Although oral medications are considered the go-to treatment for hormonal acne, you can still incorporate specific ingredients into your regimen that will help reduce and treat bumps. "Glycolic acid is highly recommended, as it's one of the more natural OTC products that actually work and gets to the root cause of the acne by purging the pores of the sebum," Dr. Austin explained. "It not only helps treat the cyst but also helps heal it by speeding up exfoliation, therefore making scarring lighter."
Additional OTC options, he said, include salicylic acid, which acts as an antibacterial to heal the inflammation, and topical retinols, which reduce clogged pores. These ingredients, along with benzoyl peroxide, will also help reduce and treat other acne types, which you may very likely experience alongside hormonal acne.
"Almost every individual suffering from cystic acne will have a combination type of inflammatory and noninflammatory acne comedones (whiteheads and blackheads)," Dr. Dy said. "Treatment always includes benzoyl-peroxide-based products and salicylic-acid-based products. The benzoyl peroxide helps get rid of the bacteria that creates inflammation. The salicylic-acid-based products penetrate the pores to help loosen up the skin cells so that you don't get clogging of the pores."