It’s not fair, when you’ve never had a pimple in your life, or certainly not since your teenage years, to be suddenly inflicted with breakouts and Acne in your 40’s or 50’s. Acne during this stage of your life is not often talked about – so let’s help you work out what you can do…
Forgive me, as this concern is complex and as I want you to understand everything I have to say, but I can’t give you a book so I have included a lot of links – extra reading when the insomnia of menopause is keeping you up – beats doing the ironing!
Most adult acne affects the chin and jawline, traditionally hormonal areas, but can affect anywhere on the face or might even be on the chest, back and shoulders – anywhere really. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes, no immediate cures or magic pills. It needs to be controlled and managed carefully and individually. If you want to find out more about the general causes and treatment of acne, have a read of the Acne article linked below. Acne can also be a manifestation of Rosacea, which will be treated slightly differently. If you have reddened cheeks or chin (or other facial areas) that may be bumpy and/or pimply and your skin is quite reactive, discover how to reverse your Rosacea, whatever the stage by also following the Rosacea link below.
What is Acne in your 40’s and 50’s?
It is essentially the same as teenage acne in that your pores become clogged and then infected, however as you are likely to be cleaner than your teenage son (hopefully) and more sensible about your diet and what you drink and other lifestyle choices it is obvious there is more to it that just cleanliness and pores.
- Hormone fluctuations
- As your oestrogen levels drop, the previously masked testosterone is allowed to show its head, causing sebaceous glands to produce a thicker sebum, which changes the pH of the surface of the skin allowing the p.acnes bacteria to proliferate.
- Slower cell turnover creates a layer of dead cells on the surface of the skin as the natural exfoliation process slows.
- The skin has lost a lot of its ability to retain water and so is usually dehydrated. This impairs the cell’s ability to function as designed, with many nutrients along with the water also being lost. This contributes to an increase in the reactivity and sensitivity of the skin.
- Pores become larger as the collagen surrounding their openings becomes stretched which in turn makes it easier for clogging and subsequent pimples to occur.
The combination of dead cell accumulation and thicker sebum and oil clogs pores, giving you blackheads and whiteheads, dry, rough and dirty-feeling and looking skin and then, if the pore becomes infected you have… pimples! When this process is combined with skin that is already a little impaired, is dehydrated, sun-damaged and therefore ageing, it becomes quite multi-factorial regarding just how difficult it will be to treat. You can read more about how skin changes as you age, particularly during the menopause years, following the Menopause link below.
There is a lifetime of living in your skin that has aged it to the point it is now.
I do hope you’ve lived it well and had fun on your journey, but now it’s time to treat your acne!
Helpful links to find out more…
How to Manage this Blight on your Life!
Re-hydrate: all middle aged skin is dehydrated to some extent. As dehydrated skin ages faster and is more likely to show the signs of sun-damage, one of the first things you should do is to rehydrate your skin. This does not necessarily mean to drink more water! It means giving your skin the tools to retain water.
Find out more about Dehydrated Skin in the links below:
Repair cell walls so the water stays in the cell and all the requirements for normal cellular function can pass through the walls as they are meant to.
Restore the skin’s pH to normal levels. This will help to restore the normal flow of oil or sebum to the surface, which is needed to protect your skin from infections and to lock in moisture, as well as keep it waterproof.
Gently repairing the epidermal or top layers of the skin so that the dead cells on top are not accumulating will decrease the likelihood of a pore becoming clogged. Plus, it will allow essential restorative ingredients to penetrate the skin, rather than just sitting on top of the skin not effectively doing anything for you.
This is best achieved with the use of enzyme exfoliators and lactic acid cleansers, rather than scrubbing at the skin. Scrubbing and harsh products strip the skin, reducing the pH, enlarging the pores and upsetting the whole balance of the skin, which is what you are trying to change!
Find out more about Face Mask options in the links below:
View our range of Face Masks.
Once all of this has been achieved, the ‘garden’ of your skin needs to be fed. Lots of fertilisers, in the form of Vitamin C and B, hyaluronic acid, plus more – all antioxidants with the capability of beginning the process of healing in the skin.
Your skin is like a garden in so many ways. You need to rake it over and ensure the soil can hold the water and has the ability to feed the roots. Then you fertilise it and, if needed, you give it specialist help and all along you protect it from bugs and from the cold and from the harsh rays of the sun. Then you reap the rewards for your table – in a bowl to eat or in a vase to decorate. It all takes time, effort, some energy and diligence, but it’s worth it in the end!
Nourish with specialist serums. The serums for acne in your 40’s plus are a little different than for the usual teen with acne. This is because the teen skin will not be sun-damaged, will not have lived the life, experienced the stresses, the pregnancies, the loves and losses of the middle aged skin and so, your older skin needs a bit more love and attention. We recommend Growth Factors such as DNA repair, Stem cells and/or Peptides – use these as your saviour! Another Essential is Vitamin A serums, we recommend finding out more about Vitamin A and other serums options in the link below.
Find out more about Serums in the links below:
UV and Environmental Protection
There is no point in putting all that effort into changing your skin if you don’t protect it – every day, no matter the season, the weather or if you are at the beach or not. UV’s are everywhere, damaging your skin and ageing you and, if you like to extrapolate, giving you pimples!
Choose a sunblock that is zinc-based, ‘cos that is an antioxidant in its own right! And certainly ours will not clog your pores or make your congestion and pimples worse. Here’s our recommendations:
There are many other types of UV Protection, from makeup to waterproof brushes to sprays and creams, powders and lotions. Have a look through our extensive range – there is UV protection for everyone and every skin type!
Find out more about Sun Protection in the links below:
- Best UV Protection for Skin Type and Activity
- Sun Damage and Pigmentation
- Ageing Skin and the Sun’s Influence
View our range of Sun Protection.
Lifestyle Choices – diet and alcohol, illnesses and medication play a large part in how skin ages, how well the cells function and how dehydrated it becomes.
Find out more about Gut Health and Lifestyle in the links below:
- Gut Health and your Skin
- Do Gut Health and Hormones affect your skin tone
- Mindfulness and Exercise
View our Miessence range of Superfoods.
I thoroughly recommend the Super foods for everyone entering, participating in and for after the menopause years – the just keep you gut health normal and your skin/gut relationship happy. I take them every day.
Looking after yourself as you enter the “middle” years becomes so much more important, both for your general health as well as for having clear, beautiful skin.
Still not sure?
If you need more help or would like personalised advice on what skincare products are best for you, book now for your consultation with a skin care advisor:
Or fill in the Online Skin Consultation and Gaye, our registered nurse, will happily help you to choose the right treatments and products for your skin type or concern.