If there’s one key skincare lesson that’s most important to learn, it’s that not every product will work for everyone’s skin. Similarly, not every routine, even the viral regimens made famous for their epic results on TikTok, will be able to deliver the results you’re hoping for. But one thing is certain: regardless of your skin type—from oily to sensitive to mature—all humans are susceptible to blemishes, breakouts, and varying degrees of acne. It’s one of those common skin concerns that simply doesn’t discriminate.
Different kinds of acne can have different root causes, but perhaps the most weighty to treat is hormonal acne. “Hormonal acne is adult female acne caused by or sensitivity to, the male kinds of hormones we as women all inherently have,” says Rita Linkner, MD, FAAD. “In order to combat hormonal acne, oral medications are needed as the issue at hand is hormonal.”
But how can you really know if you’re dealing with hormonal acne? Consulting a trusted dermatologist to make a diagnosis is key, but in the meantime, here are some characteristics to help you identify it.