Despite it being the bane of the teenage existence – be it mild, moderate or severe – pubescent acne can still be chalked down to a teen rite of passage (alongside gluey glitter eye shadow, over-plucked eyebrows and sticky lip gloss). But, when this beauty woe doesn’t leave us, well into adulthood, it’s much more difficult to deal with. Adult acne can be a horrible burden to bear, and can feel extremely alienating when you’re a grown woman battling oil slicks, whiteheads or (most painful) cysts. So, we enlisted the help of Dr Philippa McCaffery at Clearskincare Clinics to shed light on the cause and, more importantly, cure for adult acne. Consider this your beauty bible for dealing with extreme breakouts.
“The true underlying cause of acne is overactive sebaceous glands,” explains Philippa. “The skin’s oil glands causing pimples.” Rogue glands produce too much oil and too many skin cells that then block the pore, and thus the acne cycle begins.
What To Use
“The most important thing to understand with acne is that, whilst there are certain things that can aggravate it, unless you treat the cause, it can become a chronic condition, “says Philippa. She suggests a three-step approach: the first (and main) step in eliminating acne is to destroy the glands that are causing issues. Secondly avoid triggers- stress is generally the biggest in adults. Following a low GI and dairy free diet can also help some, but rarely acts as a cure. Lastly, she preaches patience! It is so important to stick it out- while you can spot target, treating the cause takes time.
A great starting point is to ensure that you’re not sabotaging your complexion yourself- don’t touch your face, use non-comedogenic makeup, change sheets often and clean your phone screen. Next is your home skincare routine; make this your plan of attack:
Gel Cleanser: Cleansing morning and night is essential to remove pimple causing bacteria and surface oil. (At night, we like a Micellar Water before hand to remove makeup). Try Clear Skincare Gel Cleanser with glycolic acid.
Salicylic Acid Toner: use after cleansing to further break down oil and aid exfoliation. Give Clearskincare 2% Salicylic Acid Toner a go.