Aging and Acne: How to Beat Blemishes Once and for All
Acne isn’t just a problem for hormonal teenagers. If you’re wondering why you’re in your 20’s or 30’s and still suffering with spots and blocked pores, the truth is simple: the reason why acne occurs as you age is the same reason why many teens have spots!
What Causes Adult Acne?
The main cause of acne is sebum and bacteria. When your hair follicles become blocked with dead skin cells and sebum (the oil which your skin excretes), those pesky red bumps known as blemishes form. If bacteria contaminate the blemish, a pustule or cyst occurs.
Excess sebum can be triggered by hormonal changes. As you age, your hormones can fluctuate due to menstruation, pregnancy, stress, and inflammation. Acne may also be genetic, so if there’s a history of adult acne in the family, you’re more likely to struggle with it.
Additionally, people who smoke are more likely to have acne, although no direct link has been found.
Surprising Acne Triggers
Birth control pills
Some birth control pills may worsen acne. However, there are also some birth control pills that can help to control blemishes. Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about your acne and the effect of birth control.
Makeup can clog your pores, especially if you don’t remove it before you go to bed. If you have blemished skin, opt for oil free cosmetics and non-comedogenic formulations.
While there is no direct link to show that sugary or fried foods cause acne, your diet plays a part in the appearance of your skin. Some people find that certain foods, like dairy, can trigger breakouts. If you notice that specific types of food upset your skin, then it’s best to avoid them.
To promote a healthy complexion, eat foods rich in nutrients, including oily fish, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, and fresh fruit.
Changes in weather and humidity can cause surprise breakouts. Don’t be alarmed if you notice spots after traveling. The best way to deal with this is to give your skin time to adjust to your new environment.
Physical sunscreens which sit on the surface of the skin can cause your skin to sweat, making your acne worse. If you need a sunscreen, choose a gel formula.
Hair removal may cause swollen skin tissue which pushes dead skin cells and bacteria deeper into your pores.
Before removing hair, clean your skin to help alleviate bacteria. Only use non-comedogenic hair removal products as these won’t clog your pores.
Did you know that bacteria can harbor on the surface of your phone? If you love chatting on your cell you should know that this bacteria transfers to your face, helping blemishes to occur.
Keep your phone germ free by cleaning it with an anti-bacterial hand gel every day.
How to Beat Blemishes
I wash my face daily so why do I still have spots?
Washing your skin alone can’t prevent acne. In fact, overwashing your face can make acne look worse.
Instead, use a gentle cleanser containing natural ingredients and wash your face in lukewarm water to help alleviate dirt, grime, and any excess oil.
Invest in a good skincare routine
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a skincare routine that works. These active ingredients are known for their spot fighting superpowers:
This beta hydroxy acid is a wonder ingredient for beating blemishes. Salicylic acid exfoliates the inside of your pores to unclog them and clear your skin.
An alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid helps to gently exfoliate the skin and eliminate the dead skin cells which get trapped inside your follicles.
Best used in small areas to target specific blemishes, benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria which causes acne. This ingredient may dry your skin out, so it should be used sparingly.
Known as vitamin A, retinol is converted into retinoic acid after being absorbed by the skin. Retinol targets both blemishes and signs of aging, so this is a great treatment for anyone with adult acne.