They say the menopause is like puberty in reverse and it can certainly feel like that when it comes to your mood and your skin.
Fluctuating hormones bring on a whole host of skin changes and it can often feel as if your complexion has changed overnight. Our skin in menopause can seem really confused – dry, tight and dull on the one hand but at the same time prone to sensitivity, inflammation, and the type of hormonal breakouts you may not have experienced since your teenage years. The skin changes experienced in menopause can be uncomfortable and distressing for women, particularly hormonal acne. It’s important to know how to take care of your skin in perimenopause and menopause to help control breakouts. The good news is with the right approach and skincare regime there are ways to keep menopausal acne in check.
How do I Know if I have Menopausal Acne?
Menopausal acne is characterised by deep tender bumps or cysts mainly around the jawline, mouth and chin. This is different to the acne experienced in puberty which is usually in oilier areas of the face like the t-zone in the form of blackheads, whiteheads and puss-filled spots. Menopausal acne often occurs with increased facial hair – another tell tale sign you are dealing with the hormonal skin changes caused by menopause and perimenopause.
What Causes Menopausal Acne?
Menopausal acne develops for much the same reasons it does in puberty. Fluctuating hormone levels lead to hormonal imbalance. In menopause, oestrogen levels start to drop, so you have less oestrogen compared with your male hormones (androgens). Androgens therefore have more of an impact on your body . Testosterone is the androgen that has the greatest impact on menopausal acne - it can cause your body to produce more sebum (an oil-like substance) which can block pores and trigger breakouts.
What Can Help?
Wash your face gently. Cleanse your skin twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Avoid harsh cleansers, soaps or anything too drying. Avoid over-cleansing as this can dry skin out even more and trigger more oil production making breakouts worse.
The menopause is inevitable for all of us but hormonal acne doesn’t have to be – with the right skincare and approach.