Natural Acne Remedies for Breakouts + Hormonal Acne: How to Heal Your Skin Holistically

In this new series (inspired by you guys!), we’re spilling the skin-ny on common skin conditions that our customers experience. Our inbox is consistently flooded with questions concerning rosacea, eczema, hormonal acne, aging, melasma, and more, so all month long, we’re tackling our top skincare FAQs. 

→ Check out Part 1 for Natural Remedies for Rosacea, Eczema + Sensitive Skin

→ Check out Part 2 for Natural Remedies for Melasma + Hyperpigmentation.

Today we’re focusing on natural acne remedies. But before we get started, I should mention something. This series is not an end-all-be-all. It’s not an exhaustive explanation of these skin conditions – or natural acne remedies. And it’s not a diagnosis. The intention is to help you get to know your skin below the surface and offer holistic suggestions for some natural acne treatments at home. 

As our largest organ, our skin is extremely complex (which makes my job as a Holistic Esthetician challenging and rewarding all at the same time!). 

The journey to establishing balance internally + externally may require a few detours. Natural acne treatment is never linear! Ultimately, the goal is to develop a more mindful relationship with your body and skin to find the most supportive remedies for YOU. So, if you’re feeling down about your skin, I want to give you fresh hope for the future. It’s abundant + full of opportunities for healing.

We’re going to tackle breakouts and hormonal acne. Feel free to scroll to the condition you’re struggling with or skim to find the specific natural acne remedy you’re looking for. But be sure to make it to the bottom for a gentle reminder as you take steps to holistically support + heal your skin. :)

The Basics You Need to Know About Acne

If you’re still battling breakouts years after graduation day, you’re not alone. The majority of adults (especially women) experience acne and hormonal breakouts. 

Acne is a complex skin condition with multiple causes. It can stem from external and internal environments. It’s not so much about dirt, bacteria, or clogged pores, as we were led to believe.

Let’s start with some Skin Anatomy 101: one of the skin’s main functions is excretion (aka eliminating waste + toxins). This means your skin is actually a key detox pathway. 

So, the reality is a clear complexion starts below the surface. 

Acne is more than a bacterial problem. It’s a detox response, showing up through inflammation. When it comes down to it, inflammation is the root cause of common acne

Usually, common acne appears in one of two ways:

  • Papules – solid, raised bumps 
  • Pustules – inflamed bumps filled with fluid

  • → Where does the inflammation come from? Well, it’s a bit of a loaded question – so bear with me. ;)

    Countless factors contribute to an inflammatory response in the skin. This truthfully makes acne one of the most challenging conditions to treat. Healing acne naturally requires a whole-person approach. Your tissues, organs, and systems are all interconnected. 

    So, while it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of an acne flare-up, we can trust that our skin is trying to tell us something. 

    Common Contributors + Causes of Acne

    Here are some common causes + underlying conditions that can contribute to acne:

    • Diet – inflammatory foods and seed oils add to your body’s toxic load and increase inflammation. 
    • Gut health –  bad bacteria and foreign toxins like candida can be a big contributor to the development of acne.
    • Genetics – unfortunately, some people are genetically predisposed to dealing with acne. But that doesn't mean acne is your fate! Epigenetics has proven you have more power than you think to heal your skin/acne.
    • Medication/Antibiotics – certain medications and prescriptions can contribute to excess oil, irritation, and other acne-related issues.
    • Health condition/infection – since your skin is a detoxifying organ, infections or illnesses are sometimes purged through your skin. 
    • Harsh topical products/excess exfoliation – exfoliation through stripping cleansers, chemical peels, or too much manual exfoliation can disrupt your skin’s barrier + oil balance.
    • Stress – it’s always been a contributor to skin conditions – and always will be. Stress raises cortisol levels and has a cascade effect on your skin.

    With a variety of possible factors, it’s starting to make sense why traditional acne treatment doesn’t solve your problems. And why a natural acne remedy might. ;)

    The Problem With Conventional Acne Treatment (+ Why Natural Acne Remedies are Better)

    Maybe you’ve had a personal experience where traditional acne treatments didn’t work. Let’s break it down to understand why. 

    First, let’s cover the main factors we see altered in chronic skin conditions. Your skin depends on healthy:

    • Barrier function
    • Microbiome
    • pH levels 

    These all play a part when it comes to breakouts. 

    Unfortunately, common acne treatments, such as Accutane, antibiotics, birth control, or harsh topical products can wreak havoc on your health. They can affect your:

    • Gut health
    • Hormones
    • Immunity
    • Even your mental well-being 

    This leads us to the key to natural acne treatment. Targeting these areas of health to support + strengthen truly clear skin.

    Holistic approaches (aka natural acne remedies) can take more time and intention. But you’ll feel a positive shift in your body and mind, too. Sounds like a pretty powerful natural acne treatment to me. ;)

    But don’t worry, there are still a variety of topical ingredients that can act as a natural acne remedy (which we’ll cover in a minute). I’ve seen the power of a natural acne treatment to reduce redness, inflammation, and acne.

    You may even see results overnight!

    The Best Natural Acne Remedies

    As a holistic skincare company, we believe in long-term solutions over quick fixes to heal acne. It’s one thing almost every natural acne remedy has in common: a big-picture view. Your natural acne remedy might include topical ingredients and holistic facial tools or fundamental lifestyle choices. But healing your skin with natural acne remedies really can work. 

    Here are my top lifestyle tips, ingredients, and non-toxic products you can use as a natural acne remedy.

    Natural Acne Remedy #1: Lymphatic Drainage

    I can’t stress enough how essential lymphatic drainage is as a natural acne remedy, but also for a clear complexion! 

    The lymphatic system is our body’s natural cleansing system. It helps to detoxify the skin + body. But when this system becomes blocked or stagnant, toxins can build up in tissues. This leads to issues like blackheads, congestion, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions. 

    My favorite way to optimize lymphatic flow, minimize blackheads, and help breakouts heal even faster? A facial gua sha stone. This is an ancient healing tool rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

    Watch this tutorial for the best acne-clearing tips with this natural acne remedy. 

    This soothing ritual helps:

    • Detoxify skin
    • Drain lymphatic fluid
    • Boost blood flow
    • Release emotional tension

    As you can guess, these all contribute to a clearer, brighter complexionthat stays clear.

    *Tip: For double the lymphatic drainage benefits, check out dry brushing for your body. The more flow, the more glow. ;)

    Natural Acne Remedy #2: Switch to Oil Cleansing

    Swap conventional cleansers that can strip your skin + aggravate acne. Opt for a gentle cleansing oil. Wait, oil as a natural acne remedy, you ask? Yes, really! 

    The oil-free myth – debunked. The right oil blends are highly effective at balancing oil production. And, yes, even soothe acne. You'll want to be sure they are cold-pressed, nutrient-dense, and non-comedogenic oil blends.

    Our cleansing oils contain expertly formulated skin-loving oils. They help to purify pores, dissolve buildup, and keep your skin balanced. But the oil isn’t the only component of this natural acne remedy. 

    The facial massage is where the magic really happens. Not only is this step crucial for proper oil cleansing. Consistent facial massage promotes that healthy lymphatic system we just talked about!

    Make the oil cleansing method part of your nightly skincare ritual. Oh, and check out this video tutorial to find out exactly how to do it!

    Natural Acne Remedy #3: Stress Less

    Okay, this natural acne remedy is easier said than done – sometimes.  Stress comes in all forms and can be one of the biggest contributors to imbalanced skin. This can look like pressure to perform, produce more, be perfect, please the people in our life… you get the picture.

    Chronic stress creates a spike of cortisol (our body’s primary stress hormone). This spikes inflammation within your body. More inflammation makes your skin more susceptible to breakouts. Stress also takes a serious toll on your gut health, immune system + body’s resiliency. They’re all key components for clear skin.

    So, how do you embrace this natural acne remedy? Prioritize daily stress-relieving practices like: 

    Though it can be challenging to keep top of mind, remember to surrender + let go of control. Unexpected circumstances or challenging situations happen to us all. Stress can be an inevitable part of life, but it doesn’t have to take total control of your cortisol levels. 

    Natural Acne Remedy #3: Turmeric

    I love to call turmeric nature’s acne treatment. Turmeric is incredibly potent. It has powerful properties for a natural acne treatment that heals inflamed + active breakouts.

    Turmeric is:

    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Antiseptic
    • Anti-bacterial 
    • Antimicrobial 

    Studies show curcumin (the main compound in turmeric) helps repair acne scarring and brighten complexion. (link) Not only does this ancient natural acne remedy help visibly calm breakouts. Once it heals, you may not even know it was ever there. ;)

    Our Clarifying Serum + Clarifying Mask are packed with turmeric and a potent dose of vitamin C from whole plant sources. Apply your serum morning + night. And apply your mask during an Epsom salt bath or meditation to detox + de-stress, inside and out.

    Hormonal Acne Explained

    Acne can show up in different parts of the face depending on the root cause (check out our face mapping post). It’s a pretty well-known fact that the lower part of the face is often linked to hormonal acne. Hormonal acne usually shows up in areas like:

    • Along the jawline
    • Lower cheeks
    • Chin
    • Neck

    Hormonal acne can also be more nodular or cystic, residing deeper below the surface. Although this type of acne doesn’t always raise its (white) head, the discomfort is definitely real.

    You’re not alone if you dread bouts of deep-seated cystic acne or that breakout you can expect to reappear every. single. month. And although it seems to be linked to hormonal fluctuations within your body, here’s the thing. Hormonal acne doesn’t happen just because your hormones are out of whack or it’s “that time of the month.”

    Of course, it does have something to do with your hormone health because every part of our health is connected. But in almost every case, hormonal acne is caused by toxins.

    The burden of our toxic diets + environments is one of the biggest culprits. Most toxins that cycle through your body mimic estrogen + disrupt your natural hormonal balance.2 As a general rule, the more of these toxins you’re exposed to, the more chronic cystic acne you may experience around the lower half of your face. Estrogenic toxins typically purge in this area, which is how we can identify hormonal acne.  

    A few of the estrogen-mimicking toxins (aka xenoestrogens) you should be aware of include:

    • Parabens
    • Preservatives (in food and products)
    • Pesticides
    • Plasticides

    These toxins interfere with your body’s natural hormonal processes. They negatively impact your immune system, gut, brain, reproductive system, and, of course, your skin. Essentially, they put your body in a state of confusion and create chaos.

    On top of that, vital organs (like your liver and kidneys) can become overworked or overloaded with toxins from chemical-laden products, processed foods, and artificial hormones. These organs rely on your skin for support in filtering out waste and toxins. 

    Enter acne – no matter how old you are.

    That’s why reducing your toxic load could arguably be the most powerful natural acne remedy. Especially for hormonal acne. Plus, prioritizing lifestyle habits that help expedite the healing process + skin detoxification dramatically minimizes acne. It can even prevent scarring.

    Thankfully, there are many things you can incorporate into your routine – lifestyle and otherwise – to make a big difference. So, let’s talk about natural acne remedies for hormonal acne.

    Natural Acne Remedies for Hormonal Acne

    By now you already know that at Primally Pure, we’re in it for the long haul – and long-term results. If you want to eliminate hormonal acne for good, you’ll need to take a holistic, full-body approach. 

    Here are my top lifestyle tips, practices, and non-toxic products as the best natural acne remedies for hormonal acne:

    Hormonal Acne Remedy #1: Eliminate Toxins

    Having clean products and environments are a MUST. Especially now that we know hormonal acne can be a detox response. If you want to resolve hormonal acne, work on creating a living space + workspace free of toxic chemicals, artificial fragrances, and other dangerous ingredients.

    The environment we create within our homes can significantly contribute to the toxic buildup in our bodies (remember, the skin is a key organ in detoxifying the body!). Consider all of the products you use in your home on a daily + weekly basis (and don’t forget hidden toxins). Activate this natural acne remedy by replacing one toxic home product at a time.

    Swap air fresheners and artificially-scented candles. And swap conventional cleaning products with safe options (like Branch Basics). This will help minimize toxins + inflammation from external sources. 

    Hormonal Acne Remedy #2: Sweat More

    Remember those toxins we just talked about? Admittedly, you can’t totally avoid them – life happens! But I’m a big believer in sweat as one of the most powerful ways to eliminate toxins from your body. It’s a natural acne remedy with hardly any extra effort – or money spent. ;) Studies show that sweat can provide a much-needed detox by eliminating toxins like: 

    • Heavy metals3
    • Phthalates 4
    • BPA 5

    Sweat is the perfect science-backed natural acne remedy since harmful toxins and hormone-mimicking chemicals are a big factor in hormonal acne. But sweating doesn’t HAVE to include a workout. Check out this list of 6 ways to sweat more – and still reap all the benefits. ;)

    Hormonal Acne Remedy #3: Focus on Clean + Nutrient-Dense Food

    Okay, you detoxed your external environment. Now your next natural acne remedy: detoxing your internal world. Food is medicine when we eat the right things. Focus on adding more foods that:

    • Boost immunity
    • Balance hormones
    • Support gut + liver health
    • Help fight inflammation internally

    These types of foods will also help support your body’s natural elimination process more regularly (if you know what I mean)

    It may be challenging initially, but I’d encourage you to eliminate traditional dairy, sugars, processed foods, and oils (like canola, sunflower/safflower, cottonseed, and soybean). 

    For most people, dairy is difficult to break down/digest and can contribute to mucus buildup, congestion, and pesky blackheads. Sugars can feed bad bacteria (such as candida) in the gut, leading to an inflammatory response in the skin.

    Here are a few more pointers for modifying your diet as a natural acne remedy: 

    • Go organic – this eliminates pesticides from your diet and xenoestrogens from your body.
    • Get pasture-raised – this also ensures you’re feeding your body with animal products without added growth hormones. Growth hormones can confuse your body further and create a cascade of unwanted hormonal shifts. (Check out Primal Pastures.)
    • Try raw dairy raw dairy products contain the key enzyme needed to break down lactose, the main irritant for most who struggle with dairy. You might be pleasantly surprised. 
    • Sip bone broth let sipping a mug of gut-healing + collagen-boosting bone broth become a nightly ritual.
    • Add adaptogens these powerhouse herbs help the body adapt to stressors. They also have an incredible balancing effect on hormones + acne-prone skin.

    These may be challenging to do at first, but once you get the hang of these natural acne remedies, it becomes part of your daily habits. Plus, your body will thank you!

    Hormonal Acne Remedy #4: Avoid Toxic Acne Skincare Products

    Sadly, typical acne-fighting products (like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid) not only strip your skin on the surface. They contribute to toxic buildup within your body. The majority of skincare on the market contains cheap, toxic ingredients that aggravate acne instead of healing it.

    That’s why this natural acne remedy centers on steering clear of chemicals like:

    • Propylene glycol
    • Fragrance
    • Parabens
    • DEA/TEA
    • Phthalates
    • Sodium lauryl sulfate

    Unfortunately, many of these ingredients are often the go-to “clear skin” protocol. As a rule of thumb, if it’s harmful to your skin, it’s harmful to your health.

    Hormonal Acne Remedy #5: Topical CBD

    I’m not exaggerating when I say CBD is an answered prayer for hormonal acne. As you focus on balancing your internal health, treat your breakouts topically with this skin superfood. It visibly minimizes inflammation and diminishes discomfort associated with deeper cystic breakouts. 

    (CBD is a cannabinoid that does not contain THC, so there are no psychoactive properties with CBD skincare.)

    It’s nutrient-dense makeup is packed with:

    • Vitamins, minerals + amino acids
    • The perfect ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids
    • The highest amount of gamma linoleic acid (a potent anti-inflammatory)

    Plus, CBD also helps to inhibit the buildup of dead skin cells to keep breakouts away.

    Alternate your Clarifying Serum with this CBD Serum to powerfully soothe hormonal acne.

    Tune Into Your Skin + Invite Deep Healing

    While acne can really take a toll on our emotional health + self-confidence, the beauty of breakouts (hear me out!) is that it’s an invitation to do some deeper healing. When we do the work, it ultimately leads to a healthier you, inside and out. This is where I love to shift my perspective on how I view acne. 

    → What if we had gratitude for the messages our skin sends us? 

    → What if these messages allow us to take a step back, evaluate our lifestyle habits, and move forward with a fresh plan? 

    This will help clear up my skin and serve every aspect of my body and being. So, there’s one really positive way to rethink that breakout. ;)

    Although I just unpacked a few of the acne issues we get asked about all the time, these conditions can reveal themselves differently depending on the person. One natural acne remedy may work better for some than for others. Regardless, I want to encourage you to tune in to your skin (and seek medical advice + attention if needed). Incorporate the remedies + rituals that resonate with you.

    While it may take time and possibly some trial + error, I hope that as you start implementing these natural acne remedies into your daily life, you experience a positive shift within. And remember, the skin is a reflection of exactly that.



    1. National Library of Medicine | Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence
    2. National Library of Medicine | Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Skin Manifestations 
    3. National Library of Medicine | Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat: A Systematic Review
    4. National Library of Medicine | Human Elimination of Phthalate Compounds: Blood, Urine, and Sweat (BUS) Study
    5. National Library of Medicine | Human Excretion of Bisphenol A: Blood, Urine, and Sweat (BUS) Study


    Pin This Post: Save for fresh inspo on your fav Pinterest board.

    If you struggle with consistent acne or hormonal breakouts, try a whole-body approach with these natural acne remedies to transform your skin over time. | Primally Pure Skincare

    Leave a Comment

    Courtney O’Connor

    Courtney Joy O’Connor is Primally Pure’s In-House Holistic Esthetician and Content Curator. Being in the beauty industry for over a decade, her experience + expertise with pure products, the healing power of touch and holistic skincare rituals are at the core of all she creates. She has trained extensively with industry experts across the country to offer her community the most educational content and transformative treatments. Courtney lives at the beach with her plant babies and loves road tripping, blending superfood bliss balls and exploring our big, beautiful world.