For many women over 40 sudden skin breakouts, usually associated with teenagers, would be enough to have them reaching for the lotions. But don’t apply them just yet. While breakouts are a barely spoken symptom of perimenopause, they are just one of many challenges characterised by significant fluctuations in hormone levels.
We know that the perimenopause is a huge stage in the life of all women – that’s why we want to help you reach for the right skincare products and look beyond them to understand how you can achieve skin health by addressing your stress, hydration and lifestyle too.
Why breakouts happen
Breakouts happen when hair follicles in the skin become blocked, usually by sebum. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands, found near the surface of the skin and attached to hair follicles.
Hormones, particularly testosterone, regulate how much sebum is produced by the glands. In women going through perimenopause, fluctuations in hormone levels swing your skin health off balance, causing breakouts.
It all starts with oestrogen. As oestrogen levels drop, oil production also falls so that skin feels drier. This is amplified by a simultaneous drop in collagen. However, it also means that testosterone runs high and free, stimulating sebum production and compromising the moisture barrier that naturally protects our skin from irritants, leading to breakouts.
Challenging the change
But all is not lost. Despite these significant changes, it is still possible to achieve good skin health – the key is balance.
A holistic guide to healthy skin for 40+ women
- Explore retinoid products if you don’t have sensitive skin, but avoid products with silicon/ dimethicone ingredients, as they can block pores and worsen breakouts.
- Avoid harsh products and techniques that cause skin damage and abrasion – the aim is to balance your skin so it can heal naturally, rather than force it in any way.
- Reduce your sugar and dairy intake.
- Be mindful of your nutrition, sleep, stress and hydration, as they have a huge impact on your hormone levels.
- Use a separate towel for your face and regularly wash brushes or sponges that you use on your skin.
- Spend 5-mins at the end of each day massaging your face and neck to boost your circulation and get the lymph moving.
Carrying on the conversation
Hormonal fluctuations are the main reason for breakouts, whatever your age. However, for 40+ women going through perimenopause, the conversation is limited when it comes to changes in skin health. On top of all the other challenges women often face during this time, we know that it can be demoralising to navigate the thorny path on your own. That’s why we’re here, to let you know that you’re not alone, it’s completely normal and that there are ways you can still be healthy and feel confident in your own skin.
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Have you been dealing with 40+ hormonal breakouts?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!