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Thought acne breakouts and blemishes left you after your college? Think again. Acne in adults is more common than you think.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly half of women over 25 still suffer from acne breakouts.
And shockingly, if you never had them as a teen, it doesn’t mean you are safe from breakouts.
Although the acne breakouts may look the same in adults, they’re a bit different from the ones you may have had in teens.
Acne in adults usually appears on the lower half of the face. And they usually appear as cysts or under the skin which is impossible to drain.
So what exactly are causing acne breakouts in your 30s? One culprit is changing hormone levels. Others include premenstrual dips or fluctuations during perimenopause.
But did you know, there are many other unexpected causes of acne in adults? Sometimes your skin-care regimen is to blame, and sometimes your lifestyle plays a major role.
If you’re confused about why acne breakouts are still frequent in your adulthood, here are 9 unexpected reasons you may be getting them.
Top 9 Unexpected Causes of Acne in Adults
Believe it or not, sometimes getting facial hair removal, or using excessive hair products can cause a breakout. If your hormonal balances are perfectly fine, then perhaps its time to revisit and reshuffle your beauty drawer a bit. Here are some common culprits.
Facial Hair Removal
Tweezing, waxing, shaving can all cause the skin tissue to swell. This opens up the way for acne-causing bacteria to enter deeper into skin pores.
Sometimes even topical products applied to your skin before hair removal can clog skin pores and promote a breakout.
Try to kill off some bacteria too by cleaning the hairy area thoroughly.
Cosmetics are notorious for clogging skin pores. They can combine with natural skin oil and cause breakouts.
But the real problem always doesn’t lie with the product themselves. It has more to do with the way you remove the makeup too.
Oil and dirt can easily buildup on makeup after a long day. This can trap acne-causing bacteria within the skin that results in acne.
After removing your makeup, make sure to wash your face thoroughly. If the problem persists, try washing your face before removing makeup as well.
If you can’t sleep all night because of a deadline or an important meeting the next day, you’re probably stressed out. Although stress alone can’t cause an acne breakout, it can accelerate the process.
Stress causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals and changes some hormonal balances. This triggers a breakout. So if you’re experiencing huge cyst-like pimples that are redder, bigger, and painful, they are probably there because of stress.
Most sunscreens are made with two active ingredients. The first is a long list of chemical agents that protect your skin from ultraviolet rays. The second is physical agents that basically sit on your skin surface and create an invisible barrier.
This barrier is bad news for your skin.
Sunscreens that contain titanium or zinc oxide can promote excessive sweating underneath them which can cause acne.
So next time you are about to apply sunscreen, make sure to read what ingredients you’re dealing with. Try to avoid sunscreens with pore-clogging physical agents.
If you think oily skin is the only culprit behind breakouts, think again. Dry skin can cause tiny cracks in the skin which can open doors for acne-causing bacteria to enter and multiply, resulting in a breakout.
Make sure to gently exfoliate the skins at least 2-3 times a week. Some moisturizers can clog your pores, so be careful what you’re applying. Always apply noncomedogenic moisturizers on dry skin.
Haircare products meant for styling commonly cause acne. These products increase oil in your scalp and forehead trapping acne-causing bacteria in skin pores.
Clogged pores can easily become inflamed and result in a breakout.
When applying hair styling products, make sure that you are applying it with your hands. Avoid using hair sprays because most of the times these products end up on your forehead.
After application, use a facial cleanser to remove any traces of the styling product from your forehead and face.
Skincare products are made to provide nourishment and care for your skin, right?
The truth is many skincare products are made with synthetic chemicals and other harmful ingredients that promote acne breakouts.
If there’s any skincare product that causes irritation, stop using it immediately.
Avoid switching too many skincare products rapidly. When you try a new skincare product, you are also providing your skin with new active ingredients, chemicals, and preservatives. These can irritate the skin which leads to acne.
Traveling a lot means changing environments and new challenges for the skin.
Every city, or country has its own humidity, weather, and water elements. Environmental changes can sometimes trigger acne breakouts since your skin is not used to the new atmosphere.
Expert travelers recommend washing your face with bottled water. They also recommend avoiding hotel soaps.
Diet and Lifestyle
If you thought eating chocolate and Mcdonalds no longer messes with your skin, you may be in for a surprise.
The diet-related causes of acne are still true to your age. A recent study found that carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index can increase the severity and development of acne in adults.
So do your best to cut back on junk food such as burgers, pizzas, fries, and other fried food. Instead, make a switch to veggies, fruits, grains, and high protein foods. But do this gradually to give your skin enough time to deal with the changes.
4 Easy Steps To Beat Androgens Acne
As a woman in her 30s or 40s, you are probably aware of how much hormones can play an important part in causing acne.
There are many different hormonal imbalances that can cause acne, but all of these imbalances lead your body to convert androgens into testosterone called DHT, hence causing something called androgens acne.
DHT is basically a hormone that is directly linked with acne breakouts. The best way to prevent DHT from being released is to lower your androgen production. But how do you do that? Let’s find out.
Easiest Ways to Beat Androgens Acne
Before you can start reducing the number of androgens in your body, you need to understand its symptoms
Symptoms of High Androgens
The best way to find out if androgens are going out of control in your body is to actually have a test. But there are still some ways you can tell by just looking at your current condition.
For example, if you see that your acne breakout usually gets worse after a period or around ovulation, you probably have surplus androgens. Once you have found out that there is a problem in your hormonal balances, here’s how you can sort the problem.
Don’t Use Dairy Products
Dairy products are rich in a hormone called the IGF-1. This is a growth hormone similar to insulin. It basically stimulates your body to rapidly-produce androgens which later on results in androgen acne.
The same hormone increases sebum production in the skin and encourages your brain to convert androgens into DHT.
A lot of people don’t really have trouble when consuming limited amounts of organic dairy products, but they usually start to see symptoms when they increase dairy intake - such as drinking a full cup of milk.
Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Insulin spikes and swings tell the body to rapidly release androgens, thus it is very important to control your blood sugar levels.
Try your best to eat healthy food with a low glycemic index and make sure that you are eating food in controlled portions. Overeating also causes spikes in blood sugar levels which increases androgens and androgens acne.
If you have a problem keeping your insulin in control, I highly suggest adding a bit of physical activity to your schedule and cutting down on caffeine. Exercise helps you effectively control blood sugar levels and helps with controlling androgens' release in the body.
Try Spearmint Tea
Some studies show that spearmint tea helps in lowering androgen levels, and in some cases, it also kills androgens acne. But drinking a single cup of tea never actually does anyone good. So if you’re going to try spearmint tea to control androgens in your body, make sure to drink at least 2-3 cups of tea daily.
Now there are many supplements that actually help control hormonal imbalances in the body. Some are specifically made to help control DHT. With some research, you can easily find them anywhere on the internet or through a supplement store.
Supplements are always good for acne since they help provide the body with nutrients it may not be getting enough from just the food you eat. Try and introduce as many supplements as possible to keep your hormonal balances in check.
If you’re not sure where to look, try supplements like Vitamin A, chamomile, and Estroblock.
Get Your Hormones Tested
I know this step sounds radical, but sometimes the best solution to androgens acne is to actually get tested for hormonal imbalances. When I was young, I tried hundreds of topical, oral, and other treatments to beat acne breakouts.
I not only wasted time but it also took a toll on my wallet. Someone finally pointed me in the right direction and I went for hormone tests. It was then I found out that the root cause of frequent acne breakouts was an imbalance of hormones in my body.
This helped my dermatologist suggest supplements and natural cures to help keep my hormones in check. And ever since that day, the acne breakouts have disappeared from my life.
So if you ever think that nothing can cure your problem, try getting a test and you’ll be surprised.