When we think of hormones and acne, many of us are instantly taken back to our teenage years. Very few of us managed to sail through puberty without breaking out at least a few times.

Unfortunately, acne can affect guys well into their 20s, 30s, and beyond. Although we don’t know the exact cause of acne, we do know that hormones play a key role.

Here is what you should know about hormones and acne:

  • Hormonal acne can affect anyone—men, women and teens.
  • Androgens, the sex hormones, can trigger our oil-producing skin cells to work in overdrive. This can result in clogged pores and breakouts.
  • Contrary to popular belief, washing your face vigorously is not the solution. Regular use of a skin care system formulated for men is your best bet for managing hormonal acne.

In this post, we’ll dive into which hormones are responsible for our breakouts and how to treat them properly.

Hormonal Acne—Not Just For Teens and Women

Before we get any further, let’s clear up one thing; hormonal acne isn’t a term used in the medical community. The medical community uses “acne vulgaris,” which simply refers to common acne.

Most acne is considered hormonal due to changes in the skin which are caused by hormones in the body. The sebaceous glands (oil-producing glands) can be stimulated by hormones, resulting in an excess buildup of oil that clogs pores and creates the perfect environment for acne-producing bacteria.

When teenagers go through puberty, hormones can make the skin’s oil glands larger and kick their oil-production into overdrive. But the danger isn’t over once the teenage years are behind.

According to the International Dermal Institute, roughly half the adult population aged 20–40 suffer from low grade, persistent acne. To make matters worse, acne treatment in adults is often more difficult because adults have thinner skin compared to teenagers.

molecular breakdown of testosterone hormone

Androgens—the Good and the Bad

Sex hormones known as androgens are the biggest stimulator of the sebaceous glands. Androgen levels rise significantly during the teenage years (hence, the frequent breakouts) but tend to settle down once men reach their 20s.

Both men and women produce androgens such as testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. However, men produce more testosterone, which research has shown to be particularly stimulating for sebaceous glands.

Before you consider testosterone-minimizing drugs, keep in mind that testosterone plays an important role in the male body. Low testosterone can result in physical changes, as well as negatively impact sperm production, muscle mass, bone density and red blood cell production.

The Role of Testosterone in the Male Body

Another reason why it doesn’t make sense to minimize testosterone is the fact that testosterone levels fluctuate. Not only do they fluctuate throughout the day, but testosterone levels also spike and fall based on age.

For example, a man who engages in frequent exercise can experience a brief boost in testosterone levels. This can make acne more difficult to treat in athletes because their sebaceous glands are producing more oil.

Similarly, a man in his late 40s will begin to experience a decrease in testosterone. A regular skin care routine is still critical at this age, but managing acne caused by hormones should be easier.

tiege hanley face care set

A Simple Solution for Men

What is the best way to treat hormonal acne in men? The answer is simple: a men’s acne treatment system that is easy to use and uncomplicated.

Because men produce more testosterone, it also means that their skin is a lot different from a woman’s skin. Therefore, it is extremely important for guys to use skin care products that are formulated for men.

Whether you are trying to get your acne under control or want to eliminate future breakouts, a simple acne treatment system should be part of your skin care routine. Exfoliating twice per week with a men’s exfoliating scrub and daily moisturizing will help remove dead skin cells and keep skin hydrated.


The body has many different hormones which each play an important role in our body’s chemistry. Some of these hormones, such as testosterone, can also be the source of acne problems.

It never hurts to get your testosterone levels checked to ensure that everything is normal. For most men, overcoming the negative side effect of testosterone is as simple as following an uncomplicated skin care routine.

At Tiege Hanley, we’ve developed such an uncomplicated skin care line which can help eliminate acne without affecting the body’s hormone levels. Ready to give it a try and enhance your handsome? Check out our products and let us know if you have any questions!