Put an End to Adult Acne
How to Avoid Adult Acne
Although adult acne can be an unpleasant and sometimes uncomfortable condition, it’s relatively easy to treat. Combat individual pimples and acne outbreaks by spot-treating the area. Prevent acne outbreaks in general by keeping your face clean and oil-free. By learning proper skin cleansing practices, using natural products, and creating a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, stress control, and exercise, you will be able to minimize acne outbreaks and get any existing acne under control.
Finding Effective Cleansing Supplies
Pick out a mild soap or gentle cleanser to wash your face with each day.Select a face cleanser that is specifically designed for acne-prone skin. These sort of cleansers will regulate how much (or how little) oil your skin produces, and will be less likely to irritate sensitive skin.They also help to get rid of dead skin cells. Excess dead skin cells on your face provide a place where germs thrive and cause acne to form.
- Try lipid-free liquid cleansers. These cleansers don’t contain soap, so they are gentler on your skin. They also don’t contain oils or fats, so you are less likely to break out when you use these cleansers. Cetaphil and Aquanil are two different lipid-free cleansers.
- Use synthetic detergents to wash your face. Synthetic cleansers have a pH that is very similar to that of your skin. As a consequence, it is less likely that synthetic cleansers will irritate or dry out your skin, like some soaps do. An example of a synthetic detergent is Dove Sensitive Skin Bar.
- The best cleansers for acne prone skin are those that include benzoyl peroxide. For severe acne, choose the formula with the highest concentration of benzoyl peroxide. However, stick with a lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide if your skin gets irritated.
Apply benzoyl peroxide cream to your acne as a spot treatment.Benzoyl peroxide helps to reduce the inflammation caused by acne and prevents future acne by reducing the amount of oil that you skin produces.Before applying the cream to your face, wash your hands and face so that your skin is clean.
- Since benzoyl peroxide can dry out your skin, it’s best not to spread it across your entire face. Use benzoyl peroxide as a spot treatment to combat persistent or recurring acne breakouts.
- Benzoyl peroxide can also come in gel and wash forms.
Try topical vitamin A cream.Topical retinoids like vitamin A cream work by unplugging clogged pores. When your pores become unclogged, other topical medicines, like antibiotics, can enter the hair shaft and fight underlying infection. Topical retinoids come in cream, gel, and liquid forms, and can be purchased over the counter at your local drug store or pharmacy.
- Apply the medicine to your skin once a day, usually at night. Wait to apply the cream until at least 20 or 30 minutes have passed after washing your face.
- You will need a prescription to get a higher, medical grade concentration of vitamin A cream.
Try a cleanser with salicylic acid.Salicylic acid, also called beta-hydroxy acid, is one of the most effective ingredients in acne treatment meds. The acid unclogs your pores, which treats acne outbreaks and decreases the likelihood of recurring acne attacks. Follow the application directions in an over-the-counter tube of medication which contains salicylic acid.
- Exfoliating agents like salicylic acid also help to keep your pores open by helping your body to shed mature, superficial skin cells that can also cause acne.
- Other useful chemicals typically found in over-the-counter acne treatments include: sulfur, which draws oil out of your skin, and glycolic acid, which exfoliates dead cells from the surface of your skin.
Visit a dermatologist if you have frequent or severe acne.Over the counter and non-prescription acne medications may be ineffective in treating severe cases of acne. If you’ve tried the suggested acne-prevention steps for a few months and nothing seems to be helping, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. They will be able to prescribe stronger medications, including an antibiotic, or may have alternate recommendations for removing your acne.
- Your dermatologist—or general practitioner—may also be able to identify a hormone imbalance. If this is the case, ask the doctor about ways to manage and regulate hormones in your body.
- They may be able to recommend dietary or lifestyle changes, or give you a medication to help balance your hormone swings.
Practicing Good Cleansing Techniques
Use your fingers to gently apply the cleanser and wash your face.Wash your face at least two times a day to keep your skin from excess oil that can create acne.When you wash your face, use warm water, rather than hot or cold water. Both hot and cold water can dry out your skin.
- To apply your cleanser, rub your fingers in a gentle, circular motion over your whole face. You want to be careful not to be too rough with your skin because when acne is present your skin can be damaged pretty easily.
Try not to touch your face too much throughout the day.Your fingers can collect a lot of bacteria by touching things during your daily activities. When you touch your face without washing your hands first, you are unwittingly spreading germs and bacteria on to your face that could ultimately lead to a breakout.
- If you do have to touch your face, try to wash your hands before doing so. Even applying some hand sanitizer to your fingers can help keep your face from breaking out.
Ignore the urge to pop pimples.While you may see a pimple and immediately want to pop it, it is important to remember that pimples contain bacteria. When you pop a pimple, that bacteria can land on other parts of your skin, creating more pimples.
- Your fingernails can also pose a bacterial threat. When you pop your pimple with your nails, any bacteria that are under your nails could get into the now open pimple-wound, causing further infection.
Using Natural Products
Apply an oat mask to your skin.Oatmeal can prevent adult acne outbreaks—and combat existing outbreaks—by absorbing oil from the surface of your skin. Oatmeal also soothes and skin and prevents itching or discomfort. This means that oats can reduce the inflammation caused by acne, and help prevent it in the future. One great way to use oats is by trying an oatmeal mask.To make an oatmeal mask:
- Cook cup (120 mL) of regular oatmeal. Pour in 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of honey.
- Let the oatmeal cool down and then apply it to the spots on your face where you tend to get acne. Wear the oatmeal mixture for 15 minutes.
- Rinse your face with warm water and pat it dry with a clean towel. Repeat this process as necessary.
Use a baking soda mask or take a baking soda bath.Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate, which can reduce inflammation and clean out existing pimples. For facial acne, you can try a baking soda mask. If you are dealing with acne on different parts of your body, try a baking soda bath.
- To draw a baking soda bath: Fill your bathtub with warm water. Do not use hot water because hot water can make your skin dry out. Add 1 cup (240 mL) of baking soda to your bathwater. Soak in the baking soda bath for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Try a baking soda mask: Wash your face with warm water. Take eight teaspoons of baking soda and mix it with a cup of water and stir the ingredients until they form a relatively thick paste. Apply the mixture to your acne and let it sit on your skin for about 15 minutes. Rinse your face off with water and pat it dry.
Make a homemade face wash from gram flour and turmeric.The gram flour removes excess oil from the skin and turmeric acts as an antiseptic as well as a natural healing agent. Replace gram flour with fine wheat flour, if your skin is very dry. Mix two tablespoon of gram flour, half a teaspoon of turmeric and 2 tbsp. of water. Wash and scrub with this smooth, gentle, antiseptic, natural cleanser.
- Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the mixture if your skin is overly dry.
Put a cucumber paste on your face each day.Your skin can break out in acne when it gets too dehydrated, as well as when it gets too oily. Cucumber can help to keep your skin hydrated as it has one of the highest water contents of any food. To make a cucumber paste:
- Take half of a small cucumber (skin on) and reduce it to a paste in the blender or food processor. Apply the cucumber paste to your skin and let it sit there for 20 to 30 minutes. Wash it off with warm water.
Creating a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.As stated above, your skin can get damaged and form acne when it becomes very dry. To keep your skin hydrated, try to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will also help keep your skin clear and reduce the number of acne breakouts you experience.
- Adult men should drink 15.5 cups (3.7 L) of water each day. Adult women should drink 11.5 cups (2.7 L) of water each day.
Stay away from foods that can make you break out.Certain foods are primarily made up of simple sugars. Simple sugars can elevate your blood sugar levels, which in turn creates a demand for insulin, even if your body doesn’t really need it. These excess levels of insulin can make your skin produce more oil and grow pore-clogging cells, leading to pimples. Foods that are primarily made up of simple sugars include:
- Saturated fats like butter and fried food.
- Refined bread.
- White rice.
Try to avoid stress as much as possible.Stress can cause you to break out. Look for practical ways that you can de-stress each day, and keep your overall stress levels low.This could include meditating and taking a few deep breaths, or getting outside for a 20-minute walk. De-stress further by spending some time with friends, read a book, or take a long drive.
- Stress can make your body produce more cortisol. Cortisol has been linked to acne breakouts so if you are concerned about adult acne, try to limit the amount of stress you experience each day.
- Getting plenty of sleep each night will cut down on stress. Having slept well will help you feel less stressed during the day, which in turn will cut back on the amount of acne you have.
- Daily exercise can also decrease levels of stress in your body. If you can, try to exercise for at least 30 minutes, three to five days a week.
- You can use natural tea-tree oil as an acne spot treatment. The oil will not clog up your pores, and has natural astringent properties.
- Putting cosmetics on your existing acne will only make the outbreak worse. Many cosmetics contain oils that can actually make your acne worse. While you may want to cover up your acne, it is best to avoid oil-based cosmetics. If you would prefer to use cosmetics anyway, buy cosmetics that say they are oil-free.
Video: Adult Acne - Mayo Clinic
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