Acne is a skin condition that mostly occurs among adolescents. During puberty, the same hormones that trigger physical development and changes of the body also cause the skin to produce more sebum, a naturally occurring oil.
Sebum plays an important role in lubricating and protecting the skin. However, it is also responsible for acne. When there is excess sebum on the skin, it gets trapped in the pores alongside bacteria, which leads to inflammation then acne.
An estimate claims that between 40 million and 50 million people in the United States have acne. The majority of that number are adolescents, but children and adults may also suffer from acne. In fact, one study found that some degree of acne affects 54 percent of women and 40 percent of men above the age of 25.
If acne is triggered by excess sebum typical among adolescents, why do adults still get them?
You are Using the Wrong Products
There are too many skincare products available in the market, all making different promises. However, not all of them can address your specific concerns. You have to know your own skin type and the needs of your skin. Otherwise, you may be using a product that is meant to strip excess sebum away when your skin is already parched.
You need to not only read the list of ingredients but also find out exactly what your skin concerns are. Even acne does not all look the same or is caused by similar issues.
Bumps that are red and have pus are called pimples. They are easier to address because the problem is on the surface of the skin. Use a legitimate benzoyl peroxide facial wash to remove excess sebum, kill bacteria, and shed dead skin cells.
On the other hand, cystic acne is under the surface of the skin. It does not really go away easily with topical products. It has to be addressed from the inside, too. Taking prescription medication will make cystic acne go away.
You Live in a City
Living in a city is not good for your skin. The harmful particles that are floating in the air and causing pollution will clog your pores and cause acne.
A global review of existing studies already found a strong link between air pollution and worse symptoms of acne. The scientists found that people in cities where the ambient air pollution is high also reported flare-ups during periods when the quality of air is especially bad.
That is why it is important to cleanse your skin regularly and thoroughly. Removing dirt and grime off of your face at the end of the day will prevent them from settling into your pores and triggering a breakout.
You are Cleansing Too Frequently or Aggressively
However, cleansing too often, and with an abrasive or harsh exfoliant, will only cause further damage to your skin. That, too, can cause acne.
When you cleanse too much, your skin becomes dry. The sebaceous glands under your skin will react by producing more sebum, creating a more oily surface that traps all sorts of dirt and dead skin cells into your pores.
Using an exfoliant that has a high concentration of active ingredients or contains granules that are too rough will have the same negative impact on your skin. It will only exacerbate your acne.
Make sure to use a gentle cleanser that removes dirt and dead skin cells while keeping your skin well hydrated and healthy. After washing your face, your skin should not feel tight and dry. Experts recommend cleaning your skin two times a day. Any more than that would be too drying.
Exfoliation depends on your skin type but, in general, chemical exfoliants (glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid) are preferred over physical exfoliants. Moreover, most people do not need to exfoliate more than three times a week. Those who have sensitive skin should exfoliate once or twice a week.
It Runs in Your Family
Unfortunately, acne also can be genetic. If one or both of your parents suffered from acne as adults, the likelihood that you will have it, too, is high.
The characteristics of your skin that increase the risk of acne, such as large pores, are genetic. Unlike your skincare or air pollution, this is not something that you can change. However, it can be improved by using the right types of products.
Acne is a common source of embarrassment and low self-esteem among young people, and it can also affect the confidence of adults. However, you do not have to suffer from it. Figure out why you have acne as an adult and address it by consulting a dermatologist and developing a skincare routine that is right for you.