Acne After 40

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

If you think only teenagers suffer from acne, think again. Your chance of developing acne rises as we approach menopause. You can thank your hormones if you start breaking out in your forties. If you have not dealt with acne since your teens, your experience is likely to be different at 40 than it was at 14.

In fact, the number of cases of women with adult acne is on the rise. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 25% of women in their forties and fifties struggle with acne. If you are one of the unlucky women dealing with acne after age forty, we have some tips.

1. Be aware of your menstrual cycle

Most cases of acne after age forty are linked to hormonal shifts. While menopause still may be several years off for you, your hormone levels are most likely fluctuating. If you still have your periods, it will be helpful to know when they might be starting.

Why? If you are fairly regular, you can take extra measures to help minimize your breakouts. Think of it as a pre-emptive strike of sorts. Hormonal acne often affects the chin area, so if you treat this area diligently for a few days prior to your menstrual cycle, you may be able to fend off a major breakout. Using an exfoliating product containing salicylic acid, for example, can help unclog the pores and prevent a major breakout from brewing. My favorite salicylic acid product is Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid.

2. Sign up for a yoga class

While stress does not cause new cases of acne, it can certainly aggravates existing ones. This is because stress makes the body produce excess levels of cortisol, which is an adrenal steroid. Finding ways to manage your stress more effectively may help reduce flare ups of acne. Take a walk by the ocean, meditate, take up painting or any other activity that makes you feel calm. Yoga is particularly helpful, as it not only can help reduce your levels of stress, but it involves physical activity.

3. Speaking of physical activity…

Many holistic health practitioners believe that exercise is the key to balancing your hormones. It would make sense to believe that hormonal acne is much less likely to occur without a hormonal imbalance. Regular physical activity is advised for weight management, lowering blood pressure, easing mood disorders and more. So lace up those sneakers and get moving. It may prevent some of those pesky hormonal breakouts!

4. Wash your face before bed

This should already be a must, but I know that so many people believe this is an unnecessary step if they do not wear makeup. This is not true. You still will have environmental contaminants, dirt and other types of grime present on the skin even if you cannot see them. If you go to bed with these on your skin, they will contribute to the likelihood that you will develop more acne, especially if you are already prone to the condition. The fact is that everyone needs to wash their face with a gentle facial cleanser before hitting the sheets. My personal favorite cleanser is the Advanced Botanicals Daily Facial Cleanser from Seed Body Care. In fact, I recommend their entire new facial regimen and personally use the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.

5. Now is the time to treat your skin with great care

We are all busy. Sometimes it is so much easier just to grab whatever is handy in the shower and use that on your face. It is important to spend a few more minutes to take care of your skin, especially if you are suffering from acne after 40. More and more women this age find that they experience cystic acne, which can be painful and embarrassing. Following a solid skincare routine and sticking with it will help lessen breakouts, including unpleasant cystic acne. If you are feeling that you are "too busy" for a more detailed skincare regimen, consider an acne treatment kit. A good choice is the Exuviance Essentials Oily/Acne Prone Kit. When I used to freelance for this brand as an educator, I saw first-hand the dramatic results experienced by customers with cystic acne thanks to the potent, yet pretty gentle ingredients in Exuviance.

It's Just Another Mani Monday: Hand Care Edition

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hello, gorgeous! It's Mani Monday and I thought we'd talk about how you can have beautiful hands to go along with your favorite nail colors!

Proper skin care for the hands is a must to have the best looking manicure. Even the most gorgeous nail polish won’t hide the effects of dry or damaged hands and nails.

If your cuticles are ragged and the skin on your hands is dull, your mani won’t look as good as it should or could. Think of it this way — if your skin is flaky and dry, your makeup won’t look its best. It won’t apply smoothly and will look like what it is — makeup applied over dull, flaky skin. Makeup applies best over smooth, even skin that is primed for makeup. The same holds true for your hands. Unsightly cuticles and dry skin will take away for your beautiful manicure and prevent it from looking its best.

Never fear; I'm sharing 5 of my favorite tips for a beautiful manicure.

1. Remember that they are jewels, not tools.

My dear friend, Elizabeth, is a nail tech and I remember sitting in her chair when she was still a nail tech student. I was one of her “practice” clients, so to speak. She said how she had an instructor who drilled it into their heads that nails are “jewels, not tools.” This makes a whole lot of sense. Think of the abuse our nails take. I know that, as a mom, I have used my nails to separate Legos for my boys, just as I have opened pop-top cans with them. Don’t do it! That is not their purpose and you risk breaking them.

2. Gloves are your friend.

Be sure to wear gloves when you are gardening, cleaning the bathroom, and when you have your hands submerged in hot soapy water doing the dishes. The surfactants (cleansing agents) in dishwashing soap are often harsh and drying sulfates. These can cause weakness and brittleness to the nails.

3. Stay hydrated.

Yes, we all know that drinking water is important to our overall health. Did you know that it is essential to nail health as well? Water hydrates the nails, hair, and skin. If your nails seem brittle and break easily, very often dehydration is to blame. Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

4. Pay special attention to your cuticles.

Cuticles are often overlooked, don’t you think? We use hand cream to help out our dry skin and we trim and file our nails, but so many of us neglect the cuticles.

Our cuticles actually are very important. They prevent microorganisms such as bacteria from getting into the nail bed, acting as a seal. In fact, your cuticles serve as an important line of defense against infection. When cuticles are dry, ragged or torn, infection is more likely. Pamper your nails with an emollient cuticle oil or cream. Be sure to massage into the cuticles regularly. I recommend doing so alongside your hand cream. Try to keep the cream or oil by your bed at night as a reminder to apply at least once a day. 

My top picks in cuticle and hand care: 

Seed Healthy Hand Cream (I love them all, but my stand-by is the Fragrance Free) is the ONLY hand cream we use in this house. For cuticles, I love the Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. I have used it for about 15 years now. It lasts for months and is just $6.

5. Don’t forget to exfoliate.

As we get older, cell turnover slows down. This means that dead skin cells linger longer without a bit of assistance. When this happens, flakes are more evident and skin looks dull and ashy. While most of us take great care to use products such as scrubs or hydroxy acids on our face, the hands tend to be forgotten about. Use your favorite body scrub to exfoliate the dead skin cells. After exfoliation, you’ll notice that the once dry skin is radiant and with a more healthy glow. Maintain that glow by keeping hands moisturized and by regular skin exfoliation.

My top pick: Rachel's Plan Bee Body Polish in the Original scent. I use this from my neck to the tips of my toes. $20

Now that your nails and hands are in their best shape, you can choose your favorite nail color and know that your manicure will soon be getting lots of compliments!

Karley's favorite nail color brand:

I have tried so many nail colors over the years, from Wet N Wild to Chanel. My top pick is a brand called Mineral Fusion.

Mineral Fusion is 100% vegan, free of camphor, toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP. Each bottle is just $7.99.  My personal favorite shade is called Berried Gem and I wear this more than any other.

© Chic and Green. Design by Fearne.