The ever so dreaded acne! Even the word make some shutter. Here are some common causes of acne as well as some practical advice on how to deal with and hopefully ward off future outbreaks, or at least keep them to a minimum.
Unfortunately, just because we have grown out of puberty does not mean that we are in the “clear” from getting those odious outbreaks. Adult acne is on the rise. There are an array of reasons for this ranging from, but not limited to; hormones, bacteria, foods, clogged pores (stemming from excessive sebum production), and, of course, stress. Another key note to consider here that should be included in possible causes of acne outbreaks are certain ingredients in cosmetics. Let’s touch on a some of these causes mentioned above and break it down as to why and how these things can and do play a distinct role in acne breakouts.
- Hormones. Adult acne is seen more often in woman rather than men, primarily (but not always) due to hormones. Hormones can and do fluctuate from the use of birth control pills, menstruation, menopause, and even pregnancy. Hormonal acne is more commonly seen around the chin area.
- Bacteria. The type of bacteria that live in follicles are called “Anaerobic” meaning that they cannot live in the presence of oxygen. This makes sense because when skin follicles are blocked with sebum (the fatty lubricant matter secreted by sebaceous glands of the skin) along with dead skin build up, this in turn prevents oxygen from reaching the follicle which results in bacteria growth causing acne outbreaks.
- Cosmetics. There are many ingredients in cosmetics as well as moisturizers and sunscreens that are acne irritants. These products can contain oils and waxes, clogging the pores and irritating the follicles. When using moisturizers and sunscreens it is best to use water based products.
- Foods. In the busy and hectic world we live in today, it’s hard not dash to a drive-through and get some of that yummy, greasy, fattening food… to go! Although the food itself may not affect acne directly, these eating habits do affect our bodies’ functions. Excesssive pre-packaged and processed foods (yep, that means that fast food we were just talking about) should be avoided as it can, and usually does, irritate acne. Increasing water consumption and eating a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables is a much better choice, not only for our skin but for our total health!
I feel it important to also mention that contrary to popular belief, excessive rubbing and constant touching and picking the face as well as dirty linens and make up brushes can transfer bacteria to the face causing more acne outbreaks. There are an abundance of over the counter beauty products on the shelves in nearly every store. I would suggest that when considering a product to read the ingredients carefully. Products that are dermatologist-tested, fragrance-free, and contain vitamin C are a good start. Remember, vitamin C whitens, brightens, and tightens! Alpha hydroxy acids are great for the skin and glycolic acids are excellent in fighting acne and to help reduce fine lines.
There are four grades of acne. Grades 3 and 4 are best to be treated by a professional as they have access to products that the everyday consumer does not have access to. Through dedication, determination, and knowledge, you can find the right skin care regimen for your skin type to over come acne and keep it at bay.
Cheers to great skin!