Treating hormonal Acne over 40

I was going to call this ‘treating hormonal acne once you are over 40, but then realised there it is not just us super lucky ones still battling it at my age.  There are lots fighting it from puberty onwards.

At 41 I have never had totally clear skin, I have had times when it has been clearer but never totally clear where I felt I didn’t need to cover some angry bumps.

So acne, what do I mean?  I don’t mean a few little pimples that pop up once a month.  For me I mean angry, sore, wake you in the night lumps and bumps.  Often under the skin not doing anything but being sore and red.  I get them across my cheeks, on my chin and then along under my face and neck. I get the odd spot elsewhere on my face too, but it is mainly in the classic hormonal acne bottom half.

My trigger is hormones, and it is both my hormones and others, so dairy is a real issue for me.  Although as is often the case it isn’t as simple as give up dairy and have clear skin.  I was dairy free for a couple of years there and my skin got better but still never clear.  And then I threw into the mix some artificial hormones and bam it got lots worse.  So I was ‘sod it I am having latte then to’

I have tried most things over the years, had a couple of rounds of Anti-biotics from the GP, mainly as they won’t give anything else without trying them.  All 3 times after 3 weeks my stomach is so wrecked I have to stop. One thing that did used to work was Quinoderm but that was discontinued a year or so ago.

So in the last few months I have been reading and following the fabulous Caroline Hirons blog and educating myself more on my skin and routines.  A couple of weeks ago decided I decided to get serious with my skin.  I have stopped dairy again and then put together a routine based on the advice and wisdom of Caroline and also Dr Sam Bunting. My starting point was the video below.

Caroline Hirons Cheat Sheets for acne and spots

Cheat Sheet – Acne

Cheat Sheet – Spots

Cheat Sheet – Sudden Breakouts


I looked at the info below the video and also some other recommendations from Caroline’s blog


ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser

This is a repeat purchase for me, I am not a huge fan of the sage smell, but I really like the feeling of the cleanser.  And it is that perfect balance of gentle but you feel clean afterwards.  Reviewed by Caroline here



Pixie Glow Tonic

Everyone raves about this, from the forums to the beauty people.  I got this smaller bottle in my M and S advent calendar.  One of the main reasons for getting it. But I have not seen or felt anything from it.  I am using it simply because ‘everyone’ else loves it and so I am assuming it may be doing a silent thing in the background.  Or something.

What I will be doing when it is finished is getting some more of the FIRST AID BEAUTY Facial Radiance Pads that I had a while ago.  I much preferred using them.  But it is a personal choice thing, but use some kind of acid toner on your face.  Caroline says so 😉


Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment Vanishing Formula

As per the video , this is the Benzoyl Peroxide product.  Trying to get B.P. in the UK is not without a hassle.  I had goggled and wanted a 2.5% and this is what I found on Amazon.  B.P. comes in 2.5% / 5% / 10% formulas.  I am guilty in the past of using a 10% thickly twice a day and 3 days in wondering why my face is basically falling off, but the lumps are still there.  Not a good look as you can’t get any make up to go on and your skin is literally peeling off. So now I am being sensible and starting off with a 2.5% once a day.

I am using this on the lower half of my face, where I have acne, no where near my eyes.



La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+]

I am then putting this on where I haven’t put on the Neutrogena On-The-Spot. I would hope once the worse of the acne has gone (I am being positive this will happen eventually)  then I will use this all over instead of the B.P.



La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Moisturiser

This is marketed for oily skins that you have treated harshly.  Well hello that is me.  I spent many years thinking best thing for my oily skin was to strip it and dry it out as much as possible. (See the face peeling 10% BP above.)

It is richer than I would normally use, and yes that freaks me out but it sinks in and doesn’t leave me like a grease ball.  But with the B.P. you need something caring for your skin.


Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm (TTDO)

First cleanse
This is a re purchase for me, I flitted back to the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel for a tube, and then tried an M&S Liz Earle dupe, but nothing beats the TTDO.

It makes me a bit sad it is so dull, it smells of nothing, but it is amazing.  I wear long wear make up and mascara that doesn’t budge, and this together with a boring face cloth (not muslin) gets every bit off.

La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel

Second cleanse
This is my first bottle of this – and after some digging I have realised that LRP have discontinued it.  But it is still available in quite a few places online.  I will mainly be stopping buying food and stock piling this.

It is so lovely, the smell makes me actually happy, and the formula is refreshing but gentle and feels lovely and fresh on the skin.

Pixie Glow Tonic

Info as above


La Roche-Posay Redermic R

This is my first buy of a Retinol and from what I read online it is a great introduction.  I have been using it for a week and can see the difference clearly in my skin.  It has that looking plumper, smoother and younger.  I am lucky that the oily skin all my life means apart from a really bad mid eye brow squint wrinkle I am fairly line free (on a good day ;))

As far as the acne – too early to say but I will carry on buying and using anyway for the over all effect it is having.  I am using it once a day, if you are more delicate then build it up gradually is the advice.

So this is really a before post, as I can’t write that my acne has miraculously all gone, and if I am being honest I am not expecting that result.  But I am hoping that the overall appearance of my skin will be better.

I bought most of the products from Escentual when they had their 1/3 off French brands last week, keep an eye out to see if they repeat this as they often do or have 20% off items.

I will keep you posted on any results good or bad.

I have purchased all the products myself, the Amazon linked products are affiliate links, meaning I get a few pennies if you purchase via them.  

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