Adult acne is annoying, frustrating and just plain embarrassing. But it doesn’t have to be. As an aesthetician I see two types of people who struggle with adult acne. Those who had acne as teenagers and are frustrated by the return of their issues. And the other side, those who never had a breakout and it is the END of the world that they have gotten acne at their age. Either one you are, I have a solution for you. The thing about adult acne is that it is usually not caused by oil production. Teenagers who struggle with breakouts almost always have excess oil naturally in their skin. As I’m sure you realize, as we age our skin tends to be dryer and looses moisture more quickly than in our teenage years. We need to combat this while trying to get the breakouts cleared up as well.. But how?
What Not To Do
NO Cetaphil, or CeraVe– Two Words: Propylene Glycol. PG is commonly found in processed food used as a preservative, shampoos, spray deodorant, e-cigarettes and facial products. Hmm.. weird right? PG is a derivitive of petroleum, like mineral oil. Propylene Glycol forms a seal on the face to lock in moisture. Now this does not ADD any moisture to your skin. But it gives off the illusion, because it does not allow any water to escape. However, if it doesn’t allow water to escape from your skin, can p. acne bacteria, dirt or oil escape? The answer, not likely. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard that a derm recommended that an acneic client use cetaphil or one of its competitors. It’s baffling. The ONLY person who should be using this is someone with NO barrier function. I.E. if you get red, irritated, stinging/burning while outside, washing your face, applying any products(even moisturizers), etc. This true long term barrier function issue is very, very rare.
NO Benzoyl Peroxide– Benzoyl peroxide does nothing but dry out your skin. If you are SUPER oily then this may work for you, if you are in the normal to dry category you are just making things 100 times worse. If the skin gets dried out your bodies natural response is to try to fix it which leads to it producing more oil. Oil is the food for the p.acne bacteria, when more oil is produced it becomes a feeding ground for it to grow rampant. This is true for pubescent acne as well. Dryer is not better. It can be a quick fix but it will not get you long term results.
What To Do
Determine changes. Have you started a new diet, or drastically changed your eating habits? Have you changed medication or gone through a hormonal change? If the answer to one of these questions was yes, we are also going to need to address your acne from the inside. While doing that the changes could mean taking an antibiotic, supplements, probiotics, looking at diet, etc. This is one of my favorite Face Maps to address breakouts caused by internal issues. Things you wouldn’t even think about may be causing your breakouts. As you know the skin is our largest organ and what happens inside our body can come out through our skin. Ever have a rough night of drinking and the next days workout sweat literally smells like booze? Well that’s the same thing that is happening when our gut is out of sync, or allergies, stress, you get the picture. What is going on inside can be a direct reflection of our complexion. Hormones, oh hormones. Man those crazy hormones do control a lot of things. Hormonal Acne is usually on or around the jawline and can go down onto the neck. Unfortunately, no product in the world can regulate your hormones. However, when you get them back in balance it is usually a pretty fast clearance.
Treating from the outside. My standard where everyone should start is this. 3 Step System: Day- Gentle Cleanser, Toner, Moisturizer. Night- Gentle Cleanser, Toner, Exfoliation.
Gentle Cleanser: #1 product recommendation VivierSkin Hexam Cleanser. Hexam has hexamadine in it which is a pharmaceutical grade broad-spectrum antimicrobial. It prevents the p.acne bacteria from being able to grow. However this cleanser does that without causing any dryness or irritation. It truly is a gentle yet effective cleanser. Made for ALL skin types (great for teenagers too).
Toner: Any kind as long as it is actually a toner. Not a tonic or an astringent. Toners are meant to rebalance the pH of your skin back to it’s desired pH between 4.5-6.5. When the skin is in balance the body has to work less to get it back into that range which causes less stress on the skin. This prevents extra aging as well as excess oil being produced to get it back into it’s desired state.
Exfoliation: My favorite VivierSkin AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cream. The AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) in the product is similar to that of a gycolic. This is a small molecule which allows it to penetrate deeper and cause the skin to turn over at a more optimal rate causing less clogged pores. The BHA (beta hydroxy acid) is that similar to a salicylic acid. Salicylic at high levels can do the same as benzoyl peroxide. However at the level it is in this product is really just prevents excess oil from being produced. This product also has Peptides in it to increase collagen and protect your skin from loosing collagen and moisture.
Moisturizer: If you are suffering from adult acne and feel like you have oily to normal skin, you need a light weight gel-based moisturizer. Like VivierSkins Hydrgel b5+, or Revision SkinCare’s Hydrating Serum or Revox 7. My favorite is Revox because of the 7 different anti-aging peptides but you can decide for yourself. If you are dry I would suggest a heavier cream moisturizer such as Vivier’s Daily Moisturizer. With vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid it is sure to keep you moisturized all day without clogging your pores.
These are general recommendations made by me, a liscensed Aesthetician. The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. None of the statements on this site are a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition.
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