Skin Care for Adult Acne
It is Monday morning and you’re meeting an important new business client for lunch. Now what’s this pimple on your jaw line? One in every 5 women over age 25 has adult acne. More women than men have adult acne. It may be either acne which never stopped from childhood into adulthood (persistent acne) or first time acne (late-onset acne).
Adult acne is caused by pores becoming clogged by sebum, an oily substance produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. The clogged pores then attract bacteria and become inflamed.
There are many triggers for adult acne outbreaks. One is hormonal. Any changes in hormones, be it stopping or changing birth control pills, pregnancy, or menopause, can trigger outbreaks. Most of these hormonal shifts are simply normal fluctuations in hormones, not hormonal imbalances.
Other triggers include stress, some medications, such as corticosteroids, and cosmetics.
It is important to have a good skin care regimen. What works for teenage skin does not always work with adult skin which is drier in spite of the oil clogged pores.
Start with a gentle cleanser, like Cetaphil or Aquanil. If you have sensitive skin, avoid products that contain beads or granules whose abrasive nature can irritate sensitive skin.
It is important to keep your face clean during the day. Wash your face twice daily with the cleanser using cold or warm water. Hot water is drying. Cold water can help tighten the pores.
Use your hands to wash your face or a really soft washcloth. Rough washcloth can irritate the skin.
Add a mild chemical exfoliator such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid which are found in many women’s cosmetics and in acne treatments. The salicylic and glycolic acid can also help prevent skin discoloration. Harsh scrubs or repeated microdermabrasion will irritate the skin and make acne worse.
Products that contain benzoyl peroxide can be used to spot-treat a breakout. They can help kill bacteria and treat the adult acne.
Using an over-the-counter retinol product can help clean pores and reduce fine wrinkles.
Sunscreens are important for skincare for prevention of aging and skin cancer. It is also important for adult acne patients to use a sunscreen meant for the face as some sunscreens can clog pores and cause acne.
If a good skin care regimen is not enough, then see your dermatologist. You may be someone who needs a topical antibiotic cream or oral antibiotic. You may also benefit from blue light therapy or Laser treatments.