Let’s just say it: Period skin! You get it. I get it. We all get it! When that time of the month comes around, our skin freaks out and breaks out like there’s no tomorrow. We try desperately to cleanse, exfoliate but those zits keep popping up. And have you been noticing that you’re breaking out a lot more as you get older? Hmmm?
There has to be a way to suppress our hormonal period skin once and for all. So, who other than Dr. Katie Rodan, co-creator and world-renowned dermatologist of Proactiv® Solution, to let us in on some tips to help stop the acne cycle, understand it and the best products to use.
Proactiv® Was Created For Women
Female acne was and still is such a common issue among women that Dr. Kathy Fields and Dr. Rodan created the popular Proactiv® line most of us used as teenagers for women in their 30’s! And the bad news is that it only gets worse as we get older! It’s not your fault, just blame your hormones.
“Dr. Fields and I created Proactiv® for adult women with acne. People think we did it as a teenage product but it wasn’t. It was really designed to treat adult women with acne, since we were seeing a tremendous increase of women complaining about this problem. That was what Proactiv® was all about.”
As Dr. Rodan explains, adult female acne is at its worst a week before and during one’s period. And those zits are ugly. We’re talking firm, cystic “undergrounders” Dr. Rodan calls “mafia zits.” They never come to a head and linger under the surface of the skin, which can take several weeks before they go away. Typically, women experience acne along their jawline, near their mouth and sometimes on the back of their neck.
If you’re experiencing acne in other areas like your forehead, chin and cheeks, make sure to take into consideration your lifestyle. If you find yourself working out more, wearing more hats or have bangs, then friction can cause an increase in oil production, causing smaller, more common pimples and white heads that can be treated easily with a consistent acne regimen.
Prevention is Key
Rule #1: Treat the whole face! You have to use more than one medicine other than salicylic acid to get your acne under control. Treat it everyday to stop the acne process due to clogged pores, bacteria, oil and inflammation.
Hormonal Flux: Estrogen/Progesterone 101
Of course, there is a scientific explanation to why you are experiencing such haphazard acne. Dr. Rodan explains:
“The reason why it gets worse as you get older is that guys have this hormonal surge that starts in their teenage years; it peaks in their early 20’s and sort of flatlines and then slowly declines.
But, unfortunately for us women, we are at the mercy of our hormones, because they fluctuate up and down, really varying from day to day or week to week. There is this balance of estrogen (feminizing hormones) and androgen (masculinizing hormones), and when it’s a week before your period, your progesterone levels increase and you get that association with breakouts, triggering your menstrual cycle.
Acne In Our 30’s?
“As we get older, our estrogen levels slowly decline after the age of about 30, so then you’re out of balance because you don’t have that estrogen to oppose that androgen,” explains Dr. Rodan.
“Estrogen is what tends to make your skin look better.” So, during your period, the estrogen to androgen ratio is undoubtedly more in favor of androgen, so that is why breakouts tend to get worse as you get further along in your adult years. Yikes!
How To Fight The Acne Cycle
As we get older, we may be experiencing acne but we don’t have to treat it the same way we did when we were sixteen. It’s best to experiment with low-strength, topical acne products using both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
Some days you might need to use acne products twice a day, or sometimes only once daily. But, the number one important thing Dr. Rodan can’t stress enough is: “You have to keep doing it on an ongoing basis if you want to stop having breakouts. Even though breakouts are triggered by hormones, we really treat it by stopping the acne cycle with low-strength, topical medicines to really prevent acne.”
Rodan & Fields UNBLEMISH Vs. Proactiv®
You can kind of play a little bit with the topical products and see how often you really need to use them to keep it under control.
“The biggest mistake people have is just treating your acne during that week before your period. That’s too little too late. That’s like brushing a tooth after you get a cavity,” explains Dr. Rodan. “It doesn’t make much sense. The treatment of acne is really all about prevention before you see the pimple surface.”
Dr. Rodan recommends Proactiv®, which is primarily benzoyl peroxide-based to help fight acne. But, if you want to try more of a cocktail to help ward off those troublesome breakouts, the UNBLEMISH line contains sulfur, salicyic acid and benzoyl peroxide for an epic acne-clearing effect.
Sulfur is found in the cleanser and is great for people who experience redness with acne flare-ups. Another ingredient found in the UNBLEMISH line is hydroquinone, a skin lightening agent for post-acne dark marks. The UNBLEMISH line offers 2 toners: Spot Fading Toner and the Clarifying Toner, which exfoliates with mild alpha-hydroxy acids and provides a cooling, soothing effect for the skin. So feel free to personalize your regimen according to your skin’s needs.
And feel free to mix and match all the Rodan + Fields lines, like the REVERSE line to help fade acne marks, or the REDEFINE line to help hydrate, fade fine lines and diminish the look of enlarged pores.
Use UNBLEMISH at night and the REVERSE system in the morning or vice versa. Get the best of both worlds. Retinol is also good for acne-prone skin, as well as evening out tone, brightening and anti-aging. For more information on all the Rodan + Fields lines, go to www.rodanandfields.com.
You can purchase all reviewed and mentioned items using our site, www.BeautyStat.com!
Do you beauties suffer from hormonal/adult acne as well? How do you control your flare-ups?
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– Theresa Romano, Managing Editor | Follow Theresa on Twitter & Instagram @there_esa
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