Skin care for adult acne should be taken seriously. Doctors and mental health experts have realized that people suffering from adult acne are more likely to have much greater long-term social, physical and psychological effects (including depression) than teenage acne.
Adult acne sufferers need the best skincare for adult acne. This is because dermatologists believe that adult acne is much more likely to leave physical scars. This is due to the fact that adult skin is more prone to scarring than teenage acne, as the ageing process reduces the skin’s collagen. Scars will not heal as well as in young skin. As a result, people suffering from adult acne become so self-conscious that they may avoid seeing anyone or stop attending social events altogether. Below are tips on skin care for pimples to deal with adult acne.
Twice a day, clean skin with adult acne gently, before using any form of topical medication. Use a non-perfumed foaming cleanser or mild soap which is suitable for acne-prone skin. Wash off the cleansing products with warm water and gently pat your face dry. Avoid using flannel, sponge or other kind of washcloth, as these can also irritate the skin by scrubbing too hard.
Use gentle, non-perfumed, non-comedogenic cleansers, toners and shampoos to clean yourself. Avoid toners which contain alcohol as these may dry your skin excessively, which could in turn stimulate the over-production of sebum.
As many topical treatments can dry and irritate the skin further, apply a moisturizer regularly after use. Look for moisturizers containing glycerin, jojoba and linoleic oil, as they help to hydrate the skin. Do note that glycerin does not suit all skin types and it may irritate the skin further. If you feel your acne is getting worse, change the product.
Bear in mind that the environment can make dry skin even drier – central heating, air conditioning and the weather can increase moisture loss. This in turn is likely to lead to skin irritation and peeling, so moisturize daily each time you clean your skin. Be careful not to overuse creams to avoid an increase in oil production.
If you have acne on the body, then it is worthwhile moisturizing your body too, especially after a shower or bath. Make sure the water is not too hot, as this can strip moisture from your skin.
Exfoliating helps to remove dead surface skin cells which may clog the pores. Exfoliation is best done at night, after gently cleaning the skin. Do not over-exfoliate. Twice a week is generally sufficient. Exfoliate gently and don’t rub too hard. Otherwise you are likely to cause further inflammation and irritation.
There are two types of exfoliants: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliants include scrubs, abrasive pads, granules and natural ingredients such as oat bran. Chemical exfoliants contain an enzyme or acid, such as alpha-hydroxy acid and beta-hydroxy acid, which loosens the skin’s dead cells. This will help unclog your pores.
Tea tree oil, an essential oil of the Australian native tree Melaleuca alternifolia, is known for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic qualities. Research has demonstrated that in treating moderate acne, 5 percent of tea tree gel, compared with 5 percent benzoyl peroxide, has a significant effect in reducing inflammation and comedones. Tea tree oil also has fewer side-effects than benzoyl peroxide.
Avoid applying undiluted tea tree oil to the skin as it can cause irritation, redness, overdrying and blistering. A tea tree oil solution of 5 ml tea tree oil to 95 ml water is recommended, or tea tree gel can be bought over the counter.
While small amounts of exposure to the sun can help to improve acne, too much exposure to the sun can cause sunburn, which will irritate your skin and increase acne. The skin’s surface thickens and the dead skin cells won’t exfoliate as quickly, leading to more blocked pores and more spots.
Choose oil-free non-comedogenic sunscreens, with broad-range spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays and a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Reapply every two hours even if there is partial sun or cloud cover. Gels may be more suitable than creams. Clean your skin gently before applying sunscreen.
If you are using acne medication such as antibiotic therapy to treat your adult acne, it may be necessary to apply sunscreen on a daily basis since some acne medication may make your skin more susceptible to the sun’s rays.
If you are using topical retinoid treatment, use them only at night and wash off in the morning. They are photosensitisers which make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Be careful not to use sunscreen or moisturizing products containing lanolin, a by-product found in sheep’s wool. This is very oily and known to affect acne skin adversely, especially in those whose acne is genetic.
People with mild acne may benefit from a professional facial, especially if done regularly. If your acne consists mainly of blackheads or whiteheads and is non-inflammatory, then very often a facial will produce good results.
During a facial, the skin is cleaned thoroughly, and manual extraction may be performed to clear blocked pores. Mechanical extraction of comedones, if done too vigorously, may result in scarring. Therefore, choose a qualified therapist for this task.
Steam should be avoided as steam from facial saunas, steam rooms or conventional saunas can induce blockage of the pore by swelling the microcomedone and this can result in an acute breakout of acne. Facemasks and facial massage may be incorporated into the treatment, and moisturizer applied to soothe and hydrate the skin.
If your acne is moderate to severe, with nodules or cysts, consult your doctor or dermatologist for advice first, particularly if you are using topical or oral medication such as Accutane or Retin A, as these forms of acne should not be treated with facials.