Ahhhh. The joys of adult acne! If you're prone to it (as am I) here's the low down, and 3 products that you can use to help avoid it...
Adult acne falls into one of two categories…
It can either be acne that is persistent, and sticks with your skin when you transition from your teen years into adulthood, or, acne that begins in your mid-twenties right up until your forties. Either way, it’s not fun.
This acne can, and most commonly does, crop up around the chin, mouth and jawline, or along the forehead. Sadly, it seems to be more common in women than in men. This is perhaps due to hormonal changes playing a big part in causing adult acne. Going off the pill, ovulation cycles, and pregnancy can all have a negative effect on the skin when adult acne is concerned. Stress can also cause hormone levels to fluctuate and in turn, cause ‘bad’ skin, as can certain medical conditions, that directly impact hormone levels (Of course, other factors will impact on acne – diet, and weight have also been said to directly impact on occurrence of adult acne).
Often, excessive sebum (oil) production in the skin is the physical manifestation of these hormonal changes, and the immediate cause to blame. This excess oil, combined with dead skin cells, clog pores and tiny hair follicles (which are all over the body) which lead to blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. They can be blind (bumps without a white ‘head’) or your classic, nasty blemish or pimple, that just begs to be squeezed!
Now, to make you feel like a normal humanbeing (yes - it is normal to get acne!) I've included a few pics of 'celebrities' who have admitted to suffering from acne. Just for the record, I wouldn't classify these pics as showing 'bad skin' per se - and they are all still stunning, with a few blemishes or not - but it's nice to know acne (or even the occasional spot) doesn't discriminate.
The last pic of Billie shows what can happen when you get fussy and pick at pimples. I am very, very guilty of this. But there are other, and more skin friendly ways of helping to make your acne less severe. Here are some of the products I use to help avoid my acne and how I use them...
Not the scrubby, grainy kind. I mean the chemical kind. These aren't rough and scratchy on the skin, but instead help to dissolve away dead skin cells that block skin around acne prone areas, and leave your skin looking a little 'meh' everywhere else. You can try a 'peel' like the John Plunkett Cosmeceuticals Glyco Peel or a toner-like exfoliant (a liquid, applied with a cotton pad) like my fave, the AlphaH Liquid Gold. They both contain high levels of glycolic acid for clinical strength effect. For oily skinned girls, try 3 nights a week to start with. You may be able to build up to every second night, but take it easy. They are strong on skin, so you shouldn't go overboard, or you'll hurt your precious skin and could even burn it. Everything in moderation. Also, try to use after cleansing , before bed, and don't follow with any other product. Just let it do it's thing. Best of all, these products will help to fae acne 'scarring' or those little red marks left over from picking.
Spot treatments are creams are a great way to isolate your acne, and not have to involve your whole face. Like me, your chin might suffer, but you shouldn't need to apply anti-acne prods to your cheeks if they are fine. The b.liv by cellnique off with those headsis very popular for helping avoid blockages, before they turn into pimples.
So it the Bioderma Sebium AKN. Both help to reduce the sebum levels in your skin, to reducing the appearance of clogged pores. Just like anti-aging products, prevention is better than curing when it comes to acne. If you know you're prone to it, it's better to keep skin in check with constant maintenance, rather than fighting a nasty pimple once it literally rears its ugly head.
Another key product I use to keep my acne in check is a non-foaming cleanser. Obviously, washing your skin and keeping it clean is key. Makeup, sunscreen, sebum and daily grime all build up to create nasty blockages, ripe for turning into pimples. But rather than washing with a harsh, foaming cleanser, reach for a gentler one instead. Foaming cleansers may feel like they are really cleaning your skin, but if you strip all the oil away, and end up with that tight feeling post-cleanse, you've probably removed all the natural sebum in your skin. For oily prone gals, this means your skin will simply go into over drive and produce even more than before! Not what you want.
Remember, if all of these additional skincare tips are ineffective after 12 weeks (this will cover the 'cycle' or your skin, taking into consideration your monthly hormonal cycle - which will invariably leave skin better or worse, depending on 'that time of the month'), go to a GP. They may prescribe some skin medication, or give you a referral to a dermatologist. You could be prescribed topical creams, gel medication or oral antibiotics. These will most likely be retinoids - medicines that contain vitamin A. They can be highly effective, but will leave your skin sensitive to the sun, so remember your SPF.
It's also important to remember, if you take oral medications, it will effect your entire skin - even if your acne is only present on your chin etc. Just something to take into consideration, as these medications can make skin a lot worse, before it's better. Be guided by your GP or dermatologist and ask them any questions you my have.
Good luck ladies! I hope you find some helpful solutions here. One final tip - if your skin is getting you down, try not to cake on your foundation. More makeup will draw more attention to any spots. Also, a bright lip will focus the eye on your pretty smile! Trythis colour(my top pick from the newPout Pencil range!)
Do you have adult acne? Any helpful tips you'd like to share? Let me know! - Lauren