AND HOW TO OVERCOME IT!
There were few things as frustrating as an unexpected breakout in high school. Teenage acne has always been one of those things that we were just delighted to leave behind us once we entered adulthood...
Until coming to the realization that unfortunately, acne doesn't necessarily or magically disappear after the age of 18. In fact, 1/3 of acne patients are over the age of 25!
Adult acne is categorized as either persistent acne or late-onset acne. The latter happens when a person first experiences acne as an adult, which is less common than the former.
WHY DOES ADULT ACNE EVEN HAPPEN?
At its root, adult acne is caused by the same things that cause teen acne: excess skin oil and bacteria, which clogs pores. Any hormonal changes can trigger excess oil, but an unhealthy diet, lack of sleep, and other generally poor life habits can do the same. All these factors contribute to an excess release of cortisol (AKA, the stress hormone), which in turn contributes to excessive sebum production.
According to Dr. Jennifer Vickers of Sanova Dermatology, higher cortisol levels during times of stress can decrease the skin's potential to heal. This can then lead to flaring of many inflammatory skin conditions, including adult acne, rosacea, eczema, and even psoriasis.
Adult acne is also closely linked to genetics, meaning that if a close parent experienced adult acne, the odds are stacked in your favour (or rather, un-favour).
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
As mentioned, symptom-wise, adult acne resembles teenage and hormonal breakouts.
The main difference is that adult acne is oftentimes harder to deal with, leaving many feeling frustrated, embarrassed, self-conscious, or overall less confident about their appearance. Studies have also shown that severe adult acne impacts the ability to focus in social settings and increases overall anxiety.
HOW TO PREVENT IT
Adult acne can be challenging to prevent, as it is stubbornly recurring. However, many products are designed to help manage breakouts and eventually decrease their frequency.
ZO SKIN HEALTH
ANTI-ACNE GEL ($53)
IMAGE SKIN CARE
MEDICATED ACNE MASQUE ($55)
AHA-BHA 5-2 LOTION ($52.50)
ACNE PREVENTION KIT ($345)
Other helpful tips include:
- Never go to bed with makeup on
- Read your labels: when purchasing cosmetic and skincare products, chose those that are “non-comedogenic,” “oil-free,” or “won’t clog pores”
- Avoid facial oils (and hair products!) that contain oil
- Some acne spots are not actually acne, but rather post-inflammatory pigment changes from previous acne lesions. Wear sunscreen with SPF 30+, rain or shine, to prevent darkening of these spots over time
- Topical treatments aren’t the only solutions. Focus on foods and supplements that support a healthy digestive system, get some movement daily, and practicing mindfulness in order to keep your hormones balanced and your stress levels low
IN NEED OF COVERAGE?
ZO SKIN HEALTH
If you find yourself suffering from these issues, know that you are not alone and that there is a solution even for your most complex needs. Keep a consistent log of your breakouts, book a consultation with one of our experts, and, most importantly, take care of yourself––inside and out.
Ps. For more Acne 101, visit our previous BLOG article.