Pre-menstrual breakouts to pregnancy pigmentation, we help three women with their hormonal skin nightmares

SKIN issues getting you down? There is a high chance it is your hormones. Whether your concern is breakouts, pigmentation, dryness or sensitivity, our hormones have the power to make or break our complexion.

But hormonal skin problems are not impossible to solve. While some more severe cases might require medical advice, your everyday beauty regime can lend a helping hand – from small make-up tweaks to skincare swaps to help you feel more confident.

Dr Aemer Khan gives advice on how do deal with hormonal skin issues
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

SHANNON LAWLOR talks to three women who are experiencing hormonal skin issues and enlists the help of make-up artist, Lisa Coleman and co-founder of Harley Street Skin Clinic, Dr Aamer Khan, to reveal what can be done at home to ease the pain.

‘I’d love to keep the breakouts at bay’

AMY MARTIN suffers from monthly pre-menstrual breakouts. The 20-year-old singer, who lives with her boyfriend in Finchley, North West London, has tried to cover the blemishes to her skin, but feels less confident when they appear each month. She says:

We used a pale pink blush  to compliment Amy’s skin tone

“I’M prone to experiencing breakouts on the lower half of my face in the run up to my period.  I try to distract from my skin issues by wearing loads of mascara and eye make-up.  Mostly, I use bronzer to try to camouflage breakouts on my cheek. I feel like I have no control over them.

“I take really good care of my skin and it’s such a knock to my confidence when I break out. I’d love to find a way to keep the breakouts at bay and also find a way to use make-up to detract without looking like I have loads of product on.’

Dr Khan says: “Acne flare-ups are common in week four of the menstrual cycle and are caused by hormones that stimulate oil production.  Wash your face twice a day using just tepid water and a gentle wash-off cleanser. Leave the cleanser on your face while you clean your teeth to loosen dead skin cells.

“Follow up with a serum that contains AHAs to gently dissolve the glue-like substance that holds dead skin cells on the surface.  I rate Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow Daily 2% for a gentler exfoliation.  To finish up, use an oil-free hydrator and a light sunscreen to tackle dryness without leaving skin greasy.”

Lisa says: “I’d advise using a light coverage foundation that’s formulated for spot-prone skin. Something like La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Cream works to control sebum production and provides a long-wearing blurred finish.  As for concealer, keep it away from areas that aren’t problematic. Use a creamy non-comedogenic (won’t block pores) formula like Vichy Dermablend Corrector Concealer, for a budge-proof finish that won’t aggravate blemishes.

“To add some depth, I’d advise steering clear of bronzer and opting for a pale pink blush to compliment your paler skin tone, instead. If going for a bold eye or lip makes you feel more confident, go for it!”

  • Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow Daily 2%, £16.95 from nipandfab.com – buy now
  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Cream, £17 from Boots – buy now
  • Vichy Dermablend Corrector Concealer, £15 from Boots – buy now

‘I find it tricky to even out patches’

PREGNANT Jo Cottingham, from Folkestone, Kent never had any issues with her complexion before conceiving. But the entertainer, now seven and a half months pregnant with her first child, has noticed pigmentation patches and more sensitivity with beauty products. Jo, 35, says:

We applied a hydrating toned moisturiser to blur the pigmentation on Jo’s face

‘BEFORE I became pregnant, my skin was pretty low maintenance.  I’m a stage performer and I have experienced the odd make-up-induced breakout. Now, as I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, my skin has totally dried up, especially my lips.

I’ve also developed pigmentation patches, especially on my forehead, and evening it out is tricky.  When I’m performing, I try to cover it up to make my complexion even when I’m on the stage – but that’s not to say I wouldn’t love to get my skin back to normal post-pregnancy. ‘

Dr Khan says: “These pigmentation patches, called melasma, are common during pregnancy. There is no cure for melasma but there are ways to lessen the appearance post-birth and once you stop breastfeeding. Wear an SPF30 sunscreen and also try incorporating a Vitamin C serum into your regime to lighten dark spots – I recommend Super Facialist Glow Boost Skin Serum.”

Lisa says: “To keep skin looking natural and hydrated, try a tinted moisturiser like bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser. Pair it with a concealer to blur pigmentation.  If you have dry lips, opt for a tinted lip balm, like Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm. Stick to a cream highlight for a natural-looking pregnancy glow. Glossier Haloscope makes skin look healthy, dewy and lit from within.”

  • Super Facialist Glow Boost Skin Serum, £16.99 from Super facialist.co.uk – buy now
  • bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser, £29 from bareminerals.co.uk – buy now
  • Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, £5.99 from burtsbees.com – buy now
  • Glossier Haloscope, £18 from Glossier – buy now

‘My skin is so much drier’

JEWELLERY designer Karen Webb Meeks, 52, began getting peri-menopausal symptoms at the age of 49. The single mum-of-four, who cites exercise as helping her deal with hot flushes, has noticed her skin is drier and her hair is thinning since entering this stage. Karen, from Cleethorpes, Lincs, says:

Cream-based products were applied to give a extra hydration to Karen’s dry skin

“SINCE going through menopause, my skin has become much drier and my make-up loves clinging to dry areas. Fine lines have started to appear all over. In particular, I’ve noticed that signs of time are really starting to show around my eyes and make-up loves to sit in the creases.

My eyes have started to droop which has made applying eye make-up really difficult – I have no idea how to do my eyeliner any more. Plus, my eyebrows, have lost all of their colour – it’s like they’re fading away. ”

Dr Khan says: “After the menopause, 30 per cent of our collagen is lost which causes skin to thin and sag, so you can pretty much say goodbye to plump, problem-free skin.

“There’s a key shift in balance of hormones cortisol, oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone, so moisturiser is an must. Vital to older skin is Vitamin B3, look for niacinamide in creams and serums. Olay Regenerist 3 Point Age-Defying Cream is an affordable an effective option.”

Lisa says: “I recommend staying away from ageing powders. Go for a long-lasting base and apply creamy blush and highlight to get your glow.  For eyes, instead of trying to do a solid eyeliner that might emphasise creases, go for a smoky eye.

“Simply apply a stick shadow along the lash line and buff out with a brush – Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick is really long-lasting.  For your brows, comb through a tinted gel such as NYX Professional Makeup Tinted Brow Mascara for a natural-looking fluffy brow that’s really low maintenance.”

  • Olay Regenerist 3 Point Age-Defying Cream, £31.49 from Boots – buy now
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick, £24 from cultbeauty.co.uk – buy now
  • NYX Professional Makeup Tinted Brow Mascara, £7 from Boots – buy now



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