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Stop Treating Your Acne Like Teenage Acne

Acne, a common – but none-the-less – annoying skin condition which seems to plague us throughout our lives. Spots, blemishes and blackheads seem part and parcel of teenage skin, and no doubt many of us who suffered with acne when we were younger hoped we would grow out of it by the time we left our teens. Unfortunately that’s the not the case, many people suffer with acne into their twenties, thirties, forties and even fifties, and around 80% of sufferers are female. Whether you’ve always had acne, or your breakouts have started to return in adulthood then it’s important you find the right treatment to clear up your blemishes. The acne you have now is different to the acne you had as a teenager and therefore needs to be treated in a different way.

Teen and adult acne are similar in the way that they are both caused by hormonal fluctautions. In your teens acne this is triggered by by puberty, whereas if you suffer from acne in adulthood then it’s likely due to hormonal spikes from pregnancy or menopause. Stress is also another common factor in adult acne. These hormonal fluctuations cause a spike in the production of sebum, which can block your pores. This attracts dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells into the pores, which then become inflamed. However you should bear in mind that your skin is changing as you age, when you’re a teenager your skin is relatively thick, but it begins to think out as you age. That means all those harsh, drying treatments which you probably applied regularly (perhaps even over-regularly) in your teens are now a big no-no. The strength of the cellular wall of the pores also weakens. This can make the pore stretch and become larger, which could make it easier for the pores to become clogged by debris from the top layer of skin. Plus, your cell turnover becomes slower as you age, so you may find that your acne sticks around for longer – which is even more frustrating.

So how do you treat the acne that develops in adulthood. Firstly, in your teens if you develop acne you're likely to notice hundreds of tiny bumps, blackheads and white spots on the skin, especially the forehead but also on the chest and back. Once you reach your twenties and beyond, acne commonly appears on the lower part of your face, around the mouth and jawline. Unfortunately these are likely to be deeper nodules or red papules which may be more painful, so it's important that you do not use a treatment which is too harsh. Instead choose a gentle, non-foaming cleanser, like our Lift Off Purifying Cleanser, and make sure you thoroughly cleanse your skin morning and night to prevent a build-up of debris or bacteria. Just like teen acne, adult acne cannot be cured simply by scrubbing your face roughly and often. In fact this is only likely to make the condition worse, and could lead to scarring later. It's still important to exfoliate but stick to using our Lift Off Exfoliating Cleanser once or twice a week, you could increase usage if your skin is oily, but avoid exfoliating every day as it will strip your skin of essential nourishing oils. Finally you can still use products which are directly targeted at clearing up acne, just make sure they are not drying. Our Ground Control Anti-Blemish Tonic is formulated with benzyl alcohol, a powerful anti-bacterial which helps to reduce inflammation and stimulate cell renewal. It also contains saw palmetto, to reduce the production of excess sebum and oil without drying out your complexion.

If you are really struggling with your acne, and no skincare products seem to be improving the condition then you may wish to seek specialist help from a dermatologist or aesthetic practitioner. They can assess your skin and recommend prescription strength skincare or a treatment which can help reduce acne lesions.

Published: Monday, 13 October 2014

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