We hear this question time and time again in consultations. Women over 30 coming in for acne treatments and skincare because they are suffering with adult acne. You’ll have perfectly flawless skin for weeks and suddenly have an outburst of blemishes! Why? Unfortunately, it’s not an easy question to answer. The cause could be from numerous things such as stress, PMS, diet, wrong products etc. We have come up with a few things to ask yourself that may help:
Do you wash your face regularly, both in the morning and at night? After the end of a long day sometimes all we want to do is crawl into bed and relax but what we forget is that our skin has been exposed to many things throughout the day. Oil buildup is the perfect condition for bacteria to grow and spread, causing blemishes. Dirt and makeup cover pores causing them to become clogged increasing blackheads. Dead skin cells will blanket your skin rather than being exfoliated holding in debris leaving you with a dull complexion. It only takes 2 minutes to cleanse your face, do it!
Do you touch your face throughout the day? Resting your cheek on your hand through a boring meeting, rubbing your eyes because you‘re tired, touching your chin during deep thought or massaging your forehead because of a headache… These are all things we do unconsciously throughout the day not knowing that our faces are becoming filled with bacteria! Be conscious about how many times you touch your face in a day – are those the areas you see an increase in breakouts? Using an antibacterial serum or mineral based powder throughout the day can also help eliminate the excess bacteria caused by touching our faces.
What about weather changes? Calgary is famous for its chaotic weather fluctuations, it can be hot and dry in the morning and come afternoon the temperature has dropped by 15 degrees, the wind is blowing and it’s snowing! This can leave your skin unbalanced and prone to blemishes. Incorporating a skin care regime that fits Calgary’s climate seems almost impossible but here are a couple tips:
a) Include a product that is going to promote cell turnover for those humid muggy days, AHA/BHA, salicylic acid and glycolic acids are all great to help dead skin cells to sluff off reducing your pores being clogged and bacteria to build up.
b) For those dry days where you want to slather your face in moisturizers switch to a hydrating serum. Thick, creamy moisturizers will make the outer layer of your skin feel hydrated but will trigger a good breakout where serums are light yet hydrating.
Are you under increased stress? Stress can have an enormous impact on the overall condition of your skin. An elevated level of stress causes your adrenal glands to produce more cortisol which triggers your sebaceous glands to produce an abundance of oil, making your skin extra oily. During stressful times, you may see more cystic type acne rather than just your normal black heads or white heads. If you stuffer from stress related acne, you may want to consider products that are going to dry up the excess oil production. Retinol is a product that we suggest to clients suffering from acne. It stops excess sebum production, unclogs pores, sluffs off dead skin cells and reduces the severity of acne scarring.
Are you PMSing? This is a word that triggers a lot of women, but it’s a time when we see a rise in breakouts. We get a surge of blemishes at the beginning of our cycles which is totally frustrating. When you know your time of the month is coming start using a potent cleanser morning and night that consists of LHA (unclogs pores), glycolic acid (accelerates cell turn over) and salicylic acid (unclogs pores, removes dirt, oil and other debris that lead to breakouts), combined with a daily salicylic acid serum it will reduce sebum production and decongest pores reducing outbreaks. PMS is something we can’t avoid but we can add a few products to the routine to reduce the blemishes!
What’s your diet like? It’s hard to figure out what exactly is causing your outbreaks with diet. Dairy seems to be a big contributor to adult acne, try going off dairy and using supplement food instead to see if your skin responds in a positive way. Another contributor could also be sugar! Sugar raises your insulin levels which may boost your oil producing hormones and will cause more breakouts. Try low sugar foods and whole grain carbs, they cause less of an insulin rise because they break down slower in your body. Combining a change of diet with products that increase your cell turnover (retinols, glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids) should decrease your oil production lowering the amount of breakouts.