Skincare Sunday – Dealing with Cystic Acne

Today’s (belated) installation of Skincare Sunday is all about dealing with cystic acne. You may have also heard it referred to hormonal acne. It’s painful, deep, and plagues a lot of us. It’s annoying, embarrassing and seems like a never ending cycle. As always, I’m not a doctor, dermatologist, or even a trained professional. I just have tried it all when it comes to this and I have found what works for me.

Skincare Sunday



  • Deep, painful nodules that aren’t exactly “poppable.” These bumps lie deep within the skin and are painful to the touch.
  • They last for at least a week. Sometimes they don’t ever surface.
  • Sometimes they appear more during/after Aunt Flo’s monthly visit.
  • Usually they appear around the jaw line and chin area (except I just had one in the middle of my cheek that was not fun).
  • When they heal, oftentimes they leave behind red marks and/or hyperpigmentation that takes a while to clear up.


I have found a couple of things that work for me, but obviously there are a lot of different things you can do. I have done a lot of research on this and there are a myriad of things you can do, from prescriptions, to hormone regulation. I prefer to take a gentler and more natural approach to this, and things that are within my control and available easily.

  1. Diet, water, and exercise. The days that I am eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and getting my exercise in reduce the amount of cystic breakouts.  I know this is a fact because now that I am stressed out with school and have days where I am not as good with my intake and exercise, I am breaking out more. When I meal plan and drink tons of water, I am usually clear. I’m still trying to find that balance between work and time to work out, though. Right now I’m running about twice a week and I can definitely see a difference in my skin when I was running 5-6 times a week during the summer.
  2. Exfoliation. Frequent exfoliation of the skin is crucial for cell turnover and great for those that suffer from cystic/hormonal acne. I love my Clarisonic Mia for this, and I use it every single evening. I try to focus using it more on my jaw line and chin area to give it a little extra exfoliation for my skin. That usually seems to help. If you don’t have a Clarisonic, exfoliating 2-3 times a week with a manual scrub (start slowly) is a great idea.
  3. Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion. This stuff has been a life saver for me. I apply it as soon as I feel a bump developing under my skin, and it has drastically reduced the longevity of them. If I catch it right away, the bumps will never surface.
  4. Evening Primrose Oil. I just love this supplement for many reasons. If you are a woman, you basically need to take this. It helps with cramps, hormone regulation, makes your skin look nice, and helps with your hair. I take about 4 capsules a day. I go through it quick, but it’s a great investment.

Have you found anything that helps you deal with your cystic acne? Let me know, as I am always wanting to try new things to help me combat it! One last thing, Subscription Box Share is on Tuesday, October 8! Blog about your subscription box this past month, and come back to link up with me!


  • Reply
    February 25, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I get the occasional painful cyst-type acne (I am in my mid 20’s and this is a recent development).I have pretty sensitive dry/normal combo skin and other treatments I have tried have just made me peely and flaky.

    I have been using Citrus Clear Control products for a month. At first the treatment was a little drying so I went to using it every other night and now I am applying it every night following it up with the moisturizer. My skin is DEFINITELY clearer. It is still a little irritating every once in awhile but I have not had any peeling/redness. It definitely stops the cyst-type acne from coming back.

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      February 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      That’s so good to hear! I’m glad you’ve been able to tackle your cystic acne. It feels like such a vicious circle when you’re fighting it.

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