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Menopause and Acne (Separating Myths From Facts)

Hormonal changes are common during different stages of a woman's life, particularly during menopause. These changes often trigger various physical and physiological transformations, among which the appearance of adult acne can be particularly distressing.

Understanding the relationship between menopause and acne is crucial to developing an effective skincare routine and finding solutions to treat menopausal acne.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Menopausal acne, often linked to hormonal imbalances, can effectively be managed through a combination of lifestyle changes, proper skincare, and targeted treatments.

  • Hormonal therapy, although not suitable for everyone, can help rebalance hormone levels, addressing one of the root causes of menopausal acne.

  • Customizing your acne treatment, from using over-the-counter solutions to prescription medications, can cater to individual skin needs and conditions, ensuring more effective management of menopausal acne.

  • Exposed Skin Care, a comprehensive skincare system, offers a multi-pronged approach to managing acne by combining natural ingredients with scientific advances, suitable for all skin types and effective at preventing future breakouts.

Hot flashes in a woman of mature age symptoms of menopause

Menopause and Acne: An Unexpected Partnership

Menopause is a natural phase in a woman's life, signifying the end of her menstrual cycle. It's often associated with several symptoms, ranging from hot flashes and vaginal dryness to mood changes. However, one lesser-known symptom is the sudden onset or exacerbation of acne.

Around the average age of 50, many women experience menopausal acne due to hormonal changes. The drop in estrogen levels, coupled with relatively normal androgen levels, increases sebum production. Sebum is an oily substance that, along with dead skin cells, can lead to clogged pores, resulting in acne.

While many might associate acne with adolescent years, the reality is that adult acne is a widespread issue, particularly among menopausal women. This form of acne, often called menopausal acne, can manifest as anything from mild breakouts to severe acne.

Hormonal Factors Key in Menopause and Acne

Hormonal changes during menopause play a significant role in the onset of acne. Hormonal imbalances can increase male sex hormones, such as androgens, which lead to an overproduction of sebum. When this oil production mixes with dead skin cells, it can clog hair follicles, leading to the formation of acne.

The skin changes that accompany menopause also contribute to the problem. Menopausal skin often becomes drier, which might lead to an overproduction of sebum as the skin tries to compensate for the dryness. Furthermore, mature skin doesn't renew itself as quickly, meaning dead skin cells may clog pores more easily, again leading to acne.

Understanding Acne During Menopause

Acne, whether mild, moderate, or severe, can cause discomfort and affect one's self-esteem. Understanding acne is vital in managing menopausal acne effectively.

Acne typically develops when sebum, an oily substance that lubricates your hair and skin, and dead skin cells clog hair follicles. Bacteria can trigger inflammation and infection, leading to more severe acne forms like cystic acne.

Menopaused woman checking face for acne

Menopausal Acne: Symptoms and Differences

Menopausal acne symptoms may vary from woman to woman, but there are common characteristics to look out for. These include:

  • Small, whitish bumps, also known as whiteheads

  • Small, dark bumps, commonly referred to as blackheads

  • Tender, red bumps

  • Pus-filled, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin, known as cystic lesions

These symptoms can appear on the face, but it's not unusual to see them spread to other areas, such as the neck, chest, and back.

Unlike adolescent acne, which often involves an oily skin condition, menopausal acne frequently occurs alongside dry and sensitive skin. Therefore, treatments that worked during your teenage years may not be suitable for treating menopausal acne.

Treating Menopausal Acne

Topical Treatments

One of the most popular methods for treating menopausal acne involves the use of topical treatments.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is an over-the-counter treatment known for its ability to kill acne-causing bacteria. It also helps in removing excess oils and dead skin cells.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is another over-the-counter treatment that can help unclog pores and reduce inflammation.

Woman applies oil serum in dropper for skin care

Topical Antibiotics

Topical antibiotics can help reduce bacteria on the skin surface and fight inflammation, hence reducing acne.

Topical Retinoids

Topical retinoids can help unclog pores and reduce acne scars. They help in skin cell turnover, which prevents dead skin cells from causing blockages.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid helps to reduce inflammation, kill bacteria, and decrease the production of keratin – a natural substance that can lead to acne.

Oral Medications

When topical treatments aren't enough, oral medications may be necessary to treat menopausal acne.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can effectively manage hormonal imbalances that lead to acne during menopause. This treatment can help to balance your body's hormone levels, which can reduce acne.

However, HRT isn't suitable for everyone. Women with certain health conditions, such as active liver disease, breast cancer, or high blood pressure, may be unable to undergo HRT. Therefore, understanding what HRT means hormone replacement therapy is essential before considering this treatment.

Senior woman taking medicine

Natural Treatments for Menopausal Acne

There are also natural treatments that may help in managing acne during menopause.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

Diet can play a significant role in skin health. Eating a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins A, E, and D can help promote healthy skin and may reduce acne.

Regular Exercise

Regular exercise can help manage stress levels, which can help control the production of stress hormones known to exacerbate acne.

Good Skincare Routine

A good skincare routine is essential. Cleanse your skin twice daily with a mild soap and lukewarm water, followed by a non-comedogenic moisturizer to prevent dry skin. Avoid scrubbing your skin harshly and choose skincare products that suit your mature and sensitive skin.

Senior woman washing face

The Impact of Hormonal Imbalance on Menopausal Acne

Understanding Hormonal Imbalance and Menopause

Menopause symptoms are often the result of hormonal imbalances that occur as the body transitions into this new phase. Estrogen levels fall, and the body responds by producing more androgens, male sex hormones. This shift can lead to an array of changes, including the onset of menopausal acne.

Hormonal imbalances may cause various symptoms such as hot flashes, mood changes, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness. However, it's the effect on the skin that often gets overlooked. Increased androgen production can trigger sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum, leading to clogged pores and acne.

Hormonal Therapy for Menopausal Acne

Hormonal therapy is often used to treat menopausal symptoms, including acne. These treatments aim to rebalance hormone levels, particularly when estrogen levels fall and androgen levels remain normal or elevated.

By restoring hormonal balance, hormonal therapy can often help control menopausal acne. However, hormonal therapy is not without risks, and it's important to discuss these potential effects with a healthcare provider before starting treatment.

A Closer Look at Acne Treatments

Navigating Acne Treatments

Navigating the landscape of acne treatment options can be overwhelming. There's a wide array of treatments, each designed to tackle different types of acne, from mild and moderate acne to more severe forms.

  • Over-the-counter treatments such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and topical retinoids are often the first line of defense against acne.

  • Prescription medications may be necessary for more severe acne or acne that doesn't respond to over-the-counter treatments.

  • Other treatments like chemical peels can help by exfoliating the skin and unclogging pores, reducing acne appearance.

Customizing Your Acne Treatment

No one-size-fits-all acne treatment exists. An effective approach often requires a combination of treatments customized to your specific needs. This strategy may involve treating pre-existing acne, preventing new breakouts, and mitigating acne-related skin damage like scarring or hyperpigmentation.

Woman in bathrobe touching her soft face

Hormonal Acne and Menopause

Understanding Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne, a term often used to describe acne associated with hormonal imbalances, can become a significant issue during menopause. This type of acne often appears along the jawline and chin and can range from small, mild pimples to larger, inflamed cysts. Understanding hormonal acne and its triggers can help you manage acne during menopause more effectively.

Dealing with Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne can be challenging to treat because it stems from internal imbalances rather than external factors. However, a combination of healthy lifestyle habits, good skincare routine, and appropriate treatments can help manage it. Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Keep your skin clean and moisturized

  • Choose non-comedogenic makeup and skincare products

  • Maintain a healthy diet

  • Consider treatments like hormonal therapy under professional guidance

The Benefits of Exposed Skin Care in Managing Acne

Exposed Skin Care is a comprehensive skin care system that has shown to improve acne, thanks to its unique formulation. It's designed to address both acne-causing factors - bacteria and excess sebum - making it an effective solution for individuals struggling with acne.

Exposed Skin Care Ultimate Kit

Here are some key benefits of this product:

  • Multi-Pronged Approach: Exposed Skin Care works on both acne dimensions - reducing inflammation and controlling sebum production. This dual-action treatment targets the root cause of acne.

  • Combines Nature and Science: It leverages both natural ingredients and scientific advances in skin care to combat acne effectively.

  • Prevents Future Breakouts: Aside from treating existing acne, it also helps in preventing future breakouts, keeping your skin clear and vibrant.

  • Suitable for All Skin Types: Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, Exposed Skin Care is designed to work well on all skin types.

By incorporating Exposed Skin Care into your daily routine, you can effectively manage your acne, revealing clearer, healthier skin.


Navigating through menopause and acne can indeed be a complex journey, laden with hormonal changes, skin modifications, and the challenge of finding the right treatment methods. However, a firm understanding of the causes and solutions surrounding menopausal acne can empower women to tackle this condition effectively, boosting not only their skin's health but also their self-esteem and overall wellbeing.

Remember, acne during menopause is not an insurmountable problem. It's a common condition that many women navigate successfully. With the right lifestyle adjustments, tailored skin care regimens, and specific treatments such as hormonal therapy or specialized products like Exposed Skin Care, you can manage and even overcome menopausal acne.

As you explore these strategies, remember that each woman's journey with menopausal acne is unique. Therefore, a personalized approach that addresses your specific needs and conditions will often yield the best results. Here's to healthier, vibrant, and acne-free skin during menopause and beyond.


How Do I Stop Menopausal Acne?

Treating menopausal acne involves a combination of skincare routines, lifestyle changes, and potential treatments like topical or oral medications. Consistency and patience are key, as improvements may not be visible immediately.

Why Am I Still Getting Acne at 50?

Menopause and hormonal imbalances can cause adult acne, even at 50. The relative increase in androgens, coupled with a decrease in estrogen levels, often leads to the overproduction of sebum, which can trigger acne.

Is Acne a Symptom of Menopause?

Yes, acne can be a symptom of menopause. The hormonal changes during menopause can increase sebum production, resulting in acne.

What Product is Best for Menopause Acne?

The best product for menopausal acne varies from person to person, depending on the severity of acne, skin type, and how your skin responds to different treatments. Some effective topical treatments include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and azelaic acid. Finding what works best for your skin may take some trial and error.