If you believe acne is a skin condition that only affects teens, think again. Richard Parker, founder and director of R&D for Australian skin care brand Rationale, who is also a former acne sufferer, talks us through some of the potential causes—and the best treatment available.
“Acne involves overactive sebaceous glands that can affect the face, neck, chest and back,” says Parker. And while many causes in adults can be related to hormonal fluctuations, Parker also suggests that sun damage is now considered to be part of the problem. “Acne patients usually avoid sunscreen and spend time in the sun, thinking that it will help to clear their skin—the exact opposite is true.”
The main causes
“As more women opt to have children later in life, their hormonal status—and its effect on skin—is changing in ways never seen before, and adult acne is one example,” says Parker. In addition, “research has found that many women in their twenties through to their forties are experiencing breakouts, with factors such as stress, hormones and pregnancy the trigger, with frustrating emotional side effects.”
“A daily skin care regimen rich in skin nutrients such as vitamins A, B3, C and zinc is essential,” says Parker. In more serious cases a course of oral acne medications prescribed by a dermatologist may need to be considered. Re-examining your diet may also aid in combating adult acne. “What is now well established is that a low GI diet is helpful—as is a healthy, balanced diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables.”
Rationale Catalyst Cleanser – not just for oily and breakout-prone skin, but also for sensitive and sun damaged complexions, this cleanser helps boost radiance while Australian PhotoRepair botanicals gently purify, balance and brighten, and anti-inflammatory peptides clear and calm skin.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – a cult favourite, this spot treatment is enriched with calamine and salicylic acid to heal, dry out and clear up breakouts quickly. Just pop it on before bed and wake up to clearer skin.
Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque – enriched with purifying kaolin and bentonite clays plus salicylic acid, this mask works a treat for controlling sebum production, killing pimple-causing bacteria and unclogging pores.