Beating Hormonal Acne with Vitamin C, Derma Needling & Gotu Kola

This post is sponsored by Banish Acne Scars.

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It has been too long since I last shared something about beauty on here, so I figured this was the time to update you on my skincare regimen and how it’s been tied to my health journey. With the help of a doctor of functional medicine, not only have I discovered the causes of my autoimmunity, but I also discovered I had a hormonal imbalance and a laundry list of food allergies.

For the longest time I’d always known that dairy was my biggest trigger for my acne (see my previous stories of acne here), so cutting it out of my diet completely has kept about 90% of my acne from reoccurring. But when my health took a nosedive in 2020, I noticed that even though I did not consume dairy, I began getting alarming breakouts on my cheeks, chin, and jawline, which are areas I never break out in. A few blood tests from my doctor confirmed they were the result of hormonal acne and gut intolerances.

Along with a doctor-prescribed autoimmune diet, I felt like it was time to get back on a Banish Acne Scars regimen to help facilitate skin detoxification and prevent new acne from appearing. I’ve used Banish products several times in the past and always have a stash in my medicine cabinet, but because my job involves testing new products, I’m constantly switching up my skincare. However, when my skin starts to misbehave, I immediately go back to Banish products and they always seem to balance things back out.

If you’ve ever had hormonal acne, you’re probably familiar with the surprising pain that accompanies the cystic acne on your jawline and chin. No other acne products could successfully eliminate this deep acne for me – they were only drying my skin out on the surface while failing to address the deep congestion of the pore itself. It was so deep that extraction loops and lancets would not extract any pimples; the sebum was so hardened and calcified that it stayed deep in my skin like a rock.

This is where Banish really helped me. Banish has a wide range of effective acne-fighting products that work together in harmony to unclog the skin on a deeper level while encouraging your skin to produce new tissue and heal scars. The best part (aside from actual results)? They take a natural approach.

I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post the science behind vitamin C and derma needling, and I still firmly stand behind this dynamic duo as one of the most effective (and cost-effective) at-home treatments for acne. Using the Banish Vitamin C Creme and Banish Vitamin C Serum every night and derma needling once every 2 weeks has greatly reduced the scars caused by my hormonal acne. For the sake of preventing this post from becoming an entire textbook, I definitely recommend reading the other blog post to learn more about the magic of derma needling and vitamin C for treating acne.

As for balancing out my hormones, I had to commit to my autoimmune diet and take estriol for 2 weeks to get my estrogen and progesterone back up (they were both low). But how did I deal with the aftermath of my skin being so plugged up from having my hormones remain out-of-balance for so long?

Enter the Pumpkin Enzyme Masque. Pumpkin contains enzymes that eat away at dead keratin, which can both sit on the surface of the skin and clog pores at the same time. Pumpkin offers a deeper exfoliation than over-the-counter acne products that can address both. In my case, those painful clogged cysts on my jawline were a cause of extremely hard keratin build-up that felt like seeds under the skin. Using the Pumpkin Masque on a regimented schedule helped soften the keratin and make it easier for my skin to get rid of it on its own without the use of extraction tools. Now both my jawline and chin are bump-free with no painful seed-like cysts under my skin!

Another product that really changed the game for my skin was the Fighter Gel. My autoimmune disorders drastically increased the sensitivity of my skin, so for the past year, I’ve had to deal with rashes, hives, redness, heat, and itching quite often. The Fighter Gel was literally the most helpful product that calmed down my skin thanks to gotu kola. I am a holistic ingredient junkie, so let me tell you about the magic of gotu kola: if you suffer from rashes, hives, redness, inflammation, and eczema, you really want to have this ingredient in your medicine cabinet. A jar of Fighter Gel has always been in my arsenal since its inception because its combination of gotu kola, arnica (speeds healing), dimethyl sulfone (sulfur), and green tea (for oil control) have really helped when it came to rashy or hot skin ailments.

If you’ve been struggling with acne – especially with hormonal acne – Banish can seriously help. Acne can be tricky to treat as it has so many causes, but Banish never fails to miss the mark when it comes to marrying skin detoxification and scar healing, which are the main components of eradicating acne for good (aside from lifestyle and diet changes, which are also very critically important). I would definitely recommend getting the Banish Starter Kit if you want to remove the guesswork from the equation and start a skin care system that is targeted to treat acne – not just mask it. Remember to use code “aileen5” to get $5 off your purchase!

Compared to drugstore products, Banish may feel a bit steeper in price, but if you’re willing to pay Sephora prices for products that don’t deliver acne-free skin, I definitely recommend using that money towards a Banish kit. While I love a good bargain, sometimes it is worth it to invest a little more on products that you can trust will appropriately address your skin issues, especially if you’ve been dealing with them for a long time. Price isn’t everything, but value certainly is, and Banish’s line of products are proven to work in tandem with each other to effectively target acne.

Will you be trying out Banish Acne Scars soon? Let me know in the comments below and check out Banish’s treatment options and remedies. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my newsletter for more skincare tips, tricks, and product reviews.

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This post is sponsored by Banish Acne Scars.


  1. brandon
    / 4:58 pm

    thanks so much for the update! i have been using banish for a couple of years and it has helped my skin sooo much.

  2. Dana
    / 11:57 am

    I am dealing with the same hormonal acne and it got considerably worse after I stopped taking BCP. My hormones went AWOL. I don’t eat too much dairy as I learned from my nephew’s autoimmune disease that dairy is an inflammatory agent, especially for the lactose-intolerant. Anyway, I’ve seen Banish come up, never tried it, but given you and I have the similar stubborn cystic acne, I’ll most certainly give the brand a try. Also, did you see your primary care doctor to investigate allergies, triggers, and intolerances? I was told to see an endocrinologist to investigate hormones and such, but I’m not sure. As an adult, acne is the LAST thing I want to worry about. Thanks for the post!

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