Valerie Monroe
Photo: Jonathan Skow
Q: Since I turned 40, I've noticed that though my skin is dry, my eyelids have gotten oily. What's up with that?

A: Some of the things you write to me about, my friends, would terrify a lesser woman. (Or maybe just a younger woman.) As for oily lids: First, if you have blurry vision, you should consult a doctor to rule out a couple of conditions that might cause oil on the lids, says Sapna Westley, MD, clinical instructor in dermatology at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center in New York City. Though oil glands usually become less active during perimenopause and menopause, in some women hormonal fluctuations can cause overactivity of those glands, which can lead to oily skin around the eyes and nose, she says.

Or—I'm sure you've thought of this—you may be using too much eye cream. If you're finding it hard to wear eyeshadow or liner because it migrates off your lids, try an eyeshadow primer, which lays down a base that keeps your eye makeup in place.

Bottom line: Hormonal fluctuations can cause various changes in your skin; oily eyelids is one of them.