Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Come I'm 42 And Still Getting Acne!?!?

I thought I would have left acne behind in my teens... and yet, sure enough I still get more than the occasional zit... at 42! Why, why, why???  Well, I do know something about skin care given my 6 years working for a pharmaceutical skincare line.  One of our bestselling collections was our acne collection - and the majority of the sales were to ADULT women. 

I thought I would share this with you given that I have a big zit on my face right now and when I look into the mirror, it's all I see.  I also know more and more women are suffering from adult acne and that the condition is on the rise.  Look at all of those ProActive commercials - all of the celebrity spokespeople are adults.

Let's take a closer look at why acne affects so many of us... the first thing to note is that the exact cause of acne is actually unknown, which means that there can be no cure for acne.  There are certain theories as to what causes acne, as well as known triggers that make acne worse, but no scientific, known conclusion as to the exact cause.  Consequently, the best we can do is to "manage" the condition, rather than "cure" it. 

Acne is a result of a hormonal, bacterial or inflammatory disturbance that occurs at the level of the oil pore of your skin. The primary cause is bacterial, but it can also result from the accumulation of dead skin cells within the follicles and is usually partly hereditary. Acne is aggravated by hormonal changes, high levels of stress (not everyday stress), medications and chemicals.  That leads me to question... do we get more adult acne now because we lead more stressful lives than the previous generation?  We do know that stress can play havoc with our hormones.... combine that with other hormonal changes (i.e. that time of the month, pre-menopause, etc.) and it could be a bad recipe for ZITS.  We certainly see how crazy hormones in our teens can result in acne.

Contrary to popular belief, acne is not affected by diet (no scientific proof at least), the sun will not help rid you of acne, nor will washing your face more often... amonth other myths.  So what can you do to treat and minimize adult acne? 

Here are some tips:

  • Cleanse with gentle, oil-free products to remove excess sebum and keratin.
  • Exfoliate and mask weekly to remove dead skin cells and purify pores.  Avoid any active acne lesions when exfoliating.
  • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun.  Use a good sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30.
  • Choose water-based rather than oil-based cosmetics.  Mineral makeup is a good choice.
  • Spot treat with benzoyl peroxide to help break up the plug of dead skin cells, bacteria, and oil that clogs the pore and forms an acne blemish. (The most effective over-the-counter medication for acne).
  • Use products containing salicylic acid to help prevent hair follicles from shedding excess skin and clogging your pores.
  • Wash hands frequently and don’t touch your face.  Ensure telephones are wiped down regularly to remove bacteria.  DON’T PICK!

When you have adult acne, you have the added challenge of drier skin - this means that some of the products made specifically for teens is too harsh for more mature skin.  Believe it or not, they actually now have anti-aging acne products - so you can treat your fine lines and wrinkles together with your pimples.  Check out some by Kate Somerville... Now that's multi-tasking!  And, when push comes to shove, wear the darn cover up!  Although I never really feel like I'm fooling anyone when I do wear it - the bump is still there... just not as red LOL!  Anyway, I truly hope that one of these days I can count acne as one of the things of the past...


  1. I had acne really bad as a teenager, and I remember thinking that after I became an adult that would be the end of it... I'm now 42, and no such luck! I'm still getting them, although not as bad, but still they are there, and I HATE them !

    1. I to am 42 and I stopped all my meds a year and 4months ago. I have noticed a change in my skin as well. I keep my skin on my face clean and I dont wear foundation or pressed powder either. I get cystic type pimples in my hair line around my face. My chin the same thing,but I also have a lot of white heads which are driving me cazy on my chin and around my nose as well. I feel so depressed because of the condition of my skin at my age. Years ago I did a treatment of Accutane and it really worked. I am truly considering doing another treatment,because I am horrified at my skins appearance. I thought my teenage acne was gone forever,but its back with a vengence!

    2. I am 42 and My dermatologist put me on Solidyne for 3 months and I cleared up. Than she wanted me to try Oracea and I did but 3 weeks of taking that I just broke out again. So Im going back on Solidyne for a few months. I will than do Acutane after my husband gets his vasectomy,because when on accutane you must have 2 forms of birth control.I know the acutane works because I did it 12 years ago. Just want clear skin once again and not have to pile on foundation to cover up the acne.

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