Acne is typically associated with “growing up”, meaning that we expect teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 to suffer from it, and maybe some people in their early twenties, but seeing a “adult” with acne is something that is not expected.
The amount of people who are shocked to discover that acne does exist past the teen years is amazing given that a reported one in five women who are between the age of 25 and 40 suffer from adult acne. There’s a lot of misinformation about acne out there though, so let’s begin by trying to explain why acne happens before we talk about how to prevent it:
Acne starts with Blackheads
Blackheads, though they may look as if they are dirty shoved into your pores, is actually a result of the oil and dead skin cells on your face becoming trapped in a pore on your skin. The duct is then blocked and mixes with bacteria, which causes a reaction, a reaction which leads to red skin, puffiness, and ultimately a pimple or acne.
Stress Exacerbates Acne
Stress is an underlying cause to a number of health issues, including acne. Stress will actually cause your oil glands to “over compensate”, meaning that you will create more oils that are unnecessarily which are then left lying on the surface of your face. Take time to yourself every hour, even if it is just for a 2 minute stretch break or a 15 minute walk outside, to breathe deeply, calm yourself, and relax. Make sure you do something you enjoy every day too.
Acne is NOT a Disease
Acne isn’t a disease, plain and simple. You can eat cheese, you can eat chocolates, and you can still not suffer from acne. Acne is a skin condition that can be treated, regardless of what you may be putting in your mouth.
How to Prevent Acne
Start off by beginning a regular exfoliating routine. As mentioned above, acne almost always starts with blackheads, so removing those will go a long way in preventing acne. Choose a gentle scrub for your skin that contains alpha-hydroxy acids. Don’t choose a grainy scrub that will only exacerbate your acne and cause further inflammation. Cleansing milks may also help clear away any stubborn blackheads.
The next important detail is to choose make up and beauty products that are only oil-free. Look for water-based or for any products that are non-acnegenic (there are a lot of these products out there now). Once you begin using these products you will notice in as soon as a few days a significant drop in the amount of acne you may suffer.
As a follow up to these home treatments, the best thing you can do is visit a dermatologist so you now exactly what is going on with your skin, and then pamper your skin with treatments that the spa can provide. The best sort of treatments to look for should involve zinc, sulfur and camphor masks, as well as exfoliation and blackhead extractions. You may be give at-home treatments to keep blackheads at bay. Use these tricks and you should be saying “buh-bye” to that acne in no time.