Dr. Zenovia Skincare aims to showcase the stories of real people. Hormones have a huge impact on our skin’s health throughout life’s various stages. In this post, Sonni shares her personal skin journey from dealing with hormonal adult acne in her 20’s to noticing enlarged pores and a general increase in skin laxity. Everyone has a unique perspective and story to tell.
I’m proud to say I am racing towards 40. My birthday is in September, and I celebrate aging! And although I’m happy to be hitting this milestone soon, keeping my skin in top shape is a huge priority for me.
Hormonal Adult Acne
In my early 20s, I had terrible acne—so bad it deeply impacted my psyche and sense of self-worth. Having taken Accutane as a 19-year-old, I hadn’t expected to be dealing with skin issues again, and when my acne came out of nowhere, it was devastating.
Looking back, I now realize that I was likely over-drying and over-treating my skin—using drying products that irritated it, without ever giving it the moisture it needed and the time to recover from strong treatments.
What ended up saving my skin, and my confidence was meeting an incredible facialist. She was from the Netherlands and had trained internationally, and she was the first to tell me that I was essentially torturing my skin with all of the medications, treatments, and irritating products. It was then that I learned how important gentle, but effective, daily skincare is.
I kind of glossed over the psychological difficulty of having persistent acne but let me state this for the record: That was a truly painful period in my life, due to the lack of confidence and embarrassment that acne can cause.
On top of worrying about how my skin looked in general, I had also just started my career in television news. The only thing worse than having acne is having acne on TV. Thank God my facialist was able to help my skin because both my mental health and my career (to an extent) depended on it. And that’s why I never think that beauty is frivolous. It can be so intrinsically connected to how we feel about ourselves, and that is why I have dedicated so much content as a blogger and digital talk show host now to talking about it—recommending products that work, asking for favorites from my online friends, and followers, and overall espousing the benefits of learning about skincare and self-care. It’s vital to our mental health!
Thankfully after that period, my acne went away and all was well—great, even—through the rest of my 20s and 30s, even during my three pregnancies. In fact, my skin was as happy as it’s ever been when I was pregnant and nursing my babies. I feel fortunate that my skin enjoyed early motherhood so much!
Enlarged Pores, Jawline Acne, & Skin Aging
Now that I’m done nursing and my skin has leveled back out, I’m starting to notice that I’m entering the next chapter of my skin’s journey. I’m not sure what to call it, but for the first time I’m noticing enlarged pores on my cheeks, congestion and blackheads in that area, maskne along my jawline, and laxity in my skin on my lower cheeks that, I swear, wasn’t there just a year ago!
I’m a vocal proponent of doing whatever it takes to feel great from the inside out, so to address fine wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes, I’ve done occasional Botox for years. I’ve also come to appreciate how much a good retinol or Vitamin A product can help. For my pores, I love a good salicylic acid toner; my skin loves BHAs! It’s really the only thing that I’ve found that keeps my pores clean. And finally, I’m vigilant about sunscreen and sunblock. For the most part, I wear mineral-only formulas—lotions with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide—versus chemical sunscreens, as I find they irritate my skin less. But these new skin issues—clogged, large pores, as well as laxity—are a new challenge for me!
I’m now in a period where I’m simplifying my skincare routine. I do a gentle cleanse in the morning, usually with a non-foaming cleanser; then tone with a toner laced with salicylic acid; then apply a good vitamin C serum, and end with an SPF.
For nighttime, it’s all about a more serious cleanse. I double cleanse—first, with an oil-based cleanser. Then I use a gentle cleanser as a second step, to make sure all traces of SPF and makeup are off my skin. Then, I tone and use nighttime skin treatments.
Discovering Hormonal Dermatology
After hearing Dr. Zenovia on the Gloss Angeles podcast, I knew I had to research more about the connection between hormones and skin health. I already knew hormones could impact my overall body health, but I never thought to ask what they might be doing to my skin.
I was lucky enough to try Dr. Zenovia’s Hyaluronic and Peptide Serum, as well as her deliciously soft and creamy Peptide + Ceramide Repairing Moisturizer and I fell in love. Since then, I went back and bought the Benzoyl Peroxide cleanser, the pads, and the acne spot treatment to help with my acne. I’ve been loving the feel of the products on my skin; the serum is especially silky and sinks right in. And the acne treatment is powerful! I used it just a couple of nights ago on two growing pimples on my forehead, and they were deflated by the morning.
Skincare Advice for Busy Moms
My advice for any other busy moms who want great skin is to find a routine that works and stick with it. Seeing a trained facialist or dermatologist is also key: You want to make sure you’re using the right products for your skin type, and to help you fix any issues you might have with the right products.
Track down the experts, get their recommendations, and stick with the plan! I know I’m looking forward to continuing to take care of my skin as I age, now that I know each chapter brings its own changes.