For adults suffering from mild to severe acne, it can feel embarrassing to see little red spots pop up on your chin and cheeks. Wasn’t this supposed to stop in high school, after puberty? From pimples to blackheads, whiteheads and scarring, lets talk about how to treat adult acne and move toward glowing, healthy skin. With simple lifestyle changes, the right amount of products and a little advice from the professionals, you’ll begin to feel confident in no time at all.
Do You Know Your Skin?
A variety of causes can trigger acne. Hormonal imbalance, genetics, pre-existing conditions or medications can all affect our skin’s appearance and type. It’s essential to understand the various factors at play before developing a plan to manage acne. Skincare can’t be a “one size fits all” process!
What’s more, different skin types (i.e., oily, dry, combination) react differently to products and treatments. Use this guide to determine your skin type.
Develop a Daily Cleansing Routine
Consistent and daily cleaning is one of the best practices to implement. Regular cleansing also unclogs your pores and removes bacteria build-up. Moreover, retinoids, serums or prescribed topical creams work best with freshly cleansed skin.
According to skincare experts, here are the best ways to wash your face:
- On average, most people should cleanse once or twice a day at maximum. Over-cleansing can irritate the skin and strip it of its natural oils.
- Wash your face with warm water.
- As a general rule, gentle skincare regimens will always yield the best results.
- While most adults only require a hydrating cleanser, consider purchasing a foaming cleanser for acne, depending on your skin’s needs.
- If you need to exfoliate, only do so two to three times per week.
Eat Clean and Stay Hydrated
While the relationship between food and acne is often debated, scientists found a link between nutrients and skin health. Researchers found that communities whose diet consisted mainly of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins suffer significantly less acne in surveying various global cultures. This is compared to those with a traditional Western diet, which is often deprived of omega-3s and high in refined carbohydrates.
What does that mean for you? Focus on eating nutrient-dense, whole foods to improve your skin’s overall appearance. Lifestyle changes like this won’t just affect your skin, but will likely improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Reduce Your Stress
Emotional stress often triggers changes within the body that cause acne. When experiencing anxiety, our adrenal glands increase production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can lead to an imbalance in the skin. If you’re consistently stressed from work or your personal life, you might need to take a step back and find ways to decompress throughout the day. If your schedule is stacked, begin consistent meditation practices, mindfulness and deep-breathing throughout your day at small intervals to keep stress levels in check.
Consult with a Dermatologist
It’s never a bad idea to talk to the professionals. When figuring out how to treat adult acne, working with a dermatologist can help you create a custom plan for skin improvement and acne reduction based on your individual needs. Most people assume that doctors will prescribe expensive solutions, but many experts will work with your budget and goals, providing a routine and solutions fit for your lifestyle.
How to Treat Adult Acne: Think Long-Term
Adult acne won’t disappear overnight. Being patient with your healing process is key. If you’re on a journey to undo old damage and fix acne scarring, understand that it may take months or years to heal your dermis fully. Additionally, if you start a medication or treatment from your dermatologist, it will likely take time before you see the effectiveness.
While home remedies can produce great results, serious scarring may require other procedures like laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, chemical peels or needling.
Each of these tactics isn’t intended to solve all your problems after 30 minutes, but rather make incremental changes over time to improve skin health and increase cell turnover. If you’re not seeing perfect, glowing skin on day five? It’s totally okay. Stick with it and trust the process; you’ll hit your goals soon enough!