It’s easy to dismiss acne as a problem relegated to the Belieber-aged crowd. But sadly, as too many men and women have discovered, middle-aged acne can strike a full grown adult without warning. If you suddenly find yourself re-facing the dreaded breakout (or if you’re suffering from acne as an adult for the first time in your life) the blame might lie on anything from hormones and stress to dietary changes or new skin sensitivities. Here are ten pro tips for dealing with grown-up blemishes.
1. Narrow Down Allergens
Sometimes, sudden adult breakouts are caused by developing allergies to products or foods, even if you’ve used them before. This is because as we age, our skin becomes thinner and more sensitive. If you think something you’re eating might be causing your adult acne, consider keeping a food diary. If you notice a link between certain foods and skin blemishes, try eliminating that food for a couple of weeks and reevaluate.
If you wear makeup or use skin lotions and beauty products, consider switching to a brand formulated for acne-prone or sensitive skin and see if that helps calm your skin issues, as well.
2. No Butts
If you need yet another reason to quit smoking once and for all, your adult acne may just be it. The carcinogens, tar and smoke from cigarettes has been shown to cause and aggravate breakouts. Stop lighting up, and your face might just clear up too.
3. Hands Off!
It can be tempting to pick, poke and prod at your face during an acne breakout. But the truth is, your hands are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. No touching your face unless you want to spread those pore-clogging oils and dirt around
4. Tea Tree oil
For those looking for a natural way to treat their acne without expensive and harsh treatments, tea tree oil might be the ideal solution. A natural disinfectant and antibacterial, dabbing a little tea tree oil onto blemishes with a clean cotton swab will reduce the number and severity of your breakouts.
5. Avoid Over-Scrubbing
It’s tempting to assume that the more often (and the more vigorously) you wash your face, the faster your middle-aged acne will clear up. Unfortunately, over exfoliating, scrubbing and over utilizing harsh treatment products will have the exact opposite effect. Scrubbing your face often will stimulate sebum production, which will then clog pores and lead to more breakouts.