Let’s Have an Honest Conversation About Adult Acne | Savoir Flair
Let’s Have an Honest Conversation About Adult Acne
article @JASTOOKES
by Savoir Flair 5-minute read May 22, 2023

Why do some people suffer with acne way beyond adolescence? 


Remember those acne-ridden teenage years? Ah, the memories! Unless you were one of the lucky ones, chances are you faced the wrath of pimples and breakouts back then. Thankfully, for many of us, the acne disappeared as we transitioned into adulthood, leaving us feeling victorious. But beware, because sometimes those pesky blemishes decide to make a comeback.

Picture this: you’re all grown up, living your best life, and suddenly acne decides to crash the party. Rude. So why does this happen? According to Lisa De-la-Plain, the brilliant mind behind Beauty Flash and a professional beauty therapist, adults can experience acne due to various reasons. One major culprit is hormonal changes. As we journey through different stages of life, our hormones do their own little dance, and when they get out of sync, breakouts can occur.

You see, when our hormone levels go haywire, it’s like a party invitation for our oil glands and hair follicles. They get all fired up and start producing more oil, which ultimately leads to an inflammatory reaction and the dreaded acne. So, the next time those unwelcome visitors show up on your face, blame it on the hormone havoc!

Environmental factors like pollution and weather can be culprits, as they can increase oil production and provoke breakouts. Heat and humidity during summer and surface dehydration in winter can be acne’s best friends, according to De-la-Plain.

That’s not all. Your skin has also undergone changes since your teenage years. As early as your 20s, your skin cell turnover starts to slow down, leading to a buildup of dead skin cells on the surface. This accumulation can clog your pores and result in acne. And here’s an interesting twist: if you’re experiencing breakouts around your mouth and jaw, it’s a tell-tale sign of hormonal flare-ups, as the chin area houses oil glands stimulated by excess hormones.

So, what’s the secret to combating adult acne? Skincare is crucial, but it’s not as simple as slapping on some tea tree oil and crossing your fingers. Our expert suggests taking a holistic approach. Ready to tackle the problem head-on? Here’s what you need to do.


Go Back to Basics

Simplicity is key when it comes to tackling acne. Establishing a straightforward routine and cleansing and treating your skin twice daily is the ultimate defense against breakouts. However, it’s crucial to customize your product selection based on your skin type. If your skin tends to be oily, opt for a cleanser such as Medik8 Clarifying Foam. This magical potion contains salicylic acid, which works its wonders by encouraging natural exfoliation and unclogging stubborn follicles.

When it comes to sensitive skin, opt for products with lactic acid or hydrating ingredients instead of drying ones. Be cautious with anti-aging creams as they can cause breakouts. Choose oil-free options like Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30 to protect your skin from UV damage and unwanted blemishes.


Lose the Layers

As tempting as it may be, piling on multiple anti-acne products can actually backfire and worsen your spots. De-la-Plain advises caution, particularly if you want to address other skin concerns like sun damage or wrinkles. If you choose to incorporate multiple products into your routine, remember to layer them correctly, starting with the thinnest consistency and building up. Failing to do so may result in product interactions that render them ineffective. For instance, acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and lactic acid should not be mixed with retinol, as it can compromise your skin’s protective barrier and cause irritation.


Pick the Right Spot Treatment

Navigating the abundance of spot treatments out there can be overwhelming, but fear not. De-la-Plain has some expert advice to help you choose the best one for your specific needs. First, consider the type of acne you have. If you’re dealing with inflamed red bumps, opt for a spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide. This powerful ingredient not only fights bacteria but also soothes redness. On the other hand, if blackheads and whiteheads are your concern, turn to salicylic acid-based products like Dermalogica Medibac Overnight Clearing Gel. This magic gel works wonders by reducing excess oil and exfoliating dead skin cells, leaving your skin fresh and clear.


Don’t Skip Moisturizer

As tempting as it may be to skip moisturizer when dealing with acne, De-la-Plain advises against it. Dry skin can actually trigger the oil glands to go into overdrive, exacerbating acne. Properly hydrating the skin is essential to restore balance and regulate breakouts. Opt for a moisturizer with a light or gel consistency, such as Medik8 Balance Moisturiser with glycolic acid activator. This magical combo not only provides hydration but also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help control shine and regulate oil production. So, don’t skip the moisturizer — choose wisely for a healthier, clearer complexion.


Be a Sleeping Beauty

Did you know your bed could be causing breakouts? De-la-Plain emphasizes the importance of washing pillowcases regularly to avoid a buildup of dirt, dead skin cells, and acne-causing bacteria. Switching your pillowcase every few days or daily, depending on your acne-prone nature, can help prevent new breakouts. Interestingly, the choice of pillowcase fabric matters too. While silk is great for fighting wrinkles and frizz, breathable cotton is recommended for preventing breakouts. Keep your pillowcases clean and opt for breathable materials to keep those pesky breakouts under control.


If All Else Fails, See a Professional

While occasional pimples are common, if your adult acne persists, it’s essential not to suffer in silence. De-la-Plain advises seeking help if you’ve exhausted all remedies, and your acne is affecting your psychological well-being, work, or social life. It’s time to schedule a visit to your GP. If your skin issues are severe, they may refer you to a dermatologist for a thorough assessment and specialized solutions to address your concerns.

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