We tend to grow up believing that troublesome acne is a one-off life phase that passes as we draw away from our pesky adolescent years. But if you are one of the many (MANY) out there still suffering from acne well into your twenties, thirties and beyond, you are not alone. From a heightened prevalence of harsh environmental conditions to a downright lack of knowledge out there on hormonal skin conditions, many of you may be shocked to hear that one-third of all visits to a dermatologist by women over the age of 25 are as a result of adult acne.
With such a staggering number of women (and men) struggling with hormonal skin blemishes, we thought a dedicated sit down with our co-founder, Dr. Katherine Armour, was in order.
Bespoke: What treatments and products are available out there to treat adult acne.
KA: To prevent blemishes seen in acne, it’s great to introduce topical vitamin A ingredients (retinoids) or alpha hydroxy acids to your nightly skincare regime. These clever multi-tasking ingredients prevent pores from becoming blocked, which is where acne starts. They also help to deal with the unwanted hyperpigmentation that can follow acne breakouts.
BESPOKE: How can we try to avoid breakouts in adulthood?
KA: In terms of prevention of blemishes in adult women, it can be useful to see a doctor to have your hormone levels checked via a blood test if simple measures don’t do the trick. Occasionally, hormonal disorders can contribute to adult acne. Getting enough sleep and minimizing stress (easier said than done!) is also important to prevent adult acne. Lack of sleep and excessive stress can drive up our cortisol levels which can trigger or flare acne.
BESPOKE: What skincare products/ingredients should we look out for to combat acne breakouts?
KA: To manage blemishes once they’ve reared their heads, you can try a range of options. Anti-inflammatory ingredients are what we want here. Vitamin B3 (niacinamide), green tea, AHA’s and benzoyl peroxide can all be useful and are available over the counter. For more severe breakouts, using anti-inflammatory antibiotics such as clindamycin or erythromycin lotion can also be used.
Always make sure that you stick with gentle cleansers for acne prone skin as foaming and “deep pore” cleansers just irritate the skin and make blemishes worse. Also, don’t forget your moisturiser to maintain your skin barrier.
If the above measures don’t do the trick, see your friendly dermatologist for advice.