Is This Beauty Brand the Solution to Hormonal Acne?

While it’s overly optimistic to wish you a “happy period,” Amareta aims to give you happy skin during that time of the month. Their weekly skincare regimen targets skincare woes caused by our pesky hormones.


“I think, because of my scientific background I just saw that there was a gap between connecting skin care with women’s hormones,” says Claire Zhao. After studying public health and human sciences at Oxford University, Claire realized that the contemporary beauty market didn’t offer a solution to weekly changes in women’s skin caused by hormonal fluxes.

As women go through hormonal changes from week to week, our skin experiences directly-related changes, moving from weakened skin to dry skin, and ultimately to breakouts and drops in complexion. “The week or two prior to menses, susceptible women are more prone to acne because of the dominance of progesterone and testosterone in that phase of the cycle,” Dr. Stacey Madoff of Healthquest OB/GYN explains. “Women are also progesterone dominant in the early stages of pregnancy, causing increased breakouts.” Knowing this, Claire felt that there should be a single skincare solution to the array of skin ailments caused by women’s hormonesan all-in-one beauty regimen that changes weekly as she does.

Enter Amareta, a consciously-made beauty brand with women’s health in mind. Along with friend and co-founder Jen White, Claire launched Amareta to help bridge the gap between the beauty industry and women’s health. Amareta offers a 28-day skincare regimen governed by the menstrual cycle. Over a base moisturizing set made from ingredients like lemon peel bio-ferment and guava leaf extract, each week calls for a different combination of products to combat hormonal conditions.

Amareta identifies the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle as a time of dry skin, due to lulls in estrogen and progesterone. So their solution is the Petal Soft Cleansing Balm, made from cranberry fiber, meadowfoam seed oil, chamomile flower extract, and shea butter, paired with the evening primrose oil-rich Fresh Dew Serum Lotion.

Amareta calls the last two weeks of the cycle Hormonal Breakout—most people call these weeks PMS and period. During this time, we experience low estrogen levels and lots of progesterone and testosterone, leaving our skin prone to acne breakouts. Amareta’s response to the Hormonal Breakout is the Earth Mother Detoxifying Charcoal Mask and the Pure Peace Clarifying Serum to help detoxify, bring balance, and keep skin clear and calm.

Ladies, some of you might be thinking, “But my skin doesn’t change each week,” or “My hormonal contraceptive prevents breakouts.” And you’re right. As Dr. Madoff clarifies, “Not all women exhibit the same type of hormonal susceptibility to acne. Adolescents seem more prone to hormonal acne as well as pregnant women and menopausal women. Adult acne is not always considered hormone related. Oral/hormonal contraceptives improve acne for many women by increasing sex hormone binding globulin, which will decrease the amount of circulating androgenic (male dominant) hormone, thus decreasing acne over time.”

Though overall prevalent in all women, these weekly hormone changes that Amareta aims to tackle do vary from woman to woman. Every woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels dip in the first week of their cycle, this hormonal change might not affect your skin much but can give another woman dry, dull skin. “How the body responds to the hormonal changes does vary, but in the general rollmap, the generalized ups and downs of the hormones and the effect that it has on the skin is very similar,” Claire agrees. “So everyone, if they get to know their skin really well and pay attention, they will see that cycle [on some scale.]”

“I just feel that there is a need to encourage women, to like, really get intimate with what their bodies are telling them, and to embrace changes instead of trying to cover it up,” Claire says.

Amareta aims to create a message of understanding through their skincare product. They want to show women that they are understood, as well as help women to understand their bodies and be more in tune with their inner ebbs and flows. “And we also want to empower [our clientele], let them know that it is only natural,” Claire continues. “No matter how much someone is in tune with her hormones, they will change throughout her life and it is just perfectly normal. We really want to encourage women to understand that, these hormones are powerful, but you are also part of this powerful cycle of life.”

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