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How to deal with the onset of adult acne

Natalie Baker
30 March 2012

If you thought that acne was something that only blighted the lives of teens you'd be wrong. I've watched a good friend of mine struggle through most of her late twenties with adult acne, even though she had flawless skin in her teens. For many of us, a spot is something that occurs sporadically, but for adult women affected by acne, feelings of embarrassment, discomfort and utter frustration can become a daily occurrence. My friend isn't an isolated case when it comes to her skin issue. A recent study by the American Academy of Dermatology found the late-onset or adult-onset of acne is becoming increasingly common in women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s. Here are some key tweaks you can make to your beauty regime to try to control adult acne.

Visit a dermatologist

So visiting a specialist skin doctor may sound like the obvious solution, but like many women trying to juggle a career and family, the problem is often pushed further down the list of priorities. A friend of mine that works in a stressful job continued to try to cover up her acne for over a year before finally giving up and booking an appointment with a dermatologist. She blamed feelings of embarrassment and hoping 'that it would clear up by itself' for delaying booking a consultation. Her specialist prescribed a low of dose of oral antibiotics and she noticed a difference within about eight weeks. She said she kicked herself for leaving it so long before seeking treatment. A dermatologist may also prescribe light therapy, topical lotions containing deep-exfoliating acids or the contraceptive pill to combat adult acne. Although there is no 'one size fits all' to treatment, there is help available.

Mineral makeup

While makeup won't clear up acne, the right products can prevent aggravating the problem further. Mineral makeup doesn't contain harsh ingredients or chemicals, making it kinder to skin. Opt for a mineral concealer and mineral foundation to even out your complexion. Resist the urge to pile on the makeup to try and mask the problem; it will just make things worse. After my friend switched from regular liquid, creamy products to lighter minerals she felt her skin could breathe better and didn't suffer with any additional redness, which she had done from mainstream makeup brands. Mineral makeup is made from natural ingredients and won't clog up your pores.

Specialist skincare

As adult skin tends to dry out with age, it's important to adopt a specialist skin care regime that will help your acne without causing extra problems for the rest of your complexion. Proactiv contains salicylic acid that penetrates pores, but thanks to its hydrating formula, won't strip your skin. The brand has received great reviews from acne suffering friends and boasts a host of celebrities, including Katy Perry amongst its fans. The products that you were using before your acne onset may no longer be doing your skin any favours, so look out for a specialist skincare line that can cope with the demands of your skin.

Blemish balm

Blemish balms (or BB creams) have been popular in Korea for some time now and they are quickly creating a buzz on the UK beauty scene. Originally invented to soothe and protect the skin after facial peel treatments, BB creams even out your skin tone with a formula that is packed full of goodies to condition and hydrate the skin. Clinique Age Defence BB Cream SPF30, contains SPF, evens out skin tone and contains mica, iron oxide and seaweed extract to absorb excess oil that is common amongst acne sufferers.

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