The Ideal Skin-Care Plan for Acne-Prone Skin in Your 40s

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If it feels like your skin is going haywire once a month, it’s probably hormonal. According to statistics, up to 25 percent of women in their 40s experience acne. That’s 1 in 4 women and it’s often caused by a drop in estrogen during perimenopause. These breakouts tend to pop up along the lower face and jawline during hormonal fluctuations. Genetics, stress, and sleep irregularities can add to the fun, but simple changes to your skin-care routine can help treat existing breakouts and prevent future ones.

AM: Cleaners

Austin, TX dermatologist Ted Lain, MD says start with a mildly exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acid cleanser. “Alpha-hydroxy acid is one of the ingredients that is good to use because it doesn’t cause as much irritation,” he says. “I like the SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel ($42). I recommend using it twice a day.”

West Palm Beach, FL dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD recommends using a gentle foaming cleanser for sensitive skin like EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser ($30), Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser ($7) and the ScientificRx Rosehip Refresh Cleanser ($46). 

AM: Moisturizers

Unlike teenage skin that can be oilier, Dr. Beer says maturing skin can be dryer and needs more moisturizing. “As the testosterone increases and the estrogen decreases, your skin can tend to break out more and be drier. Look for products that have moisturizers or barrier creams so as not to strip out all the oil,” he says. 

“Neutrogena came out with the stubborn acne line, and they’ve got the Stubborn Blackheads Daily Acne Facial Serum ($19) that has AHAs in it and that’s nice to use in the morning with a moisturizing sunscreen like the SkinCeuticals Daily Brightening UV Defense ($40) or Elta MD Clear SPF 46 ($39).”

PM: Overnight Plan

To exfoliate, Dr. Beer recommends using something with a mild salicylic acid. “ScientificRx Clarifying Peel Pads ($29) are great in the evening to remove impurities from your skin,” he says.

Dr. Lain advises using Differin Gel ($18), a retinol or the SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel ($105) at night. “This is when skin is working overtime and these will help increase skin cell turnover.” He also recommends using blue light at home for a few minutes a day. “I think it really does help. What we have in the office is going to be stronger, but blue light does work.”

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