Acne isn’t just a skin problem suffered by teenagers. Whether the cause is stress, hormones or makeup products, adult acne is much more common than you might think. In fact, many women face acne flare-ups throughout their 20s, 30s and 40s, and for some it’s a persistent problem that’s never outgrown.
Some dermatologists estimate that as much as 50 percent of women are troubled by breakouts. But you shouldn’t let acne control your life because there are treatment options available. Here are some tips for how to treat adult acne. If you’ve exhausted your options, visit a dermatologist, who can recommend other higher-strength prescription products.
- Wash your face morning and night with a gentle cleanser. Finding the right cleanser can be tricky since much of what’s on the market is geared toward oilier teenage skin. Products such as Cetaphil, Aquanil and Purpose are some of the most gentle skin cleansers you’ll find. Avoid using harsh, abrasive scrubs as they might further irritate skin, causing more acne problems.
- Apply a spot treatment or gel that contains benzoyl peroxide to your face. Benzoyl peroxide works to kill bacteria on your skin. Look for a product that contains at least 5%. Use the spot treatment on pimples or apply the gel form to your entire face.
- Exfoliate with a salicylic acid treatment, but don’t exfoliate too much or scrub too hard as this can irritate your skin. Exfoliate no more than twice a week for best results.
- Use a mild, oil-free moisturizer after you wash your face. Again, stick with gentle products like Cetaphil. Your best bet is to find a moisturizer that includes sun protection so as to minimize the amount of products on your face.
- If you experience breakouts that coincide with your menstrual cycle, often times taking birth control pills can help balance the hormone fluctuations that lead to acne. This option is best discussed with your doctor or dermatologist.