When I was a teenager, I yearned for the day when I no longer had to hide my spots. I dreamt of confidently rocking a spaghetti strap top and heading into town without a thick layer of concealer on my face. Unfortunately, my dreams have never fully come into fruition, as I write this heading towards my 34th birthday next month!
Raise your hand if you’re in your thirties and still have this problem. Well, you’re not alone!
Studies show that about one half of women in their 20s, one-third of women in their 30s and one-quarter of women in their 40s will still be struggling with break-outs.
And there can be a lot of (totally normal, by the way) things that could be contributing to the odd spot or blemish. Here are some factors that can be causing you to break-out in your 30’s:
Wonky hormonal levels and activity can mean; pH imbalance, inflammation, differences in circulation, and your skin getting a little *too* proactive about producing oil (sebum). For females, this is especially exaggerated during menstruation, pregnancy (when we’re meant to be glowing btw!), postpartum, and breastfeeding and menopause.
Bills, deadlines, kids running around screaming – life can be pretty exhausting! Stress, anxiety, and poor sleeping habits can contribute to flare-ups too. When we’re under a lot of pressure, our adrenal glands make more of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes an imbalance in the skin. If you think one of those factors may be the culprit, ask yourself, what are my stress level like at the moment, your doctor can even measure your cortisol levels for you.
➤ Related: Feeling Stressed? 8 Practices To Bring Back Your Calm
Making sure your skin is in a clean environment can definitely make a difference. So things like air pollution, dust, and extreme weather can all contribute to blocked pores that cause bacteria. If you’re partially prone to frequent break-outs, consider changing your sheets and pillowcases regularly. Every time you hit the hay, dirt, dead skin, and oil are all transferred onto your bedding, so all that gunky stuff will just further exasperate the problem.
Tip: Don’t forget to occasionally wash your makeup brushes and sponges too!
Using harsh cleansers and scrubs
Have you been attacking your break-outs with an arsenal of salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, or aggressive scrubbing? Stop. That. Anything that can potentially irritate the skin such as harsh cleansers or scrubs can further dry out your skin. This can break down the skin barrier, allowing bacteria in and causing further inflammation and aggravation.
Excess sebum production
Struggling with blackheads? The buildup of dead skin cells and excess oil can clog up your pores and create bacteria. Eww, right? So it seems natural to want to wash your face, like, All. The. Time. to try and get rid of it. But over-washing can actually make it worse.
Washing your face too often can cause the skin to think that it doesn’t have enough moisture. It then sends an SOS signal to your body to produce more oil. The problem is…it goes a *little* too crazy and ends up overproducing oil. Whoopsie!
It’s also worth mentioning that it’s possible for oily skin to be dehydrated. That’s why moisturising ingredients with humectants (basically a substance that draws in and retains moisture) are gonna be clutch to help you balance that oil production.
Whatever the cause, a simplified, skincare routine – one that’s nourishing, hydrating, and dissolves dirt and excess oil – can help clear things up.
How to take care of break-outs in your 30’s
I know it sucks big time to have to deal with spots loooong after your teenage years, but the good news is, is that you’re not alone in this – and there are some simple ways you can calm your skin naturally.
First things first. Op for all-natural products that won’t disturb the skins natural oils and it’s very (very) delicate balance. When you’re struggling with break-outs, some gentle exfoliation (one to two times a week MAX) can help prevent clogged pores and sebum build-up.
The products you want in your back pocket are overflowing with antibacterial, antiseptic, and astringent ingredients that help your skin balance sebum production and gently cleanse. So stuff like…
→ Manuka Honey, when regularly applied topically to the skin, raw honey can provide your skin with a myriad of benefits, because of it’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties it’s incredibly useful in the treatment of acne, dry skin, redness, swelling, and eczema. Raw honey is also a natural exfoliator and cleanser, can remove old dull skin revealing new skin cells underneath, being a humectant it draws moisture from the air and leaves your skin smooth and hydrated. You can use it as a mask on its own or mixed with one of our clay masks or as a stand-alone cleanser.
→ Pineapple Fruit Extract, found in our Nude Clay Mask, is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial so it’s good (like really good) at reducing blackheads, whiteheads, and blemishes, and calming redness and swelling. Pineapple’s enzymes also help cut down on inflammation and soften irritated skin to reveal a healthy glow. Read more about the power of pineapple here.
→ Jojoba Oil basically gets sucked right into your skin, slows down oil production, and gets right to work cleaning and clearing our blocked pores. It deploys an army of soothing anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and healing agents to moisture and helps keep any future break-outs at bay. You can mix it into one of our clay masks or as a stand-alone oil cleanser and moisturiser.
→ Colloidal Oatmeal is a micro-fine, ground oatmeal that is not rough or abrasive, making it perfect for gently exfoliating broken skin. Mix it with manuka honey to create a healing mask for your skin. Colloidal Oatmeal contains polysaccharides (sugars) and natural proteins, an extra soothing addition in our Yellow Clay Mask.