How to treat menopausal acne
Julia Vearncombe, found of skin:genius knows only too well how debilitating acne can be, especially when it hits you in later life. She shares her insights into looking after your menopausal skin.
When I was in my teens and twenties, I suffered with breakouts around my nose, mouth and chin – the spots would be inflamed, sore and often have a head on them. Now I’m perimenopausal, my spots can appear hard under the skin, along my jawline, down my neck and at the top of my back.
But what causes this second wave of acne during our menopause?
During times of hormonal imbalances such as puberty, pregnancy and the (peri)menopause, breakouts, spots and acne can appear. Around 95% of people suffer with acne of some form between the ages of 11-30 and about 25% of women over the age of 40. It’s reassuring to know you’re not alone.
During the perimenopause, the hormones oestrogen and progesterone fluctuate, while testosterone can increase threefold compared to oestrogen before the menopause. Testosterone increases sebum levels in the sebaceous glands, which can create spots, breakouts and acne. As we emerge from the menopause, our levels of testosterone reduces and breakouts fade.
Most of us will experience levels of stress during the (peri)menopause for one reason or another. There’s a lot going on with our bodies that we don’t quite understand. Then we have work, kids, ageing parents and home life to juggle as well! It’s A LOT to take on board and while we may be brilliant at being Wonder Woman, our bodies will show this stress one way or another.
When stress levels are increased, levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) rise. This activates the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum, which in turn causes breakouts, spots and acne.
What can you do to help?
For many of us, if we have less sleep, or eat and drink too much the day before, our skin can lack colour and tone while dark circles (more than normal!) around the eyes and spots appear.
Thankfully there are some daily key things we can do to improve our skin and make us FEEL good:
- Use skincare your skin needs. If you’re suffering with breakouts and spots, using Skin:Genius every day will make a difference to your skin-tone, texture and the way you feel. We use proven botanical active ingredients, that reduce and prevent unwanted bacteria, reduce inflammation, redness and soreness. Thy will soothe and smooth, bringing relief and brightness to your skin and mood. Use moisturisers to boost collagen and nourish and lift complexion.
- Stick to a skincare routine every day – morning and night. Remember, you don’t need to wait until bedtime to complete your skincare routine.
- Give skincare time to work. Use the same products and give them at least three months to see results. Take photos before using products and then once a week or fortnight to see the changes.
- Keep a diary, either on your phone or write down a few key words to describe how you slept the night before, your food and drink intake that day, exercise, your mood. These are all reflected in how our skin looks and feels.
- Take on-board skin-saving foods to help repair and maintain healthy skin cells giving your skin a vibrant and healthy glow. Boost your intake of vitamins and minerals, including A, B, C and E, which are high in antioxidants that protect and maintain skin health. Foods to include are: fresh fruit and veg including green and orange coloured vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, and oranges. Also ford for skin are meat, pulses, oats, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Increasing the intake of fish, flax and chia seeds will support skin health as they contain essential fatty acids including Omega-3, 6 and 9. They will help to increase hydration and smooth the appearance of skin texture and brighten skin tone.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Take time for you and remember that a little of what you fancy does you good!