In high school, I was THAT girl… You know the one… Flawless skin… Seemingly unaffected by the negative aspects of puberty. So imagine my surprise, when suddenly at the age 29, I developed an acne problem. A serious acne problem. Apparently my tendency to over achieve extends to my face too. So much so, there were days when I felt so unattractive and embarrassed, I actually called in “ugly” to work.
The search for a cause and solution began immediately with doctor and dermatologist appointments as well as the establishment of my own skin care testing facility where I tried concoction after concoction in an effort to shut down the zit farm.
Three years later, I have effectively cleared my face, with the exception of a small one here and there associated with my cycle. Although the main reason for adult-onset acne is hormonal, it is significantly exacerbated by stress levels. I found the more time I made in my life for exercise, meditation and R&R, the easier it was to see results from my skin care regimen. Diet also plays a big role. As soon as I changed my eating habits to include mainly fruits and vegetables with very little fat and oils, I started to see a big difference.
Still, special attention must be paid to the products you are using on your skin. Not just the cleansers, but also your make-up. Remember, our skin changes as we age, so the formulations you used as a teenager should not be in your shopping basket. There is no miracle prescription that works for everyone, no matter what acne product commercials tell you! We all have unique skin types, oil production and underlying issues that can impact the effectiveness of skin care products.
Your best bet is to see a dermatologist and learn more about your skin type, get some product recommendations and give them a try. You may have to try several different brands before finding the one that works for you, but be careful not to change things up too much. Give each product you try at least 2 months to produce results before trying something else. You may want to try different lifestyle changes at the same time to see if that increases the impact. An acne journal can help you keep track of the changes you are making and what impact they are producing.
Here are some practical things that will help, regardless of the nature or cause of your acne problem.
- Non-comedogenic products are your friends. Look for this disclaimer on everything you put on your face
- Use water or gel based formulas and avoid products with excess oil
- Use a new make-up sponge for every application of foundation. This includes powder – the sponge included with your compact is not meant to be used forever.
- Clean your make-up brushes regularly with proper make-up brush cleaning solutions
- Change your pillow cases every few days. Dirt and oils accumulate on your pillow case while you sleep. Since your face spends at least 8 hours a day on your pillow, this can be a cause for breakouts.
- Wash your face immediately after the gym. I do this before I even leave the gym locker room, especially after Hot Yoga. Your sweat releases toxins and it’s important that you remove those toxins from the surface of your skin while your pores are still open.
- Avoid cleansers or other skin care products with scrubbing particles or a gritty texture as they can irritate the skin and clog pores
- DO NOT WEAR MAKE-UP TO THE GYM – I don’t care how many hot guys who may be Mr. Right go there. Sweat combined with make-up is a bad recipe for clogging pores and causing breakouts and he’s not going to want to date you AND your zit farm, anyway.
- DO NOT POP YOUR ZITS! This is a recipe for permanent scarring on your skin.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS…
- Call in “Ugly”.
What are your tips and tricks for maintaining a clear complexion?