When it comes to breakouts, 40 is the new 14! Acne is no longer reserved for teens and tweens. In fact, research shows that one in five women between 25 and 40 suffer from adult onset acne. Many of the adults I coach on skin care have battled acne at one point or another.
Acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States. Adult acne, as well as acne in the teen years, is directly related to hormones and stress elevation. Hormones stimulate rapid cell growth of skin cells and bacterial cells, which causes skin to become congested. Surface cell buildup holds in the infection and inhibits penetration of proper nourishment for healthy cell growth. This is shown through breakouts that are often in the area of the jaw or hairline.
Adult acne is something that your parents may have not experienced. As you know, life today is very different than it was 50 or even 100 years ago. Our diets are infused with hormone-enriched dairy and meat products which, in mass, can alter our chemical makeup. The stress that comes with working, raising a family, and being connected 24/7 elevates and jumbles our hormones.
Because these hormonal surges can trigger breakouts, it is important to take steps to counteract those surges. Internally, focus on a clean diet, regular exercise, and drinking plenty of water. For example, my family limited foods with “hidden sugar” which elevates insulin and triggers hormonal release. We eliminated any food from a bag or box. Opting for vegetables, fresh meats, and only fruits which are in season locally. We used cauliflower instead of flour to make pizza crust or tortillas. It takes no more time than baking a frozen pizza!
Externally, you should focus on a consistent skin care routine of cleansing, fighting inflammation, resurfacing, and sun protection. Key ingredients to look for in products include:
- Salicylic acid and an anti-inflammatory,
- Retinols to clear excess cells that trap oil and bacteria,
- Precipitated sulfur, which kills bacteria with an antiseptic and anti-fungal effect,
- Topical Vitamin D is particularly important. Vitamin D is made in the skin and generates a receptor that triggers anti-inflammatory and infection fighting agents which significantly help with acne, among other health conditions.
To combat adult acne, try to avoid:
- Using alcohol and benzoyl peroxide, which are both extremely drying to the skin. Many breakouts are caused by surface dryness and the inability for oil to escape from under the dry surface. If your skin senses that it is dry, it may overcompensate by producing even more oil that gets trapped beneath the dry surface layer.
- Popping and picking the pimples. Doing so results in hyperpigmentation from injury to the skin and it will take longer for the breakout to heal. When you try to pop the breakout, you also may push the infection deeper into the skin, leading to more swelling and redness.
- Stress. During a stressful time, find ways to release stress such as yoga, exercise, meditation, and aromatherapy.
Want to learn more? Use our handy facial chart to discover what’s behind your breakouts!
About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.