For years I’ve educated women about not only acne in general, but Midlife acne specifically. There’s so much more to it than ‘fighting It all over again’.
If you read my articles regularly, you’ve heard me say over and over and over again ad nauseum: focusing just on the outer surface of the skin is sheer folly. If you wish to have healthy, radiant skin – you MUST start deep within. There’s no way around this truth and it’s all the more crucial to your success when Midlife acne rears its ugly head.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body. How is it then, we so often choose to believe that our inner health, hormone balance – or lack thereof, bowel function, liver health, level of hydration – or lack thereof, diet and lifestyle have no bearing on what we find staring back at us in the mirror each morning?
The simple fact of the matter is- and always has been: If you’re tackling your Midlife acne using topical treatments alone -you’re destined to not only fail- but end up worse than you started!
In the case of Midlife acne, there are several mitigating factors, all of which are internal. They all must be addressed if the condition is to be treated successfully.
No skin care product line, no birth control pill, no professional aesthetic service will obliterate this problem, unless the inner issues are addressed right alongside the topical treatment plan. PERIOD.
Far too many women consult me about this issue – and nearly all of them have fallen for the most basic advertising tricks:
They’re using heavy, alcohol-laden skin care products in an attempt to rid their skin of the ‘acne-causing’ oil, burning their skin and superficially dehydrating it during its most vulnerable time of life.
They’re trying birth control pill after birth control pill – each one promising to give the user ‘glowing and gorgeous skin’, yet all the while placing women at greater risk for stroke, heart attack and cancer development… Not a good trade off in my opinion.
Let’s stop the panic, take a breath and pull focus for a moment.
The human face -in some cultures- is considered to be a health roadmap of sorts. Certain practitioners can ‘read’ the health of a person simply by looking for certain indicators and traits of the face:
Circles under the eyes indicate sluggish liver, weak kidneys, allergies, anemia… discolorations often indicate disease conditions well before medical tests can pick up the developing illnesses – and how and where a face develops the pustules of Midlife acne is also tremendously indicative of a woman’s true overall health picture.
When a 30-40 + woman begins to break out around her chin, jawline and neck, it’s almost always and without fail, a sign of hormone imbalance. It is NOT a wakeup call that you need to start stripping oil out of your skin with heavy acne treatment products – nor is it a sign that you need to race to your Aesthetician or Dermatologist. What such a breakout DOES indicate is this: it’s time to get to your ND or MD ASAP for a hormone assessment, and also a closer look at your thyroid and adrenal health.
All too often, women with Midlife acne end up on hefty doses of either antibiotics or hormone treatments that, over time, make existing imbalances even more severe.
Things like Accutane, Retin-A, Erythromycin, Tetracycline, birth control pills, and certain blood pressure medications that flush free testosterone from the body, are all routinely prescribed to treat Midlife acne in women, while not bothering to address DHEA levels, cortisol output, general liver health, thyroid function, estrogen/progesterone ratios and the like. A dangerous game plan and one that leads to frustration and worsening breakouts!
Except in cases of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), Midlife acne can -and should- be treated more holistically, at least in my professional opinion.
There’s much that can be done to help a woman suffering with acne development during Menopause/Midlife but doing so requires spending time getting to know the woman; how she lives, what she eats, how she rests and how she feels in her day to day life. All these things have bearing on her overall health and beauty picture, and we as professionals are remiss when we fail to take an in-depth look, choosing instead to prescribe quickly, be it a pill or an expensive beauty service.
Do you have Midlife acne around your jawline and chin/neck? Then here are some pointers:
1) The most important place to begin is to meet with your MD/ND and take a look into your hormone picture. Sex hormones, DHEA/insulin levels, cortisol, and thyroid levels.
2) Hydrate yourself properly each day so your body has not only what it needs to handle its many duties – but so it can detox itself sufficiently. (The formula they say is the most accurate to assess your individual body’s needs is this: take your body weight and divide that number on half. That number then becomes the number of ounces of high quality water you need per day to stay properly hydrated.)
3) Pay close attention to your bowel health. How is your diet? How is your elimination? If you detect sluggishness then consider digestive enzymes and pre, and pro biotics.
4) Omega 3, 7 and 9 are especially important and beneficial during the Menopause transition and you should discuss them with your health care provider. Be sure to keep ratios in proper balance and amount!
5) Pay close attention to your overall liver health. Has your liver become sluggish? The poor thing has zillions of duties to perform on a daily basis and once we start dumping antibiotics, alcohol, prescription drugs and synthetic hormones into our bodies, its workload doubles -and in some cases triples. If your liver isn’t healthy -YOU won’t be healthy- and Midlife acne will gain an easy foothold as your liver struggles to break down and synthesize hormones.
6) Make your diet as clean and pure as possible, and eliminate as much garbage as you can: caffeinated sodas and beverages, trans fats, processed foods, sugars and artificial sweeteners, nonorganic meats and animal products, commercially treated vegetables and fruits…
7) Exercise and oxygenate as much as possible, within reason.
8) Rest and renew as much as possible and greatly eliminate stress as much as you can.
9) Treat your skin well from the outside too: cleanse, tone, exfoliate and moisturize regularly, using natural skin care products whenever you can.
10) If you find yourself dealing with Midlife acne, first and foremost, do not stress.
Menopause-related acne is a symptom, and if you treat it as such, you will be ever so much better for the experience. Don’t panic. The condition didn’t develop overnight and it may take some time to resolve itself – but if you follow the guidelines above and talk with your healthcare provider, you will soon reap the rewards of your body’s attempt to get your Midlife attention!
© copyright 2017 Carrie E. Pierce all rights reserved
Health and Beauty has been Carrie E. Pierce’s career focus for over 28 years. Throughout her career, Carrie has served as: Guest and Corporate Makeup Artist for numerous major, international cosmetic companies and as a Hollywood film, TV and special effects makeup artist. She’s provided skin care and makeup services for the fashion industry, as well as restorative make up procedures for burn and scar patients, cancer patients, domestic violence survivors and women suffering with self-esteem issues. Carrie is a licensed Aesthetician, Certified Color Analyst, Menopause Skin Care Specialist, Author, Public Speaker and served as co host of the syndicated radio show ‘Magnificent Menopause & Beyond©’. It’s her mission and her passion to help women be the best they can be – especially as they move through Midlife! Find out more www.MidlifeMystique.com