It doesn’t seem fair, does it? To still be suffering from the physical and psychological effects of acne when you’re in your 20s and 30s. It isn’t fair, but it is surprisingly common, especially for women. Even if you were blessed with perfect skin in your youth, acne can haunt you later in life. Over 50% of women aged 20-29 are afflicted, and more than 25% of women aged 40-49.
Hormones, genetics, and pollution all play a part in its creation, but in my experience, changes in my diet have been the most effective in fighting acne, so I would recommend using a food diary, experimenting with your diet (wheat, sugar and dairy, we’re looking at you!) and ensuring you are getting enough vitamins, minerals and water. However, dietary changes aside, there are products that can make a significant difference to control these flare ups of adult acne and help to reduce their effects.
Unfortunately, the skin you had in your teens and the acne care regimen you used then is probably too harsh for your adult skin. So here are my top tips for taking great care of your acne-prone skin (that won’t break the bank).
Don’t use the abrasive cleansers of your youth
I have fallen for this trap, but when you strip your skin of its natural oils it can shock your skin into overproducing sebum, which only further exacerbates the problem. I’m a big fan of Source of Nature Facial Wash, which is vegan, has 95% natural ingredients and is sulphate, alcohol, fragrance, colorant and paraben-free. All that for only £2.00! And for exfoliation purposes, you can pair it with a silicone facial brush like this one. Exfoliation is important for acne-prone skin but it’s better to do with a facial brush than oil stripping chemicals or ocean clogging microbeads.
Use an anti-oxidant serum
Exposure to sunlight and pollution causes free radicals to damage your skin. A good anti-oxidant serum contains vitamin C, which will help lighten hyperpigmentation and dark spots, along with acne-reducing vitamin A, which will simultaneously work on fine lines and wrinkles too. Not forgetting Vitamin E in your arsenal against adult acne, which is moisturizing and anti-inflammatory. Good anti-oxidant serums come packed with vitamins as well as hydrating and skin correcting acids. Try this anti-oxidant rich formula
Aloe Vera treatment
Aloe Vera is a superb all-around product for acne as it can tackle redness, remove excess oil to prevent breakouts, it’s antibacterial, antifungal, reduces inflammation, reduces pain, and works on acne scars by helping your skin to regenerate…phew! Furthermore, it packed with vitamins and minerals, contains salicylic acid to unclog the skin and it even tightens the pores. You can use it alone or combine it with products in your home, like raw honey or turmeric, to make an all-natural face mask. Go for the highest percentage of Aloe you can, like Aloe Pura.
Choose an organic moisturiser suitable for acne prone skin
You may think your skin is too oily for a moisturiser, I know I used to, but moisturisers for acne prone skin can add anti-oxidants and nutrients which protect against cell damage. A good choice would be Face Theory Signature Moisturiser. It’s non-greasy, paraben free and anti-oxidant rich.
Daily skin protection
This one might not be so obvious, but if you have used sunbeds or sunlamps trying to control breakouts, you may have developed sun spots, which can darken if your skin is left unprotected. Everyone knows about sun spots, but did you know your acne scars also darken in the sun? Oh no! Not on my watch! Use sunscreen, as your shield against the aging effects of the sun. Slap on a good quality, paraben free, broad spectrum, organic sunscreen like this one by EltaMD. Yes, even in winter! This facial sunscreen is fragrance free, paraben free, oil free and non-comedogenic and is chockfull of goodies like Vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid & lactic acid to get to work on your skin.
On the spot treatment – 5% and 10%
Benzoyl peroxide products may be excessively drying for adult skin, but it BP is your go-to, you could get a 2.5% Benzoyl peroxide for an effective spot treatment without over drying your skin. I recommend products containing salicylic acid for on the spot treatment. This roll on contains all the skin kind ingredients your acne prone skin thirsts for, like witch hazel, Aloe Vera and green tea, with a splash of salicylic acid. These clear dots that get to work on your spots overnight with their anti-inflammatory and detoxifying ingredients are also a good tool to wield in your fight against adult acne.
With all of this effort going into kind to skin products, don’t forget to consider the type of makeup you use too! Acne prone skin can be very sensitive and some types if foundation and powder can be actively working against you, undoing all of your hard work.