What do you do when you’re a grown woman but your skin is full of teen angst? Adult acne can come as a shock and a surprise. Discover the causes of adult acne here.
You can’t wear a balaclava to a board meeting, so here are a few tips for tackling the issue.
1. Adult skin is different to teenage skin. Cell turnover slows down and skin is thinner and more delicate, so blitzing it with a product range designed for acne-prone teen skin is probably just going to cause irritation. Look out for products containing salicylic acid, which is gentler and exfoliates right inside the pores, and avoid products which can be drying and aggravating.
2. Exfoliation is the key to cell turnover and preventing pores from becoming clogged. Avoid scrubs which could further irritate your skin, and rather opt for chemical exfoliators such as AHAs, i.e. glycolic and lactic acid, and BHAs like salicylic acid. AHAs also help reduce fine lines and fade pigmentation. As an adult you are likely to have age-related concerns in addition to your acne. Consider booking a course of chemical peels at a skincare clinic and discussing your acne with the therapist. Don’t forget an SPF is vital when using AHAs.
Try Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion (R190), Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner (R365), Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (R420), Dermaceutic Foamer 15, Dermaceutic Mask 15, REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (R540)
3. Look after your skin’s natural protective barrier. While exfoliating is important, there is such a thing as over-exfoliating. Harsh cleansers which strip the skin (including many foaming cleansers designed for oily and acne-prone skin) will only make skin more vulnerable to inflammation and could lead to more breakouts. Avoid products containing alcohol, lanolin, mineral oil and fragrance.
Use a gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Lotion (R140), The Body Shop Silky Chamomile Cleansing Oil (R150), The Body Shop Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser (R99), or Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Milk (R189.95).
4. It might help to boost your antioxidant levels, as antioxidants help fight sebum oxidation. Try an antioxidant serum like Paula’s Choice Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (R520) or Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Serum (R990) or make sure your other skincare includes antioxidants in the ingredients. Don’t forget that even oily skin needs moisturiser, but look for light, oil-free formulas like Avene Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream SPF20 (R259) or Bioderma Sebium Mat Cream-Gel (R199).