Skincare Over 40: Fading Dark Spots on Face

skincare over 40

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When I used to think about skincare over the age of 40, I never thought I would still be dealing with acne-prone skin and hyperpigmentation. Yet here I am. Well over the age of 40, and I am still dealing with acne-prone skin and still wanting to fade dark spots on my face.

skincare over 40 black woman in mirror wearing pink robe and braids

My skin issues started when I was a teenager. I remember being ashamed of the dark marks and pimples that I had all over my face and upper back. I remember I was limited in selecting a dress for my junior high prom because I did not want a dress that exposed the dark marks on my upper back. My mom took me to see a dermatologist and things got a little better but I was still on the struggle bus.

Over the years, I have tried many different skin care products. From Proactiv to Accutane, I have tried it all and had success with some of them. Although I’ve seen success and cleared my skin of spots and blemishes, the acne and dark spots always seem to reappear every few years and I have to review and adjust my skincare regimen.

skincare over 40 acne scarring dark marks black woman before photo

Late last year, I started experiencing cystic hormonal acne. As hard as I tried, I could not keep my hands off my face and my gosh did I ever learn my lesson. It all started with three cysts. The largest cyst was on my chin and I decided to “pop” it. Now remember, cystic acne is beneath your skin and has not come to the surface or “to a head”. Sweet genius that I am, I decided to pop it anyway. Did it pop? Well, I think so. I was left with a huge sore that resembled a blister. Still not having learned my lesson, I continued to “pick with” the remaining cysts until I’d popped them all. And you guessed it, each of them became a gross sore leaving large scars on my face.

Thankfully, this occurred in the middle of the pandemic and I was able to hide the breakouts and scarring with a mask. However, the mask could not hide the sores that were soon covered in what appeared to be layers of dead skin. Another thing that worked against me was the color of my skin. All of this occurred in the winter months which meant my skin was at its lightest and my new scars were SUPER dark.

I was very distraught. I hated leaving the house because I felt hideous. I never went anywhere without makeup and overtime this became quite irritating. I knew I had to make a change to my skincare routine when I found myself on the beach, wearing a full face of foundation. The mixture of makeup, sand, and sweat left me looking and feeling like a hot mess.

Knowing I needed changes to my skincare routine, I made an appointment with my dermatologist. In addition to getting rid of my acne, I was also wanting to start focusing on anti-aging skincare. Now that I am in my 40’s, I want to do all I can to reduce the appearance of any fine lines and wrinkles. I asked my dermatologist about adding Tretinion to my skincare regime and she agreed that it might work well for me. After a quick telehealth visit, we landed on this skincare regime:

Morning Skincare Routine:
Wash with prescription sulfur face wash
Cleanse face with clindamycin pads
Apply a thin layer of Winlevi to the face
Apply Vitamin C moisturizer
Apply Sunscreen

Nighttime Skincare Routine:
Wash with sulfur face wash
Clindamycin face pads
Apply a thin layer of Winlevi to the face
Apply Tretinoin .25 Cream all over the face (and neck)
Apply hydroquinone product to areas with spots only
*I was also taking an oral antibiotic once a day.

skincare over 40 skincare products collage

How long did it take to start seeing results from a new skincare routine?

After about three weeks, I started to notice small changes. I did experience small breakouts in my chin area. This is expected when using Tretinoin because of the initial purging phase. I did not want dry, peeling skin so I was always careful to apply my hyaluronic acid serum and a moisturizer. This is hyaluronic acid I used because it is effective, affordable, and easily accessible.

After a month or so, I noticed a difference. The texture of my skin improved greatly. Thankfully, my scarring was only on my chin and the side of my face and wasn’t visible when facing me. The improvement of the texture of my skin was the motivation I needed to remain consistent with my skincare regime.

skincare over 40 acne prone skin after photo

So there you have it, my tried and true, dermatologist recommended skin care regime. I believe I have found the skincare routine that works for my skin. I will continue to identify anti- aging skincare products to add to my routine because I want to keep the fine lines and wrinkles away.

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