It’s easy to dismiss acne as a problem relegated to the Belieber-aged crowd. But sadly, as too many men and women have discovered, middle-aged acne can strike a full grown adult without warning. If you suddenly find yourself re-facing the dreaded breakout (or if you’re suffering from acne as an adult for the first time in your life) the blame might lie on anything from hormones and stress to dietary changes or new skin sensitivities. Here are ten pro tips for dealing with grown-up blemishes.
1. Narrow Down Allergens
Sometimes, sudden adult breakouts are caused by developing allergies to products or foods, even if you’ve used them before. This is because as we age, our skin becomes thinner and more sensitive. If you think something you’re eating might be causing your adult acne, consider keeping a food diary. If you notice a link between certain foods and skin blemishes, try eliminating that food for a couple of weeks and reevaluate.
If you wear makeup or use skin lotions and beauty products, consider switching to a brand formulated for acne-prone or sensitive skin and see if that helps calm your skin issues, as well.
2. No Butts
If you need yet another reason to quit smoking once and for all, your adult acne may just be it. The carcinogens, tar and smoke from cigarettes has been shown to cause and aggravate breakouts. Stop lighting up, and your face might just clear up too.
3. Hands Off!
It can be tempting to pick, poke and prod at your face during an acne breakout. But the truth is, your hands are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. No touching your face unless you want to spread those pore-clogging oils and dirt around
4. Tea Tree Oil
For those looking for a natural way to treat their acne without expensive and harsh treatments, tea tree oil might be the ideal solution. A natural disinfectant and antibacterial, dabbing a little tea tree oil onto blemishes with a clean cotton swab will reduce the number and severity of your breakouts.
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5. Avoid Over-Scrubbing
It’s tempting to assume that the more often (and the more vigorously) you wash your face, the faster your middle-aged acne will clear up. Unfortunately, over exfoliating, scrubbing and over utilizing harsh treatment products will have the exact opposite effect. Scrubbing your face often will stimulate sebum production, which will then clog pores and lead to more breakouts.
Again, moisturizing acne-prone skin sounds counter-intuitive. But washing your face and applying treatment products strips your face of natural oils. To combat this, your sebaceous glands will then produce more oil, which then leads to even more breakouts. Find an oil-free moisturizer specifically created for acne prone skin, and apply twice a day.
7. Consider the Pill
If you’re an adult woman and notice that your breakouts coincide with your period or PMS, you may want to talk to your doctor about oral contraceptives. When your monthly cycle is to blame for skin craziness, the birth control pill can help you stabilize the hormones that lead to blemishes.
Even if you don’t notice a direct correlation between your period and your breakouts, birth control pills might still be able to help. If you’ve got PCOS (many women do and, thanks to no symptoms, have no idea) or any other condition that causes an increase in male hormones, the pill can help get your body back in check.
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8. Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid are Your Friends
Anyone who’s ever struggled with acne in their lifetime is probably familiar with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Both of these ingredients have been designed and specialized to expressly treat skin blemishes, pimples, redness and acne scars. The key, when dealing with acne as an adult, is to bypass the harsh treatments and products designed for teenaged skin. Instead, look for gentler versions of cleansers, exfoliators and spot treatments crafted for sensitive or mature skin. This will help eliminate your breakouts, redness and inflammation without damaging your skin.
More: 7 Best Ways to Get Perfectly Clear Skin Naturally
9. H2o Matters
If you’re not drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, your acne could be getting worse, regardless of what treatments you’re using. Your skin is your body’s largest organ. Like everything else in the complicated system that is the human form, water is a necessity to keep it running smoothly. Not drinking enough water not only dries your skin to the touch, it can cause itchy, flaky and even oily skin. So keep hydrated and watch your skin’s overall health improve.
More: 7 Ways Drinking Water Can Improve the Health of Your Skin
10. Get to the Dermatologist
Sometimes, acne is a one or two time issue that can be cleared up with home treatment. But once your adult acne has become a reoccurring problem, or you cannot pinpoint the cause of your skin distress, it’s time to see a doctor. A dermatologist can help you decipher the root of your problems, and can prescribe a treatment program suited to your particular skin and needs.
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It can be hard to cope with adult acne, but it’s possible, especially if you know where to start. Hopefully, these tips will help you to fight acne and enjoy the perfectly clear skin. Do you have any other tips?