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9 Ways to Deal with Adult Acne: My Personal Story
Do you take anything for that?
If you are an adult who suffers from acne, you know it affects more than just your appearance. It's embarrassing and frustrating, and if you want to cover it up, it takes extra time out of your day; not to mention the money you spend on products trying to find the right thing to fix it.
You think, "I'm not 14 anymore, why do I have these bumps?!" Perfect strangers may come up to you and ask, "Have you tried Differin/Proactiv?" Or they'll say, "What do you take for that?" Some will explain it away for you: "Must be stress;" "It's just hormones;" or "It's probably the weather."
Reduce the Appearance of Acne
Over the months I have been fighting adult acne, I have come across and tried several methods of reducing the appearance of skin blemishes. One thing I realized as I tried them is that none of them are going to cure it, but they might reduce it. Here are the best tips:
- Go gentle on your face! This little pointer was my #1 redness reducer. I stopped using scratchy exfoliating facial cleansers, bubbly facial cleansers, and anything that said it was "extra-strong." I have sensitive skin, so I started using "calming cleansers", generally in a cream form. Then, I graduated to simple, unscented Dove white bars that I use for my face and body. I saw a reduction in redness and breakouts.
- Don't pick! Stop it! I know you want to squeeze that little whitehead on your chin, but if you can help it, get your hands off! Picking at your skin simply irritates the surface, causing your blood vessels to come right up front and show themselves on your face. Also, your hands are dirty and you are essentially rubbing them all over an open wound, causing further irritation.
- Eliminate the smelly stuff. This goes along with #1. Nice-smelling facial cleansers can irritate sensitive skin AND dry it out. This is a bad combo for someone with a non-perfect complexion.
- Drink water. While I don't pretend to be a biologist or doctor, I do know that drinking enough water keeps you healthy. It follows that it keeps your skin healthy too. I have seen a tiny difference in the appearance of my skin and reduction in the fierceness of my breakouts since monitoring my water intake more closely.
- Chill out on the caffeine. Caffeine dehydrates and can make you feel nervous. Your skin shows the effects of this. When you are nervous, your hormones are jumpy, and your hormones control the amount of oil your skin produces.
- Wash your hands a lot. Those grubby fingers on your face are depositing dirty little germs right into your pores, clogging up your body's natural detox system. Wash your hands and keep them away from your face!
- Rinse your problem areas. Again, your pores get clogged by dirt more easily than you think. The more you rinse, the more you clear them out. One suggestion is to rinse your face and other problem when you come in from the outside as often as possible. It keeps them cleaner and keeps dirt from clogging your pores.
- Wash more thoroughly. Although you may think you do a good job washing your face, think again. Do you rinse completely both before and after washing? Do you massage the soap in properly without being too rough? Do you dry thoroughly? There is probably something in your routine you can improve which will lead to more healthy skin.
- Last, but not least, use unscented detergent. The obvious downfall to this one is the scent of your clothes. However, it can be worth the sacrifice, and bottoms, socks and underwear (anything that doesn't touch your face) can be washed in scented detergent to balance it. I started using unscented detergent and dryer sheets and saw the biggest amount of change in my acne, particularly around the chin area. When I sleep at a friend or family member's house who uses scented detergent, I break out the next day every time, which is why I truly believe this has had the biggest impact on my acne.
No matter what you do, remember that adult acne is more prevalent than you probably think. You are not the only one, and everybody who has it or has had it is in the struggle together.
Do you have acne? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!