You’d think that acne would disappear after we went through puberty, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, millions of adults are inflicted with this skin problem. Whether it’s the occasional flare-up (due to clogged pores or hormonal fluctuations), or it’s an on-going battle with blemishes, acne affects people of all ages and skin types.
What makes matters worse is that piling on zit-blasting products can often aggravate and irritate sensitive skin, resulting in dryness, peeling, redness, and pH imbalances. While you think you’re helping to treat your acne problem, you might be causing more harm than good.
Fortunately, there are anti-acne treatments and solutions that actually work. To help you banish zits once and for all, today’s beauty guide features expert tips from leading skincare specialists, including Dermatologists, Aestheticians, and skincare product developers.
Tip 1: Change Your Diet
While acne happens on the outside of our bodies, many experts believe that what’s going on inside has a direct correlation with the outer appearance. Skincare expert, Allison Tray, the Co-Founder of Tres Belle Medi-Spa, suggests we change our diets by nixing dairy. “Eliminate dairy from your diet: dairy is a food product full of hormones and ingredients that can cause inflammation. It may actually stimulate the oil production and your skin which in turn can cause the excess oil to clog pores and cause infections under the skin that can turn into blackheads pimples and acne.”
Home & Family’s beauty expert Kym Douglas agrees that milk can exacerbate acne. She says, “The less dairy, the better the skin. The milk we drink clogs the pores and creates a hostile environment for clear skin. The next dietary secret is – water with lemon; this is so cleansing to the body and helps with toxins both inside and out.” To get more tips from Kym Douglas, you can watch her on Home & Family – weekdays at 10 am ET/PT on the Hallmark Channel.
Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo, director of cosmetic dermatology at South Shore Medical Center and consultant for HydroPeptide, agrees with Allison and Kym that diet has an impact on the health of our skin. “I think altering eating habits should always be the first step towards enjoying clearer skin. A clean, consistent diet will help to ensure beautiful skin. There are three main categories of food that I think about when I consider how a diet can impact acne: cow’s milk, sugar and high-glycemic foods.”
Tip 2: Use a Salicylic or Glycolic Acid Skin Cleanser
Board-certified dermatologist and founder of DermWarehouse, Dr. Alan J. Parks recommends that we, “Use a wash containing either glycolic acid or salicylic acid. The former is better for pimples, the latter for whiteheads and blackheads.”
Tip 3: Use a Sulfur-Based Anti-Acne Spot Treatment
One of the leading skincare brands on the market, Kiehl’s, recently launched a new anti-acne solution called Dermatologist Solutions Breakout Control Acne Spot Treatment, which contains Sulfur and Vitamin B. “We selected Sulfur for our formula because it works to diminish the size of acne lesions without irritating the surrounding skin on adults, who tend to have a drier, more sensitive profile than adolescents,” notes Dr. Geoff Genesky, Head of Kiehl’s Skincare Laboratory. “When used day or night, the formula begins to reduce the appearance of breakouts in 24 hours while respecting the surrounding skin area.”
Tip 4: Moisturize Properly
“Even if you feel oily, you need proper moisture to maintain a healthy lipid barrier and keep your skin acne free. If you don’t moisturize, your oil glands will go into over drive and produce more oil, causing an even worse breakout,” says Kerry Benjamin, a skincare expert and the Creator of StackedSkincare.
Tip 5: Get Anti-Acne Medication
For more serious conditions of acne, a visit to your Dermatologist might be in order. “If a prescription is needed to treat acne, then I would recommend Accutane. A low dose can actually thin out the outer layer of the skin to help reduce breakouts” says Dr. David Bank, a Board Certified Dermatologist, Author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age, and Founder & Director of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. Accutane is very effective at clearing up acne and preventing future breakouts (I know because I had a prescription when I was a teenager), but it does come with some fine print. Since Accutane is high in Vitamin A, you can expect to get regular blood checks (to ensure your system is functioning properly) while using the drug, and make sure to evaluate the potential side-effects of the drug.
For more skincare tips and advice, check out the Skincare Section on Inspirations & Celebrations.