It was one of those OMG moments that literally scarred you for life. The dance was that night, and when you looked in the mirror, there it was: a big, fat oily zit. Well, now guess what? The nightmare returns—a few decades later. Oh yes. It’s a thing and it’s called Acne After Adolescence. And if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that we’re not suffering with it a moment longer than we have to.
As a teen, seeing your own pimply face was a pretty horrific sight, but at least it was expected. When something happens to just about everyone you know at the same time, it’s not quite as soul crushing as when it appears out of nowhere.
HOW TO TREAT YOUR ADULT ACNE
What’s The Difference: Then and Now? Oily teenage skin causes T-zone breakouts and clogged pores, whereas drier more sensitive adult skin means deeply rooted blemishes—cystic acne—that’s trickier to treat. Unlike braces and awkward growth spurts, acne doesn’t always go away with the onset of adulthood. Caused by hormonal fluctuations, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause, adult acne can be even more annoying than your adolescent acne. Imbalanced hormones and increased testosterone levels, which fuel oil production and protein buildup, cause bacteria growth in pores.
Abolishing Adult Acne Usually visible along the jaw and chin and exacerbated by stress, adult acne can really freak you out. The problem is, unlike adolescent oily skin, adult skin is more sensitive so breakouts must be treated with care. Meetra, a master skin care therapist and co-owner of Samitra Salon in San Francisco, sees acne all the time in adult women, and knows the stress cycle it can cause. So what to do?
Here’s a list of tips that will help to control your adult acne:
- Use diluted tea tree oil. Simply dip a cotton ball in the tea tree mixture and apply to infected areas twice a week before bed.
- A change in your diet may help. Reduce consumption of dairy, soda, and maybe even consider quitting coffee (heaven forbid!) and alcohol. On the flip side, make sure to increase your intake of water and B-vitamins.
- Get your beauty rest. That means a good 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Wash your face of dirt, makeup and pollution before bedtime.
- See a good facialist who’s expert at treating breakouts.
- Ask your doctor about prescription creams with a retinoid like Retin-A. This ingredient really works to protect your skin against unwanted bumps and blemishes.
- 30-50 mg of zinc per day is amazing for clearing the skin. Zinc has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that help with sebum production. It reduces inflammation, promotes would healing, and helps suppress acne bacteria. Oh, and if you like oysters, get this: They contain 10 times more zinc than any other food.
- Do not wear heavy makeup, and use mineral base powder.
- Begin a good skincare regimen consisting of a daily topical retinoid to help prevent more breakouts. There are numerous prescription creams available that not only prevent acne but have anti-aging benefits as well.
- Treat with spironolactone or cosmetic treatments like LED Light therapy, microneedling, and salicylic acid peels. A treatment like light therapy is amazing for killing bacteria, healing the skin and evening out the skin tone, but even then, make sure the treatment is adjusted to your skin type.
- Try two over the counter products: Benzoyl peroxide, which kills bacteria, and salicylic acid, which exfoliates.
- While working out at the gym, don’t put your face on the vinyl on a workout bench. Never touch your face while working out, and shower immediately after.
- Stress will trigger acne so anything you can do to decrease stress in your life can help: sleep, healthy diet, regular calming exercise like yoga.
- Clean your cell phone with a disinfecting wipe a couple times a week to kill the bacteria.
Meetra is a brow shaping specialist and master skin care therapist who is passionate about helping clients feel beautiful on the inside, and look beautiful on the outside. She specializes in a wide variety of services including refreshing facials, discreet waxing, wedding/special event make-up, and designing tailor-made complete skin care programs. Developing her own unique methods of signature facials, Meetra has cultivated an extensive education; currently focusing on skin hydration, rejuvenation, and anti-aging.