Adult Acne: Why Now? What’s the solution?

There are many women in their twenties, thirties and forties who are suffering from acne. We’ve been socialized to associate this skin conditions with the teenage years, which makes it an even more exasperating problem to contend with in adulthood.

Here’s an excellent article from the New York Times that delves into some of the stats around this skin concern as well as reasons for why it happens. I find the correlation between diet and acne a point of interest- however, there still needs to be research done on this area before any definitive conclusions can be made. The idea is that your hormones can be affected by what you eat- and if your diet is causing your testosterone levels to be higher, acne can ensue. Things like organic dairy and meat products are something to take into consideration. Could meat or dairy from livestock that have been injected with hormones have an adverse affect on our skin? A friend of mine who was lactose intolerant always found that she got terrible cysts whenever she cheated and ate something with dairy in it. Again, the challenge here is that there is no definitive research to show the correlation between diet and acne. I personally feel that every person is unique and there isn’t a one-size fits all solution to addressing acne. If you’re unsure of what the best diet is for you, then visiting a certified nutritionist or a naturopath is the first step to take.

The article also mentions that benzoyl peroxide formulations higher than 2.5% tend to be too drying and sensitizing for adult acne. I’d like to speak to this briefly. We carry the Obagi Clenziderm system which contains a 5% concentration of liquid benzoyl peroxide. While I’d agree that this ingredient tends to be drying, the results I’ve seen for clients skin outweighs the cons of this side effect. From a two week split face study, there was a 45-52% reduction in acne lesions and 26-34% reduction in blackheads and whiteheads. The Clenziderm system is available for two different skin types- normal to oily and normal to dry and only require three steps- cleanse, therapeutic lotion and moisturizer for the respective skin type.┬áIt’s best to have a professional skin therapist direct you to the correct kit- I find many people will gravitate to the normal to oily kit because they think of the acneic condition being associated with this skin type; however, when it comes to adult acne, you can still have a normal to dry skin type while experiencing acute acne. I generally suggest that this system is used short term to get the acne under control and subsided. Then it’s best to transition to a routine that balances your skin, keeping the Clenziderm Therapeutic Lotion as a spot treatment.

This is just one approach to addressing this concern- there are many ways to treat acne- professional peels, Intense Pulsed Light Acne Therapy, mineral cosmetics and the list goes on. I would advise anyone who’s been struggling with adult acne to book a skin consultationwith a Skin Therapist. They will be able to review your current regimen and lifestyle to customize a treatment plan that suits you. This is a frustrating skin concern- but there are solutions that work. Come in and see us!

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