A recent study, published by the American Dermatologist Association, had some very staggering statistics about adult acne.
Among the many findings of the study one point stood out with me:
45% of women, aged 21-30, have some form of active acne.
It used to be that acne was a teenage skin condition yet more and more adult women are now suffering from breakout on a regular basis.
Another interesting statistic, from the study:
63% of people who sought medical remedy for acne continued using prescription-based solutions past the age of 40.
Here are my top three anti acne pointers:
1. Avoid heavy, oil based moisturizers. Acneic skin needs lots of hydration but very little lubrication. Gel-based moisturizers are a better choice because the lighter weight formulas allow the skin to regulate its water/oil balance. When the skin has a higher water content acne is less likely to occur.
2. Prevent dehydration. A very popular anti-acne solution is benzoyl peroxide. While effective at clearing acne it dehydrates the skin excessively and there are much better choices these days. Benzoyl peroxide has also been shown to allow increased free radical damage thus solving one skin care problem while causing another. A more state-of-the-art ingredient is tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine, which is a mouthful to say but is incredibly effective at treating acne without any of the dehydrating side effects of benzoyl peroxide. And you can buy it over the counter.
3. Wash without disrupting the skin's pH. While heavy detergent based cleansers will certainly make an oily acneic skin feel clean the detergents can disrupt the skin's natural pH and allow more bacteria to set in. The very act of cleaning the skin, with detergent based cleansers, will make the skin break out more. Buy a non-foaming, lotion-based cleanser and the skin will balance itself to a natural pH of 5.5, then it can effectively keep bacteria out.
Of course severe acne needs medical attention.
But for most mild to moderate outbreak simple quality skincare is sufficient to keep the skin looking clear and healthy.