Although we associate acne with the teenage years, we can experience breakouts at every age. Some of us may find we don’t have a problem with breakouts until we get older, especially women.
So, what’s the difference between teen and adult acne, and do they require a different treatment approach? Well, read on to learn more about acne through the ages and how to heal it.
Let’s Start with Your DNA
Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that genetics and hormones are a major player in whether or not you experience breakouts. Your parents or siblings may have a history of breakouts, which could give you foresight into how intensely you may struggle with this condition.
What Does Teenage Acne Look Like?
With teenage acne, we know that the change in hormones that marks puberty is the switch that activates many changes in the skin that can lead to breakouts. The surge in oil production, combined with excessive shedding of skin cells (because of hormones), results in clogged pores. Teenage acne usually begins with oiliness in the T-zone and blackheads and breakouts occurring on the cheeks, forehead, back and chest.
Although our DNA defines us, part of defining ‘you’ comes from lifestyle choices too. So yes, genetics and hormones are behind teenage acne, but there are other factors at play that can exacerbate breakouts. For example, processed foods high in the glycemic index and poor cleansing techniques also contribute to the incidence of acne in teenagers.
What’s Different About Adult Acne?
With adult acne, lifestyle and hormones are dominant forces in its development. Research has shown that adult acne is on the rise, and this is largely due to chronic stress. When we experience long term stress, it increases hormone levels, which can lead to an increase in oil production. And unfortunately, stress also brings delayed healing, dehydration, and the possibility of more ‘marking’ (hyperpigmentation) on the skin.
Whereas teenage acne shows up in the centre of the face, adult acne arises on the U-zone (along the jawline and lower face). Also, adult acne is typically more inflamed and cystic in nature than teenage acne, with little incidence of the overall oiliness and congestion that teenagers commonly experience.
A Personalised Approach with Dermalogica
Take Teen Skin to Clear Start
Clear Start specialises in targeting teen and young adult breakouts, blackheads and shine. Its formulas are clinically proven, technology-driven and designed to nurture (not strip) your skin.
A good skin care routine is one of the most important things you can do to keep teenage acne in check. The best thing about the Clear Start range is that you can effortlessly care for your skin in just three easy steps. Simply Prep, Treat and Glow.
Active Clearing for Adult Acne
As adults face unique challenges with acne, such as slow cell turnover and healing time, increased sensitivity, dehydration and hyperpigmentation issues, Dermalogica’s Active Clearing line is designed specifically for adults. Active Clearing is formulated to clear and prevent breakouts, while simultaneously fighting the signs of ageing. With inflammation being more prominent in adult skins, partnering Active Clearing with Dermalogica’s UltraCalming segment works well for healing angry adult acne.
Here’s our top tips for teen and adult acne:
- Change pillowcases often and avoid fabric conditioner sheets as they can coat and clog the skin.
- Regularly clean and sanitise your mobile phone.
- Try to eat clean and healthy foods with lots of fresh veggies and fruit and lower dairy and sugar intake as these can trigger breakouts.
- Don’t strip the skin: avoid harsh stripping ingredients such as SD alcohol and don’t over-cleanse the skin or use soap.
- Don’t touch or pick your breakouts – it can cause more to appear and increase scarring.
- If you need to wear a protective face mask, make sure it’s washed daily. If you’re opting for a disposable mask, then d-is-p-o-s-e of it (correctly and ethically) after use; these should only be worn once.
- For adults especially, find some stress management strategies that work for you!
Visit your local Dermalogica Professional Skin Therapist for your opportunity to understand your breakouts in more detail and have your own personalised skin care regimen created.