Acne may be the bane of many teenagers, but for the majority of glam gurus, break outs don't end in high school. The unfortunate reality is that over half of all adults suffer from chronic or sudden breakouts. This leaves a lot of us wondering if our trusty guide to puberty lied to us all along. If acne is supposed to clear up once we're out of our teens, then why is adult acne so common?
Your friends at BioRepublic have taken a closer look at the science behind breakouts and how a few simple fixes can lead to clearer skin.
Hormonal fluctuations don't end with puberty. Throughout our lives, we experience many shifts in our normal hormone levels. These changes can be due to anything from stress to monthly cycles to pregnancy changes, often triggering -- you guessed it -- a break out. Certain health conditions can also create a hormonal imbalance such as hyper or hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and diabetes. Hormonal changes are a common side effect from many different medications as well.
Fluctuating hormones affect the skin's environment by causing a pH imbalance, aggravating inflammation which often leads to redness and puffy patches, producing excessive oil (or sebum) on the skin's surface, and causing poor circulation which dulls shine and resilience.
All of these changes can cause a lot of whiplash for your sensitive skin! Luckily, there are a few simple solutions for combating hormonal acne.
Ever heard of fighting oil with oil? Essential oils are among the best natural remedies for adult acne. Tea tree oil is an excellent holistic spot treatment When diluted with a carrier such as jojoba oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil, tea tree extract is an effective cleanser that actively works to soothe inflammation caused by hormonal imbalance.
There's a grain -- or rather a spoonful -- of truth in the old adage that sugar causes break outs. Poor diet is often the culprit behind adult acne. Processed foods, excessive salts and sugars, and fatty foods aggravate sensitive pores. Oily skin is the natural by-product of oily foods. Other acne causing foods to watch out for include dairy products and foods with a high glycemic index which digest too quickly, causing a rush of blood sugar which wreaks havoc on our pores.
While we all deserve to treat ourselves every now and then, a consistent diet of acne prone foods will quickly weigh down your skin.
Fresh fruits and veggies are the best fixes for tired out skin! Antioxidant rich fruits like mango, pomegranate, and blueberry are an excellent part of a mindful skincare routine. Lemon is a natural detox that cleanses impurities from our pores and bodies. Don't forget to go green with spinach, kale, and broccoli. These foods are mineral dense and low glycemic, supporting clear skin and a fabulously healthy lifestyle.
Sometimes the problem isn't necessarily being prone to inflammation or flare-ups, but the products we use on our skin. Many popular cosmetics contain harsh chemicals that cause contact irritation. Parabens, bismuth oxychloride (used to enhance shine in many makeup products), phthalates, silicone, talc, and petrochemicals are all common skin irritants. Even seemingly innocuous ingredients like alcohol and perfume can easily cause a break out.
When it comes to skincare, opt for all natural, raw ingredients that nourish skin as well as illuminating your inner beauty. Botanical extracts, rejuvenating apple stem cells, and hydration infused vitamins are the best ways to replace pore clogging fillers.
Give your skin a makeup break at least 2-3 times per week to restore your complexion. Too often we try to hide blemishes with heavy foundation and concealers. While restoring clear skin is all well and good, don't forget to celebrate the journey. Streaking is a great way to enjoy our natural beauty!
Ah, stress. The big nasty that haunts our Mondays and wreaks havoc on our skin.
It likely goes without saying that stress is a major factor in adult acne. When we're anxious, scared, or pressured, our bodies produce more of the stress hormone known as cortisol. This rush to the adrenal glands creates an imbalance in our skin as well, leaving to a sudden break out. Stress can be tied to our natural hormonal cycles or come about unexpectedly during a particularly hectic week.
Give yourself permission to practice self-care. A weekly routine of checking in with our emotions, engaging in mindful practices like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing, and treating your skin to a mini spa day with deep cleansing masks allows us to refocus and rebalance.
Our environment has a profound impact on our skin. Common toxins and pollutants include allergens, smog, and even exposure to sun, wind, and rain. While these factors may seem minor, they can leave a big mark on our dermatological health. Air pollution has been found to be among the leading causes of acne in adults. Dirt and debris carried by air particles is quick to clog pores. This means if you're a city loving glam guru, there's a good chance you've suffered from break outs whether occasional or chronic.
Other factors, such as poor sleep, can further aggravate acne in adults. It's important to take note of common environmental irritants that may be causing break outs. The more we know, the more we can tailor our daily beauty routine to combat impurities and glow up skin.
While we can't always control environmental factors, we can minimize the effects they have on our skin. Restorative skincare products allow us to wake up renewed, even during our most chaotic days.
Try a detox treatment a couple days each week. Vitamin E is one of the key supplements for healthy skin. This core nutrient is best paired with revitalizing aloe for a relaxing spa treatment after a day in the sun. When redness and inflammation is particularly angry, try a cold compress or a few chilled cucumber slices along with your favorite mask. A bit of TLC can go a long way in achieving clear skin!
Share your favorite ways to love your naturally beautiful skin with us and look out for more skincare tips from the BioRepublic glam squad.