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Evening Primrose Oil for Hormonal Acne

Updated on July 23, 2015
Evening Primrose Oil Capsules
Evening Primrose Oil Capsules

Have you ever noticed that teenagers are twice as likely to suffer from acne than adults? Well, when you take into account the fact that teenagers are going through puberty (which can cause fluctuations in hormone levels) it's really not too surprising. Unfortunately, for some adults, hormonal acne doesn't end when puberty stops. Hormonal acne can plague people well into adulthood, and it can sometimes take years for someone to realize that hormonal imbalances are the root cause of their adult acne. Women are typically more likely to suffer from hormonal acne, however men may also be victims of hormonal acne. Women go through regular periods of hormone fluctuations (menstrual cycles, menopause, etc.) which is why they have a higher risk of suffering from hormonal acne.

Why topical acne treatments won't work for hormonal acne...

While topical treatments may help in treating existing acne sores and emerging acne, it will not completely alleviate acne breakouts for those suffering from hormonal acne. In order to treat and prevent hormonal acne you must treat the root of the cause, which is hormone imbalances. Until the hormones are under control and regulated to normal levels, the hormonal acne will persist despite great efforts to treat it topically using products like Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid.

For more information on natural acne remedies be sure to check out my blog The Natural Acne Cure!

Evening Primrose Flower
Evening Primrose Flower

How does Evening Primrose help with hormonal acne?

Evening primrose oil is extracted from the seeds of the Evening primrose flower. Evening primrose oil contains Linolenic Acid and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) which are both Omega 6 fatty acids. This particular fatty acid plays a role in insulin absorption, cell structure, regulating hormones, improving nerve function, promoting skin elasticity, regulating the heart and regulating mood. Omega 6 is not created naturally by the body, so it must be derived from food sources (or supplements.)

Due to it's ability to help balance hormones, many women who are going through menopause often turn to Evening Primrose Oil for a natural remedy. Some also say that Evening Primrose Oil is beneficial in anti-aging and wrinkle prevention due to it's beneficial influence on the skin. Individuals who decide to take Evening Primrose Oil may also want to consider pairing it with a fish oil supplement as this particular combination has been said to increase overall effectiveness for the treatment of hormonal acne by improving absorption.

While it is more common to take Evening Primrose Oil internally, some also choose to apply it topically. It is said to help speed the healing process and to help overall skin appearance and health. If you decide to also apply EPO topically, try looking for it in a health food store or a supplement store in liquid form. If you are unable to find it in liquid form, you may also pop open the capsules and apply it with a q-tip or cotton ball.

If you decide to take Evening Primrose Oil supplements, it is important to first consult your doctor. Do not take EPO without first discussing it with a doctor as it may interact with other medications or conditions and produce adverse side effects.

Information on using Primrose Oil for acne...

My personal experience using Evening Primrose Oil for hormonal acne...

I have been taking Evening Primrose Oil for three months. I always make sure to purchase natural EPO that is hexane free (it should say this on the label.) For the first few weeks I took one 500mg capsule per day and I also applied it topically to breakout prone areas on my face. Applying it topically did not seem to improve my breakouts, so after several weeks I stopped applying it topically and continued taking it orally. While using it as a topical treatment I did notice that my skin was much smoother and had an overall healthy glow to it, but my main objective was to treat my acne so I discontinued it topically.

After the first three weeks of taking one 500mg capsule of EPO per day, I increased it to taking two 500mg capsules per day, for a total of 1000mg of EPO per day. After doing some research I found that some people take up to 2000mg per day, but I opted to stick with the 1000mg per day. During the first month of taking the EPO I did not notice a significant difference in my hormonal acne. I continued to take the capsules because they were improving my nail and hair growth. About a month and a half later, I started noticing an improvement in my acne. My pimples were healing much faster than usual and I was not having as many new pimples appearing on my face. Prior to using the EPO I would likely have one or two new pimples each morning. I also noticed that my scars were fading at a much faster pace than they had previously. Now that I have been taking EPO for three months I can say that I am a real believer in the effectiveness of Evening Primrose Oil for hormonal acne. My husband has even noticed a significant difference in my acne since I've started taking the EPO (and he didn't even know that I was taking it!) He has made several comments about how great my skin looks and clear and healthy it is! I am simply amazed that I have found something that works for hormonal acne that I can purchase over the counter. It's an all-natural remedy, which is another selling point for me. Although my skin has not completely cleared up 100%, I do believe that it will continue to improve over the next few months and I may eventually have completely clear skin.

If you do decide to try EPO for your hormonal acne don't give up on it if it doesn't work right away! Balancing your hormones is a process that takes a little time, so once the EPO has had the chance to do it's job, you should start seeing a significant improvement in your hormonal acne.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Under the acne scars my skin is perfect, lol. Most skin avidce tells me to do stuff I already do. Eat vegetables? Done. Drink lots of water? Done. I hardly drink, i never smoke, I work out 5 times a week. I'm 25, and I break out a little every time i get my period. It's mild but the scars last for months and they accumulate. One time someone asked if i had freckles and i just said, yes that's what that is. . I am pretty stressed though, but i am neurotic. What do i do?!

    • alisharenee profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from New York

      @kidscrafts- Evening primrose has many uses, I plan on having a bottle of EPO handy at all times because it has so many great uses!

      @birthwrite- I hope that you give EPO a try! It's really inexpensive and saves you the money of trying numerous acne products that never seem to work! Good luck and let me know how it works for you!

    • birthwrite profile image

      Robyn Evans 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this. I suffer from hormonal acne and I have the spotted proof on my face. It is so frustrating. I've tried so many things. Again, thanks!

    • kidscrafts profile image


      6 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Very interesting! I didn't know you could use evening primrose oil for acne. So that means, there are at least two uses for evening primrose oil : acne and hot flashes!

      Thank you for sharing that information; it for sure useful for people with acne!


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