Acne-prone skin isn't reserved for teens alone. In fact it affects many women well into their 30's and 40’s (and on!). Here are seven common culprits for worsening your skin - and how to kick acne once and for all.
It is a common misconception that acne-prone skin is dirty skin. It’s not. One of the main contributing factors to acne is excess production of oil, which can clog pores and become infected. Because of the oily appearance of skin, it can be tempting to over-wash your face and to use ultra-drying ingredients. But drying out skin will only trigger more oil production. Instead use a gentle, alcohol-free cleanser and lightweight moisturiser daily.
Tiredness is no excuse not to cleanse before bedtime. During the day your skin produces oil and collects impurities that sit on the skin’s surface. If it stays on the skin for a prolonged period of time, it breeds bacteria and causes spots. Make sure you remove all makeup before bed with a cleanser, using a toner to remove any stubborn leftover dirt.
Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells. If dry skin isn’t removed, it builds up on your skin’s surface and clogs your pores causing blackheads and blemishes. A gentle exfoliator will help remove skin cells, or use a cleansing device (like the SkinPro Cleansing System, [DB1]).
For some, dairy is the chief culprit of cystic bumps forming along the jawline. Although the dairy and acne link has not been completely proved, it may be worth cutting out dairy for several weeks to see if you notice an improvement
Many products that target teenage acne are harsh and over-drying, but these products are too tough on older skin. The more dehydrated your skin is, the more oil it produces leading to blemishes. Pick age-appropriate skin care that is oil-free and packed with antioxidants. Products that contain salicylic acid (like BioClinic Adult Skin anti-Breakout) can help keep acne-causing bacteria at bay.
Your body is designed to fight infection, so as tempting as it may be, avoid picking at that spot! When you pop blemishes you prolong the healing process by pushing bacteria deeper into the skin. You also increase the chance of scarring.
Bacteria and oil from the environment, your hair, skin and sweat, can build-up on your pillowcase and bedding and transfer back to your face. Use pillowcases made from natural fibres and flip them over nightly. Launder your bedding in fragrance-free washing powder and change pillowcases every second night.