Adult Acne Survival Guide
When we were deprived of going out for having frenché behind the convenience store, we cursed our parents dreaming of our future paradise life. What we hadn’t anticipated were the bills, the aches and pains and acne. Focus on a current issue.
Yes, crow’s feet are increasingly rubbing shoulders with pimples. Of the 20 to 30% of people aged 20 to 40 who have adult acne, 75% are women, courtesy of the hormonal fluctuations that pi(g)ment our lives (menstruation, pregnancy, menopause). While juvenile acne is the result of the overproduction of sebum related to puberty, late acne, which can appear as early as the age of 25, looks more like a puzzle. She doesn’t need a surplus of sebum to proliferate, which means she can touch anyone, regardless of skin type, without there having been any episodes in adolescence. We are no longer talking about black spots on the T zone, but about deep, sensitive and persistent inflammatory nodules, located at the bottom of the face.
Adult Acne Survival Guide
‘The main culprits are heredity and hormones, but there are many aggravating factors,’ explains there Geneviève Thérien, from Dermapure. Stress does not cause acne as such, but it exacerbates it, as is the case with many other skin diseases. A diet high in saturated fats and carbohydrates can also amplify it, as can certain drugs (progesterone, anabolic steroids or lithium), too abrasive cleansers, synthetic perfumes and very fatty creams.”
The list goes on: lack of sleep, UV rays, pollution, dehydration, sedentary lifestyle… Finding the exact cause of the problem is tricky, and you only have to talk to one of the many women struggling with the problem to abandon the idea of a miracle solution.
“I see a lot of frustration, misunderstanding, impatience and suffering in my clients,” says Léa Bégin, makeup artist and owner of the Beauties Lab boutique in Montreal. Even before they show up, they apologize for having buttons, which is understandable: it is society that makes them feel that way.” And yet, since we are currently witnessing a wave of adult acne in women (which scientists are trying to link to chronic stress), technically, this condition should be considered normal! “I was 10 years old when I started suffering from acne,” says Léa.
I was sickly camouflaging my face and crying every night as I unmasked myself, convinced that I was ugly. I have lost myself from this prison over time, and that is why I always make up my clients in transparency; I want to enhance their beauty without creating complexes.” From experience, the expert advises using makeup to mitigate our imperfections instead of concealing them. “A tinted cream that camouflages 50% of the redness is enough to feel more comfortable in public, without completely hiding your true face,” she continues. In this way, we help open up the conversation, break the loneliness and, ultimately, regain our individual and collective trust.”
Know what we are dealing with
The first step is to determine our type of acne, in order to choose the right treatment:
Adult Acne Survival Guide
It is characterized by oily and shiny skin, enlarged pores and the presence of blackheads (open comedons) and white dots (closed comedons), both signs of obstructed pores. Open comedons take on a dark hue when the pile of debris oxidizes on contact with air. “Salicylic acid, a powerful astringent extracted from willow bark, is an excellent choice for peeling off dead cells on the surface of the skin,” explains Dr Joseph Doumit, dermatologist. It stimulates skin regeneration and prevents pore waterlogging. Retinoids, vitamin A analogues that exfoliate the epidermis, and sulfur, whose keratolytic action dries oily skin and releases oil from clogged pores, may also be used.”
When the bacterium P. acnes, which feeds on oil, discovers a pore full of sebum, it is a party in the village. The infection causes an inflammatory reaction resulting in more or less painful pimples in the form of papules (small red pimples) or pustules (papules with a white tip). Obviously, when an imperfection has the audacity to show the tip of the head (white), the first gesture that comes to mind is to pierce it to empty it. It is contraindicated, as we know, but it is stronger than we are. It’s instinctive… neurological, in fact! Feeling the pressure drained and seeing the pus come out, the brain releases dopamine,
also called the hormone of happiness. It is this mixture of relief and accomplishment that makes D-a videos popularre Pimple Popper that abound on the Web. Unfortunately, the euphoria is short-lived… and the consequences, lasting. Chloe Smith, national trainer and director of scientific communications for SkinCeuticals, explains: “Bacteria can take advantage of this to spread under the skin and infect healthy areas. The hands, even if clean, can also bring new bacteria to the pierced bud or surrounding areas. New imperfections, overinfection of the button, delayed healing and high risk of scarring… we lose all over the place.”
To cut off the food to the bacteria, we banish from our routine all oil-based care. We then turn to benzoyl peroxide, our best friend (over-the-counter, at least) according to the Dr Doumit: “It reduces the production of sebum, thus preventing bacterial proliferation in pores. Under prescription, topical retinoids, such as tretinoin and adapalene, regulate oil secretion, while antibiotics, such as clindamycin or erythromycin, target bacteria and inflammation. They are sometimes combined with a mild exfoliant, such as azelaic acid, to clean the pores and purify the skin surface.” Professional treatments like peels,which remove dead cells on the surface of the skin, and blue LED light, which kills harmful bacteria, can contribute to healing.
The advent of the “masked”
When the skin makes its own, any new aggression can trigger a flare-up
acne. Too frequent washings, the use of irritating or drying products, the prolonged wearing of a cap on the head or a fabric on the face … does it make us think of something? “The friction of the fabric and the moisture trapped on the skin caused by the mask can cause new rashes or worsen existing pimples,” explains Dre Geneviève Thérien, from Dermapure. And to relieve discomfort, we coat ourselves with fatty ingredients such as simeticone, which creates occlusion on comedons and inflammatory lesions.” The solution? Turn to soothing ingredients, for example aloe, bisabolol and allantoins, as well as vitamins (B5, C and E) with antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Adult Acne Survival Guide
Help you on a daily basis
We scrutinize our habits with a magnifying glass to discover the unsuspected allies of acne.
Protect yourself from the sun
To defend itself, the epidermis thickens under the sun’s rays. It is then more difficult for him to eliminate the dead cells and evacuate the sebum to its surface. To compensate, the skin secretes more sebum… resulting in a new cycle of eruptions.
Clean your electronic devices and pillowcases regularly
The same goes for sheets, hats and towels that, under the heat and humidity, collect bacteria ready to stick to our skin. We often think of the cell phone, but more rarely of the computer keyboard and mouse!
Use beauty products that are adequate for your skin type
A dried epidermis will increase its sebum production to compensate for the shortage of lipids on its surface; a rich cream will restore balance. But on oily skin, this same cream could block pores and cause rashes.
Remove make-up before bed
Makeup residues and impurities accumulated on the face throughout the day not only prevent our treatments from acting during the night, but they also threaten to block pores and feed harmful bacteria.
Diversify your diet
The issue is not to eat “right” or “badly”, but rather to identify the foods that have an effect on our rashes. “A proinflammatory diet, high in sugar and dairy products, has been associated with acne,” says Chloe Smith of SkinCeuticals. And since the skin needs essential nutrients to regenerate (vitamins A, E, C, etc.), it is offered a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish rich in good fats.
Easier said than done… we know it! However, stress and overwork play a role in various health problems, such as dandruff, eczema and acne. “The skin and the nervous system are closely linked,” explains Dr Doumit. A rise in anxiety causes the formation of pimples, the presence of which generates more stress, triggering an endless vicious circle.” Hence the need to become aware of this situation, whether by controlling stress to reduce acne or by controlling acne to reduce stress.
Know when to consult
When the rashes persist or there is a lot of pain, you should call for help. ‘Various oral treatments, such as contraceptives and antibiotics, can be prescribed in more severe cases,’ explains Dre Taylor. Nodular acne, a rare but severe form, characterized by hard and deep cysts, usually requires treatment with isotretinoin (Accutane), which is sometimes accompanied by injections of intralesional cortisone to accelerate healing.”
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK