The causes of adult acne
So you thought you got through puberty and the acne that comes with it and came out the other side, right? Sadly, adult acne is much more common than people are led to believe. However, what is interesting is that often the adult acne and the acne you experience as a teenager have the same causes and aggravators. We spoke to Natasha Cook, Dermatologist MBBS [Hons] FACD and Founder of brand, Dr Natasha Cook™Cosmeceuticals, about the causes of adult acne and the best way to go about getting rid of it fast.
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What causes adult acne?
The main causes of adult acne are surprisingly similar to those of teenage acne, Cook explains. Hormones and genetics remain the major culprits, with aggravators including a high sugar diet and stress, “stress is a BIG aggravator,” says Cook.
Other causes however, Dr Cook notes include “using the wrong skincare is a BIG one! As a dermatologist I see so many problems related to what people use for their acne, which in 90% of cases actually makes it worse.”
What products and ingredients are right to treat it?
The products and ingredients to look for when it comes to treating adult acne, are similar, if not the same as what you would use to treat teenage acne. “This is one of the myths when it comes to skincare. The idea that if you are at a different age or stage, race or gender, you need a specific treatment for your skin. In most cases this is not accurate, and the same ingredients and routine will work for someone who is 16 or 50. It gets tricky when there are more complex underlying issues that need to be diagnosed by a specialist,” she says.
The first step is finding the right cleanser, says Cook. “It should be gentle...nothing that foams or has scrub like beads. Over cleansing and using the wrong cleanser will make acne worse,” she says. bh loves: Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser (find it at adorebeauty.com.au) and Avène Gentle Milk Cleanse
When it comes to ingredients, you can’t go past niacinamide (AKA vitamin B3). “[This] is incredible for acne-prone skin,” says Dr Cook. “Look for either a moisturiser or serum with five per cent or more niacinamide. It calms the oil glands, reducing the sebum production and is an incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, so will calm breakouts and speed up the recovery process.” bh loves: Paula’s Choice RESIST 10% Niacinamide Booster and Verso Hydration Serum (find it at mecca.com.au)
Another ingredient to add to the list is salicylic acid. Working to dissolve blackheads and whiteheads, as well as preventing them from forming in the first place, salicylic acid unclogs pores. It also has anti-ageing benefits. bh loves: Dr Natasha Cook™ Cosmeceuticals Concentrated Clarifier (find it at drnatashacook.com) and Alpha-H Clear Skin Daily Hydrator Gel
“The key to treating acne regardless of your age is the right routine and clinical strength concentrations of specific ingredients. Routine and consistency are everything. If you don’t use it, you will lose it! It’s a daily regimen that will only deliver results if you are consistent,” says Cook.
Main image credit @victoriabeckham
Do you suffer from adult acne? How do you treat it?