Stupid acne. We thought we split ways with you after high school graduation. But when you continued to rear your ugly white head well into adulthood, in the most awkward times and places we might add, it makes us want to cry.
A nice red bulb at the tip of the nose is anything but merry and we get it Rudolph—we get it. Waking up on the day of an important meeting to mounds that rival a gopher’s playground is not cool. And we won’t even talk about what cropped up all over our back right before that big beach trip. Acne, you’re killing us!
Acne isn’t just a puberty thing. Sadly, acne can plague adults well into their 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s.
What causes adult acne?
Chances are, if you had acne as a teen, you will most likely have it as an adult too. It’s the universe’s way of conspiring against you. Not really. You might just be one of the millions of people with oily skin.
Oily skin+bacteria on the skin=clogged pores and breakouts.
Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by poor hygiene. There are several factors quite frankly out of your control. They include: fluctuating hormones, stress, and pollution. There are however, some factors you can control. Using the wrong products and get this—cleansing too frequently and too vigorously can also cause acne.
Hormonal acne often appears as deep, painful cystic acne around the jawline, neck and back. Freaking hormones. Stress acne happens whenever your stress levels get so high they activate your adrenal gland to create the hormone cortisol, which also lets a little testosterone leak through (yes, women have it too). It’s that blasted testosterone who’s to blame for increased oil production. Freaking testosterone.
Okay, so how do I tackle it?
It’s one thing to research effective ways to treat acne, and it’s another thing to chat with your girlfriends about what really works. Testimonials always trump research in our book. Here are the three most-talked-about ways to tackle adult acne for good.
1. Cleanse and Prevent
One cleanse a day is enough to effectively wash away excess oil and bacteria from your skin’s surface. Use warm, not hot water. We all know what happens to an oily pan when it hits hot water versus cooler water. Hot water wipes out all oils and you don’t want that. If your skin doesn’t have enough oil to nourish it, it will simply signal your body’s oil glands to secrete more, making your problem a hundred times worse.
Similarly, don’t scour your face with harsh scrubbing. Gently exfoliate with a wash rag and don’t let makeup buildup overnight to cause pore blockages and in turn, breakouts. Even when you’re tired, cleanse that face girl!
(Recommendation: HERS is a nice and simple adult acne regimen without a hefty price tag.)
2. Brush Your Face
Facial brushes are a fairly new phenomenon and one might wonder, is it really necessary to brush my face? Well, you brush your hair to make it shiny and vibrant, right? Same goes for your face, if done right.
Dry facial brushing detoxifies your skin of built-up toxins and exfoliates dead skin cells that create blockages. So how do you do it? First snag a facial brush with good reviews. This one is a top rated one, but if you’re on a tighter budget, lots of people love THIS ONE. After you’ve washed your face, dry off any excess water and begin brushing under the chin and move upward. Use gentle, upward motions until you get to the forehead. Go ahead and give your neck a little love too. Finish with your favorite moisturizer.
3. The Miracle Mask Everyone Swears by
When I heard my besties raving about this miracle clay, I’ll admit, it piqued my interest. If you’ve never heard of bentonite clay, it is actually ash made from volcanos here in the United States. Naturalists claim it has amazing healing powers, especially with acne-laden skin. You can buy it in powder form and make your own natural facial mask, or you can buy this one that has incredible reviews (over 12,000!). This clay mask also has fantastic reviews. Men and women who’ve struggled with acne their whole lives swear by this Indian Healing Clay.
You can’t help the hormones traversing your body but you don’t have to settle for adult acne. Try these three strategies and see if they make a difference. It’s always worth a conversation with your doctor or dermatologist as well. And we’re dying to know what works for you…feel free to comment below!
Photo credit: Savannah Poulsen
Looking for more beauty hacks to try? Check out these fun ideas you can do at home today: