Limited Time: Get Access to our 2021 Natural Luxury Skin Care Shopping Guide FREE

Our Skincare Experts Tested & Compared the Best of the Best Unsponsored and Unfiltered Review:

2021 Top 3 Cleansers for Hormonal Acne

Our #1 Pick Helps Reduce Breakouts, Shrink Pores, And Hydrate

Michelle Lee
Written By:
Michelle Lee
Nowadays, shopping for a face sunscreen that is gentle, natural, and actually works can be frustrating and time-consuming. Our panel of experts have done the work for you.

Disclaimer: This article is not sponsored by any of the brands/products mentioned. We independently research, purchase, test, and compare the best products that meet our standards for pregnant and nursing mothers. Always consult with your doctor.

Most acne cleansers are not suitable for hormonal acne and the needs of mature skin dealing with breakouts. Hormonal acne can take months to clear but by using the right skin care products you can help soothe breakouts sooner.

Acne and our skin’s natural oil production is directly tied to our hormonal health. Although acne is infamously a common mark of puberty, it is also rather common for pregnant and nursing mothers to experience acne, even if they never had acne before. Ironically, some women who struggled with hormonal acne during their teenage years may find that having a baby was the solution to ending the battle with severe acne but still deal with oily skin.

Whether you had hormonal acne and want to keep it away or if you are in the midst of a raging breakout, we understand your frustrations and are here to help.

Our top 3 tested and proven cleansers for hormonal acne are available at Sephora and free of ingredients that could cause more harm than good.

Our #1 pick checks all our boxes and makes us look forward to doing our skincare routine with optimism. Even though it is a powerful product for people with severe hormonal acne, its natural formula is still gentle enough on dry skin that may have a few blemishes. 

Which 3 Common Ingredients to Avoid

If your face wash or cleanser leaves your skin feeling tight a few minutes after using it and not applying any other skin care products, it may be causing more harm than good.

Yes, we need a cleanser that will thoroughly deep clean our pores and remove all excess oil but most acne cleansers can trigger more breakouts and oily skin by over-stripping the skin of moisture. By avoiding these 3 all too common ingredients found in the majority of face washes and cleansers in the market, you can easily shop for a gentle yet effective cleanser.

Sulfates: these are cheap and commonly used surfactants or soaps that create a rich lather. Sulfates can be found in laundry detergents and dish soaps. These are strong surfactants and can cause skin irritation to people with sensitive skin(1).

Physical Exfoliants: it is best to use a separate exfoliator and not have physical exfoliating ingredients such as scrub granules, sugar, jojoba beads, etc. in your daily cleanser to avoid over-exfoliating.

Wipes: from cult-favorite drugstore makeup removing wipes to luxurious face cleansing “towelettes”, facial wipes should be used only when they are the only option. Tugging and pulling on the skin causes premature wrinkles, redness and irritation.

Our top 3 cleansers are gentle enough for daily use. They will leave your skin feeling squeaky clean and refreshed but still supple and hydrated, especially our #1 pick.

Treat your self to a face massage while you wash your face by using your knuckles to glide upwards from the jawline to the temples.

2 Ingredients To Look For In A Cleanser

Cleansing is the most important step in clearing acne of any type, and each type of acne reacts best to different formulas.

There are generally 3 different types of acne:

  • Comedonal (blackheads and whiteheads): small black or white clogged pores on oily areas of the skin; these can occur on oily or dry skin types.
  • Inflammatory (red or white colored pimples): often caused by dehydrated skin that overproduces oil, then the oil causes pores to clog and become infected with the common acne bacteria C. acnes; a few of these pesky pimples are are present in hormonal acne.
  • Cystic acne (painful not too visible bumps): these are the most common form of hormonal acne that are caused by similar conditions that trigger inflammatory acne but the infection goes deeper.

While dry skin may only deal with some comedonal acne, those with hormonal acne deal with painful cystic acne around the chin and jawline.

Dry skin with comedonal acne needs a hydrating cleanser with gentle exfoliating ingredients suitable for dry skin such as PHA and lactic acid. On the other hand, oily skin with inflammatory and/or hormonal acne needs a stronger cleanser to thoroughly remove excess oil with acne-bacteria fighting ingredients.

To choose an effective and hydrating cleanser for your face, make sure that it avoids the 3 potentially skin-irritating ingredients mentioned above and instead contains these 2 types of ingredients: acne bacteria fighting ingredients and hydrating ingredients.

Great hydrating ingredients that are compatible in cleanser formulas are hyaluronic acid, squalane, glycerin, and oat extract.

Effective acne bacteria fighting ingredients are tea tree oil and extracts, salicylic acid, neem seed oil, and colloidal sulfur.

Although benzoyl peroxide is a common (yet skin drying) acne bacteria fighting ingredient, studies show that tea tree oil and extracts may be just as effective but much more gentle (2).

To learn more about tea tree oil, check out our article on tea tree oil for hormonal acne here.

Our promise

Let's face the truth: women are the beauty industry's most important customers but we're not getting the VIP treatment we deserve.

Due to the lack of regulation, there are certain chemicals present in many skin care products can interfere with our hormonal health.

Our experts only review products that are safe for use on pregnant and nursing women and mothers.

Healthy is beautiful; and beauty should never cost us our health.

meet our team

facing fertility blog editor and professional esthetician

Esthetician & MUA Rebecca Byrne

Rebecca always had an eye for aesthetics and glam. She is a licensed master cosmetologist from Atlanta who enjoys teaching others about natural skincare and the power of makeup.

facing fertility blog editor and skincare expert

Skincare Expert Stephanie Ivonne

Stephanie is a former Esthetician turned freelance beauty and wellness educator. Although a busy mom to two teenage boys, she still keeps up her active lifestyle with yoga and 10k runs.

facing fertility blog writer and natural skincare expert

Writer Mrinalini Sachan

Mrinalini is a skincare enthusiast who loves to try new products to share her honest views. After her battle with hormonal acne, she is an expert on choosing natural products that keep breakouts at bay.

facing fertility natural skincare blog author michelle lee

Senior Writer Michelle Lee

Lover of all things Kbeauty, Michelle believes that beauty is health. With news of her first pregnancy, she began learning about natural skincare and finding new products that fit her standards.

2021 BEST HORMONAL ACNE CLEANSER

best brightening serum 2020 cell forte rejuvenation serum
Overall Rating: (
5
/5)
shop now

subscribe for
exclusive coupons

Become a VIP

2021 Top 3 Cleansers for Hormonal Acne

Skin Care Expert Tested for Weeks and Approved for High Quality Performance

The Forté Serum

cell forte

cell forte skincare the forte serum best serum 2021

$120 $180

50mL

SHOP NOW


Overall Rating: (5/5)

Soothing: 5/5

Hydrating: 5/5

Brightening: 5/5

Wrinkle Smoothing: 5/5

Best For:
Sensitive, Mature, Dry, and Oily Skin Types

Key Ingredients:
EGF, Nourishing 9 Peptides™, Arbutin, Sodium Hyaluronate

The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum

la mer

facing fertility natural skincare blog la mer the revitalizing serum review

$245

30mL

SHOP NOW


Overall Rating: (4.4/5)

Soothing: 5/5

Hydrating: 4.5/5

Brightening: 3/5

Wrinkle Smoothing: 5/5

Best For:
Sensitive, Mature, and Dry Skin Types

Key Ingredients:
Sodium Hyaluronate, Miracle Broth™, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8

The Night Serum

dr. barbara sturm

facing fertility natural skincare blog dr barbara sturm the night serum review

$315

30mL

SHOP NOW


Overall Rating: (4.1/5)

Soothing: 4/5

Hydrating: 4.5/5

Brightening: 4/5

Wrinkle Smoothing: 4/5

Best For:
Mature, Dry, and Oily Skin Types

Key Ingredients:
Sodium Hyaluronate, Purslane Ferment Extract, Poria Cocos Extract

#1

The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel

by Biossance

$

29

5.07 oz

($

5.72

/oz)

SHOP NOW

#2

Find Your Balance™ Oil Control

By OLEHENRIKSEN

$

28

5.0 oz

($

5.60

/oz)

SHOP NOW

#3

The Problem Solution Cleansing Foam

by belief

$

24

3.38 oz

($

7.10

/oz)

SHOP NOW
Overall Rating: (
5
/5)
Hydrating
(
5
/5)
Deep Cleansing
(
5
/5)
Acne Fighting
(
5
/5)
Soothing
(
5
/5)
Overall Rating: (
4.7
/5)
Hydrating
(
4.5
/5)
Deep Cleansing
(
5
/5)
Acne Fighting
(
5
/5)
Soothing
(
4
/5)
Overall Rating: (
4.5
/5)
Hydrating
4.5
/5)
Deep Cleansing
5
/5)
Acne Fighting
4.5
/5)
Soothing
4
/5)
Best For:
Sensitive, Aging, Dry, and Oily Skin Types
Best For:
Oily Skin Types
Best For:
Oily Skin Types
Key Ingredients:
Squalane, Tea tree oil, Aloe vera
Key Ingredients:
Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Neem seed oils, Glycolic and lactic acids
Key Ingredients:
Tea tree and Eucalyptus oils, Oat and Willow bark extracts
facing fertility natural skincare blog best serum 2021 cell forte skincare the forte serum
The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel

The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel

by Biossance

$

29

5.07 oz

Overall Rating:
(
5
/5)
Soothing
(
5
/5)
Acne Fighting
(
5
/5)
Deep Cleansing
(
5
/5)
Hydrating
(
5
/5)
Best For:
Sensitive, Aging, Dry, and Oily Skin Types
Key Ingredients:
Squalane, Tea tree oil, Aloe vera
visit website

The Ultra-Hydrating Acne Cleanser

We absolutely look forward to using this cleanser day and night! The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel feels soothing and hydrating. As someone with hormonal acne, using this cleanser alone has significantly helped calm my breakouts.

Almost all of Biossance features a dose of hydrating squalane. Squalane, unlike most other natural oils, has a fatty acid profile that is very similar to sebum, our skin’s natural oil. This miracle moisturizing ingredient helps balance both very dry and oily skin types.

Biossance started in 2016 and they have made a few ground-breaking products within this past year. From their hydrating hand sanitizer that was released last year during the pandemic, to their ultra-lightweight sunscreen this summer, Biossance delivers just what we need.

The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel is the best cleanser for hormonal acne because hormonal acne needs a combination of acne-fighting ingredients with lots of soothing hydration. Its effective formula deep cleans pores and helps prevent the skin from over-producing oil by replenishing water-based hydration with aloe vera and oil-based moisturization with squalane.

Pros:   

  • Gentle yet effective surfactants (cleansing ingredients)
  • Tea tree oil helps fight acne-causing bacteria without dryness
  • Moisturizing squalane formula leaves skin hydrated and balanced
  • Hydrating gel formula gently foams and easily glides, no tugging

 Cons:

If you have particularly oily skin and are washing off makeup, use more of the product. For a gentle morning cleanse, use a small amount of the cleanser.

At $5.72 per fluid ounce, the Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel was our second most affordable option among the 3 cleanser yet surprisingly the #1 choice for best face wash for hormonal acne of 2021. There are no ingredients that we were able to identify as potentially harmful for pregnant and nursing mothers, and we look forward to using this hydrating cleanser day and night.

About the Author

facing fertility natural skincare blog best serum 2021 cell forte skincare the forte serum
The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel

Find Your Balance™ Oil Control

By OLEHENRIKSEN

$

28

5.0 oz

Overall Rating:
(
4.7
/5)
Soothing
(
4
/5)
Acne Fighting
(
5
/5)
Deep Cleansing
(
5
/5)
Hydrating
(
4.5
/5)
Best For:
Oily Skin Types
Key Ingredients:
Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Neem seed oils, Glycolic and lactic acids
visit website

Instead of tea tree oil, this cleanser uses eucalyptus oil and neem seed oil to fight acne-causing bacteria. Plus, the green tea and kelp extracts help provide redness soothing, anti-inflammatory benefits.

The Find Your Balance™ Oil Control Cleanser is great for very oily skin dealing with hormonal acne or other forms of acne. However, we would not recommend it for dry skin types dealing with comedones (blackheads and whiteheads).

Nonetheless, the refreshing mint combined with the spa aroma of eucalyptus provides a truly luxurious experience. Although the cleanser contains exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), the mild formula did not cause any irritation and leaves the skin feeling baby smooth.

Pros:   

  • Refreshingly deep cleans pores and removes makeup
  • Eucalyptus and neem seed oil help fight acne-causing bacteria
  • Glycolic and lactic acids help reduce breakouts and smooth skin
  • Peppermint oil helps shrink the look of pores and boost circulation

 Cons:

  • Not suitable for dry or combination skin types

As mentioned earlier, cystic acne is common with hormonal acne and it is also caused by clogged pores. By gently exfoliating with chemical and not physical exfoliants, we started to see less breakouts and more radiance.

About the Author

facing fertility natural skincare blog best serum 2021 cell forte skincare the forte serum
2021 Top 3 Cleansers for Hormonal Acne

The Problem Solution Cleansing Foam

by belief

$

24

3.38 oz

Overall Rating:
(
4.5
/5)
Soothing
4
/5)
Acne Fighting
4.5
/5)
Deep Cleansing
5
/5)
Hydrating
4.5
/5)
Best For:
Oily Skin Types
Key Ingredients:
Tea tree and Eucalyptus oils, Oat and Willow bark extracts
visit website

The Kbeauty Acne Cleanser

In Korean skin care, acne is often called “trouble” or “troubled skin”, that’s why it says “For troubled skin? Yes!” on the bottle.

Belief is a Korean skin care brand that became a household name in Sephora from its popular products that focus on replenishing water-based hydration. Their products are made with a proprietary formula called the Napiers formula T, which is a blend of herbal extracts that help soothe and nourish the skin. 

Just like our #1 pick, the Problem Solution Cleansing Foam provides tea tree oil to help fight acne-causing bacteria to clear breakouts. However, instead of traditional hydrating ingredients, belief harnesses the power of antioxidant-rich herbs with anti-inflammatory benefits.

From calendula and lavender flowers to oat and echinacea extracts, this cleanser provides a buffet of herbal extracts to help nourish the skin. One of their most effective ingredients for hormonal acne is willow bark extract.

Willow bark extract functions similarly to salicylic acid but is more gentle and potentially suitable for sensitive skin. It helps remove clogged oil from deep within the pores, which directly targets the type of pimples in hormonal acne.

Pros:   

  • Thoroughly deep cleans pores and removes makeup
  • Tea tree and eucalyptus oils help fight acne-causing bacteria
  • Willow bark extract gently decongests pores to help clear breakouts
  • Antioxidant-rich blend of herbal extracts help soothe and strengthen

 Cons:

  • Not suitable for dry or combination skin types
  • Can be a bit drying, a little bit lathers a very long way

Although belief’s Problem Solution Cleansing Foam is our third pick, it is still one of the top 3 cleansers out of the many that we have tested against each other and a great product. Everyone has a unique skin type and each case of hormonal acne is different.

References:

1 https://www.webmd.com/beauty/what-to-know-sulfate#1

2 https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/352/1/012053/pdf

3 https://www.studiobotanic.de/en/peppermintoil/#:~:text=The%20ingredients%20of%20the%20peppermint,through%20its%20circulation%2Dencouraging%20effect.

Our promise

Let's face the truth: women are the beauty industry's most important customers but we're not getting the VIP treatment we deserve.

Due to the lack of regulation, there are certain chemicals present in many skin care products can interfere with our hormonal health.

Our experts only review products that are safe for use on pregnant and nursing women and mothers.

Healthy is beautiful; and beauty should never cost us our health.

meet our team

facing fertility blog editor and professional esthetician

Esthetician & MUA Rebecca Byrne

Rebecca always had an eye for aesthetics and glam. She is a licensed master cosmetologist from Atlanta who enjoys teaching others about natural skincare and the power of makeup.

facing fertility blog editor and skincare expert

Skincare Expert Stephanie Ivonne

Stephanie is a former Esthetician turned freelance beauty and wellness educator. Although a busy mom to two teenage boys, she still keeps up her active lifestyle with yoga and 10k runs.

facing fertility blog writer and natural skincare expert

Writer Mrinalini Sachan

Mrinalini is a skincare enthusiast who loves to try new products to share her honest views. After her battle with hormonal acne, she is an expert on choosing natural products that keep breakouts at bay.

facing fertility natural skincare blog author michelle lee

Senior Writer Michelle Lee

Lover of all things Kbeauty, Michelle believes that beauty is health. With news of her first pregnancy, she began learning about natural skincare and finding new products that fit her standards.

2021's Best
Natural sunscreen

best brightening serum 2020 cell forte rejuvenation serum
Overall Rating: (
5
/5)
shop now

subscribe for
exclusive coupons

Become a VIP

Suggested Stories