Hannah Betts’s Better… not younger: Shocking teenage spots due to HRT? Here’s how to sort it
- Hannah Betts explains how to deal with spots caused by HRT
- UK-based beauty expert advises to go easy on the skin care used
- Leather Jardin eau de parfum is this week’s cosmetic craving
Brilliantly — and perhaps cannily (ker-ching!) — everyone and their dog is falling over themselves to produce menopause skin support these days.
Clarins new Super Restorative Day and Night Creams are lovely, nourishing affairs featuring a plant-based alternative to retinol suitable even for sensitive skins (from £60, clarins.com).M&S now boasts Prai’s expanding MenoGlow line (from £22, praibeauty.co.uk), the store’s best-selling skincare brand and most successful launch of 2021. Now six products and counting, such is MenoGlow’s reputation for mitigating collagen loss and dehydration.
Vichy, owned by L’Oréal, has its Neovadiol range (from £20.25, lookfantastic.com) targeting dryness, dullness and loss of elasticity. And Avon brought us Adapt last year, with its budget menopause hydration trio of night cream, serum and facial mist (from £6, avon.uk.com).
On the evidence of the above, one might imagine fifty something hormonal horrors are confined to parched faces. Yet, for legions of women, an oily complexion is midlife’s unwanted gift, with grease, cavernous pores and acne the issue, especially in a sweaty summer.
My friend Stephanie, 59, is the most glamorous of women — the last person one would associate with the phrase ‘greasy skin’.
Clarins new Super Restorative Day and Night Creams are lovely, nourishing affairs featuring a plant-based alternative to retinol suitable even for sensitive skins (from £60, clarins.com) for spotty skin caused by the menopause (stock image)
And, yet, as she reveals: ‘I’ve had an oily complexion and blemishes since my pre-teen years, and was looking forward to not having to worry about this. However, HRT has kept this problem alive.
‘Basically, it’s given me the face of a spotty adolescent.’
Not that one would ever know it. Stephanie’s management of her skin is impeccable. I wanted to know how she does it on our collective behalf.
Her first and foremost tip is to go easy on things: ‘Older skin can’t bounce back as it might have done in puberty,’ she advises. ‘So balance all oil-combating measures with TLC to avoid any irritation.’
Your primary method of tender loving care should be facial mists as a morning spritz, meaning you don’t need moisturiser.
Try the antioxidant-rich Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe (£6.75, spacenk.com) or Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist (£22, elizabetharden.co.uk).
If you do find yourself craving a more traditional moisture hit, choose Advanced Clinicals Hyaluronic Acid Instant Skin Hydrator (£12.29, amazon.co.uk), which feels wonderful, is easy-to-use, cheap-ish, and lasts for ever.
In sweltering summer, Dermalogica’s Clear Start Cooling Aqua Jelly (£22, dermalogica.co.uk) can be applied straight from the fridge.
A calming way to wash off the day will be Cetaphil’s brilliant, budget Gentle Skin Cleanser (£9.49 for 236ml, superdrug.com), great on spotty and sensitised skin alike. Otherwise, invest in Aussie botanical brand Sand & Sky’s new Oil Control Clearing Cleanser (£26, selfridges.com), so good it sold out on its own site within 72 hours.
Hannah Betts, pictured, recommends having a first-rate liquid exfoliant to hand, namely Paula’s Choice Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2 per cent BHA, a leave-on toner with salicylic acid to combat shiny, spotty areas
I recommend having a first-rate liquid exfoliant to hand, namely Paula’s Choice Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2 per cent BHA (from £11, cultbeauty.com), a leave-on toner with salicylic acid to combat shiny, spotty areas.
To bring a blemish to the surface in order to treat it, use Mario Badescu’s classic Silver Powder (£11.50, spacenk.com) as a ‘drawing’ mask. A couple of times a week, seek out The Elements Az Skin Balancing Cream (£9, the-elements.co.uk), an overnight treatment to clear blemishes that’s kind to sensitive skin.
By day, opt for a matte sunscreen such as Paula’s Choice subtly blurring Resist Anti-Aging Super-Light Moisturiser SPF30 (£29.75, paulaschoice.co.uk). Next, a primer and/or pore-minimiser like Benefit’s UK best-seller The POREfessional (£29.50, benefitcosmetics.com).
A light foundation such as MAC Studio Fix Fluid spf 15 (£29, maccosmetics.co.uk) comes in a splendid 67 shades, or try L’Oréal Age Perfect BB Cover spf 50 (£11.99, boots.com), if you happen to fit into one of its six.
Oily eyelids often won’t hold powder shadow even after primer. Instead, go for a wet-looking, sparkly cream such as Trish McEvoy 24-hour Eye Shadow and Liner (£24, libertylondon.com), or Stila’s fantastic Glisten & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow (£24, stila.co.uk).
Follow this routine and nobody will ever have you down as a midlife teenager.
RACE YOU TO IT
MY ICON OF THE WEEK
Julianne Moore, 61, pictured, likes using Teresa Tarmey’s Retinol and massages her face with a vibrating beauty bar
The film beauty, 61, is the face of the new Hourglass Ambient Soft Glow Foundation (£46, hourglasscosmetics.co.uk), being a 2.5 in its 32 shades. She is also a fan of Teresa Tarmey’s Retinol (£72, teresa tarmey.com) and massages her face with a vibrating beauty bar (try Jillian Dempsey Gold Bar, £185, harrods.com).
FIVE HITS FOR HOLIDAYS
If you are yet to sample Jo Malone’s excellent scents for Zara, then get involved now. After leaving her eponymous brand in 2006, Malone launched Jo Loves, which offers her signature, light, naturally inspired fragrances at £75 for 50ml. Her Zara concoctions, which first appeared in 2019, are created by Jo Loves and sold at a fraction of the price. I, for one, prefer them. My favourite, Leather Jardin eau de parfum (£25.99 for 90ml, zara.com) is sophisticated, its leather, rose and grapefruit reminiscent of Cabochard by Grès. Vetiver Pamplemousse (£15.99, for 40ml) proves a hit with fans of Jo Loves Pomelo, while Bohemian Bluebells (£5.99 for 40ml) is a soft, spring-inspired crowd pleaser.