“I am a 40 year old female. Why am I getting cystic acne spots on my face ?’
“What is the cause of acne at 40? What natural treatment do you recommend for acne in adulthood?”
These are some of the most common questions we get from our readers. You might have been to several dermatologists on account of breaking out at 40 or 50. However, most professionals do not state the exact cause of acne at 40 and usually only prescribe expensive medicines that show no results. The fact is: your diet is equally important and most common causes of breaking out at 40 or 50, both, in males and females, are inflammation, stress, hormones, UV rays and improper diet. Let us study these reasons in detail and some natural ways to prevent them.
Skin enemy #1-Inflammation
Inflammation leads to many health issues and acne at 40 is just one of them. Chronic inflammation is also being held responsible for cancer, Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s and other lifestyle diseases. To fight inflammation, you need to eat anti-oxidants. You also need to stop eating red meat, dairy, grains and other inflammation inducing foods.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables of different colors.
- Drink more water
- Drink 2-3 cups of green tea daily which has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Avoid red meat, excess dairy and gluten.
Skin enemy #2- Hormones
As teenagers, hormones make us irritable, anxious and even make us do crazy things. As adults, hormones make us breakout; acne around the mouth and on the chin is invariably caused by hormones. HRT or hormone replacement therapy can give you acne-free and wrinkle free skin by boosting collagen and elastin. However; the opinion about HRT among professionals is divided owing to unpleasant side effects. The natural alternative to HRT is:
- Eating antioxidant rich food
- Stress control through mind body practices
Skin enemy# 3- Sun
The sun is a blessing as well as a curse. We definitely need Vitamin D from sunshine but too much of UV exposure from the sun can cause breakouts in adult skin. Sun is also the number one cause of spots at 40. To fight UV radiation:
- Use moisturizer with SPF 30
- Avoid going outdoors at peak sunny hours between 10 am and 4 pm
- Drink plenty of water and green tea to fight UV radiation from inside
- Cover up with a cap, hat or umbrella at the beach
- Limit artificial sun tanning.
Skin enemy #4- Free radicals
One of the common causes of breaking out at 40 and 50 is free radical damage cause by rogue atoms and molecules which have an unpaired electron in their outer shell making them highly unstable. Here are some natural ways to fight free radicals:
- Eat more antioxidant rich foods-fruits, seeds, nuts, vegetables
- Keep blood sugar levels down
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
- Stay away from foods with high glycemic index like pastries, refined breads, bakery goods etc.
Acne at 40: Natural treatments
Know your skin
Watch your diet as well as what you put on your skin. Avoid foundations and cosmetics that clog your pores and cause breakouts. If a product irritates your skin, throw it out. Wash and clean your makeup applicators in hot water from time to time. Know your skin type and use products suitable for it.
Avoid touching your face
The more you touch your face or pop your zits, the more you end up spreading the infection.
Watch what you eat-eat to feed your skin
This includes staying away from dairy, sugar, alcohol, refined grains and processed goods. Eat raw foods or foods closest to their natural state. Consume more fruits and vegetables. Avoid sodas, sugary beverages and even packaged fruity drinks. Choose water instead. Avoid red meat.
Cleanse your skin twice a day
Use a mild cleanser. Avoid alcohol based soaps. Do not forget to use a non comedogenic moisturizer after cleansing. During daytime, opt for SPF based moisturizing lotions.
Take multi-vitamin pill
Zinc deficiency is a common cause of cystic acne at 40. Take a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral pill s advised. The supplement should contain B-vitamins, Vitamin C s well as zinc and copper. Also eat foods rich in zinc like eggs, nuts, seeds, seafood etc.
Stress is a leading cause of hormonal acne in 40s. Menopause and premenopause can lead to havoc and stress. Life changes, changes in work or personal life can also cause acne in adult males and females.To handle stress, practice deep breathing. Put your life on pause: pause when angry, when sad, when you feel let down by people –just pause! Set up a daily meditation or Yoga practice. Surround yourself with people who love you and make you happy.
If despite these natural treatment options for acne in 40s, you are still unhappy with your skin, a good, board certified dermatologist can help you.