Many women are confused and frustrated by the appearance of acne in their lives as they enter their late 20s and early 30s, when they may never have experienced acne during their teenaged years. If left untreated, this condition can persist all the way until menopause. There are many reasons that this can occur, and many contributing factors, the greatest of which is only moderately under our control. The main culprit is hormones.
As women start to come into their mid 20s and early 30s, our hormonal production changes. We produce less estrogen, causing to an increase in testosterone levels in our bodies, leading to the greater possibility of acne lesions. These lesions tend to manifest around our mouths, most prominently on our chins and along the jawline. Birth control can help a lot in controlling the condition if the correct type for that individual is discovered. Alternately, the wrong type can also exacerbate the condition as well. It’s important to be patient and work closely with your doctor in this case.
There are also over the counter supplements that can aid balancing hormonal levels, such as Evening Primrose. It has been shown to help improve other skin conditions as well such as eczema, psoriasis, neuro-dermatitis, and acne. It has also been shown in pregnant women to help reduce high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia) as well as help control symptoms of PMS, breast pain, mood-swings, endometriosis and hot flashes related to menopause. Because of it’s content of essential fatty acids, it has also been thought to aid in controlling obesity and aid in weight loss. It is also beneficial to take a B vitamin complex which has been shown to help strengthen the hair, nails and skin. Additionaly, zinc has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the acne lesions. Some women have found that dairy or excessive levels of iodized salt contribute to breakouts. Iodine is inflammatory to the skin in high levels.
Topically, it is important to exfoliate regularly- keeping the pores open will significantly reduce the occurrence of pustular acne- the P. Acne bacteria can not live in the presence of oxygen. Therefore as long as the pore is open, the bacteria can not breed. In women with oiler skin, using a cleanser with an alpha-hydroxy blend containing glycolic acid such as Rhonda Allison’s Glycolic Herbal Wash can help exfoliate and control bacterial growth while removing excess oil. In dryer skin ladies, lactic acid is more beneficial because it is more hydrating and gentler on the skin then glycolic acid. An example of a lactic acid based cleanser would be Rhonda Allison’s Pumpkin Wash, also containing valuable beta-carotene, a vitamin A derivative shown to help reduce acne lesions by preventing the formation of micro-comedones. Salicylic acid helps to prevent cellular build up inside the pore as well. Rhonda Allison’s Skin Refine Gel contains not only salicylic acid, but also lactic acid and azelaic acid. Azelaic acid is also anti-microbial and brightening so over time, it will help reduce the appearance of acne scarring.
With regards to dealing with acne scarring, Rhonda Allison’s Mandelic Arginine Serum is a gentle way of brightening the skin. Mandelic acid has the additional benefit of being antimicrobial. A more potent option is going to be the Naturale Mega Brightening Serum, which contains a plethora of brightening and exfoliating ingredients.
It is also really important to make sure the skin is receiving the nutrients it needs to heal and rebuild itself. A few options which are highly beneficial in rebuilding the skin’s integrity include Rhonda Allison Drop Of Essence, Sea Gems, and Growth Factor Gel or Serum, and of course keep your skin protected from UV radiation with Daytime Defense SPF 30.
As the hormones in our bodies continue to change as we proceed through menopause the breakouts tend to disappear, and even women that suffer from rosacea experience decreased symptoms as menopause draws to a close. Often we forget that estrogen is an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory; as estrogen levels drop off, it’s important to make sure to supplement your diet with additional an anti-oxidants both internally and topically to help with decreasing skin density and dropping hydration levels.