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Adult Acne: Are You Still Using Teen-Aged Solutions?

Posted by Dr. Ruth Shields on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

Adult_Acne_Are_You_Still_Using_Teen_Aged_SolutionsIf you are in your 30s or beyond and are still having acne trouble, you should know that dealing with adult acne effectively is a bit different than banishing teen-age breakouts. While adult acne may look much the same as teen acne and is certainly just as annoying, the skin that it insists on persistently plaguing with outbreaks is different. Like the rest of you, it has grown up, and that means that it has outgrown teen-aged acne solutions and needs treatments that are better suited to adult skin.

How Adult Skin Differs From Teen Skin

Adult skin differs from teen skin in several significant ways that definitely make a difference in how we should care for it. Adult skin tends to lose volume in its deep layers over time, thinning the skin overall as compared to teen-aged skin. This happens as collagen production slows with aging. Also contributing to thinning in the skin's deep layers is declining hydration in adult skin, since production of hyaluronic acid – a natural chemical that hydrates deep skin layers – slows over time. Meanwhile, the rate of skin cell turnover slows, causing dead skin cells to remain on the skin's surface longer, causing thickening of the skin's outermost layers.

The result is dryer, thinner, more sensitive skin that tends to collect more pore-clogging dead skin cells on its surface – a very different skin composition than is common in the average teen. That means that those off-the-shelf acne solutions that work in teen skin are generally too harsh and drying for adults. Fact is, instead of helping to clear your skin, they may well make matters worse, leaving your skin overly dry and unhealthy, which can worsen breakouts and accelerate skin aging.

Adult Solutions For Adult Acne

So what should you use to clear adult acne? Kinder, gentler solutions that address acne without abusing adult skin. First, get rid of harsh cleansers labeled for oily, acne prone skin, switching to a gentle, non-soap cleanser. Use that cleanser no more than twice daily, since over washing can prompt breakouts, and don't wash your face with hot water, use lukewarm instead.

Then, trade in harsh benzoyl peroxide lotions for ones that contain gentler ingredients, such as salicylic or glycolic acid. These ingredients fight acne, aid in hydrating skin and speed the rate of skin cell turnover – helping to keep pores clear to prevent future breakouts. They also have the added bonus of helping to improve and/or prevent signs of skin aging, including dull skin, pigmentation, wrinkles and poor skin texture. Regular exfoliation can also help, as can antioxidant-rich moisturizers.

If you have trouble finding gentle, effective products that work to control your adult acne, see a skin care specialist. Getting a thorough examination of your skin and professional advice on products and treatments that will best suit your skin type and condition can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your skin care routine – and if over the counter products don't cut it in terms of adult acne relief, your skin care specialist has access to plenty of prescription-strength solutions that can offer more effective results.

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Tags: adult acne