We all know how common acne is in your teens, and how a pimple here and there can unexpectedly pop each time you’re nearing your monthly cycle. Sometimes, acne will overstay its welcome, and by this point, it’s moved on from your regular, run-of-the-mill teenage ache to becoming “adult acne.” While we are learning to love our flaws in our adult years, it’s no secret that adult acne still gnaws on our confidence and makes us feel down.
Stress, combined with unhealthy lifestyle habits, can cause hormonal spikes (or the opposite!). In turn, this can cause a hormonal imbalance, which may lead to nasty breakouts. In spite of this, there are some things you can do that can help you deal with your adult acne and make it less of a bother — and maybe even banish it for good. If your acne in your younger years seems to be here to stay, then why not try these five treatments and options to help you bid it goodbye once and for all?
Take a Closer Look at Your Diet
More often than not, what you are eating affects your breakouts. For instance, certain foods can increase inflammation in the body and can increase the chances of having angry red pimples. It turns out that the advice to stay from oily, sugary food we often heard as teens is a worthwhile one. An article in Harvard Health Publishing mentioned a study that found a correlation between having adult acne and the consumption of foods high in sugar and fat.
You might have also eaten foods you don’t know you’re sensitive to, as well, and your body’s reaction is to break out. A food diary is a handy tool to help you identify what foods aggravate your adult acne. Write what you ate, or keep a food tracker app, and observe if there are patterns in your breakouts that certain foods might cause. Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can either avoid them totally or eat them in moderation.
Be Gentle To Your Skin
It’s also important to continue to be religious with your skincare routine. Just make sure all products you use are mild and gentle enough to cleanse dirt and sebum away, but not strong enough to irritate your acne further. Also, be wary of many of those so-called “natural” products. These might not have chemicals like parabens and phthalates, but some plant extracts may cause your skin to be more sensitive, therefore causing your acne to worsen.
Consider Getting a Hormonal Bloodwork Panel Done
Your period is coming, you’re feeling terrible, and your pimples are popping everywhere. In case you missed it: these are connected, and your hormonal levels are likely what’s causing you a bad breakout. Having your hormone levels checked is also crucial in identifying whether your acne is related to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or elevated male hormones.
Restoring the proper hormone levels not only helps with your acne, but also with your overall health. To be sure whether your adult acne is hormone-related, get a hormonal blood work panel to see what hormones are elevated or decreased. Find out what these hormone levels affect your skin by seeing a dermatologist or even an endocrinologist, which can help you pinpoint what exactly is causing these unwanted breakouts.
Speak With a Dermatologist For a Prescription Treatment
It’s tempting to self-medicate with over-the-counter medicines and alternative treatments. However, your best bet to get rid of adult acne for good is by seeing your dermatologist, showing them your blood work results, and getting a prescription treatment. Tretinoin is one of the most powerful acne creams used to combat adult acne, and it works as a powerful exfoliant on your skin. Your dermatologist may prescribe it to fill at your local pharmacy.
If you can’t squeeze in an appointment with your local derm, then you can also get tretinoin online by seeing a dermatologist online for a virtual consultation. It is important to thoroughly discuss during the consultation the pros and cons of using tretinoin, though, as it can make your skin a little bit sensitive at first. However, its potency as a topical retinoid makes it effective for both acne and as an anti-aging treatment — a win-win all around!
Find Ways to Destress
If you’re like many people, you may also find out that your breakouts will get worse when you’re under stress. It can be from beating the deadlines at work, preparing for an event at home, or even overthinking things. The results show on your face, and it’s not a good one. Opt to do de-stressing activities, like going on a hike in your local area. Biking, swimming, and other activities might also help.
If you’re more into meditation, a yoga class at home might help you loosen up and get your body from the fight-or-flight mode that triggers stress hormones. Do these five steps one by one or all together, and watch as you gain the upper hand against adult acne. And before you know it, you can finally have the clear skin of your dreams, no matter what age you are!