Ask An Expert: Dr. Rolanda Johnson Wilkerson on Maturing Skin

As I enter the stage I call second puberty, I’ve noticed my skin changing in a million ways — raging acne, age spots and peach fuzz in particular. I’ve noticed that in most recent pictures, I’m holding a fan or a scarf or a snake in front of my face to disguise myself.

But most skincare aimed at mature skin seems to be aimed at wrinkle prevention. So I was super excited when Olay announced a new collection of anti-aging products: Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Wrinkle Revolution Complex, $40, Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Acne Protocol, $50 (it’s a three step which includes Professional Pro-X Clear SPF 15 Moisturizer and Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Intensive Refining Sulfur Mask Sulfur Acne Treatment) and Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo, $30 (available October 3).

While I haven’t tried the regimens yet, I did get a chance to ask Olay’s own Rolanda Johnson Wilkerson to talk about the new products and why we need to switch up our skincare routines as we get older.

1. A surprising number of women are surprised that they are suddenly suffering from acne in their 40s and 50s. What is causing this?

It’s a fact that adult skin is different than teenage skin.

Adult skin tends to alternate between oily and dry patches and is susceptible to breakouts due to hormonal fluctuations caused by menstruation, menopause or stress. For that reason, women with adult acne need a treatment that has been developed to meet all their adult skin care needs.

Acne lesions and severe or prolonged irritation caused by harsh acne treatments can lead to discolorations of the skin, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This can last anywhere from a few weeks to years. Women with darker skin complexions are particularly inclined to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

2. How long will this dermatological hormonal roller coaster last?

Acne often starts around puberty, and it may last about 5-10 years or it can continue into adulthood. Even some babies develop acne shortly after birth.

Sexual hormone fluctuations are usually responsible, which is why women may suffer “cyclical acne” that shows up before their menstrual periods, or acne flare-ups during pregnancy or menopause.

3. Are there any negatives associated with not treating this problem properly?

Not treating acne can potentially lead to scarring and it may progress to becoming more severe over time.

A Canadian study of nearly 500 patients with acne published in the British Journal of Dermatology found even having mild acne can bring on feelings of low self-esteem and depression.

4. Ladies of a certain age are also concerned about wrinkles. Are anti-aging skincare products at odds with zits?

Everyone’s skin is different, with individual skin care needs. Whether it’s wrinkles or acne, the important thing is to choose the right products specifically designed to address each woman’s unique skin care needs. If the skin concern is acne and anti-aging, use products that will allow you address both skin care concerns. is a great resource with personalized product recommendations and advice designed specifically for each visitor. Olay for You takes the guesswork out of selecting skin care products.

5. What’s the benefit of sulfur?

Sulfur helps to kill bacteria on the skin, which results in an improvement in acne conditions.

Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Intensive Refining Sulfur Mask Sulfur Acne Treatment is a non-comedogenic mask that helps dry out current breakouts and immediately reduces overall shine for a consistently clear complexion.

6. What would happen if my teenaged niece used these products (she is prone to using my stuff when she comes over).

As teenagers’ skin is different from adult skin, teenagers would see greater results by using products specifically designed for their skin type, such as Olay’s Acne Control Face Wash.

The new Pro-X Clear Acne Protocol contains three non-comedogenic, oil-free products that have been rigorously tested and are specifically designed to treat acne in adults while improving the appearance of older skin.

7. Conversely, why wouldn’t her teen acne products work for me?

Adult skin is more vulnerable to the side effects of common acne treatments, including irritation, redness and severe dryness

8. Middle-aged women seem fine with talking about wrinkles and grey hair, but reluctant to discuss acne and unwanted facial hair. What’s the reaction to the announcement of these products coming out?

With this new collection of products, including Olay Pro-X Clear and Olay Smooth Finish Hair Removal Duo, Olay is tackling tough skin care issues that many women cope with in silence.

Our hope is to shed light on these deeply emotional skin care concerns and provide solutions that will help women break free from them and transform their skin at the same time.

9. One last question about the Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo. I’m assuming that it’s aimed at women of all ages. Are there usage recommendations specifically for the hair removal issues of middle aged women (peach fuzz and little straggle hairs on the chin and lip)?

Every woman has her own unique hair growth cycle and removal technique. Some women choose to wax as frequently as once or twice per week, leading to the visible tell-tale signs such as irritation and redness. Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo can be used more frequently.