When thinking of anti aging and skin care, most people think of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Personally, as a teen I never had bad acne, but as I got older I started to get acne. Most people associate acne with puberty and the teenage years but clinical studies show that up to 55% of the adult population experience acne as they age. Here I want to talk about anti aging and acne skin care so if you’re experiencing this issue, I have 10 tips to clear skin and anti aging.
What Causes Adult Acne?
Teenage acne and adult acne are not that different. Adult acne and teenage acne are actually caused by the same things such as excess oil, bacteria, and changes in hormones that could trigger an acne outbreak. Hormones fluctuate as we age due to things like pregnancy and menstruation and those could trigger excess oil. People who smoke and some whose diets are high in sugar and processed foods also may experience adult acne. Stress is another trigger for adult acne. Let’s get into how to take care of aging skin with acne.
How To Treat Adult Acne
10 Tips To Treat Adult Acne:
- Benzoyl Peroxide – Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial that reduces the bacteria that causes acne. There are many treatment types such as creams and gels. If you have sensitive skin it can cause dry skin and can even bleach clothing. According to a dermatologist its best to use a formula that has no more than 2% of benzoyl peroxide so be sure to check the ingredients. If you do have sensitive skin and want to try a formula containing benzoyl peroxide, use it on a small area of your skin at first to make sure it won’t irritate your whole face.
- Salycilic Acid – Salycylic acid is an anti-inflammatory which can clear up cystic acne that can occur when hair follicles get blocked then rupture under the layers of the skin. Salycilic acid can be used in face cleanser, but it works better as a spot treatment or serum or a gel. Salycilic acid can be drying so be sure not to overuse it.
- Glycolic Acid – Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid ( AHA ) that gently exfoliates the skin to help get rid of dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause acne and dull skin appearance. Using a lotion, cream, or serum containing glycolic acid will also help to brighten your complexion. If you have sensitive skin, use it on a small area first before using it on your whole face to make sure it won’t irritate your skin.
- Sulfur – Sulfur doesn’t smell great but it works amazingly to dry up white heads and puss filled pimples. It can suck up the oil on your skin. Sulfur is an added ingredient in many skin care products and spot treatments as well as masks. The smell of the sulfur is usually masked by other fragrances so it may not smell that bad.
- Cortisone – Cortisone is a strong anti-inflammatory that can clear up acne quick if you get the shot at a dermatologist office. The acne will clear up in about 48 hours and cortisone is best for cystic or hormonal acne. Make sure you go to a professional that knows what they’re doing. The only side effect to this would be if the dermatologist uses too high of a dose, it could lead to a deep depression in the surface of the skin so make sure you check the reviews and go to someone you can trust who knows what they’re doing.
- Retinol – Retinol is my favorite for aging skin and acne. Both of these ingredients together work great at clearing up acne as well as smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. Retinols have an anti-inflammatory effect and can help the skin cells turn over at a higher rate which in turn refreshes the skin cells and brightens your complexion. If you have discoloration from acne or aging, products containing a retinol will clear that up as well as prevent new acne from forming. There are many over the counter products out there containing retinol. I have linked a few here from Amazon. Retinol can be somewhat irritating if you have sensitive skin or use a product with a high amount of retinol so be sure to test on a small area before using it all over the face. It isn’t a quick fix and could take a few weeks to see results so don’t give up just give it time.
- Birth Control Pills – Do you get acne right before your monthly period? This is most likely due to hormonal changes and this causes the skin to produce more oils. There are certain birth control pills that can keep skin clear by keeping your hormones balanced. FDA approved treatments such as YAZ and Estrostep may help clear up hormonal acne so check with your doctor to see if this is a good option for you.
- Isotretinoin – Isotretinoin is a strong retinol you can get from your dermatologist. If you have bad acne that hasn’t responded to other treatments this can really help. The brand name Accutane was a type of isotretinoin that was discontinued, but there are others out there that are safe. Acne that’s hard to treat can clear up better using an oral retinod rather than a topical one. Speak with your doctor to see if this would work for you.
- Antibiotics – Typically not the first choice for acne, antibiotics can be prescribed by a doctor if you have acne that won’t clear up using other methods. Antibiotics can produce fast results but your acne may return once you stop using them. There are also many side effects such as upset stomach and yeast infections so speak with your doctor and they can help you find a treatment that is right for you.
- Azelaic Acid – Azelaic acid is a great option for pregnant women or those with sensitive skin to clear up acne. This anti-inflammatory is good at treating rosacea and melasma / discoloration as well. You can find small amounts of this ingredient in over the counter products and your dermatologist can prescribe the correct amount for you.
Combating acne also starts on the inside. What you consume on a daily basis has a definite impact on how we look on the outside. Drinking plenty of water daily to help detox our body is super important. Eating excess sugar and drinking high sugar drinks such as soda and juices can also make acne worse. Try to eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables and stay away from processed or packaged foods. Foods that are high in antioxidants are great for calming inflammation and clearing up acne. Check out my article on antioxidants here.
Clearing up adult acne can be done by changing up your diet and using the correct products for your skin type. Working with a dermatologist is a great option if you have acne that will not clear up using over the counter methods. If you have acne scars or discoloration post acne, you can clear that up too check out my article here for more info. Do you have any ideas I didn’t mention? I would love to hear your thoughts.
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