Acne isn't a problem of adolescents alone. Adults can experience breakouts for years, and some other skin conditions mimic acne.
While some people are lucky enough to permanently ditch acne along with high school, most have periodic breakouts throughout their lives. So what can you do to improve your skin? First, you need to uncover the cause of those spots.
What Causes Acne?
Your skin naturally produces an oily substance called 'sebum'. Sebum helps lubricate your skin and prevents germs from entering your pores. When your skin produces too much sebum, the sebum can mix with dead skin cells and become trapped in your pores. Acne is the inevitable result. Red, inflamed pimples occur when bacteria enters the mix, causing a localised infection.
Teenagers naturally produce more sebum in response to sudden hormonal shifts. Many people find that they experience acne for the first time in adolescence. Their symptoms often improve steadily as they move into adulthood.
Some adults have naturally oily skin, though, and others don't take good care of their complexion. Still others continue to experience hormonal shifts due to menstrual cycle fluctuations, menopause, and endocrine system disorders. Therefore, many adults can experience breakouts.
Secondary Causes of Acne
Although oil and debris trapped in your pores is the proximate cause of acne, a number of other factors increase the odds of a breakout:
- Poor skincare, especially sleeping with your makeup on
- Picking at acne, which can introduce more oil and bacteria into your pores
- Dry, flaky skin that clogs your pores and traps oil and bacteria
- Using too many skincare products, which irritates your skin
Skin Conditions That Look Like Acne
Not all bumps are acne. If you're experiencing skin problems for the first time, topical remedies don't work, or you have other symptoms besides the bumps, talk to a doctor. Some skin conditions that can look like acne include:
- Rosacea, a different type of acne
- Infections, particularly staph
- Allergic reactions to skincare products
- Autoimmune conditions
Treating Adult Acne
Regardless of your age, the recommended acne treatments are the same. However, many adults contend with other skincare issues beyond acne. If you're concerned about ageing, retinol-based products are your best friend. These products can clear your skin while combating wrinkles and discolouration. Try Skinstitut Retinol Serum for the perfect all-in-one remedy.
Other tips to combat acne include:
- Don't pick at your skin.
- Don't use more than three skincare products at once.
- Wash your face every night before bed.
- Avoid excessive scrubbing or frequent washing, since both can irritate your complexion.
- Exfoliate your face once or twice a week to remove dead cells. The Adore Beauty team loves Aspect Exfol L 15, which offers gentle overnight exfoliation.
- Remember to moisturise daily with an oil-free product to keep skin healthy and supple.