First off, let’s first start by saying that despite the negative connotations surrounding it. There is nothing “wrong” with menopause. It’s a natural process that occurs in all people who get periods. And absolutely nothing to be ashamed of (so, screw you, “patriarchy”)! But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with uncomfortable side effects and frustrating changes, including fluctuating moods, hot flashes, and new skin concerns. So in this article, we’ll zone in on one specific skin issue and answer the question: does menopause cause acne?
To answer this question well, let’s look at what happens during the menopause transition. First, YOUR estrogen levels drop, but testosterone remains the same. Since estrogen isn’t helping to balance testosterone, the result can increase sebum production. The result? More oil production on your skin and, for many women, acne.
While hormone levels are to blame for acne during menopause, other factors can cause your skin to be unhappy during this time. For example, your stress levels, diet, and exercise habits can all play a role in menopausal acne.
Why (And How) Does Menopause Affect Skin, Exactly?
Skin changes in menopause are common. There are estrogen receptors on your skin cells, so a lower concentration of estrogen means the skin can change. As a result, collagen in the skin as well as water content—two essential factors that protect your skin against aging—are lower. With skin undergoing so many changes, it’s no wonder severe acne breakouts can happen!
How else does menopause affect the skin, and why?
We’ve seen how acne can increase due to hormonal changes in the body during menopause. However, even if you have acne, it’s still important to use a moisturizer. It can prevent water loss from the skin (also called transepidermal water loss) and help protect the skin’s natural barrier. And it is crucial as you get older and experience more sensitive, thinner skin.
• Rosacea And Eczema
Rosacea and eczema can worsen with age. And perimenopausal and postmenopausal skin can become more sensitive. So it’s a good idea to avoid products with fragrance if you’re experiencing rosacea or eczema. And, you need to be extra careful about checking your skincare ingredients!
Melasma is a type of skin hyperpigmentation in which dark spots—typically on areas of the face exposed to the sun—are more noticeable. Hyperpigmentation is a major challenge for women experiencing menopause.
• Veins And Broken Capillaries
Using hormone replacement therapy in menopause can actually increase your risk of spider veins and varicose veins. Hormonal changes may also make broken capillaries more likely after menopause.
• Keratosis Pilaris
Menopause can also increase YOUR risk for keratosis pilaris, in which the tiny hair follicles in your skin can appear rough or raised. Sometimes it’s referred to as chicken skin, keratosis pilaris, and fortunately, clears up on its own in most cases.
If YOU see skin changes as the result of menopause, you’re not alone. With significantly declining collagen and estrogen levels, skin changes are an unfortunate reality of this phase in your life.
How to Support Healthy (Acne-Free) Skin During Menopause With Your Skincare Routine
If you’re wondering, “does menopause cause acne?”, don’t worry. There are a few adjustments you can make to your skincare routine to support healthy skin if you’re experiencing this problem!
- Opt for a cleanser that will help control acne breakouts, including those that contain salicylic acid.
- When exfoliating, consider a chemical peel that contains glycolic acid to help eliminate dead skin cells for fresh, clear skin.
- Use a vitamin C serum to soothe and nourish acne-prone skin, or consider a serum or moisturizer with niacinamide, a form of vitamin B that’s anti-inflammatory.
- Retinoids—a stronger form of retinol that your doc can only prescribe—are helping in treating acne. So, this could be worth considering!
While making some skincare changes can be helpful during menopause, use caution when using products designed for acne-prone skin. Why? They can often be too harsh on your skin, leading to further irritation and breakouts. Always check the ingredients!
Lifestyle Changes That You Can Make to Prevent Your Skin From Menopausal Acne
Menopause is a challenging time (to say the least!). And YOU might not feel like taking care of yourself when you’re having insane hot flashes, mood swings, or random periods. But try to abide by the following practices to support acne-free skin during menopause!
1. Eat healthily
Be sure to get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content, as research shows these are so beneficial for your body and offer numerous protective benefits!
2. Don’t Smoke
Smoking accelerates the aging of your skin, leading to wrinkles and fine lines even before menopause shows up.
Keeping up with your exercise will help YOU better manage your stress, sweat out toxins, and keep your skin clear! It’ll also help you maintain a healthy weight as you transition into menopause.
4. Wear Sunblock
Supporting your body as well as your skin during this transition isn’t easy. But by continuing to care for yourself and giving YOUR body all the tools it needs to be healthy. You can do this!
What If Hormonal Acne Still Doesn’t Go Away?
If you’re doing everything right to help keep your skin clear but are still struggling with breakouts that make YOU feel like a sulky teenager, it’s time to seek help. Your dermatologist may be able to prescribe retinoids to help combat the problem.
However, don’t use prescription-strength products as an excuse to slack on your skincare or lifestyle habits. These additional treatments are just part of your wholesome skincare routine!
What Aging Skin Concerns Do You Have? Let Us Know in the Comments!
Are YOU experiencing perimenopause or menopause and have noticed changes in your skin, and asking, “does menopause cause acne” as a result? Let us know what aging skin concerns you have in the comments below!