Adult Acne: your questions answered
1. What are the causes of acne?
In a nutshell, a breakout occurs when a pore becomes blocked with oil and dead skin cells, this traps bacteria and causes the body to respond with inflammation. This inflammation is what you see on the surface as a pimple. Acne causing bacteria feeds on sebum (the oil that our skin makes). Everyone has this oil and these bacteria present on our skin, so the problem of Acne usually occurs when a person’s body has an increased inflammatory response to a blocked pore. Some of the things that can exacerbate this process are: Hormones, stress (related to hormones), oilier skin, diet, pollution, bacteria on the skin or contact with unclean surfaces such as unclean pillowcases or makeup brushes.
2. Is there a difference between adult acne and the acne you can get as a teenager?
Yes, teenage acne is often caused by excessive oils in the skin and puberty hormones. Adult acne can be much more complicated, often excessive oil is not the main component causing the acne. Hormones play a huge role especially in woman and can be harder to treat with skincare alone, often lifestyle changes need to be made as well.
3. How can you prevent it?
- Acne prone skin can benefit from a really good and gentle cleanser, more than any other skin type and especially if you wear a lot of make-up. While it is common to try and use a cleanser that will remove most of the oil present of the skin, this usually only makes it worse. This causes more irritation to skin that is already inflamed, and the body produces more oil to make up for it. Try the Skinsmiths Cream Cleanser which is ultra-gentle and calming on to the skin or Gel Cleanser which gives that deep clean feeling for makeup wearers without drying out your skin.
- Regular chemical exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells that can build up and block pores.
- A professional skincare and treatment routine can also assist in treating acne e.g. The Skin Health membership
- A diet rich in antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables will help keep your skin healthy. While you should get the bulk of your nutrients from natural food sources, it’s a good idea to take a daily supplement that’s rich in the nutrients needed for healthy skin, such as the Skinsmiths Blemish Defence Supplements which are specially formulated with vitamins and minerals to support your body’s internal defence against blemishes including:
• Vitamin A to reduce inflammation and normalises skin cell turnover.
• Zinc to encourage healing.
• Vitamin C & E to support immune function and helps produce collagen.
• Turmeric which is a potent antioxidant that also reduces inflammation.
• Grape Seed Extract to improve skin’s texture and reduce the signs of aging.
4. What ingredients are most effective at treating it?
- A product that uses Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA's) and Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA or Salicylic Acid) is a great option as AHA’s remove skin cells on the surface of the skin and BHA works further into the pore to alleviate clogged pores and blackheads and prevent them from forming.
- Choose a spot treatment that helps to calm the increased inflammation of a spot. As well as clearing pores, Salicylic Acid (BHA) also has calming benefits to soothe the spot. Zinc is also a great ingredient to help encourage healing and calm irritation. Try the Skinsmiths Blemish Treatment which targets spots, reduces redness and calms blemish-prone areas.
- Use a moisturising product, especially for oily skin, to help to rebalance the oil and water content in the skin. When the skin is dehydrated, the skin can overcompensate for this by producing more oil, which can lead to more breakouts and imbalances. Also, when the skin is dehydrated, the protective layer of the skin is compromised, therefore, irritants and bacteria etc. can get inside. Try the Skinsmiths Balancing Moisturiser which is lightweight and works to balance the skins oil production.
5. What's your best tip when you have acne-prone skin?
- The biggest misconception about caring for oily skin is that it needs to be cleaned more to dry the skin out, but the drier your skin the skin the more oil you will produce, leading to more breakouts.
- The best way to treat breakouts is to have some form of bacteria control and products with Salicylic Acid – it will be your skins best friend.
- Regular exfoliation is a must to prevent spots from forming in the first place, keeping those pores clean and clear of blockages.
- Always cleanse your makeup off before exercise and every night before going to bed. Also changing your pillowcase regularly, washing your makeup brushes regularly and avoiding touching your face throughout the day will also help prevent introducing additional bacteria to the skin.
- While we do not encourage squeezing your pimples, we get it – sometimes you just can’t help it. If you absolutely must attempt an extraction, only do it if there is a clear ‘head’ on the acne. Wait until after a warm shower, or after placing a warm flannel on the acne, this will ensure the skin is soft for an easier, more gentle extraction. Make sure the area and your hands are thoroughly clean to prevent any bacteria getting into the spot and extract with 2 cotton tips with gentle pressure, rather than using nails which can lead to skin breakage. If gentle pressure doesn’t do the trick, leave it alone and let your skins natural processes (with the help from a spot treatment) do its thing to heal the spot.
Got questions? Talk to us about adult acne in a complimentary consultation.