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Does anything work to get rid of hormonal skin/ spots (40 yo!)

(26 Posts)
Closetlibrarian Tue 26-Jul-16 21:02:44

Since having DC my skin has been terrible. As soon as my period returned after each DC I started getting daily spots - nothing I'd class as acne, but just frequent whiteheads, red bumps, etc. My skin was terrible in both pregnancies until 3rd trimester, at which point it was great, and stayed that way until periods returned. So, I'm assuming it's hormonal and not due to my skincare routine, etc.

Is there anything I can do to improve my skin? The skincare routine I was using before, when my skin was good (prior to period returning), doesn't seem to be helping (I hot cloth cleanse, was using acid toner, serum and moisturiser, etc). Or do I just have to suck up looking like a spotty teenager in my 40s?

phoolani Tue 26-Jul-16 22:20:20

I have no idea, but maybe this will help?

lovelybangers Tue 26-Jul-16 22:36:34

Nothing helps my skin other than Spironolactone.

It acts on the action of testosterone which causes my skin to be oilier than it should.

Prescribed by an NHS Dermatologist. I have no side effects on a low dose. Have to have regular blood tests to ensure my liver function is okay - but it's worth it.

I now just wash with Cetaphil - and only moisturise if I think I need it.

Use Epiduo one or two evenings per week - this contains Benzoyl Peroxide and Adapalene- just keeps the skin cells turning over.

Best skin i've ever had.

JohnCheese Tue 26-Jul-16 22:37:25

Go to your GP. It's a bit unacceptable at 40. Sure, you could faff about with lots of products but cut to the chase. Go to your GP or better, if you can afford it, go to a private dermatologist.

I just read the CH cheat sheet. Nothing earth shattering really. Totally disagree with the derm appt being for severe acne. Surely it's a failed treatment if you end up with cystic acne that will leave scars? Treat it before it gets that bad imo. I don't understand why CH has such an abhorrence of antibiotics. They are v useful drugs.

The reason for your acne is sort of irrelevant. Acne needs treatment regardless of the reason.

Get some of the La Roche Posay Efaclar range and start that regime. Make your GP/derm appt.

Closetlibrarian Wed 27-Jul-16 09:36:08

Hmm. Ok. Thanks. I wouldn't class it as acne. Just a bit spotty. I usually wake up with clear skin then have a whitehead or two by the end of the day.

I started reading CH blog when my skin was bad between DC 1 & 2 and changed my whole routine along the lines she suggests. It got better, but hard to say if that was because of the hormonal changes that take place at the end of pregnancy/ while I was bf and didn't have periods.

JohnCheese Wed 27-Jul-16 10:16:20

Ah. I'd go with a regime from the Efaclar range and give it a month/6 weeks and see then. It's a right nuisance isn't it.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Wed 27-Jul-16 10:17:14

Benzoyl Peroxide is brilliant for spot prevention. I use Acnecide cream, OTC, Boots or Superdrug. Also, a facial wash containing salicylic acid and an oil free moisturiser. Look for make-up that is labelled as non comedogenic.

Going on the Pill will regulate your fluctuating hormones if that is an option for you.

midnightmoomoo Wed 27-Jul-16 10:17:21

I got mine sorted using Avene Extremely Gentle cleanser, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo cream and Olay Total Effects moisturiser in fragrance free. I found less is more, my skin is much better the fewer products I use.

dragonsarebest Wed 27-Jul-16 10:42:09

If it's hormonal, I can highly recommend agnus castus. Has worked wonders for me (skin, sanity, relationship, you name it).

FashionLover1 Wed 27-Jul-16 10:48:20

Read a lot of good reviews about DIM for grown up acne.

Chocfish72 Wed 27-Jul-16 10:55:16

I was using hot cloth / oil and it just made my hormonal acne worse and worse. Not spots as such, but big, angry red bumps. I suspect that my 40-something skin has become too sensitive to heat for hot cloths to be a good idea. And I know it hormonal - in the week or so before my period my skin ( and hair) get horribly oily, I can feel it changing! And yep. It all started after the birth of ds2 at age 39 / turning 40! I'm blaming peri menopause ...

For the last year I have been using Cetaphil to clean (as a wash) and then Effaclar Duo serum on the spotty areas once dail - was recommended on here. It has worked a treat. The only recent breakout I've had has been due to using oily sunscreen on my face.

babyinthacorner Wed 27-Jul-16 11:06:21

Place marking. I'm 36 and still get patches of acne. I'm currently pg and using a Paula's Choice BHA gel as I'm wary of using anything stronger, but I'm still getting spots. Feel like they're under control though. Following CH advice loosely, but it's clearly not working completely. It absolutely sucks, doesn't it?
The only thing that totally worked for me was roaccutane in my early 20s. Was absolutely horrific whilst I was on it, but cleared my sling up for a good few years afterwards. Cost a fortune through a private derm but was worth it for the few years of clear skin I got. Nothing has worked since then and my lowest point was on my wedding day 6 years ago when i couldn't get my make up finished because I couldn't stop crying over the state of my skin sad

JanTheJam Wed 27-Jul-16 11:29:59

I have finally, finally cracked my skin.

Almost exactly the same OP. Once periods returned (3 months after finishing bf so anywhere between 9-15 months after giving birth) my skin went mad me stayed that way until ingot pg again. Since I won't be having any more babies I've had to fix it this time!

Mine has also not been bad enough to see a dr but bad enough to bother me. Def not acne. Just a few hormonal spots.

I have found:
- hot cloth cleansing only in the evening. And gently!
- Emma Hardie is a bit harsh. Only once a day (I won't re buy it)
- acid toning only a couple of times a week

My routine goes:

Am cleanser: non foaming wash off cleanser. I don't like cetaphil or avenue. Neither leave me feeling clean. Currently using a Tata Harper.
Pm cleanser: balm cleanser to remove make up. Either emm Hardie or Clinique TTDOB. Followed by the am cleanser.

Cleansing is always am and pm followed by:

-Paula's choice clear daily skin clearing treatment 5% benzoyl peroxide
-LRP serozinc
-Tata Harper rejuvenating serum (using it up, prob won't re buy)
- la solution 10 de Chanel
- biore watery Spf (the high alcohol suits me)

One spot this month when I forgot to remove make up dh and I got pissed on date night

taybert Wed 27-Jul-16 11:43:45

Spots = acne. If you get them most days that's what you have. That's not supposed to be offensive, it's just when you've had them a long time you tend to minimise it because it's normal for you, but actually it's not really normal to have spots at 40.
I realise this sounds like I'm being mean but really I'm saying if you go to a doctor they should take you seriously. If it doesn't bother you too much then keep trying different cosmetic approaches, but if it does then get to a GP.

Closetlibrarian Wed 27-Jul-16 11:59:07

Yes, it does suck... Glad I'm not alone. Although sorry others are suffering similar issues.

I really don't feel like it's serious enough to warrant GP/ medication. And I don't want to go on the pill (it doesn't agree with me, for various reasons). So I think at the moment I'm stuck with trying various skincare fixes.

I was wondering whether any supplements or dietary changes would help? Anyone tried things like this and seen any improvement? My diet is generally healthy and balanced, I think...

babyinthacorner Wed 27-Jul-16 12:29:12

Ooh OP you've just reminded me - I did a 'diet' thing I read about through CH. Basically 3 days eating mainly salmon - that worked wonders.

Fully intending to do it again whenever I can after baby comes.

JanTheJam Wed 27-Jul-16 13:34:12

taybert would you mind explaining more re getting spots most days = acne?

As in a new spot most days or spots most days of the month or spots taking days to go away?

Closet I take omega3 and something Aussie for pmt/hormonal stuff but not sure what's in it exactly.

dragonsarebest Wed 27-Jul-16 13:42:14

I was wondering whether any supplements or dietary changes would help

Yes, as posted above, agnus castus. I get this stuff. And reduce your sugar intake, this makes a difference.

As another PP wrote, DIM is also worth a shot (didn't do much for me but it definitely helps some). As it's hormonal, you can also try Evening Primrose, Starflower, etc. It may be trial and error until you work out what works best for you.

mistletoe1 Wed 27-Jul-16 13:49:27

I second the recommendation for spironolactone for hormonal acne, which I have had for about 15 years. It works best for me in conjunction with a BCP but if yours isn't too severe you may not need this (I get awful cysts). Medication is the only thing that has worked for me.

taybert Wed 27-Jul-16 15:31:14

Wah. I wrote a long answer then it lost it. Boo. It's just semantics- spots and acne are the same thing. Frequency doesn't really come in to it but practically speaking if you commonly get spots then that's generally going to be called acne rather than if you get two a year. Every day, every few days, every couple of weeks - all acne.

It's a bugbear of mine (a doctor with acne). It's a medical problem which has medical solutions. Not all of them are great and it can take time to find the right one for you but you've more chance than if you give all your money to cosmetic companies (which I have definitely done). I refer almost everyone who comes to me with adult acne to a dermatologist (but I am a bit biased due to personal experience). It needs that expertise and sensitivity.

Good luck fellow spotty folk!

taybert Wed 27-Jul-16 15:32:12
Read the first few lines. Sound familiar?

lovelybangers Wed 27-Jul-16 18:49:14

taybert I wish all doctors thought like you.
i have suffered with acne since the age of 12/13 - and am now in my late forties.

Most GPs have fobbed me off - saying I'll grow out of it. Begrudgingly prescribing antibiotics.

The only thing that 'cured' my acne was the combined pill, in particular Dianette.

I finally paid for a private dermatologist, who referred me to a consultant (NHS) who specialises in acne. She immediately signed me up for Spiro. Brilliant.

It is seen as been a non issue - just a few spots. But it really is embarrassing (for me anyway) and upsetting.

lovelybangers Wed 27-Jul-16 18:49:38

Ah spelling.

Seen as BEING a non-issue.

mamapants Wed 27-Jul-16 19:00:55

I've started using a tea tree soap and that seems to have made a big difference. Lots of people saying similar on the reviews

taybert Wed 27-Jul-16 19:12:48

lovelybangers I think (and hope) that the attitude is changing. There's an NHS dermatologist in Harrogate who is doing loads of research in to acne, including the psychological effects. I got referred there and have had a massive wedge of questionnaires about what I've tried (cosmetic and medical) as well as the effect on my mood, self esteem etc. I'm confident I won't be told to wear make up like I was once!

I'm sorry your experience hasn't been good until recently.

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