Of all of the skin care questions in all of the world, the one that walks into my inbox the most is how to treat adult acne.
Despite popular belief, acne is likely to strike far beyond your teen years. In fact, according to a survey from the American Academy of Dermatology, adult acne strikes as many as half of twentysomething women and more than one-quarter of fortysomething women. Even worse, almost one in six women over 50 are experiencing acne. Yikes! Here’s the breakdown from the AAD:
- 20 to 29 years: 50.9% of women and 42.5% of men
- 30 to 39 years: 35.2% of women and 20.1% of men
- 40 to 49 years, 26.3% of women and 12.0% of men
- 50 years and older, 15.3% of women and 7.3% of men
Fortunately, there are things you can do to combat adult acne:
1.) Eliminate all dairy products from your diet.
2.) Add a salicyclic-acid based anti-aging serum to your regimen.
Salicylic Acid (1.0%)., Water (Aqua), SD Alcohol 40-B, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polysilicone-11, Isohexadecane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Oligopeptide-10, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.
3.) Throw out all skin care and beauty products containing any of these 17 ingredients:
- Butyl stearate
- Cinnamon oil
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut oil
- Decyl oleate
- Isopropyl isostearate
- Isopropyl myristrate
- Myristyl myristrate
- Octyl palmitate
- Octyl stearate
- Peppermint oil
- Propylene glycol
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
Dr. Leslie Baumann recommends oily/acne-prone skin care types avoid the following ingredients in her best-seller, The Skin Type Solution, as at least one peer-reviewed published studies have associated each of these ingredients with acne.
4.) Keep a record of your acne, and notice if you get flare ups in any of the following conditions:
- Changes in humidity or weather
- Changes in cosmetics, skin products or hair products
- Changes in hormones from pregnancy or menstrual cycle
- Certain medications, such as corticosteroids
- High-sugar food & drinks that increase oil production which blocks pores [Read More: How Does Food Influence Acne?: The Scary Truth about Dairy Products and Sugar]
- Stress, which can trigger cortisol that may result in pore-clogging oil
5.) Add in an LED light.
In a word, yes, but with one caveat: LED phototherapy does not work against cystic acne. In case your acne has not been diagnosed by a dermatologist, cystic acne (also known as nodulocystic acne) is a the most severe form of acne, characterized by painful nodular inflammations a few centimeters in size. (A photo is available here). LED phototherapy is not recommended in these patients because the treatment temporarily causes inflammation in the skin as immunological cells infiltrate the area, which can be very painful in patients with cystic acne. It is further possible that LED phototherapy could exacerbate cystic acne by causing the lesions to erupt, potentially spreading into surrounding follicles or resulting in scarring.
However, for other types of acne (i.e., papules, pustules, cysts), LED phototherapy has been shown to work very well. According to a study by Tanda, Inc., a 63% mean reduction in inflammatory lesions and a 45% mean reduction in comedones (acne lesions) was exhibited by 107 patients over the course of 12 weeks, which was deemed “significantly more effective” than treatment with a 5% benzoyl peroxide cream over the same period. The reason for this efficacy is that LED light has been shown to eliminateP.acnes, the bacterial species responsible for the development of acne.
If you want to get rid of acne, consider a treatment like Apothederm Acne Clarifying Treatment http://apothederm.com/shop-products/brightening-acne/acne-clarifying-treatment/, avoid certain ingredients and foods, and consider an LED light.