Contrary to popular belief, acne doesn’t end when your teenage years do. Dealing with adult acne is difficult and, if you’ve experienced your fair share of bad breakouts, you’ve likely tried a handful of skin cleansers and acne treatments out there. Unfortunately, many heavily marketed products that claim to fight acne can do more harm than good.
To effectively fight adult acne, we need to get to the root of the problem first. We answer some of our most frequently asked questions from our clients below:
What Are Common Causes Of Adult Acne?
The main culprit for all acne is a clogged pore. The opening that surrounds each hair follicle houses your sebaceous glands which secrete oil through the pore opening. This oil (sebum) helps to keep your skin soft and protected. If the pore gets clogged by dirt and bacteria, breakouts happen.
For some individuals, however, no matter how consistent they are with their skincare regime, acne persists. Other contributing factors to acne developments and severity include:
1. Heredity – the size, number or density, sensitivity and activity level sebaceous glands
2. Disorders of keratinization – corneocytes (dead skin cells) are not shed fast enough and the pore becomes occluded causing a microcomedone to form
3. Lifestyle, which can include:
- practices that increase sebum production (ie. Hot showers, saunas or steam rooms, and sweating from physical exertion).
- Dietary factors: nonorganic dairy products from cows that have been given hormones, a high glycemic index (which induces inflammation) and stimulants such as caffeine.
- Inappropriate skin care products (moisturizers, which weaken the skin and oil-based makeup).
4. Hormonal factors: systemic hormonal abnormalities like polycystic ovarian syndrome and other conditions that are associated with increased androgens). Hormonal changes before and during women’s monthly menses and those occurring during pregnancy can cause acne to flare.
5. Patient manipulation of acne lesions:
- Attempts to squeeze or extract whiteheads or cysts can increase lesion depth, inflammation and the immune response, creating more aggravated acne flare and increasing the potential for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
What Is The Best Way To Treat Acne?
Along with maintaining a healthy daily skincare routine, investing in professional acne treatments will enhance your existing regime. Consider the following acne and acne scar treatments that will not only effectively treat acne, it will leave your skin looking rejuvenated and refreshed.
- Retinol and other topical agents to improve skin health if indicated include exfoliants to stimulate epidermal renewal and repair barrier function, stimulation of the dermis (for deep repair), hydration and calming, and of course sun protection.
- Jet Set Laser Facial is a treatment that can be regularly implemented as part of your skincare routine. Over time, dramatic changes will occur in the appearance of acne, redness, dull uneven skin tone, as well as minimization of hyperpigmentation and acne scarring. This professional one-hour treatment kills acne bacteria, increases collagen and elastin production, minimize fine lines and wrinkles as well as leave it visibly looking smoother and more radiant.
- Chemical peels are a method of exfoliating the skin that has been around for hundreds of years. Results are fast, pain-free, and are known to effectively treat mild to moderate acne, improve skin tone and texture, reduce uneven pigmentation, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and promote the production of elastin and collagen.
What Are Some Key Ingredients To Look For In Skincare Products?
Along with professional treatments, you should always keep a daily skincare routine using professional or medical-grade products. There are hundreds of skincare products and over-the-counter acne treatments available on the market today. Whatever products you choose, we recommend looking for ones that have salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide and should be labelled “non-comedogenic” to prevent clogging your pores.
Skin Health Restoration Recommendations include:
1. Skin Preparation:
- Washing the face twice daily with a cleanser specifically formulated for oily skin.
- Mechanical exfoliation.
- Application of a sebum-reducing agent.
2. Addition of disease-specific agents
- Examples include benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, dapsone, adapalene, tazarotene (determined by a physician).
3. Epidermal Renewal – alternate daily with the disease-specific agents
- Exfoliation: all patients should use a topical beta-hydroxy acid like salicylic acid.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, if present: hydroquinone (HQ) or non-HQ agents can be added.
4. Barrier Repair Agents (for epidermal stabilization), AM
5. Stimulation of the skin (for deep repair), PM
- Tretinoin (retinoic acid) or tretinoin plus HQ (blending).
6. Hydration and calming of the skin
7. Protection of the skin – daily sunscreen, non-oily/mineral makeup
If you want healthier skin, it’s going to take some care, time, and attention. If you’re unsure about where to start or what treatments are right for you, always consult with your dermatologist or a professional aesthetician who specializes in skin health.