Breakouts are not the preserve of teenagers…find out why grown-up women are prone to problem skin, too
Much as we’d love to tell you that acne and blemishes are only an issue in your teens and 20s, unfortunately many people have acne breakouts into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s.
Adult acne is surprisingly common – and it’s more common in women than in men, and can continue past the menopause.
What’s the cause?
Well, many of the same issues that cause teenage skin to be volatile. Studies have shown that the primary causes of acne – at any age – are over-production of oil or sebum, abundant skin cells within the skin follicle, causing a plug or blockage, and inflammation of the skin.
For women, hormone fluctuations throughout adult life can also contribute – or cause – the problem. These imbalances happen during menstruation, pregnancy, and the menopause. They can also be caused by ovarian cysts or by stopping/starting birth control pills. Hormone fluctuations affect oil production, as well as the efficiency with which your skin sloughs off old cells.
Stress, a poor diet, smoking and drinking alcohol may also be a factor in adult acne, as well as a family history of the problem.
Dealing with the problem
Dealing with adult acne can be a challenge as most products are geared towards younger skin and might not be suitable for a more mature complexion.
Some anti-acne treatments may be too harsh, designed for oily skin but not sensitive or combination skin types.
Improving your diet, giving up cigarettes and moderating your alcohol consumption, plus getting plenty of exercise, may help – and look for oil-free, non-comedogenic cosmetic products, avoiding heavy skin creams or hair products which may aggravate problem skin conditions.
A dermatologist may also be able to help. They can help you work out which factors might be triggering your acne and may suggest prescription medication that is suitable for mature skin.
Choosing the best products
If your acne isn’t too severe, or only happens sporadically, there are products you can try that are designed for grown-up skin.
Dermalogica’s new Age Bright Clearing Serum is an active, highly concentred serum designed to clear breakouts and brighten skin tone.
This product contains Dermalogica’s Age Bright Complex, a blend of active and essential oils that work with the skin’s natural microbiome to promote clearer, brighter skin. Terpineol (isolated from pine oil) and thymol (from thyme) help reduce acne and sebum, while vitamin B3 helps to reduce visible skin ageing by fading post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
The Age Bright Clearing Serum also contains salicylic acid to accelerate cell turnover, a process that slows down with age and causes congestion in the pores; this helps clear breakouts and reduce the signs of ageing.
A must for adults who regularly experience breakouts and uneven skin tone, Age Bright Clearing Serum can be applied directly upon the first sign of a breakout and reapplied twice a day until the spots fade.
You could try this product in conjunction with Dermalogica’s Age Bright Spot Fader. As well as Dermalogica’s Age Bright Complex it contains hexylresorcinol, an organic compound with local anaesthetic and antiseptic properties, to help fade post-breakout marks and improve uneven skin tone.
A sheet mask may also provide some comfort. Balance Me’s Congested Skin Sheet Mask is designed for combination, oily or acne-prone skin and calms blemishes and inflammation without causing dryness or irritation. Created with naturally active formulas, the black bamboo charcoal sheet mask draws out and absorbs impurities to reveal clearer and more radiant skin, leaving skin of any age balanced, hydrated and cleansed.
Although this Balance Me mask has been developed for acne-prone and oily skin, its gentle formula works beautifully on complexions that are inflamed or irritated by sun, pollution and stress, so it’s ideal for grown-up skin that’s prone to breakouts and blemishes.