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It’s normal to have less than perfect skin when you’re a teenager. Hormones are raging and you’re just starting to develop a healthy skincare routine, so for better or worse, acne is a common mark of transition from childhood to adulthood. Most people pass through this stage and come away with clear skin. For others, however, that relief never comes, and acne continues into adulthood.
Not only is adult acne particularly embarrassing, but it can also be very damaging. Some people are left with nasty scars and dark spots on the skin that you’ll only aggravate by covering with more makeup. It’s a vicious cycle, and just when you think you’ve found a way to stop the blackheads, you get another outbreak. Why are some adults still struggling with this skin condition?
We all know hormones are probably to blame for acne in the teenage years, but when you’re an adult, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what causes acne.
Hormones – you could still have an issue with hormones, even if you’ve passed puberty. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, if your hormones aren’t in balance they can cause your oil glands to go into over-production or cause your dead skin cells to build upon your face, and can even create the perfect conditions for bacteria to breed and cause more acne. Any number of hormones could be the source, such as androgens, estrogen or progesterone. This is why starting birth control can sometimes help acne dissipate since in many cases it pushes your hormones into equilibrium.
Bacteria– you probably don’t want to think about it, but lots of different kinds of bacteria live on your skin and even your face. UCLA says some of the bacteria are actually protective, but people prone to acne tend to have more of the damaging strain that lives deep in your pores and causes inflammation. If your acne is caused by bacteria there’s a lot of hope, and your dermatologist may recommend a combination of antibiotics and topical creams to fight it.
Skin Care Products – some people develop breakouts from skincare products or by using dirty brushes and sponges. A lot of ingredients used in makeup and creams can clog pores. Doctors recommend buying products marked as non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, non-irritating and oil-free to avoid this issue.
Diet– there isn’t exactly one food to avoid that definitely causes acne, but some researchers think there’s a connection between acne and high blood sugar. Carbohydrate-heavy foods like white bread, pastries, potatoes, and white rice tend to make your blood sugar spike right after eating them, which causes your pancreas to go into overdrive to produce insulin to process it. Living a healthy lifestyle and eating lots of fruits and vegetables and eating slow carbs from whole grains can help prevent acne.
What you can do to stop breakouts
If you’re unhappy with your skin’s appearance, the first step is to see a dermatologist. Since adult acne could be caused by so many factors, self-treating isn’t the best or most effective way to go about ending breakouts. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your skin in the meantime.
Clean skin regularly – doctors recommend cleansing your skin only twice a day, once in the morning and once at night with a mild soap-free from gritty particles that might cause irritation. You should just use your soft fingertips and skip exfoliators.
Be gentle with your skin– don’t pick or scratch blackheads and acne or rub your skin with towels. Instead, gently pat it dry after cleansing.
Treat with dermatologist-recommended products – after cleansing your face, dab on pea-sized drops of acne-treating products that are proven to work. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends retinoids for prevention and treatment. Other common products include benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
Protect your skin – after you treat your skin, make sure to put on moisturizer if you need it and use a sunscreen to prevent photoaging and your sensitive skin from getting burned.
Looking at your skin in the mirror shouldn’t make you want to crawl back into bed and hide under the covers. Although finding a solution to effectively end your breakouts might take some detective work, with a little patience, a healthy diet plan, and gentle care, you’re on your way to smooth and healthy skin.
Vaileria Dennis is a Health and Beauty expert, having 10 years of experience in the beauty industry and providing healthy living tips. She is also passionate about fitness, women’s issues and more. In recent years, she has had an opportunity to learn about Food and Nutrition. She always excited to share her ideas related to beauty tips, healthy food recipes, and diet plans. Join Vaileria on Twitter, Facebook, and G+