June is Acne Awareness Month and while there may not be a parade to attend or party to plan it is a reminder to renew your commitment to clear, healthy skin. And because adult acne is more persistent than teen acne, it's important to focus on getting the basics right.
Zits. Pimples. Blemishes. No matter what you call it, anyone with acne can agree acne is trouble. While most common in teens, acne can occur at any age. Recent studies have shown an increase in the number of adult cases, usually popping up as one of two types: persistent acne that sticks around long after the teen years and late-onset acne that shows up after the age of 25.
While teenage blemishes and persistent acne are most common on the oily T-zone, adult-onset acne takes on the cheeks, chin, jawline and neck, also called the U-zone. Adult acne also tends to be inflammatory: stubborn nodules that take longer to heal.
A simple question with a complicated answer due to the number of factors that can contribute: hormones, the environment, diet, stress, fatigue, makeup, and more. The most basic answer: Acne occurs when hair follicles (of which our pores are a part of) become plugged with dead skin cells, oil, and then bacteria. That bacteria causes inflammation and tada! There’s your zit, to various degrees of intensity.
Treatment is definitely recommended on a case-by-case basis. Do you have dry skin or oily? Do you breakout during particular times of the month or constantly battle new blemishes? Take a closer look to better understand your skin’s needs.
Now do your homework. Research popular treatments like alpha hydroxyl acids (glycolic, lactic, and malic acids) and beta hydroxyl acid (salicylic acid) to find a treatment that will combat your concerns. And don’t forget to pick up some soothing ingredients like tea tree oil, argan oil, and jojoba that provide healing help.
Designing a personalized skincare routine is the best possible way to prevent future breakouts. It’s all about a consistent regimen: cleanse, hydrate, treat, and protect. Keep your routine simple and full of your favorite formulas. If you love a product, you'll be more likely to use it.
Patience and persistence during acne treatment are crucial. Unlike teen skin, acne in adults is more persistent so it’s unlikely that you’ll see immediate improvement. While that’s hard to hear, for your skin’s sake—commit to the long game. Healthy skin is worth the wait.
Oh, and wash your sheets!