbalance in other hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, which may increase oil production and inflammation that contribute to acne formation.

This disruption in hormonal balance may result in increased oil production by sebaceous glands and inflammation, which contribute significantly to acne development.

Studies have shown that managing stress through exercise and getting enough sleep can help lower cortisol levels and improve skin health.

Keto Diets & Intermittent Fasting 

Poor dietary habits can exacerbate skin issues by causing insulin resistance - a condition where cells do not respond effectively to the hormone insulin. This leads to higher blood sugar levels, triggering inflammation throughout the body, including your skin cells.

The ketogenic diet (keto) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that improves insulin sensitivity.

  • Ketosis: A state achieved when following a keto diet where the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates, improving insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation.

  • Intermittent fasting: A dietary approach that involves alternating eating periods with fasting periods. This practice can help regulate blood sugar levels by giving the body a break from constant insulin production.

The keto diet and intermittent fasting have been shown to provide numerous health benefits, including managing insulin resistance, supporting weight loss, increasing energy levels, and improving mental clarity.

By incorporating these practices into your lifestyle, you may see improvements in your skin and experience overall better health and well-being.


Understanding the role of hormones in acne development is crucial for finding effective treatment solutions.

Hormonal acne, especially during menstruation, can be challenging to manage. However, natural solutions, such as DIM supplements and cruciferous vegetables, have been found to promote hormone balance and may help treat acne lesions.

Managing stress levels and insulin resistance with a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting may be beneficial in improving skin health.


1. What Acne Treatment is Best for Hormonal Acne?

The most effective treatment for hormonal acne often involves a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes. Low-carb diet, intermittent fasting, and stress-reducing techniques can lower the risk of menstrual acne and contribute to clearer skin.

2. Why is Hormonal Acne So Hard to Treat?

Hormonal acne is challenging to treat because it stems from hormone fluctuations during menstruation or conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

These underlying causes make traditional topical treatments less effective on their own; therefore, addressing external symptoms and internal imbalances through dietary and lifestyle changes is crucial in effectively treating this type of acne.

3. What Helped Your Hormonal Acne?

Some effective strategies for managing hormonal acne include reducing stress levels, and lowering insulin levels by following Healthy Keto diet and Intermittent Fasting.


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