You may not be a teenager anymore, but your skin may look like it’s still in the throes of adolescent hormones and pep rallies. Adult acne is on the rise and if you’re like many women, you may experience painful break-outs even if you’re in your 30s, 40s or 50s. As with teenage acne, pimples are caused when an excess of the skin’s natural oil (called “sebum”) mixes with dead skin cells to block your pores, which can become infected with bacteria.
Hormones issues probably caused your acne problems when you were a teenager and they may return to haunt your middle age face and body, especially as you near menopause. As your body approaches menopause, it produces less estrogen and more testosterone and it’s the latter hormone that’s responsible for producing sebum. Unsightly blemishes result from the imbalance of estrogen to testosterone production and you may often find yourself staring at a mirror wondering what to do about your middle age pimples.
Here are causes and cures for adult acne:
If you use an oily shampoo, conditioner or styling product (think coconut, almond and olive oil products), you may be experiencing “pomade” acne on your forehead, shoulders, neck and back. As you rinse the product out of your hair in the shower, it drips down your face, neck and upper body, often causing folliculitis, which is an acne-like outbreak of red spots. This holds especially true if you have bangs. The solution: After you wash and condition your hear, rinse the products out immediately and tie up your hair. Then wash your face and upper body to remove any oily product residues. You can also use oil-free hair products like Sleepy Hollow Botanicals Oil-Free Shampoo, which retails for $4.57 + shipping online; Suave’s oil-free conditioner; and Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash, which retails for $4.97 at Walmart.com.
Do you notice acne occurring in areas where you’re wearing tight-fitting clothing, a bicycle helmet or tight bra straps? Friction acne occurs when your clothing is holding your sweat against your skin, which results in increased sebum production. The solution: Wear loose-fitting clothing.
Do you like to do yoga or work out at the gym? Gym surfaces are often infected with bacteria that cause folliculitis, which causes red spots. The solution: Bring a clean towel and place over your mat and, if possible, the parts of the gym equipment that your body comes in contact with. Also, wear gym clothes made from wickable materials like Adidas’s Climacool.
Do you use anti-aging creams that have oils such as almond or apricot kernel oil or oleic acid? If so, your cream may be the culprit when it comes to your zit-filled complexion. The oils tend to block pores and if bacteria are present, you’ll end up with pimples. The solution: Try using an oil-free aging cream such as Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Ant-Aging Daily Moisturizer that will reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and exfoliate your skin while giving it a radiant glow. The product retails for $15.89 + shipping online.